Hello all and welcome to the new look WPM. Included below are the charts for Burglary Residential, Burglary Non-Residential and Theft of and From Motor Vehicle. I have given a brief synopsis under each chart.
Due to the exceptional circumstances of the global pandemic I will take the opportunity to compare the last three months of lockdown to the same three months of last year. Hopefully this will prove to be a unique occurrence but it is interesting to compare the two periods
There were 106 residential burglaries in the 12 months from July 2019. This is compared to 122 in the previous period. A 13% decrease. This noticeable drop seems to be mainly Covid 19 related however as the biggest reduction was in the three months of lockdown. There were 25 offences in the same period last year in comparison to only 11 this year. With many more people being home the opportunities just weren’t there for the burglars.
There was also a Smartwater initiative across many parts of Chislehurst with hundreds of packs handed out across the ward. Smartwater is a chemical treatment that is ‘dabbed’ onto valuables (up to 50 from one small bottle) such as jewellery/bikes/furniture. Each pack is registered by police and then the liquid is placed onto a database. Each bottle of liquid is unique so any items that are stolen can be returned to the rightful owner. You are also provided with stickers to prominently display in your windows which, according to the Smartwater team, can reduce your chances of being burgled by up to 80%.
It may take some time but hopefully by the next WPM we may be able to see a continued drop off due in part to the Smartwater deterrent
There were 36 offences in the 12 months from July 2019. There were 51 in the previous 12 month period. That is a 30% decrease. During the Covid 19 months there were 5 offences compared to 20 in the previous period. The lockdown meant that a lot of shop owners took stock off of the premises for the duration. Couple that with a massive reduction of foot/vehicle traffic and it made that period very difficult for any would be burglars to travel and prevented possible thefts.
With a new network of CCTV cameras in place on Royal Parade (and hopefully being rolled out in The High Street and Belmont Parade) will also act a big deterrent
There were 48 offences in the year from July 2019. This is in comparison to the previous period where there were 37. This is a 23% increase. Thefts of high value cars have been increasing across the country of late.
This increase is due to the prevalence of keyless entry vehicles and the easy availability of the electronics used to boost the signal from the keys. If the keys are close to the front door and unshielded (i.e. not in a Faraday bag) then entry can be gained, the alarm bypassed and vehicle started all without a sound being made. It takes less than a minute in some circumstances. Usually the first that the victim knows is in the morning when only a space remains where the car was.
Use of a Faraday Bag and moving the keys a good distance from the front door will reduce the risks dramatically. Also, in a weird twist, protecting your high value technological marvel of a car is now best achieved with the use of an olde-worlde steering wheel lock. It would appear that the time spent and noise created in removing these locks is usually enough to deter would be thieves.
There are many variants when it comes to steering locks but it is an idea to invest in a decent one. A £100-£150 investment is well worth it if it stops your car being stolen (point three of a percent of the cost of the average car stolen).
There were 80 offences for the year period from July 2019. This is in comparison to 132 in the same period a year ago. That is a nearly 40% decrease. It is highly likely that Covid 19 again was one of the reasons.
In April/May/Jun 2019 there were 37 offences as opposed to 10 in the same period this year (the lockdown period). With theft from M/V it includes builders and delivery vans temporarily on the ward. With the Covid restrictions in full effect the vans that would otherwise be out and about were not.
Some of the reasons for the number of thefts were still as they always have been though… valuables left on display in the car and/or cars left unlocked which prove too tempting for opportunistic thieves.