Council Crackdown On Crime 'Hotspots'

New street lights fast-tracked to tackle burglaries

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A number of streets in Chiswick have had the installation of new LED street lights 'fast tracked' by Hounslow Highways as part of a bid to fight crime in local hotspots for burglaries and anti-social behaviour.

The initiative, in partnership with the local police has identified 20 locations with the most burglaries in the east, central and west areas of the borough. One of the local streets is Wellesley Road.

Chiswick continues to be a hotspot in the borough for break-ins into parked cars, and recently residents in Grove Park, whose cars were being broken into overnight, were told that gangs were coming into the area from outside the borough. Burglary in the Grove Park area of the ward has become a major issue over the past few months and has resulted in extra resources being employed to assist the neighbourhood team tackle this offence.

Riverside ward remains a target for car-break ins which is being carried out by organized gangs who target mainly high powered vehicles (mainly BMWs). The Turnham Green ward experienced some burglaries from sheds over the summer but that has now reduced.Mobile phone and handbag 'snatches' are also common in Chiswick at present, with thieves operating on bicycles and even motorbikes. Bicycle theft also remains at high levels in Chiswick.

The new Safer Policing model policing introduced some weeks ago has resulted in to delays in reporting crimes for members of the public at Chiswick Police Station. The station's hours have been reduced from 24-hours to 9-5 Monday to Friday. The reduction of hours to a forty-hour week has led to complaints from locals.

With the advent of darker evenings the police are stepping up burglary patrols across the borough, according to Chief Inspector Rob Weir.

Chief Inspector for Hounslow Police Rob Weir said: “Hounslow Police are stepping up burglary patrols as there is a seasonal increase in burglaries at this time of the year closely linked to the darker nights.

“Improved lighting is a deterrent to burglars, improves the quality of CCTV footage police can obtain to arrest burglars and will hopefully make residents feel safe and secure in their homes.”

A total of 1,706 lamps make up the 60 locations, 1,060 of which have already been completed. This includes the two streets in Chiswick, seven in Feltham and five in Hounslow.

A further 327 street lights have been brought forward from 2014 as part of the initiative. The remaining 319 street lights are yet to be designed and the design, which can take up to four weeks per scheme, has been brought forward to allow installation to happen in early 2014.

The works fall under the Hounslow Highways Core Investment Period (CIP) which is investing £100 million in the first five years of the new highways service.

Hounslow Highways Service Director Rob Gillespie said: “The new LED street lights provide a clearer more even light and have been proven in UK studies to improve crime detection through better facial recognition and improved visual clarity of colours. They also contribute to an important reduction in the fear of crime.

“We are very pleased to be working with the local police to crack down on crime and make Hounslow a safer borough.”

Chief Inspector Weir said there had been a 9% reduction (134 fewer victims) in residential burglary so far in the borough Hounslow this year compared to last year.

“Partnership working with Hounslow Highways and other partners will help police to drive down burglary levels even further,” he said.

Councillor Ed Mayne , cabinet member for community safety and regulator services, said: “This is great news and excellent timing. With the dark nights about to descend upon us, good street lighting is a crucial part of our fight to beat burglars in Hounslow.”

Councillor Colin Ellar, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, said: “I am glad to see Hounslow Highways is stepping up to the plate to safeguard our security.  These new lights not only save energy they can save residents from becoming a victim of crime.”

October 14, 2013