Aug 21 2014

Harrow Leads London in Lowest Crime Rate

police_lantern_2-150x150No doubt there’s coffee and doughnuts being served at Harrow Police Station this week, with news that the the borough has reached the lofty, and hard-earned place, as the safest borough in London. Well done to Borough Commander Simon Ovens and team for this – it’s a good result. Harrow’s premier bed ‘n’ breakfast establishment in Northolt Road (no en-suite showers or TVs, but they do give you a free ride in a police car) has clearly been bursting at the seams.

Harrow clocked up a crime rate of 4.42, followed by Kingston upon Thames with 4.60 and Merton with 4.74. Breaking down Harrow’s numbers further, anti social behaviour accounts for over half (2.58 or 58%) of notifiable offences, and violence against the person 1.39 (or 31%). Residential burglary clocks up 8%.

If we look at Brent (overall score 7.07, placing it 8th), ASB accounts for 46%, violence against the person 31% and residential burglary 6%.

So, a good result, and something that Simon Ovens & Co have been aiming at for a long time.

You can view all the stats, and more, here.

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  1. PraxisReform

    And we’re supposed to believe unaudited figures from the organization that profits most from fiddling them?

    1) I know from personal experience the incompetence of the local police, who will lose evidence or conveniently ignore massive fraud…

    2) Then, we’re repeatedly told in the press how crimes are often “no crimed”, with officers revising the figures after the fact.

    3) Separating ASB from crime means that an unimportant borough like Harrow is bound to have lower levels of murder, rape and armed robbery than an inner London borough. Whilst excluding the “lesser” crimes that we see every day (assault and fights in the streets, public drunkenness, aggressive begging or touting prostitutes, vandalism, graffiti, fly-tipping, excessive noise, driving offences, etc. etc.) will make it seem that Harrow has suddenly become paradise on earth.

  2. PraxisReform

    I might not have made myself completely clear in the above post, but even using the dubious figures that Paul has been kind enough to link to, Harrow is seventh in levels of ASB, which goes to illustrate my point that offences are being ignored / forgotten for the sake of massaging the statistics.

    So, did anybody really doubt that they were more likely to be murdered in Westminster than Harrow?

    Harrow is still more prone to the real problems of ASB than Richmond upon Thames, Kingston upon Thames, Bexley, Bromley, Havering or Sutton…

  3. Mike N

    It’s right what has already been said. Whilst we may come out top over all on the crime figures that have been reported to police, which are usually middle to major crimes, one only has to walk the streets of Harrow to notice that the minor low level crimes, that usually go unreported, and therefore don’t appear on any crime charts are on the increase. Public drinking, vandalism, begging, anti social behaviour, littering etc etc.
    You can have as many charts, graphs and statistics as you want, and display them in many ways but they don’t show the true state of crime on our streets.

  4. sonoo malkani

    First of all a very hearty congratulations to our Police officers and the Borough Commander,Simon Ovens who is doing his best to make ours a safer borough if not the safest in London.Please let’s give credit where it’s due.Very well done.Keep up the good work.Just for the record,I don’t get any kick-backs,for those of you plagued with cynicism.

    It’s no good having a go at the Police if the Metropolitan Police have specifically been asked to focus on SEVEN PRIORITY AREAS — by the MOPAC(Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime) based at City Hall.The Safer Neighbourhood Boards (SNB’s) which have replaced Community Engagement Groups (CPEGS) also are required to concentrate on these issues and also on items such as Victim Support and Domestic Violence.They are tasked with scrutinising the spends made on behalf of each Borough by their Borough Commander and ensuring best use of these precious resources.

    Anyone who feels passionately about the “lesser crimes”which nevertheless have a detrimental effect on the quality of lour lives,must take it up with MOPAC. or write to Deputy mayor for Policing & Crime ,Stephen Greenhalgh .If he hears from enough of you he will need to review these prioirties.Please,less griping and more feed-back to those responsible for these matters.

    MOPAC wants more effective use of public resources —-20% reduction in crime.20% reduction in expenses and 20% efficiency year on year.So far the MET has managed to pull this off but it has put tremendous pressure on our police.

    The METROPOLITAN POLICE has no choice but to work within a set formula.They must follow orders.

    Operational control,thankfully remains with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner,Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe– –the professionals.They work incredibly hard to keep us safe.Can you imagine the pressure they are under right now,keeping order during the annual NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL this Bank Holiday week-end.

    I only mention it since many officers from all our Boroughs will be abstracted to cover this fantastic event.They also have the additional burden .of the JIHADIST threat to the UK.I am not making excuses,just stating a fact.

