Police undertake unorthodox crime prevention methods

Residents lose sleep over latest anti-theft initiative

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The Police in Chiswick


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Whilst any law abiding Chiswick resident would readily support the local Police force's efforts to prevent, their latest rather unorthodox initiative has managed to raise more than a few eyebrows.

Those who have not taken a walk down Turnham Green Terrace would have missed the authoritative computerised tones warning them that "Thieves operate in this area.  Please keep all your valuables and belongings out of sight."

The computerised box, the latest local crime fighting initiative, was mounted high on a lamp post outside Fishworks.  The broadcast message, aimed at motorists parking their cars in the pay and display bays on the opposite side of the road, was played on a continuous timed loop that should have automatically switch off at night. 

However the box, which was installed at the beginning of this week, broadcast its message throughout the night on Monday.  One sleepless night was enough for local residents.  According to a member of staff in Fishworks, after numerous complaints to environmental health officers, the residents of the flat immediately above restaurant were told to call Crimestoppers!

Obviously not the proudest moment for Chiswick Police, a senior source, who wouldn't reveal whose crime stopping brainchild it was, said "I couldn't quite believe it when I first heard / saw it. What an absolutely crazy idea!"

The box, which finally fell silent this morning (Wednesday 25th January), has been removed by contractors because "it had run out of batteries".

January 27, 2006