You are safer but there is ‘more to do’


Monday March 8, 2010

Crime rates across the borough have fallen dramatically since H&F Council began hosting its annual crime summit.

Chief Inspector Kevin Hurley

“Hammersmith & Fulham continues to get safer with 27,139 crimes committed in 2005/06 compared to 20,431 four years later”, said Met Police Borough Commander Kevin Hurley.

Despite the impressive reductions in crime, residents – who packed into Hammersmith town hall last Saturday (March 6) – highlighted a range of new problems that they want the authorities to prioritise. Dangerous dogs, inconsiderate cyclists and drug dealing were just some of the issues raised by local people.

Borough Commander Ch Sup Kevin Hurley said residents’ feedback was a ‘vital help in the fight against crime’. He pointed to falls in the key crimes that residents flagged up at previous summits. He said: “Over recent years we have year-on-year falls in crime and the best record on cutting burglary in the Met. We have a dedicated burglary unit and a targeted drugs squad and the results speak for themselves.”

The Crime Summit 2010 audience

Mr Hurley said the council’s £1.8 million a year to pay for enhanced squads of town centre beat bobbies was ‘invaluable’. Before talking to officials about crime on a street-by-street basis, residents also heard that tackling drugs – which is known to be linked to around 70 per cent of all crimes committed in the borough – is also a major focus for the authorities. “Working with the council we have closed 62 crack houses,” said Mr Hurley. “This is more than the whole of Wales! This is not because the borough is awash with drugs it is because we take an aggressive stance against drug use.”

Following the Borough Commander’s speech residents broke off into ward based workshops to thrash out crime priorities on a hyper-local level. Littering, graffiti, knife crime, dog fouling and dangerous cyclists were all raised in the lively discussions.

Moira Naylor, 73, of Goldhawk Road, said: “I have a problem with cyclists going through red lights and riding on pavements. When they come up behind me it scares me because I veer slightly when I’m walking and it always worries me that I might get knocked over. We are actually very lucky with crime in this borough, other than cyclists, there isn’t any other anti-social behaviour or certainly nothing that worries me.”

Council officers are now collating hundreds of comments from the 16 workshops into a list of actions for urgent attention, according to the council.

 More photos on H&F Council’s Flickr gallery