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Feb 11 2013

Harrow Police’s Weekly Blog – February 11, 2013

neil_wilson1Harrow Police’s weekly blog, written this week by Borough Commander Neil Wilson…

I feel a great sense of privilege and pride to be Borough Commander of Harrow following Dal Babu’s retirement from the Met Police last week. I will be carrying out the role in a temporary capacity, until Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens arrives to take up his position on a permanent basis. Harrow’s new Deputy Borough Commander is Acting Superintendent Ben Honey.

I see my role as ensuring that a cohesive command team is in place, holding senior managers to account and continuing to deliver a high quality service to all Harrow residents and those that work and visit the Borough.

We extend a warm welcome to Chief Inspector Claire Smart this week. Claire takes over the Partnership and Safer Neighbourhoods portfolio from Chief Inspector Russell Hughes who is moving to Brent Borough. We wish Russell every success and thank him for his contribution over the past four years at Harrow.

Chief Inspector Smart has previously served on Brent, Ealing and Westminster boroughs and I’m sure will prove to be an extremely valuable asset to the Senior Leadership Team and the borough as a whole. She has already made an impressive start organising a “Day of Action” and heightened police activity later this month.

I am pleased to report that residential burglary, robbery and motor vehicle crime continue to fall. Harrow remains a safe borough and with the help and the support of the community we will ensure that we keep it that way.

There has however been an increase in pickpocketing in Harrow town centre in recent weeks. To combat this, Greenhill Safer Neighbourhoods Sergeant Mark Pullen and his team have been carrying out plain clothes operations in and around Harrow town centre to raise awareness of pickpockets operating in this area. Mobile phones and purses are the items of choice for pickpockets who often steal from handbags left on the floor in cafes or on the backs of buggies when shoppers are distracted.

We have also seen a slight increase in street robberies in the Wealdstone area and in South Harrow, particularly along the Northolt Road.

Please remember – Thieves frequently operate:

  • at tube stations
  • at cash machines
  • in car parks
  • around bus stations
  • in overcrowded areas, especially at rush hour.

Be aware and keep your possessions safe:

Never leave your bags or other valuables unattended in public places.
Be discreet with your belongings; displaying expensive jewellery or electronic devices, like mobile phones or cameras, could attract unwanted attention.
Don’t make your mobile phone a moving target. Don’t tempt mobile phone thieves, be aware when making a call.
Reduce the risk of mobile phone theft by following these simple tips:

  • Don’t leave your phone on tables in pubs or restaurants.
  • When you leave a train or tube station don’t use your phone immediately, leave it a while.
  • Don’t walk and text at the same time, you will be less aware of what is happening around you.
  • Keep calls in public places as brief as possible, the longer you talk, the more likely you are to be spotted by a potential thief.

Looks good enough to grab

Be aware of chain-snatch thieves and keep your jewellery out of sight. Snatch robberies can involve violence or theft. The chance that this will ever happen to you is quite small, but you should be aware of what you can do to keep yourself and your property safe:

  • Make sure your jewellery is not visible.
  • Plan your journey in advance.
  • Avoid dark or deserted areas late at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert to what’s going on around you.
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