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Letter from Police
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jon14


Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #1
17-01-2008 11:37 AM

Did anybody else get a letter from the police through their door yesterday?

I hade a very shabby letter on 1 shett of A4 come through the door - it had a small black and white police logo and hardly any formatting. It was from 'Chris Bagwell'.

Anyway, it says there has been burglaries 'a few miles from your address', and they think the culprit is linked to our area. Apparently, the police want to visit every house in the area for a chat (which should only take five minutes). Visiting every house is apparently very important to the sucess of the scheme.

I can't believe it's genuine. Not only is the presentation very shabby and easily forgable, I can't understand how the MPolice have the resource to visit every house in the area.

Anyway, I phoned Lewisham police station (not the number at the top of the letter I received) and they said the number I had 'was consistant with being a police number'.

So I guess it's genuine - but thought I'd post in case other had had it and were confused!

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robwinton


Posts: 335
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #2
17-01-2008 11:44 AM

I haven't seen such a letter myself - I'd be very cynical too

Seems rather planned for anything else though. Do you happen to have a particularly attractive looking property worth 'casing'?

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jon14


Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #3
17-01-2008 11:46 AM

I wish! Probably the opposite!

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robwinton


Posts: 335
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #4
17-01-2008 11:50 AM

Well, if you want to volunteer to arrange the meeting and get burgled so the rest of us are safe, that's very kind and brave of you

Smile

I wonder how many cups of tea I'd have to make if I had to host the police every time there was a burglary within a few miles of my house!?

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davidl


Posts: 180
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #5
17-01-2008 12:04 PM

Prima facie (see what I did there?) it seems unlikely that the police want to canvass an entire area for a burglary (though they obviously do that for more serious crimes), though we don't know the specifity of the area - might just be your house/street and might be legitimate. Am surprised they didn't/couldn't confirm the name of the cop in question, though.

On the letterhead/quality, I am kind of glad that the Met isn't spending much money/time on reprographics.

As I was arriving at FH station this morning there were 4 PCSO's - they seemed to be chatting to random individuals on Platform 2 (and were looking in at least one bloke's bag). Is this related? I have to admit I didn't stop to see what it was all about (though I am naturally inquisitive - or "nosy" as some people call it - I was mainly concerned with catching the train).

Maybe slightly off-topic, but a couple of weeks ago I got chatting to some very helpful plain clothes cops on Perry Vale. Nice to know they're around if needed, and they provide a good complement to the uniformed police who also seem to be out of their panda cars and walking the beat a lot more recently.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,355
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
17-01-2008 12:11 PM

No doubt you will give Chris Bagwell a copy of your keys, burglar alarm security number and details of when you will be out at work or away on holiday for security purposes!

Sounds like a scam to me!

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larry


Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #7
17-01-2008 12:16 PM

following this letter thread, we had a policeman (plain clothed) come to our door last week to ask us if we had noticed anything suspicious regarding these burgularies. we were slightly suspicious at first, because he looked very un-policeman like. he showed us his 'badge' and proceeded to asked many questions. yet wouldn't give us any information about the crime. my girlfriend even told him he looked and acted very unpolice!! we forgot to take a note of his name, but i suggest others to do so and phone lewisham police to make sure he's on their staff.
i'm sure he's kosher, so just keep an eye out for any strange activity. especially cars/vans parked for a while with people in it.

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Forest Hill SNT


Posts: 19
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #8
17-01-2008 12:29 PM

We have plain clothes police officers visiting addresses in Forest Hill. They are conducting enquiries into a very serious matter. They will show you ID and give a reference number. Dont be afraid to take a good look at the ID. They will understand your concerns. They should also give you a police reference number. If you are still worried you can either contact ourselves on 0208 721 2723 or Lewisham police station on 02082971212 and confirm details with us.
_______________________________________
Forest Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team
http://www.met.police.uk/saferneighbourhoods

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #9
17-01-2008 01:25 PM

Even just getting the letter through might just make people more alert and more vigilant in using all the locks on their doors etc. Having just been burgled (see other thread), it's good to see others being warned and the police being active in tracking the little so and sos down.

