Obviously, it is much better if we prevent crimes happening in the first place. This is where you can help us. Currently there are radio adverts giving out some simple crime prevention measures, which will make your home or car less appealing to criminals. The advice talks about lights on timers, cancelling milk and newspapers when you are away. If you own a car, do not leave the keys on view next to a window. Some criminals are bold and can 'fish' them out through letter boxes or simply smash a window or door and grab the keys. Make it hard for them - don't leave your car keys visible!
Other steps to make your property less attractive to the criminals would be to have all the serial numbers of your electrical equipment logged and property marked - contact your local SNT officers for advice on how this can be done.
When considering theft from motor vehicles, a very simple aid to reduce the chance of you becoming a victim is to not leave any bags visible within the vehicle when it is unattended - not even loose change, you would be surprised that some criminals will break into a car for juts a couple of pounds. They don't care about having to pay for the repair of a broken window!
I would like to discuss distraction burglars; those who pretend to be reputable officials such as gas, electricity or the local authority - only to gain access and then steal from the unsuspecting victim. They are out there, and these shameless individuals predominantly prey upon some of the most vulnerable members of our community, for example our older people.
When a stranger calls at your door - do not open the door to them if you are not happy. Ask to see and examine their identification. Take the time to phone their depot or boss. If they are reputable they will have no problem in working with you to verify who they are. Don't let them in. If they suddenly leave, try and get a car registration and then call police on '999'. We will respond to your calls. This week we received community information about someone being in possession of a handgun in the NW10 area. Police attended and conducted a stop with armed police. You may have seen this or heard about it as the tactics can appear quite tough. The fact is that we cannot take any chances when guns are involved. If we cannot protect ourselves, how can we protect you? On this occasion a gun was recovered and 3 males were arrested. Thank you.
So finally, getting back to protecting your homes, I appeal to you to look around your home, and if you identify a neighbour who you think might be susceptible to being tricked in this way, take the time to talk to them about this advice. Thank you.
I will conclude by saying that Brent is a fantastic Borough. All of the partner agencies are doing as much as we can to help and protect you. By taking some precautionary steps you can help by making life harder for selfish and cowardly criminals and assist us to continue to make Brent one of the best places to live and visit.