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Hundreds of residents voice crime rise concerns to police at Harold Hill meeting

PUBLISHED: 16:01 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:01 31 May 2017

Officer addressed a packed hall full of concerned residents at a Safer Neighbourhood Meeting in Harold Hill on Friday. Picture: Don Tait

Officer addressed a packed hall full of concerned residents at a Safer Neighbourhood Meeting in Harold Hill on Friday. Picture: Don Tait

Don Tait

Around 200 residents from packed a hall to voice their concerns about a rise in crime and antisocial behaviour at a meeting on Friday, May 26.

Officer addressed a packed hall full of concerned residents at a Safer Neighbourhood Meeting in Harold Hill on Friday. Picture: Don TaitOfficer addressed a packed hall full of concerned residents at a Safer Neighbourhood Meeting in Harold Hill on Friday. Picture: Don Tait

Officers from Gooshays, Heaton and Harold Wood wards met with people at a Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) at youth and community centre myplace, Dagnam Park Drive, Harold Hill, to offer reassurance.

But community champion Jan Sargent, who attended said people remained concerned.

“It seems to be a bit of a coincidence [that] since the merger it takes [the] police longer to come out to you and crime has shot through the roof.” she said.

“Things seemed to have escalated during the last few months.

“But they’re [members of the SNT] are saying the stats are going down.”

Councillor Keith Darvill (Lab, Heaton) said: “There is a perception that crime is has increased but overall the levels over the past 15 years have actually diminished.”

In April, the Recorder reported a rise in crime across Havering when the Met released its end of year figures.

The data showed between 2016 and 2017 a grand total of 17,657 crimes were reported but only 2,866 led to charges being brought or arrests made.

But according to monthly police stats there were 1,717 crimes in Gooshays in April, down 6.13pc the previous month, Heaton dropped 8,74pc to 1,103, and Harold Wood was down 29.9pc to 1,032.

Speaking to the Recorder in April Det Ch Sup John Ross said: “They [ward officers] are ring-fenced from abstraction and our officers are reporting being able to truly dedicate their time to patrolling key areas and problem solving local issues.”

But Jan added that despite the reassurances, people remained concerned.

According to Mr Darvill additional topics included residents reporting a slow response by police when called. He also felt SNT teams could communicate better with councillors and community members.

“Their [SNT] communication strategy needs to be improved,” he continued.

“I haven’t been invited to recent SNT meetings and ward councillors should be.”

Both Jan and Mr Darvill said a few incidents involved people reporting crimes on social meeting but not to the police.

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