Jul 29 2014

Advice from Harrow Police on Crime Prevention

police_lantern_2-150x150The Police have asked us to pass on this message, about simple crime-prevention measures:

  • Be alert to bogus police officers. Burglars will sometimes try to gain entry to houses by convincing the occupier that they are police officers. They will often be in plain clothes but will show some ssort of ID which looks like a warrant card. If you are not expecting a visit from police and you are uncertain as to whether a person is genuinely a police officer, call 101 and ask them to verify the details given by the person. More often than not this will deter would-be burglars. Never let anyone into your home if you are not certain that they are genuine.
  • Make sure all doors and windows are kept locked whenever there is no-one home.
  • During the hot weather, if you are at home during the day, keeping smaller windows open for ventilation is fine, but make sure that no-one would be able to reach through and open larger windows in order to gain access. However, at night time we recommend that all downstairs windows and doors are kept shut and locked, and that any windows upstairs by which someone could gain entry are also kept locked.

It’s all good, common-sense, advice but it sounds very much like Harrow Police are seeing an increase in crimes related to these suggestions.

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  1. j p hobbs

    The best advice is move somewhere else away from Harrow . I was forced to they couldn’t find me a place coz I am English and my Grand dad fought in WWI my Dad in WW2 and I only lived in Harrow 35 years , I was told a friendly no hope .

  2. Rupika Dave

    Common sense from The Met. But, if burglars are determined to get in, they will. The Police often do not pursue this crime due to lack of resources. With burglarly not being a priority for our Police, the burglar has little fear of being caught. The only people living in fear are the innocent victims of Harrow. So yes, lock your windows and doors, to minimise the risk to yourselves and your property.

  3. sonoo malkani

    Hello all.
    Rupika please let me give you all a measured account about burglaries in Harrow.First of all,kindly do NOT disregard the advice given by Harrow Police,however obvious it might seem.It’s no jokes when people pose as police officers and gain entry into our homes.This also happens in other boroughs.

    BURGLARY is very much a priority for our Police.The Metropolitan Police take it very seriously since every burglary is one too many and is a devastating experience for the victims.It is one of the SEVEN PRIORITIES set by the MOPAC(Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime).The MET are required to cut all crime,including burglary by 20% again this year.I know it may be hard to believe this but it IS happening.

    I will only speak,on this occasion,about BURGLARIES which tends to be the favourite pastime of burglars at this time of year.Please trust my word,as an ordinary citizen and keen volunteer who has worked alongside our local police over the past fifteen years.I have seen it first-hand from both sides.Burglary is highly predictable.

    While Chairing your HPCCG our volunteers spent many hours and weeks spreading crime prevention messages,doing outreach to empower our citizens with the knowledge of how to protect their personal property and homes.We did this at several venues when festivals such as Diwali,Eid,Vaisakhi,Christmas,Hannukah and other events were being held.Let me tell you,IT WORKED!Our Borough Commander went on TV stations such as the BBC and MATV,Radio programmes such as Sunrise Radio,Community Radio and many others, wrote in a number of publications to get these important messages out.We visited playgrounds and gave out leaflets at football and cricket matches and at our large super-markets such as Morrison’s and Tesco’s.Results were most rewarding.Please don’t under-estimate what your police is doing.People from France and other parts of Europe look at Harrow’s success with envious eyes.

    The good news is that a small amount of simple PREVENTION put into practice will bring great dividends.Of course,actions such as locking doors and windows as described in the article,locking your vehicles even when parked on your own drive,locking sheds with tools which these rogues may use to break in,locking bicycles with a good quality padlock and chaining them,all help.There are many good locksmiths who have many devices to help make your home safer.

    Installing a good quality BURGLAR ALARM (not costing a fortune) is an excellent deterrent.Same with SECURITY LIGHTS at the back and front of your home.Moving dustbins BEHIND your side gate as soon as they have been emptied is essential.Otherwise burglars have a ready-made platform provided for jumping over your gate.If you are out working,perhaps a kind neighbour might agree to push your bins back on your drive.

    Should you have an alleyway behind your home which is not gated then make sure you grow PRICKLY PLANTS/BUSHES so that anyone attempting to climb over your back wall is put off –works a treat!These are simple things which all add up to more safety at home.Look for these tips on the Metroploitan Police web-site.

    Our NEIGHBOURHOOD CHAMPIONS will also be happy to advise you about this.So will your LOCAL SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD TEAM.Please call them or email for more information.We are incredibly fortunate to have SMARTWATER handed out FREE of charge to all HARROVIANS by our Police.The COUNCIL has provided this at considerable expense since at least four/five years.It is CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY which has helped us trace goods stolen and even united them with their owner.DNA is traced and criminals put inside with irrefutable evidence.Many London Boroughs are clamouring for this to be part of their crime prevention kit.

    Many of these tips have come from the lips of ex-offenders who advise us that they always prefer to break into a place which looks inviting because it LOOKS INSECURE.

    Also,please do NOT leave CASH,CAR KEYS or VALUABLES VISIBLE..It is a recipe for disaster.

    Another reason burglars break in is that our borough has a large proportion of Asians living here.They are known to keep GOLD ORNAMENTS at home.The Police have been advising keeping these in bank lockers but since it is traditional for Asians to wear gold ornaments many disregard the advice and are gutted when they are targetted by burglars.

    I know this is most unfair and an invasion of personal freedom but common-sense must reign.Do we want to be sitting ducks??The price of gold is still rising.Best to be safe rather than sorry ,is it not!If you chose to have some items at home,please insure and mark them.

    Today’s burglars are savvy and tend to go for gold,cash,small high-priced items such as Iphones & Ipads!I have already said too much so I hope you have got the message.

    Harrow is particularly interested in catching and prosecuting burglars,especially the prolific ones who tend to be serial burglars.Nobody can promise you 100% safety but rest assured if you do your bit to protect your homes then the chances of becoming a victim of burglary will be greatly diminished.Most burglars are OPPORTUNIST.We may not be able to foil professional burglars altogether but even they prefer to target homes which may be “juicy targets” or seem less well protected.

    In case somebody thinks I am being given a back-hander or have some hidden agenda,let me assure you I only do this to keep ALL of us safer ,since Harrow is our home ground.I too am part of our community and want us all to be spared from the terrible bane of burglary.

    Burglars LOVE the hot weather plus extra hours of daylight –like the rest of us.They bank on the fact that we will probably be feeling more relaxed ,basking in the sunshine and will not be as careful as at other times of the year when it comes to securing our homes,sheds,bikes,cars etc.They know we have festivals and will probably bring jewellery home to wear plus cash for spending during the Summer Sales.

    They also realise many are away on vacations and holidays abroad.They have done their home-work.Have YOU done yours?Believe me it is well worth the time invested.We must gang up on them and beat them at their own game,by taking preventive measures.

    Please take the extra few moments to secure your home and make yourself safer.
    HARROW IS ONE OF LONDON”S SAFEST BOROUGHS.Let’s help keep it that way.
    Our police are not complacent and recognise how important it is for us to work together to keep it that way.They have many London -wide Operations such as Bumble Bee which are highly successful.Please help them to protect us from burglars.

    Ask your local cop for crime prevention advice and put it into practice.Be a wonderful friend and neighbour and help them to do the same.Please do NOT feel too scared by what has been written nor be too laid back!

    Have a lovely summer holiday.EID MUBARAK to our entire Muslim community. HAPPY JANAMASHTMI to all Hindus who will celebrate the birth of Krishna mid August.Enjoy the Test Match.

    Sincere good wishes to ALL our communities who will celebrate their festivals as well this summer.

    Stay well.Stay safe..

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