Keeping a Watch on Chiswick Mall

Residents Work Closely With Police In Effective Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

Proactive involvement by the residents of Chiswick Mall and good communication with the best officer has proved effective when it comes to monitoring levels and types of crime.

In a Newsletter sent to residents who comprise Chiswick Mall’s Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, beat officer P.C. Russell Clarke, reported that the last three months had been ‘very quiet’. In fact, over the period of 9th April to 9th July, no burglaries were recorded and a modetae number of vehicle crimes, four in total, were reported to the Police. There was, however, a significant arrest of a prolific car thief on 8th July which was the result of a new mobile CCTV system and of forensic evidence.

Residents however have felt that the problem of actually reporting crimes and suspicious behaviour by telephone needed further addressing. In a letter to the Borough Commander the chair of Chiswick Mall’s Neighbourhood Watch outlined locals’ concerns and frustrations with regard to telephone communications.

In response, the Chief Inspector Harrison explained that in recent years there had been a large increase in the numbers of calls, both emergency and non-emergency, to the police. This was largely due to the spread of mobile phones. More recently the police had also been stretched by the requirement to supply officers for anti-Terrorist duties.

He went on to say that the force had deployed more staff to answer calls from people reporting crime by phone, using the Teleroc system which reduces the need for an officer to unnecessarily attend the scene of a crime. A longer term project for the centralisation of the whole system is planned, but will not be complete until 2006.

He concluded "..the stark reality of the situation is that the Metropolitan Police have limited resources that are attempting to satisfy and almost inexhaustible demand."

There has also been a recent meeting of the Borough Neighbourhood Watch Assoctaion. about a recent gathering of Neighbourhood Watch Schemes. The purpose of the get-together was not only to share successful strategies, it was also to hear reports on a set of pro-active initiatives with actual and potential juvenile offenders by two well-informed Social Workers.

July 18, 2003

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