Neighbourhood policing has had its share recently of changes in policies and then government changing its mind again, but through it all, relations between the police and the local community, expressed through our Safer Neighbourhood Panel for Crofton Park Ward, remain strong. Because we meet regularly and keep in touch via email, each side knows what is happening in the neighbourhood and where police presence is needed the most at a given time.
Because of the feedback we get from panel members and others in the neighbourhood who keep their eyes and ears open to local concerns, we have kept the main focus on burglary and on street drinking, in line with what we and our police agree should be the local priorities after discussion at panel meetings. Burglary numbers tend to spike sharply or drop off sharply. This is usually because a single burglar decides to target a small area and our police have a very good record on catching these individuals. So, if burglary figures rise, it does not mean that suddenly the neighbourhood is invaded with burglars.
Just the same, it is a horrible experience and our police have, over the years, leafleted neighbourhoods reminding people of the sort of security they should have in their homes and for possessions such as bikes and tool-sheds, and reminding people about not leaving windows open or leaving tempting items such as laptops, tablets and expensive smartphones lying about in open view.
Street drinking worries residents, and with cause. Some can be aggressive and loud. Our police have stepped up patrols in areas known to attract the drinkers, and have been working with local shopkeepers on discouraging the stocking and sale of ultra-cheap alcohol.
Our police rely heavily on local information and this is where you, the local residents, come in. By keeping your eyes and ears open and passing on details of anything suspicious, you can make a real difference. It does not always have to be an urgent crime that is actually taking place – 999 is the number for that. But if people have strong suspicions that, for example, drugs are being grown illegally at a premises in their street, or they hear sounds of dogs fighting regularly in a disused building, or they often see someone selling suspect equipment or electronic goods from a suitcase or the back of a car, then let the police know. You can phone them on the non-emergency police number 101, email them on: CroftonPark.SNT@met.police.uk or Twitter to: @MPScroftonpark.
If you have information or topics you would like to see raised at one of our panel meetings but do not have time to come along in person, please contact the panel secretary Jackie Addison, on: email@example.com or the vice-chair Deirdre Mason on Masonwrites@aol.com with SN Panel in the strapline.
Don’t forget Neighbourhood Watch. It doesn’t mean going to endless meetings these days – most of the work is done via email alerts and groups only need to meet a few times a year face to face with the police. Our police co-ordinator of Neigbourhood Watch for Crofton Park Ward is PCSO Heather Watchorn. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on Neighbourhood Watch groups locally.