Spate of garage break-ins in Rainham sees CCTV considered
- Credit: Michael Deon Burton
Vandals have targeted garages in a spree of break-ins in Rainham.
Multiple garages have been broken into at the back of Abberton Walk, which can be reached by an access mews which links Ongar Way with Fyfield Road.
The number is disputed - Havering councillor Michael Deon Burton (South Hornchurch, Con) alleges he has been told of around 20 which have been broken into but PCSO for South Hornchurch, Gemma Large, said she recalls there have been “two, possibly three” reported in the last six months.
Cllr Deon Burton said residents are “frightened” and concerned the culprits had the right tools to break through heavy-duty locks.
He said garages have been “stripped of tools” with some owners “losing their livelihood overnight”.
“The doors have been ripped off and it sends a frightening message to residents,” he said.
Havering Council's cabinet member for community safety, Ciaran White, said the local authority is aware of “issues raised in the area”, can “fully understand residents' concerns” and is looking at the possibility of CCTV.
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PCSO Large said the garages are mostly in a "state of disrepair, poorly lit with no CCTV coverage”.
She also said there is an issue with fly-tipping and access for large vehicles, with the garages “occasionally attracting youths as it is a cut-through”.
Cllr Deon Burton said: "The days of looking the other way must pass, together as a community we need to stand four-square against this pernicious behaviour."
He worries the garages will lead to further antisocial behaviour such as arson and ransacking.
Cllr White added: "We are continuing to work with the police to support any investigation into the reports of break-ins and other antisocial behaviour.
“We are also looking at different ways in which we can help increase security in that area, this includes looking at improvements to lighting and the possibility of installing CCTV.”
PCSO Large confirmed the area is patrolled regularly by foot patrol officers when on duty.
Anyone with information about any crime is asked to contact the police's non-emergency number on 101, or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.