    Some officers will be on summer leave since they also have families like the rest of us.Many have to postpone their leave to ensure our safety during the peak tourist season.Let’s be fair and try to appreciate the challenges.One good thing is we are slowly receiving more officers to help make up our full complement.You will wonder what this has to do with Crime Statistics.Man-power is most important.

    I agree whole-heartedly that MINOR CRIMES blight the lives of very many and should not be ignored when it comes to accounting for community safety.One gets a lop-sided picture and this irritates the public greatly.They witness these incidents quite often.and lose faith in the system.

    This applies to EVERY SINGLE LONDON BOROUGH.Harrow has NOT been singled out as suggested above,because we are an “unimportant borough”.Anybody who is foolish enough to consider us in this manner,is doing so at their peril.We will not be ignored,or side-lined.

    We have many new challenges to face ever since the demographics have changed so dramatically over the past decade.Successive Governments and local politicians have not factored this in.This has impacted negatively on our citizens.They have been waking up to these harsh facts of late and have been trying hard to get things sorted.

    This will not happen overnight.It is a now a truly uphill task but still solvable with proper commitment from people at the top and full public support for our local cops.Very hopeful we will get to grips with these niggling crimes as well and make our borough even safer.Nobody is pretending Harrow is some kind of Paradise.We all have to work towards making it really lovely again.

    If at first you don’t succeed try,try again!Harrovians do not give up.

    Have a fabulous Bank Holiday and stay safe .

  5. PraxisReform

    Every organization is asked to save money all the time. Those of us who have worked for private sector businesses will know that this has been the rule for forever. So, now that the Banksters have broken the economy – and sense has prevailed at Police HQ where someone has realized that there is no unlimited pot of money – this should come as no surprise to anyone.

    I say this because anyone that said “That’s not my job, I’m only interested in focusing on the KPIs that affect my little bit!” wouldn’t be working for me for very long – I don’t think that this is a nasty or unfair way to treat people – and I’m sure that anyone with any sense here reading this will realise that in most organizations, people work as a team, helping each other achieve overall goals and objectives, whilst building relationships with outside organizations. The fact that I have to point out something as basic as this to a large organization such as the Police astounds me.

    So, if the Police are unhappy about their new straightened circumstances, perhaps they might care to arrest some of the criminals at HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS etc. that have been shown to be responsible for manipulating LIBOR, foreign exchange, gold as well as money laundering etc.

    But, back to the topic at hand of Harrow being the “safest” London borough, as I’ve said all along – fiddled figures – rather like my claiming to have the healthiest diet in London, based on the fact that for the purpose of these figures, I’m excluding all the chocolate, crisps, chips and cakes that I eat.

    Now, if any sort of criticism must to be directed to “MOPAC or Deputy mayor for Policing & Crime ,Stephen Greenhalgh”, then what is the point of The Safer Neighbourhood Boards (SNBs) or the Community Engagement Groups (CPEGS)? Why are these groups not fighting the corner of Harrow residents? And more to the point, why is it that every post we see from _you_ is basically “shut up and quit whining?” rather than “The SNBs/CPEGS succeeded in getting the Police to do X, Y and Z to help Harrow residents”.

    Further, the Notting Hill carnival is of no concern to Harrow residents, since it occurs in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which isn’t even adjacent to Harrow. However, here’s an interesting fact for you – According to the data that Paul linked, last month Kensington and Chelsea had just 602 counts of Anti-social behaviour, whilst “safer” Harrow had 617. So, I laugh that surplus Harrow Police are “working hard” topping up their tans at Carnival, since I’d love a job where I got paid overtime to basically go out and party…

    As to Jihadists, we all know who is ultimately responsible for upsetting them, so perhaps the Police would be better off complaining to Tony Blair and the Zionist warmongers that claimed to be acting in my name when they started their illegal wars, and now put the rest of us at daily risk because of their power games…

    Whilst I have no idea what your motives are for protecting the Police from every criticism, no matter how small or minor, I can only conclude that you haven’t been analysing the trends from the Police’s data, and therefore have some hidden agenda for not holding Harrow’s Police to account.

    I, meanwhile, have been running the Polices own dataset through excel and have come up with some quite startling figures that cast doubt over Ch.Supt. Ovens decisions, which I shall be organizing into a more understandable form, and which I am trusting that you will confront him about, and then report back to us here.

    1. the red mirror

      david cameron and milliband are both die hard zionists all the mps are compromised lets not forget elm guest house and operation yewtree and all the other filthy goings on i cant say any more paul doesent like it or should i say the real power behind iharrow.

