Worst streets for vehicle crime in Havering revealed as police struggle to catch offenders

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 January 2019

Whitelands Way in Romford, the borough's worst street for vehicle crime. Picture: Google Streetview

Whitelands Way in Romford, the borough's worst street for vehicle crime. Picture: Google Streetview


Ninety-eight per cent of vehicle crime in Havering has gone unsolved over the past three years.

Between October 2015 and August 2018 police received 6,985 reports from people in the borough relating to break-ins, thefts from motor vehicles, damage and vehicle theft.

But according to the Met’s own statistics, they were able to catch just two per cent of the perpetrators – with 6,852 cases still open, never updated, or closed without a suspect identified.

Eight people have gone to prison since October 2015 for vehicle crimes in Havering, while another 15 went to court and were found not guilty. Six court cases were not able to proceed.

Earlier this year concerns were raised by Mayor of London that cuts to police budgets had hit London harder than anywhere else in England and Wales, with figures suggesting a 20% fall in spending per head of the population since 2012/13.

A Met Police spokesperson said that in the case of thefts from vehicles, identifying the perpetrator posed a “particular challenge” for officers.

She said: “Theft from motor vehicles is a prime example of an opportunistic crime where the suspect will not hesitate to smash a car window and find some valuables to steal, all within seconds.

“Often there can be limited opportunities to identify the perpetrator. The introduction of dash cams inside vehicles and CCTV outside the vehicle greatly improves our ability to identify offenders.”

Over three years the worst-affected ward in Havering was Romford Town, where 551 vehicle crimes were reported over almost three years, of which 542 went unsolved or unresolved.

This was followed by Brooklands, where 534 crimes took place, and Gooshays, with 529.

The worst-afflicted location for vehicle crime was Whitelands Way in Harold Wood, where 71 crimes have taken place, leading to not one punitive measure in three years.

This was followed by Aveley Road in Upminster, with 33 crimes recorded, Bryant Avenue in Romford, with 25, Waterloo Road in Romford, with 23, and Romford’s Main Road, with 22.

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