New inspector promises burglary crackdown in central Havering

�Inspector John Goodwin describes the effects of burglary as simply “devastating” and the new safer neighbourhoods chief has promised to do everything in his power to stop it.

“Your property has been entered and personal belongings stolen or moved,” said Mr Goodwin. “I think it’s particularly devastating for the elderly and those living alone and we are doing everything we can to stop it.”

The former 999 responder acknowledges the job is a tough one.

The crime, which tops the priority list of every single ward in the borough, has risen dramatically since the recession hit four years ago.

Mr Goodwin’s methods include heightened high visibility foot patrols in housebreaking hotspots, as well reassurance reconnaissance following incidents.

Resources have been concentrated into carrying out searches on known offenders and suspects.

“Anyone we have info on will be arrested and searches conducted,” explained Mr Goodwin. “If there is any stolen property in the house, we’ve got a result.”

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As well as home-grown crooks, burglars are travelling in from Essex and south London to plunder the borough’s homes.

But why?

“They know Havering is relatively affluent in some parts, and they know there is a good chance that in certain areas most of the residents will be at work,” said Mr Goodwin.

A huge part of the solution is education and prevention.

His foot-based officers are always on the lookout to help people protect their property and make life difficult for the bad guys.

“We have been meeting with as many people as possible and handing out prevention advice – to commuters as they leave for work, parents on the school-run,” Mr Goodwin said.

“Officers will talk to owners of vulnerable properties to give advice, or for example they will leave notes in people’s doors, telling them they’ve spotted an upstairs window open.

“It all means people will think twice about home security.”

Mr Goodwin is in charge of the Safer Neighbourhoods Teams of the so-called central quadrant – made up of the Hornchurch, Emerson Park, Squirrels Heath, Pettits, Hylands and Brooklands wards – and he replaces Insp John Fish.