Tooting OAPS benefit from anti-burglary scheme

Published: Monday 28th October 13

Council staff have today (Monday) teamed up with volunteers from The Prince’s Trust as part of a special crime prevention project to deter burglars from targeting the homes of elderly residents in Tooting.

Officers in Wandsworth's community safety team and volunteers from the Trust are cutting back overgrown bushes and hedges in older people's front gardens.

Burglars often target these homes because the overgrown foliage gives them good cover and prevents neighbours and passers-by spotting them.

Over the next three days around 20 homes in residential streets leading off the Upper Tooting Road will benefit from this simple but effective crime prevention measure. Other households in the area are expected to follow suit when they see the work being carried out.

The initiative is the latest to be organised by the council in this part of the borough in recent weeks as part of a wider anti-burglary campaign that's being carried out in partnership with local safer neighbourhoods teams.

Earlier this month newsletters containing tips on how to combat burglars were delivered to more than 1,000 homes in this part of Tooting.

A special public event was also held in Cowick Road where free ultra-violet property marking pens were handed out, along with front door and window stickers that told would-be thieves to steer clear of these homes.

And in addition the council arranged for a security company based in Northcote Road in Battersea to offer specialist advice to residents on home security, and offer discounted rates for the installation of sturdier window and door locks.

The council's crime prevention champion Cllr Jonathan Cook said: "People in Wandsworth experience the lowest levels of crime of anywhere in inner London. Wandsworth is the safest borough in central London.

"However even though local residents are less likely to suffer from crime that in other parts of the city, there are certain areas where we need to remain vigilant and do all we can to ensure that the criminals are kept at bay.

"This initiative in Tooting is a simple yet highly effective method of deterring burglars. They are far more likely to target a property if they can hide behind a thick hedge or bush so no-one can see what they're up to. By removing this foliage from older people's front gardens, and making sure they have decent door and window locks, we can reduce the chances that their homes will be broken into."

This crime prevention scheme has been part funded by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).

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