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newsbite Crime

Pat Cosgrave (left) receives the Douglas Hurd Cup from H&F NHW Chairman David Millar

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Overall crime in Hammersmith & Fulham has fallen over the past decade, although last year saw a rise in offending.

Burglary, robbery and pick pocketing are all down, year on year, as Hammersmith & Fulham Council introduced the largest number of council-funded Met Police beat bobbies in the area’s history – 44.

The latest statistics were reported to the annual meeting of the borough’s neighbourhood watch schemes, which now cover 200 streets in the borough.

The growth was hailed as an impressive achievement by neighbourhood watch association chairman David Millar, who pointed out that only five streets were covered by schemes in 2005.

Members of more than 50 neighbourhood watches attended the agm at the town hall.

This year the Douglas Hurd Cup, named after the former Home Secretary (and borough resident) who founded neighbourhood watch in 1983, was awarded to Pat Cosgrave of the council’s Community Safety Unit, for his hard work over many years.

“Pat has been tireless in his encouragement and development of neighbourhood watch in the borough since September 2005, and he is now relinquishing this role to Simon Paterson,” said Mr Millar. “We thank Pat for all his contributions and commend him as a worthy recipient of the cup.”

The Neighbourhood Watch AGM also discussed the likely effect of a review of London-wide policing, and threatened funding cuts, including a reported proposal that the police community support officers could be reduced in number, or even abolished altogether.

“All attending the meeting felt this was a potentially worrying situation,” said Mr Millar. Neighbourhood watch groups in Hammersmith & Fulham will meet again when firm proposals are made.

The agm heard theft remains the most prevalent offence in H&F, accounting for 45.8 per cent of recorded borough crime. Shoplifting makes up 18 per cent of those offences, with Shepherds Bush Green ward (which includes the Westfield mall) the borough’s hot spot.

However, burglary rates have decreased for the fifth year in a row across the borough, and have dropped by 48 per cent since 2010.

Robberies and thefts from people are both down on last year, while incidents of antisocial behaviour have fallen by 15 per cent in the past year, from 6,804 in 2013-14 to 5,786 in 2014-15.

Noise complaints are up 2.6 per cent, and violence against the person is up 26.6 per cent, although this is mainly attributed to changes in the way offences are recorded.

Car theft is up 12.9 per cent in the past year, although overall stolen vehicle rates are still 15 per cent lower than they were in 2011.

Altogether, the last year has seen a 6.5 per cent increase in crime in the borough, from 18,994 offences to 20,220.

“It should be remembered that Hammersmith & Fulham is generally a relatively low crime borough,” added Mr Millar.

Anyone wanting to set up a neighbourhood watch scheme in their street should visit www.hfnhw.org.uk.

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