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Dec 10 2012

Harrow Police’s Weekly Blog – December 10, 2012

Harrow Police’s weekly blog, written this week by Chief Superintendent Dal Babu…

Burglars are still forcing UPVC doors to break into homes across Harrow and I would like to remind anyone who has this type of door that the door is only securely locked if the handle is lifted to engage the locking mechanism and the door is then locked with the key. Some people still don’t appear to know this and are leaving their homes vulnerable.

After locking please remember to remove the key from the lock. Burglars have also been known to slip their hands through letterboxes to release the key. Burglars are also gain entry to homes by accessing rear gardens and smashing glass patio doors. Please make sure that you are not inviting a burglar in by leaving the back of your home insecure. Lock and bolt all garden gates and ensure that your wheelie bins cannot be used to access flat roofs.

[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]”These patrols are continuing for the foreseeable future…”[/pullquote]

We’ve had several positive comments from residents who have seen our officers out and about on bike patrols, telling us that they feel reassured by their presence. These patrols are continuing for the foreseeable future as we continue to combat crime on our borough.

I would like to alert you to a recent scam that has come to our notice in the last week, which attempts to extort money from unsuspecting members of the public by impersonating the Met Police’s E-Crime Unit. In total there have been over 1000 reports across London including a number in Harrow.

The scam uses malicious software to infect personal computers after users have accessed certain websites. The virus causes the computer screen to freeze and lock with a message purporting to be from the Met Police’s E-Crime Unit advising the user that they have accessed an illegal website and must pay a fine to have their computer unlocked.

Anyone who has been deceived by such a message and has handed over money should report this to their card issuer immediately and call police on 101. This is a global fraud and we are working with law enforcement agencies worldwide to trace those responsible. You can report computer fraud attempts at www.actionfraud.org.uk We strongly recommend installing anti-virus software, please see www.getsafeonline.org for more information.

I spent a wonderful afternoon last week at the Metropolitan Police Sports and Social Club in Bushey, attending a Christmas lunch for Metropolitan Police widows from the Harrow and Barnet area. This is an important annual event which recognises the long term support provided by the families of police officers and staff. It was great to see the ladies enjoying themselves (pictured below) during an afternoon of entertainment and dancing. I would like to extend my thanks to all of the police officers and staff who helped with the logistics and the organisation of the event, and for making this a very special occasion. We are arranging for the widows to pay a visit to Harrow Police Station in the near future.

Three men from Harrow were arrested shortly after suspect descriptions were circulated following two separate robbery incidents in Stanmore last week. This was an excellent result for both the victims and the officers. The three have been bailed pending further enquiries.

Criminals continue to install skimming devices on ATMs. A member of the public became suspicious last week when the machine he was withdrawing cash from in Hatch End failed to return his card. He noticed the device, pulled it away from the machine and managed to retrieve his card thankfully before any thieves did. Please be on your guard when withdrawing cash, check machines especially the panel above the key pad and the slot where you insert your card for any unusual looking parts (be warned these can be grey or black in colour and seem like a genuine part of the machine). For extra safety, cover your hand when entering your PIN.

Officer of the week is Acting Detective Sergeant Luke Stylianou (pictured above) who is an experienced detective and works tirelessly to bring criminals to justice. He has a reputation of being persistent and always gets his man. A/DS Stylianou’s police career will go from strength to strength and I wish him all the best for the future as he continues to make Harrow a safer place for all of us.

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