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Council and police say it's okay to s...

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Joined 28-06-2006
Posted on Sunday, 29 April, 2007 - 12:20 am:   

Lewisham Council and the police have attached posters to lamposts on London Road saying something like...


Apart from the bizarreness of telling us to empty our homes so we don't lose them, why are the Council and police telling thieves that stealing is acceptable, normal, behaviour and victims are to blame?
Joined 05-03-2007
Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 12:04 pm:   

Clearly, it is our fault for putting temptaton in thieves' way. Also, the large 3D signs stuck to lamp-posts as you turn into a road (eg Taymount or Waldenshaw) don't really encourage you to feel that Forest Hill is a particularly welcoming or even safe place. Are the signs permanent or can one `steal' them?
Joined 12-10-2006
Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 12:56 pm:   

I suspect there is a bit of a problem on Waldenshaw with theft from cars - this was also apparent in the (now cleaned) 'graffiti wall' - because a good length of the street is not overlooked by hoyuse frontages, and the little scrotes who do such things prefer to do so unobserved. I do agree though that it does sort of send the wrong message, and adds to the fear of crime.
Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 01:07 pm:   

Noticed signs on South Circular near Hob saying something like thieves beware police operating in the area
This is very bizare.
Perhaps a sign saying Police Not Operating in the area would be interesting
Joined 12-12-2006
Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 06:02 pm:   

No thief would believe a "Police Not Operating in the area" sign, so they would work elsewhere.

Neighbourhood Turn-A-Blind-Eye Areas might also be successful.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 07:03 pm:   

The local police have been trying to encourage the setting up of Neighbourhood Watch groups- anyone actually done this and does it have any effect?
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 07:07 pm:   

Actually I phoned Sydenham recently with a general query and received a voice message telling me to leave a message and someone would respond within 3 working days. So if you have some useful information or simply want to report/discuss some suspicious behaviour, its not easy to do and its easier to give up.
Joined 28-06-2006
Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 10:38 pm:   

I absolutely agree with FSS Secretary - I appreciate the good intentions, but think this adds to the fear of crime rather than diminishing it, and surely it can only make criminals think it's actually a good area in which to commit crime. Next time, I'd like to see the wording of the message focus on the positive side - that by working together we can make it harder for criminals to operate - and it would be better to get the message out by means of flyers through doors, perhaps.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 01 May, 2007 - 06:55 am:   

Surely a lot of crime is opportunistic hence the message is not in itself a bad thing? This sort of message has been around a long time. It is easy to be casual about taking responsibility for your own belongings, ie forgetting to lock the car, fully close a window, or leaving house keys and address details in the car ( Ive stopped doing this now) which can only make break ins easier. As I said above, the local police did come round with NW flyers and leaflets saying exactly what OL is requesting above. If not received I suggest you contact the local station. And wait three days for a response.....For me, it is the lack of police availability that increases my fear of crime, not the odd poster.
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 01 May, 2007 - 07:28 am:   

At yesterday's Forest Hill ward meeting we heard from the 'safer neighbourhoods team' that we should have 3 police officers and 3 CSO in Forest Hill ward. In fact, due to sick leave and staff leaving, forest Hill ward has a safer neighbourhoods team of just one officer and 3 CSOs. In comparison both Perry Vale and Sydenham wards have 3 police officers and six CSOs, as they are regarded as have a greater population.

I agree with Roz that the solution is more police officers in Forest Hill rather than well meaning posters telling residents to empty their houses of valuables. Similarly putting up posters saying that police are operating in the area is nowhere near as good as having affective levels of policing in the area. How can one police officer and 3 CSOs be expected to manage crime in Forest Hill when it takes nine people to manage crime in Perry Vale or Sydenham?
Joined 07-12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 01 May, 2007 - 08:04 am:   

I was attacked recently in Dartmouth Road. I managed to disengage myself from the assailant and phone the police, who arrive promptly and arrested him.

Despite the incident rapidly developing into considerable and fairly obvious public disorder, mine was the only call to the police.

I mention this, as so many crimes of this sort do go unrecorded because people assume that phoning the police is a waste of time, or that someone else has done it. Despite problems of understaffing, they will turn out and it is always desirable (and a citizen's duty) to alert them to untoward behaviour.

In answer to the concerns for my well-being that most of you, I know, will feel, I am OK and have suffered no long-term ill effects.
Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 01 May, 2007 - 08:21 am:   

Sorry about your bad experience and glad you are OK.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 01 May, 2007 - 08:25 am:   

I'm glad you are OK, Dave, this must still have been a shock. I assume you dialled 999 which produced the result, however it would have no doubt have been better had the Sydenham police station been open at the time - weekdays, 9-5 only apparently. Some years ago I was a victim of road rage with the person following my car making slash signs across her (yes it was another woman) neck suggesting I was going to be dead meat when she caught up with me. After driving around FH in desperation, too scared to go home, I drove into the yard of Sydenham police station and sounded the horn. Thankfully enough officers came charging out as a result and the incident was taken care of. She was well known to the police as having form as have most of her family. This couldn t happen now as the station is shut at night.

My experience of trying to get hold of the police is not good. At work last year I had cause to phone the anti terrorist squad about some neighbours of our tenants in North London who were acting suspiciously and we suspected a bomb factory at the premises in question. It took over an hour to get to speak to someone and then the officer was extremely unpleasant and disinterested, even though we have strong evidence for our suspicions. We left them the details of the property however to the best of our knowledge no action investigatory or otherwise has been taken. All this when everyone was encouraged to report such incidents and concerns. We called back to follow up and there was no record of our original call. Not good.
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 01 May, 2007 - 10:55 am:   


It still might be a good idea to drive into the Sydenham police station car park. I believe several police officers actually live there in the large building attached to the station.

I have to admit that I am always surprised to find a police station shut. However, there is a telephone there to call for assistance!
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 01 May, 2007 - 01:35 pm:   

Unfortunately this was sold by the police some years ago and turned into a British Refuge Council hostel. Its now been sold for social and private housing so we should be watching out for the planning application.
Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 01 May, 2007 - 02:04 pm:   

Hi Roz
I am surprised it has been sold. The amount of times I have been passing on the bus or foot when I am asked by a person of little English where it is.
Joined 02-01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, 01 May, 2007 - 03:12 pm:

I have used this service to report crimes on two occasions (after the actual incidents/crimes were committed) and it works a treat. You get a call back and they put you in touch with a local team. In my case it was extremely efficent and I got crime numbers plus timely attention from local officers on the phone on both occasions.
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 01 May, 2007 - 03:35 pm:   


Your experience of no record of the original complaint is quite common. One of my colleagues had a similar experience. I suspect that police forces do not record all crimes reported to them in order to produce statistics that tend to suggest that they have reduced crime in an area.

Ghis has produced the answer. I presume they cannot ignore a report submitted via their website.

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