  6. sonoo malkani

    You really seem like an old groucho Praxis Reform and are permanently criticising .Putting people down is not as good ploy.Your predictable criticism makes one want to omit your barbed comments even when you have some points of real concern.These are likely to be dismissed as made by “the man/person with the hidden agenda”.I don’t have ANY NEED FOR HIDDEN AGENDAS but only state what I observe,having seen things from the inside on many occasions.You certainly have a bee in your bonnet about the police.You are solidly stuck there.Move on!

    Regarding Community Engagement Groups(CPEGs)they have been more or less disbanded throughout London.,courtesy of MOPAC.

    They cannot be totally let off the hook if our SNB is not up and running properly.MOPAC are required to monitor its progress and support floundering Boards as is the case with Harrow.We don’t even have full membership or anything in the PUBLIC DOMAIN even today,as was promised way back in October 2013.They had promised everything would be up and running from JUNE 2014.Still waiting!

    Most boroughs have Safer Neighbourhood Boards (SNBs).Problem is that each borough is at a different stage in their inception.Harrow is really just beginning to emerge from its chrysalis.Very slow and painful progress.Best you question its sluggish emergence by contacting your Portfolio holder for Environment and Community Safety—Cllr Varsha Parmar.Harrow Council is working alongside the MOPAC and will have more answers for you.

    You sound so bitter and fed up with everything the police does.One cannot help wonder why.Perhaps you have personal reasons for this aggressive/suspicious attitude towards the METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE(MPS).You may have had some bad experience which has coloured your vision to a large degree.

    I am sure the Police have enough on their plates without having to resort to Tony Blair and any Zionists to whom you have referred.We.the public,don’t have the time for it so why would they!Besides,they are legally required to remain APOLITICAL at all times.

    I am amazed you feel that anyone who does not put the police down is actually not holding them to account,namely myself.How wrong you are!I have often spoken with a number of Borough Commanders over the years when I felt we had issues which needed urgent addressing and have always found them very co-operative..Surely,we must have a BALANCED VIEW.We ALL have weaknesses and need to address these issues as they emerge.

    The Police do not come from another planet.They come from the very communities we all make up.They will make errors from time to time and will be made answerable.We need not bash them on the head every single time they drop off.That does not mean we do not take these matters up for they must be put right where required.However, we must ensure we don’t treat them disrespectfully or look at them as our foes.That is ludicrous!

    I just find it far more productive to engage with people—police or otherwise—as a genuine “CRITICAL FRIEND”—not as a STONE-THROWER.The latter simply gets backs up and halts any possible progress.Your concerns may be genuine,.In which case please speak with those in charge directly or email them so you are able to judge what is going on more objectively.

    I wish you could be part of policing the Notting Hill Carnival and then come and tell us what a ball you had and how you got paid overtime to party.Have you any idea what you are saying!?

    It takes a WHOLE YEAR for New Scotland Yard to plan these public order events and make sure they are not marred with violence while allowing the local folk to have a wonderful annual celebration.They have to be mindful of potential thieves,pick-pockets,knife crime,murders,robbery,terrorism and a host of other crimes.It’s people with little knowledge who say such silly things that make me speak out like this.I am NOT the Oracle ,just better informed and less biased than you.

    I have no doubt you will look at Simon Ovens’ record and pick away at it since you seem to have no respect for anything he or any police officer does..I appreciate we have read many articles which have shocked us and made us lose confidence in our police over the past year or so but that is no reason to knock EVERYTHING they do.Running their morale down is hardly sensible and only helps criminals to feel more comfortable.

    I understand your cynicism up to a point— but not if,as you seem to be, nursing a life-long grudge against all police officers.I hope you will be able to correct your vision of the people who are actually out there pounding the streets 24/7 and might even begin to understand what makes them tick.Why not go out with them for some volunteering.Might give you some genuine insights which will help you understand policing better.

    We ALWAYS said that the HPCCG (former CPEG) helped Harrow Police to achieve several set targets very effectively.Where have you been all these years?Cannot say that about the Harrow SNB just yet,till they actually come online and deliver.Please contact Harrow Council or your own local Councillor for more information about this.

    Regarding data about decisions made by our Borough Commander which you may wish to challenge please contact the Chair of Harrow Safer Neighbourhood Board.or Cllr Varsha Parmar who can convey your concerns to him.Harrow Council has their contact details.

