|Preventing vehicle crime in Wandsworth Common|
|Wednesday, 07 April 2010 15:38|
Below is a copy of an email I've received from Sgt Jerry Ostrowski of the Wandsworth Common Safer Neighbourhood Team regarding vehicle crime in the area. Please pass this!
Dear community member,
Please find attached the latest community bulletin from the team (click here to view). If you have any problems opening this attachment, please let me know and I will get a hard copy delivered to you.
I need to bring to your attention one of our priorities that we are currently spending a lot of time on. We have discovered a worrying and very preventable trend.
Over recent months we have noticed a rise in our reported theft from motor vehicles. A lot of the reports indicate an unknown method of entering the car. That is, there was no smashed window or door broken into. Residents have reported returning to their cars in the morning and finding items stolen. Many residents are convinced that criminals are using some sort of electronic device that unlocks cars.
Since 1st January 62% of theft from m/v offences were by means unknown and no visible damage. 23% were genuine break ins, 15% of thefts were of number plates and wheels. Of the 62%, a third admitted to leaving their car unlocked.
In March, the team have been out and about in areas prone to car crime. We have been physically trying residents car doors. Very worryingly, we are coming across a very large number of doors simply left open. We spent 2 days on the roads around the toastrack. This is one of the areas worst affected by vehicle crime. Every road had at least one car left open. BMWs were generally the most common car left open.We have found this on other roads such as Titchwell, Lyford Rd, Melody Rd, Westover Rd etc. The simple fact of the matter is that this is why criminals are coming to areas like the Toastrack and residential roads on the ward. They know doors are being left open and simply do not need to break into cars, using some sort of gizmo or any other means. We also found that a lot of the cars being left open had property on display.
On average we tried 100 car doors in less than 30 minutes. 5 doors in 100 were found open. Criminals therefore need just 5 hours to get into 50 cars. An easy days work for them.
I labour this point as theft from m/v has been a priority for the team to work on set by the ward panel. However as the figures suggest, do we really need to be working and spending so much of our time on a problem of which 62% can be prevented by ward residents and not by police. Our next ward panel meeting is in April and we will be addressing this issue. Our work on the priority continues and we will be publishing our findings soon.
For now, as always, I would appreciate it enormously if this information can be passed to your communities, neighbours, and neighbourhoods.
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