Tuesday July 27, 2010
Ojesh Singh knows first-hand about the risk of being burgled.
The 28-year-old Uxbridge Road restaurant owner said: “I took over The Nepalese in February this year and have been burgled a couple of times – we have even had our tills stolen when they have been empty.”
That is why he was one of more than 100 people who turned out for a street party on July 18 to celebrate the launch of a neighbourhood watch scheme.
Part of nationwide scheme The Big Lunch, the W12 event was organised by Nathalie Bristow, 36, owner of the Cupboard Deli in Oaklands Grove, who started the crime-fighting scheme after a spate of thefts in the Groves area of Shepherds Bush.
“I decided to set it up because quite a few people have been burgled,” she said. “People were coming into the cafe and telling me they had been burgled.”
On the day, adults and children teamed up to paint a giant mural on the side of a house under the watchful eye of local artist Antoni Malinowski, 55.
“It’s a real community around here, that’s what I like, but we don’t have a way of talking to each other,” Nathalie added.
“But with neighbourhood watch we get everyone’s email and then if someone is burgled we need to know about it.”
As well as painting there was a sound system, a cake competition, giant chess board and wine tasting.
“I didn’t expect more than 100 people to turn up so this is a success as far as I’m concerned,” said Nathalie.
“All these people along here didn’t realise how many had been burgled because they all didn’t know each other.”
Sgt Jason Carrigan talking to children
Sgt Jason Carrigan, who works at Shepherds Bush Police Station, attended the party on his day off to get people to sign up to the neighbourhood watch scheme and give out some advice on how to prevent burglaries.
He said: “We are getting a good response and we have been inundated with people putting their names down for the neighbourhood watch.”
Previously he had delivered leaflets through the doors of residents in Adelaide and Oaklands groves but only received a limited response.
“I think street parties are a great idea. Similar to neighbourhood watch, they get people out of the house to meet their neighbours,” said Sgt Carrigan.
“It just builds community spirit and people will see the strong sense of community and won’t want to commit crime here.”
Groves resident Bob Still, 44, said: “This is the street version of west London’s Glastonbury – and we will be holding one next year.”