Top Cop To Face Grilling Chiswick
Borough Commander Raj Kohli to be asked about how closure of police station will affect how crime is dealt with
The borough's top police chief, Commander Raj Kohli is to come Chiswick next week to discuss the impending closure of the local police station.
He will attend a meeting of the Chiswick Area Forum in the Town Hall on Tuesday, 26 September at 7 pm to address councillors and members of the public can listen to what he has to say about changes in policing for the area.
In the wake of the terrorist attack at Parson's Green, patrols of police will be stepped up at transport centres such as tube stations and train stations, including Chiswick. The police intend to have a higher visibility along the three Chiswick wards, and increased use of CCTV, following what local people have described as a recent 'crime spree'. Police will also be making sporadic patrols in parks and watching for suspicious devices.
Although the most senior police officer in the borough is invited to talk about the consultation regarding the closure of Chiswick Police Station, he is likely to face questions about the impact of the decision on the area. There have been repeated cases of anti-social behaviour along Chiswick High Road, principally outside a kebab shop and a takeaway, as well as break-ins to shops, broken windows, attempted robberies using mopeds and other vandalism.
A police spokesperson said a public meeting to discuss what local residents describe as 'a crime spree' is likely to be held in the near future which would specifically attend to those matters.
Police arrested and charged a female in connection with a break-in at Annie's restaurant Strand on the Green recently in which local residents from Magnolia Road intervened to hold the suspect until police arrived. Some complained it had taken the police 20 minutes to arrive but a senior officer told chiswickw4.com yesterday that the call had been received as officers were just changing shifts and the new patrol actually left for the scene a few minutes before they were officially on duty - the patrol car had to travel from Feltham.
Changes in the way in which the borough is policed have been made in the past month and the borough has been split into east and west sectors. While the structure in which the way the borough is policed has changed, one of the most senior officers in Hounslow, Chief Inspector Wayne Mathews told chiswickw4.com that despite the public perception recently, the Riverside ward was actually a low-crime area.
Magnolia Road for example had one of the lowest crime rates in the borough and the Riverside area had half the average crime rate for the Hounslow borough at 4 crimes per 1,000 population he said.
He said that local authority officers, who are tasked with dealing with litter or anti-social behaviour, had also been drafted in to patrol Chiswick High Road following the reports of anti-social behaviour. Since the police had expanded patrols, he had not had reports of these sorts of crime although he said he was aware there was was 'under reporting' of incidents.
Chiswickw4.com has been told of a number of incidents in the past fortnight, including the glass doors at Cotswold and Head Masters being smashed, a theft from Richer Sounds audio, the vandalism of planters outside the Tabard pub, and an increase in street begging as well as homeless people setting up in tents at Chiswick Back Common. One local said that some traders do not bother informing the police of incidents.
Inspector Mathews said he was aware of the danger of under-reporting of crime and of the public perception that there was no point in calling police, but they would prefer if people always reported incidents.
Hounslow has 21 wards and there will now be 42 dedicated ward officers- in the Chiswick area, there are currently two positions outstanding but he hoped they would very shortly be filled.
There will be two dedicated officers on each ward plus a PCSO. They will deal with crimes and complaints from the local community. The inspector for the Chiswick area is Insp Jonathan Shard who replaced Insp Steve Edwards.
Since the crime spree in Grove Park, which included an attempt to break into Mrs. Joshi's post office, an attempted attack on Busby's Pharmacy by suspects on a moped, the smashing of windows at Hammond's Butchers, and a coffee shop on Kew Bridge, the theft of the Coffee Traveller van, and three attacks on Annie's, police say that increased patrols of the area have led to no crime being recorded since then.
It comes months after a previous bout of anti-social
behaviour and criminal incidents at Chiswick Back Common and at a time
when Chiswick Police Station is on a list for closure as part of cutbadks.
September 15, 2017