Sun 08 Apr 2018
Residential burglaries are on the rise by Chief Inspector Neil Billany
Hello and welcome to my first contribution to Palmers Green & Southgate Life. By way of an introduction, I am the new Neighbourhoods Chief Inspector for Enfield and I am looking forward to working here. Enfield means a lot to me, having previously lived in Southgate and still having family in the area (near Oakwood Park and Edmonton.)
I have spent most of my 17 years in the Met working in front line roles, mainly Neighbourhoods and Response policing, but I join Enfield from Kings Cross where I was responsible for policing the Taxi and Private Hire trade across London. Given how many cabbies live here, I am sure a few of you already know me! The main challenge we face in policing here is dealing with a worrying increase in residential burglaries – to date we are seeing a 17% increase across the borough, with offences equally spread across all areas. The chances of police actually catching a burglary in the act are very slim and we have more difficulty than most given the size of Enfield when compared to most other London boroughs. The most effective way to prevent burglaries is through ‘target hardening’, which in short is making your property unappealing to a burglar looking for easy pickings. If you have the money to spare CCTV and alarm systems are highly effective, however making your house less attractive does not need to cost a lot – a sensor operated light costs around £15 and is proven to deter some offenders. Other suggestions could include tactical gardening – planting prickly shrubbery by your garden fence or cutting back shrubs at the front of your property so a burglar cannot work without being seen. A large number of burglaries are very crude – a garden spade left out will be used to smash a patio door or a ladder tucked by the side of your house will be used to get in an upstairs window. Both of these could be prevented at no cost at all by putting things back in the shed. Enfield Police are active on social media and we run weekly contact sessions in all 21 wards. Further details of these can be found on your local life webpage – go to www.met.police.uk and enter your postcode to see what we are doing on your ward. You can also raise your concerns with your local ward officers and have an input into what their priorities should be – more on this next issue! For further crime prevention advice please have a look at www.securedbydesign.com, not all ideas cost money and it could make the difference between you being a victim of burglary or not.
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