‘Community spirit is key to staying safe’ - Cllr Gillian Ford responds to news Cranham is among London’s safest wards

Cllr Gillian Ford

Cllr Gillian Ford - Credit: Archant

It’s official: Cranham is among the six safest places to live in the whole of Greater London. So what is its secret?

According to Cllr Gillian Ford (Residents’ Association), having a static community who know and respect each other is key.

“It’s very community-based here,” she said. “People look out for each other.

“We have our community centre here, which helps different age groups mix together – there’s bowls going on in one room and younger people dancing somewhere else.”

Cranham is proportionally the oldest ward in London, with 24 per cent of its residents aged 65 or over – nearly 3,000 people.

Census results show the area has just 2.9 per cent unemployment, half the London average – all of which may play a role in keeping crime down.

Cllr Ford thinks many of Cranham’s householders have lived there most of their lives, meaning people know their neighbours, which fosters trust and respect.

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“The older generation have been here for years and then the children stay in the area so we don’t get a lot of movement in that sense. In general it’s quite staid. That gives security.”

Cllr Ford added a lot of Cranham’s safety was down to police work, including the presence of Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) officers on the ground.

A strong role for the church also contributes, she said, with St Luke’s Church in Front Lane running youth groups and community work.