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MrsR


Posts: 40
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #10
17-01-2008 02:10 PM

DavidL - i too am naturally inquisitive so I didn't initially mind when 2 officers stopped me and my husband this morning as I thought I'd get to find out what was happening. Sadly I found out that we were part of a "stop and search" operation!It was sold to us as a we are here to discourage terrorism, they gave us an information sheet then the next thing they were taking our details and searching our bags. Actually I am not too happy about it in hindsight.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #11
17-01-2008 03:39 PM

Aren't police supposed to give a valid reason for stopping and searching? "discouraging terrorism" doesn't like a valid reason to me in Forest Hill - sounds more like a vague catch-all term to allow indiscriminate searching. Very worrying.

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davidl


Posts: 180
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #12
17-01-2008 03:45 PM

Created a new thread to discuss stop-and-search since it's a digression from the original topic (and I felt bad).

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spud


Posts: 65
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
18-01-2008 11:02 AM

We live in Honor Oak and my partner had a visit from a plain clothes officer the other night. Her description of this interview made me suspiscious as well. But I contacted the local Safer Neighbourhood Team and they confirmed that door-to-door interviews were being carried out in the area. Quote:-

''I can confirm that over the last month plain clothes police officers have been calling at address around your road.

Currently there is a real drive to identify an individual thought to be committing crime in your area and that's the reason for what appears to be intrusive questions.

Every household in the area will be asked the same questions.
Please be reassured that our aim is to reduce burglary and I thank you and your partner for assisting my colleagues.

If you have any other questions please call me on 0208 721 2485

Regards

Warren Gregory PS48PL
Crofton Park Safer Neighbourhood Team''

So now we know. If you're of a paranoid frame of mind, I suppose that you might imagine that the real subject of the investigations was terrorist activity or organised drug-crime. It did seem strange to be conducting a burglary investifgation but not to provide a description of the burglar. And the line of questioning seemed to consist of collecting the personal details of the household's occupants - then asking them to corroborate the details that their neighbours had already provided!

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Dylan


Posts: 58
Joined: Jun 2007
Post: #14
18-01-2008 03:59 PM

as the Police are always being accused of doing nothing its good to see they are being pro-active and taking the trouble to visit people - i would'nt think the format of the letter is that important the less time they spend on paper work the better - of course ask to see their Warrant Card before the interview - i welcome
this initiative I very much hope people will assist them - in my experience Policeman always refuse the offer of a cup of tea they are always too busy!

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pompom


Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #15
19-01-2008 06:22 PM

Hi, I have been reading all your threads with great curiosity. Can I just ask which area of Forest hill , HOP where these buglaries are becoming a common occurance?

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davidl


Posts: 180
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #16
26-08-2008 03:24 PM

Remembered this thread earlier when someone from Lewisham Police Station called at the door and thought it was worth updating.

The investigation is ongoing (apparently practically every door in HOP and FH has been knocked). They've just got to the area north of Brockley Rise. There's a reward for information - the culprit is still attacking people. See the BBC news website for more information.

I'm quite impressed that the police continue to pursue this guy. Answering the question above, the burglaries/attacks are not happening in FH/HOP - but the perpetrator is returning to the area afterwards (not sure how the police know that).

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,355
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
26-08-2008 03:31 PM

Their knowledge comes from what he said to a victim.
But he has attacked people in our area.

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Tinkerbell


Posts: 356
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #18
26-08-2008 10:40 PM

They've been round to my house twice, once earlier this year with a questionnaire, and then again a few weeks ago with some sort of (rather vague) photofit. I do appreciate the fact that they are trying to pursue this and it's certainly good to see them out an about on the streets doing their job, but I'd agree with some of the earlier comments - it all seemed a little on the unprofessional side! Whilst both times, they did have a form of ID with them and were friendly and polite, neither of the officers actually carried business cards or telephone numbers for me to check whether it was a genuine police enquiry. They genuinely seemed surprised that someone might be suspicious when opening their door and being presented with a series of questions. Hopefully the enquiries were fruitful and not just another "end of tax year, let's get them out on the road" type of campaign.

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davidl


Posts: 180
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #19
27-08-2008 09:39 AM

There is actually a wikipedia entry on the case.

I didn't realise the investigation had been running for so long. Sherwood's right - there have been attacks in FH.

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fany9560


Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #20
27-08-2008 02:03 PM

did they have warrant cards? They shouldn't have minded if you asked for a tel no to phone to check - although you can look on the metpol website for station numbers - or go through the NSY switchboard (7230 1212)

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