|Crime blitz hailed as major success|
Five arrests made and local crime falls sharply
An operation by police involving over 50 officers in the Chiswick area has been hailed as a major success. The 'crime blitz' took place on February 11th and involved a mixture of high profile patrolling and plain clothes officers.
In three cases suspects were detained just as they appeared to be about to commit a robbery or a bag snatch. The most significant arrest was of Mark Townsend, aged 36, of Notting Hill. He was seen by officers approaching in a suspicious manner a woman speaking on a mobile phone. When stopped and searched he was found to be in possession of a knife and some cannabis.
An individual who was well known to the police was detained for fare evasion on public transport on his way to Chiswick in a joint operation with British Transport Police. Another arrest was made for an incident of assault. One person was issued with a fixed penalty notice for riding a bike on the pavement.
The police extended the operation into Saturday and two youths on bikes were arrested in the process of a robbery. Overall 12 notifiable offences took place during the operation compared to 24 the same Friday on the previous month. There were no burglaries and only one successful snatch compared to 8 burglaries and 8 snatches and robberies.
Chief Inspector Wynne Jones said of the operation, "hit-days such as this are effective for a number of reasons. It takes criminals by surprise and reassures the public." A repeat of the operation is planned although the next operation may be in a different part of the borough.
The decision was made to publicise the operation in advance on ChiswickW4.com because it was believed that the targeted criminals were unlikely to read the site whereas members of the public in affected areas would be aware of what is going on.
The operation also involved the distribution of 500 crime prevention leaflets outside local tube stations by Community Support Officers. 200 leaflets were also posted through letter boxes in the Staveley Gardens/Alexandria Gardens area. As well as Hounslow Borough Police there were 9 officers from British Transport Police and 6 mounted officers also involved. Recent research and crime analysis has shown that Chiswick is being targeted on Fridays by robbers and burglars.
The Mobile CCTV van was also deployed. This has the ability to scan car registrations automatically. Over 2,000 vehicles were scanned in the Chiswick area of which 32 registered 'hits' mainly showing 'no registered keeper' with the DVLA which is often indicative of the car being owned by a criminal.
A police spokesman said that the recording of all individuals stopped during the operation may be helpful in the future in obtaining an ASBO against a number of individuals. If it can be shown to the courts that a pattern of behaviour exist whereby the person is consistently coming to Chiswick to com mitt crimes then they can be banned from the area. One 'known individual' was stopped in the area twice during the operation.
February 22, 2005