It’s that time of the year where burglars are out and about; so please secure your property before leaving home. Recent burglaries are reported (two in Whitton Dene) where the rear window/patio door was smashed.
OWL provides the public with the latest local crime alerts sent by email, telephone or SMS. To sign up see: https://www.owl.co.uk/met/
For reporting a crime which has already occurred, an alternative to phoning 101 (which can entail a long wait) is to report it on-line to: https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/how-to-report-a-crime/
To report crime in progress or suspected to be happening or about to happen, of course it’s a 999 call.
Current scams include emails falsely purporting to be from British Gas and Amazon (alleging their requirement for confidential information), and telephone calls “from your internet service provider” threatening cut-off of internet service unless you follow their instructions. Because there are so many of these scams being tried now, it may seem hardly worth the trouble of reporting them, but be alert to the risks and you can still contact Action Fraud, 0300 123 2040.
from Your Safer Neighbourhood Team
The Hounslow South team will hold weekly events at Isleworth Leisure Centre & Library, Twickenham Road, Isleworth, TW7 7EU. Please keep an eye on their Twitter account @MPSHounslowSth or the Metropolitan Police ‘your area’ Hounslow South page for future dates and times. Come and ask about crime prevention, crime stats or give us information to act on. This has already proved successful so please come and speak to us if you have something to share and we can solve the problem long or short term.
Who’s at the door?
Please beware of these current suspected bogus callers: Two foreign-accented strangers seeking information about who lives where; also two people seeking to get £20 notes changed – their notes are believed to be counterfeit.
In a local variation of the current spate of thefts by moped riders, a youth on a bike snatched a lady’s handbag in Whitton High Street. Make your bag unsnatchable!
Also current, a white man, estimated in 20s, tried to open the nearside door of a car to steal the handbag lying on the passenger seat; unsuccessfully as the door was locked.
Moral 1 -Never leave valuable possessions on seats or otherwise visible in cars; Moral 2 – keep all car doors locked, even while driving – in this case the driver had briefly pulled in to let an oncoming vehicle pass safely.
The security light post has been cut down and security light stolen. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to let WERFA committee know if you have any information about who carried out this act of vandalism or why.
This light will be reinstated as it provides reassurance to those going to events in the Pavilion during the darker evenings.
Thieves are using more sophisticated methods to steal vehicles with electronic keys. They can use a gadget to scan for your key and create a blank they can use to steal the vehicle
When not in use keep your key in a security pouch to stop it being scanned. Thieves often burgle houses to steal car keys. Store yours out of sight and avoid obvious places such as hallways and kitchens. Maybe consider fitting a tracking device to the vehicle.
Met Police are now organised in groups of boroughs to reduce costs. They aim to keep up the number of officers visible on patrol or available on call.
Police advise that most burglaries involve entry at the rear of the house when the occupants are absent. Ensure that your back gate is secure and locked, back door and French windows double-locked, keys removed from door and window locks and concealed; a security-light is desirable.
A resident reports theft of a handbag from the boot of a car. She thinks it was spotted at Tesco car park by a thief who followed the car (in a smallish silver van) until it was parked again.
We met our neighbourhood officers recently on a visit to WERFA at the Pavilion. More about this next time.
Please do let me know about any crimes that occur in our Watch area; so often the first I know about them is when the Police tell me at Ward Panel Meetings. Patrick Hooper (Woodlands Area Watch Co-ordinator).
Winter weather doesn’t deter criminals: in January so far there have been at least 3 actual or attempted burglaries and 1 bicycle theft in Woodland Gardens alone. Please protect all your property all the year round!
Quote from the Police “Operation Be-Safe”: Simple steps to secure your home: Ensure doors and windows are properly locked with a key when leaving home; keep valuables out of sight and out of reach; lock side gates and store bins behind them; packaging left outside can indicate the existence of expensive new items inside (especially after Christmas), so avoid that.
Quote from another recent Police message: Over 15,000 motorcycles, mopeds and scooters were stolen in London in the year to September (half of all vehicles stolen); the theft of a moped, scooter or motorcycle takes only a matter of seconds if they are left with inadequate or no security; reduce your chances of becoming such a victim by using 2 or more security measures.
Beware of 2 crimes currently occurring:
(1) Youths on mopeds, snatching mobile phones, handbags, etc. (this happened in the past few days in Richmond Road, Twickenham and in Whitton High Street);
(2) Distraction when using ATMs (cash machines), allowing your card or cash to be snatched (this happened at the Tescos at Osterley and at “the Warren”).
To help you protect your homes and make your properties burglar proof follow the simple steps below:
- Keep hedges and walls at the front of your house low (under 1 meter) so burglars have nowhere to hide.
- Keep side gates locked at all times.
- Keep hedges walls and fences around your backyard high (over 1.8 meters). Add lightweight trellis to gates and fences and plant some prickly plants to make it harder for burglars to climb over.
- Gravel driveways and paths make it harder for burglars to go undetected.
- Install an outdoor security light so intruders cannot approach unseen.
- Install a burglar alarm system.
- Secure shed doors and windows.
- Never leave tools lying around as they can be used to break into your property.
Please beware of 2 current activities occurring just over our Borough boundary in Whitton: A man in a grey hoodie, on a bicycle, asking people for money to visit a sick relative; and someone removing all correspondence from people’s recycling boxes (so be sure to remove all personal information from paper waste before putting it out). If you encounter either of these things, please report it to the Police (999 if you see it happening, 101 otherwise).
Increasing crime of the moment is the theft of mopeds/scooters/motor-cycles and their use in snatch thefts (mobile phones, handbags, jewellery etc.). Please don’t make it easy for the criminals: lock away or padlock your P2W (powered 2-Wheeler as the Police call them) when not in use, and don’t have your valuable property in an easily snatchable position.
Fashionable crime of the moment appears to be the theft of pedal-cycles from sheds – often broken into by simply unscrewing the lock fixings. Police recommend using quality locks and fixings and also locking the bike to something inside the shed; additionally, “get your bike security-marked and registered at BikeRegister” and “record the details of your bike – frame number, bike register number, any distinguishing features – and take a photo of it”.
Our Local Police Team are taking active steps to catch the irresponsible helmetless moped-riders and the “wheelies” bike-riders.
Please ensure you are locking your cars whenever you leave them. Police report that 70% of motor vehicle crime is facilitated by people failing to lock their cars.
The following message is from our Ward Acting Sergeant, Scott Bannister:
“There has been a dramatic rise in Theft from Motor Vehicles in the last month. There is no defined pattern to these; however most appear to be taking place overnight.
I am currently waiting for an Intel request to come back to me with more detail regarding hotspots etc., and I am developing an operation to combat the rise.
I would be grateful if you could pass on a request to all residents to be extra vigilant regarding suspicious vehicles/persons.”
As always: Don’t leave valuable property in motor vehicles; garage your car whenever possible.