Coombe Hill ward has started off the year with a disappointingly high number of burglaries. However, our local Police team are working hard and have requested extra resources to tackle the rise in criminality locally.
As your ward councillors we recently met up with PC Simon Stamp and PCSO Oliver Barrett to discuss issues that are concerning local residents, and to find out what action is being taken to target the criminals.
The year has started off with 12 residential burglaries in January (one attempted burglary) and 21 residential burglaries in February (three attempted burglaries). The main streets affected in recent months include: Coombe Lane West, Wolsey Close, Coombe Rise, Lord Chancellor Walk, George Road, Warren Road, Warren Park, Coombe Park, Ullswater Crescent, Robin Hood Way, Robin Hood Lane and Keswick Avenue.
There is an ongoing problem with homes backing onto our local golf courses, where burglars are finding it easier to escape without being detected. Our local Police are working with the golf course management in an attempt to reduce the number of times this happens. Residents living close to the golf courses should take particular care to ensure their homes are protected as much as possible. More information about how best to protect your home can be seen here: https://www.met.police.uk/a/your-area/met/kingston/coombe-hill/?tab=StatsAndPreventionAdvice
We have been advised that the vast majority of the burglary being committed is fast and (thankfully) non-violent. It is often carried out by organised gangs who regularly come in and out of the country.
Our Police team requested extra resources from outside the ward to give us more PCs and PCSOs for patrols and to aid them in tackling the spike in crime. This is helping by gathering intelligence, stopping and engaging with suspicious/known persons and arresting offenders. The team are utilising a number of tactics including plain clothes, hi-visibility, dogs and analytically based ‘predictive mapping’ which gives officers burglary focused targeted patrols.
There is also some theft from cars, and an ongoing problem with theft of motorbikes and scooters. Our Police team have had some good success in arresting people for some of these crimes lately, and have had a particular success through ‘designing out crime’ at Kingsnympton Estate: http://coombehillconservatives.yourcllr.com/2019/08/23/-park-estate-improvements-target-crime-and-antisocial-behaviour/
Our local Police team of course deal with many other types of crimes apart from residential burglary. As well as successes with vehicle related crime, they have also had some recent success dealing with antisocial behaviour and drugs offences.
Most worrying of all was the recent stabbing that caused the death of a teenager in central Kingston recently. We have all heard about the rise in knife crime throughout London, but for such a serious crime to happen in Kingston was shocking. Arrests have been made and the Police investigation is ongoing, so we’ll not go into much detail here.
Borough-wide Kingston Police numbers reduced by 12 officers after the LibDem-run Council refused to continue funding the extra Police. However, the Conservative government has since committed to 20,000 Police officers nationwide. Out of this the Met are expecting approximately 1,500 at a rate of 300 a month. Kingston should be receiving approximately 20 new officers a month, with the final figures still to be confirmed. Many of the new recruits will require training, and will mostly be used as part of the response teams to begin with, although they might feed through to neighbourhood teams in the future.
Our local Police team would like to highlight the importance of reporting suspicious persons or vehicles (note registration numbers) on our streets, giving them an opportunity to build up intelligence and potentially challenge any suspects on scene.
Call 101 for non-emergency enquiries. Call 999 if a serious offence is in progress or has just been committed. You can email our Coombe Hill Ward Police team at Coombe.Hill.SNT@Met.Police.uk.