Police launch Safer Streets campaign

Focus on mobile phone crime in the borough

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Ealing Borough Police are advising people to keep cash, mobile phones and personal belongings out of sight during the latest Safer streets campaign, which will be running for 10 days from Saturday 17th July 2004.

Operation Safer Streets is the Metropolitan Police Service response to street robbery within London and was first implemented on Ealing Borough in April 2002. Since it’s implementation this has had great success in bringing down levels of street robbery within the area.

Ealing Borough in conjunction with the Safer Streets Campaign has adopted a long-term problem solving and partnership approach to street robbery. From 1st April 2004 – 31st May 2004, compared with the same period (1st April 2003 – 31st May 2003) the previous year, street robbery has been reduced by 9.8%.

Detective Sergeant Charlie Morrow said, “During Operation Safer Streets: we are deploying a wide range of crime reduction tactics. These will include covert policing, increasing our resource capability to respond fast term to robbery offences and increased uniform policing in our robbery hotspot areas. Met Police Air Support, Dogs Unit, Police Community Support Officer’s and front line operational police officers will assist the Safer Streets Squad on Ealing Borough throughout this campaign. These officers will be on High Visibility patrols in our current Hotspot areas, utilising Stop and Search tactics on known offenders and thus increasing public reassurance and awareness.

However the public have a role to play too and that is what this campaign is about. The message is simple: keep valuables out of sight whenever possible. When you do have to take your phone or cash out in a public place, be aware of who’s around you. Street robbers tend to be opportunistic – don’t make yourself an easy target.”

Ealing police would like to issue a clear warning that they will take strong action against any individual who makes a false allegation if they lose their mobile phone – as it’s illegal to report it stolen.

It is important to give Ealing Borough Police the correct facts when reporting a crime as making a false allegation is a criminal offence. Therefore each victim of robbery or theft on Ealing Borough is asked to read and sign a crime declaration form, which underlines that in the event of police identifying a false report the offender will be prosecuted.

Ealing Borough Police Officers working in partnership with officers from the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) and Trading Standards Officers raided two shops and an office premises in Southall on Thursday 8th July 2004 and seized 46 suspected stolen or reprogrammed mobile phones. Officers raided the shops and office premises as part of an intelligence-led operation after they were identified as selling stolen phones and reprogrammed phones. They arrested three men on suspicion of handling stolen goods. All have been released on bail until 16th August 2004. The National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) has been created to combat those who steal, handle, reprogramme and export mobile phones.

Current government crime statistics highlight that nearly 10% of all crime recorded involves the theft of mobile phones. The recent success achieved in reducing Street Crime in London was not matched with a reduction in the theft of mobile phones.

Detective Sergeant Charlie Morrow Ealing Borough Safer Streets, “Stolen mobile phones account for a considerable percentage of street robbery offences in Ealing borough. Through partnership intelligence-led initiatives like this we will have a positive effect on reducing local crime. This operation will send a clear message to those involved mobile phone crime on Ealing Borough that there is a greater chance of being arrested, charged and brought before the courts for this offence. In liaison with our partners we will continue to monitor and gather intelligence on mobile phone shops in order to stamp out mobile phone crime in Ealing Borough.”

July 19, 2004