    I know,in today’s world it is very difficult for a cynic like yourself to believe it but I have NO HIDDEN AGENDA just the good of our community at heart.A community which supports and respects its police has the best chance of a good safety record.Please try to be more trusting and less suspicious.

    Enjoy the rest of your Bank Holiday!

  7. PraxisReform

    Maybe I am “an old groucho” as you say, and if that’s the curse I have to accept to get changes made for the betterment of all in Harrow, then I’ll gladly accept it… I find that constructive criticism works, I also find that praise works, but NOT when it’s simply for doing what you get paid for – hence why I object to bonuses for Bankers and Councillors slapping each other on the back just for doing the bare minimum expected of them.

    If one “omits” criticism, as you suggest, then you end up with worldwide newspaper headlines like this:

    As you say, I’ve highlighted points of concern, even if you don’t like the manner in which they’ve been made. However, the nicely nicely approach simply doesn’t work for me, for example.

    – I ask simple questions about the outcome of radical Council policies here on iHarrow, do I get a response – Not on your life!
    – I’ve highlighted the dereliction of the Wealdstone corridor and asked to speak to the man in charge, but Keith Ferry ignores me, even after I forced the matter to the front page on the local paper.
    – Whilst the police can’t be held responsible for Keith Ferry’s ineptitude, they certainly are responsible for permitting the vandalism and squalor affecting the area – again, I’ve tried speaking to them, but their little shops aren’t even open at the times the Internet says they should be, and letters to Mr Ovens just get a stock response directing me to a telephone number that is never answered, morning noon or night.
    – Highlighting the dereliction, vandalism and squalor to the police almost ended up with a friend of mine getting arrested, simply for doing me a favour and handing them a calendar – which tells me a lot about Harrow Police’s priorities.
    – As I’ve set out many times before, I’m especially disappointed that I and some former co-workers reported a £1,000,000+ fraud, and were basically told to stop wasting police time
    – As you already know, I’ve been attacked on buses twice now, only for the police to lose the evidence and be of no help whatsoever.

    I could go on and list many more reasons why I think we have a bunch of clowns running Harrow’s Council and Harrow’s police, but I need to keep this post short.

    Now, since Harrow’s police and councillors are clearly avoiding me and my difficult questions, perhaps you would be kind enough to pass the below document to the Chair of Harrow Safer Neighbourhood Board and Cllr Varsha Parmar, and ask them to comment upon it.


    Finally, since I note that you are a big fan of quotations in your previous posts, I’ll let you have one of my favourites from G. B. Shaw:

    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man”

  8. sonoo malkani

    So sorry your experiences have all more or less been rather negative which probably accounts for the things you have been printing ,PraxisReform.

    It’s not my place to pass documents to the Chair of the Safer Neighbourhood Board or Cllr Varsha Parmar.Nor can I ask them to comment on it.The ball is in your court.

    As a local citizen you must stand up for yourself and see what transpires.You seem aufait with most things in Harrow.so this should pose no problem.Councillors can be directly emailed and so can other holders of public office.eg the Safer Neighbourhood Board.

    Regarding the link posted (zippyshare) —it seems to be INFECTED.READERS BEWARE!
    It’s best you post the material yourself rather than have us risk having our computers being infected.as happened with mine this morning.I had to call for assistance and precious time was wasted.

    I have much respect for George Bernard Shaw but can quote many other sayings which say differently.The words “reasonable and unreasonable” are fairly subjective anyway.

    I happen to believe that one’s PERSONAL convictions are the ones that motivate optimally.Opinions of others do impact on our lives ,but,in the final analysis,one goes with one’s own thoughts and feelings.Use your head but follow your heart.Works well for me..We all have different ways of dealing with life and that’s fine too

    Being confrontational or insulting is always unproductive and only antagonises the “other party”This is commonly experienced..I believe that CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is much more valuable and is a win-win for all parties.It brings sincerity to the table.Offer solutions while lodging your complaints.

    I humbly suggest that you request a PERSONAL meeting with Cllr Varsha Parmar to discuss Council related issues.Like-wise with Borough Commander,Simon Ovens.His secretary will be more than happy to assist.

    Generally speaking,I have observed over many years,that one can achieve far more by adopting a softly-softly approach rather than by bashing people on their heads.This simply builds barriers instead of bridges.

    I firmly believe that being civil will help you greatly in communicating more effectively with most people.Please try not to sound so “anti establishment” as this only bangs doors straight into our faces,so to speak..

    Instead,please try being open-minded,persistent and POSITIVE.Do not prejudge.Go with the expectation that you WILL MAKE PROGRESS..You might be pleasantly surprised!.Go for it!Wish you the very best.I mean that very sincerely.

  9. PraxisReform

    Let’s address the issue of computer infections first, since that is a very serious allegation.

    1. I’m not aware of any virus that is capable of infecting .pdf files
    2. Zippyshare is simply a website for people that need to share small files
    3. To be completely sure, I ran the link through VirusTotal.com, which is a website that checks suspect files and links against 58 different virus checkers
    4. None of these checks came back positive for infections, and anyone daring enough to click the below link can see the results of the scan for themselves: https://www.virustotal.com/en/url/d85f657903bfcfbb69df4c91cab6481d6306087871142ca59fdd987d3112c63b/analysis/1410257792/

    I must therefore conclude that you need to invest in a better virus checker that doesn’t waste your time producing so many false positives.

    Anyway, back to the matter in hand, I guess passing the buck is typical of Trade Union types. And, whilst normally I’d agree that people should stand up for themselves, from long experience of writing dozens of letters to politicians at all levels of government, the result is either the letters vanish without trace or response, or the reply comes back “that’s not my area, speak to your MP” – who I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with.

    However, if communication is passed through someone else, then there is less chance that the intended recipient will claim they didn’t receive it. So, perhaps some other kind reader in a position of authority will take a look at the NON-INFECTED document, and pass it to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe or whoever else is responsible for assessing Ch.Supt. Ovens performance.

    Since the Andrew Mitchell incident, I don’t think anyone really has much confidence in the police, and I must say that I’m quite disappointed that Ch.Supt. Ovens seems to be trying to baffle us with “spin” instead of tackling the problems of the borough directly.

  10. Concerned Harrovian

    At the final meeting of the HPCCG in March, it was said that the new Safer Neighbourhood Boards would hold four meetings a year. At one of the meetings the public would be allowed to ask questions.

    Unless I have missed the notices in the Press advertising these meetings to my knowledge there has not been one single, public meeting of this Board. Is this Board up and running? Who are the members of the Board and why is there such a need for secrecy because this fuels suspicions that they do not want public accountability?

    I can’t find any website about the Harrow Safer Neighbourhood Board giving information about themselves and there is no mention of them in the Press or any other media forum.

    Secret meetings, secret members, secret decisions. I wonder if they are dressing up in robes, holding ceremonies and exchanging secret handshakes and passwords.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to just what is going on? Once again it seems as if the plebs will be excluded from either raising questions of public interest or hearing what the current state of policing is in Harrow.

    Just what is the problem Harrow has in relaying information to those they consider plebs!

  11. Concerned Harrovian

    I read in the Evening Standard 11.09.2014 that GLA member for Croydon and Sutton, Steve O’Connell, is in trouble for making huge monetary claims. This man now under investigation was on the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime committee and was responsible for setting up the Safer Neighbourhood Boards.

    It is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. I would have thought that someone responsible for setting up these Boards should not be under investigation for his financial affairs

    Public figures should be required to display integrity and honesty.

    Still no news of Harrow’s Safer Neighbourhood Board..

  12. PraxisReform

    Recently, I watched Keith Vaz, MP tear strips off PCC Shaun Wright at a Home office select committee meeting…

    It really astonishes me that we have so many people doing jobs with six figure salaries that nobody quite understands what exactly it is they are supposed to be doing – yet we can’t get rid of them once they mess up whatever it is they are doing!

    So, I guess if the local panjandrums won’t hold Police and other local public services to account, perhaps us readers of iHarrow should form our own group to see what we can do to improve the situation ourselves?

    I’m sure one of the few remaining pubs that Keith Ferry hasn’t closed yet would be happy to reserve some space.

  13. PraxisReform

    I did my own search for information about Harrow’s Safer Neighbourhood Board, and found some fellow on Linkedin boasting that he is a board member from April 2014 to Present. Further down that page, he claims that he was elected joint Vice Chair at the first meeting.

    Assuming that this information is true, it tells us a great deal of things:
    – The Safer Neighbourhood Board exists
    – It began in April 2014
    – It’s held at least one meeting
    – If its meetings are quarterly, it should have held at least two of them by now
    – It has two vice chairmen (so is either very large or full of power-hungry individuals)
    – It chooses not to publicise it’s meetings
    – The meetings are likely not open to the public
    – The minutes of those meetings are kept secret
    – The decisions taken at those meeting are not held up to any sort of scrutiny

    So, with such little information about whatever this group is doing being made public, I wouldn’t be surprised if you did need to roll up your trousers and give a secret handshake to get in.

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