Clapham Common Policing News – November 2015

Pic Credit: Church of the Holy Spirit, SW4

This is the Abbeville Road and Clapham Common Ward Policing News Update for November 2015. To keep up-to-date with the latest news and developments you can also follow us on Twitter @MPSClaphamCom.

November got off to a misty start, with some local criminals looking to take advantage of the mist by targetting unlocked cars in Clapham. We also received welcome news that a man had been charged in relation to the recent series of sexual assaults. Understandably, women in Clapham were growing increasingly concerned and so it was good to be able to provide reassurance that a man had been arrested and charged. Our thanks to all those members of the public, officers and departments that had a hand in apprehending the suspect.

Bonfire night followed and I conducted a joint patrol with PC Scott-Barrett, who is the Dedicated Ward Officer on Northcote ward, which covers the Wandsworth side of Clapham Common, providing a valuable opportunity to share information on crime and disorder problems affecting both sides of the Common – and a chance to deter any would-be firework-throwing individuals!

Bonfire night was followed by the team executing a drugs warrant in Belgravia House, off Clarence Avenue. The raid saw one male arrested on suspicion of drug dealing. We have also now introduced pro-active leafleting of areas affected by or in the immediate vicinity of any warrants we conduct. We think it hugely important to communicate with you, our local residents, about the work that we do and how you can help support us.

We also continued our regular crime and disorder patrols of local crime hotspots, resulting in a number of stop and searches and a number of warnings in relation to drugs. The patrols also provide a valuable opportunity to provide visible reassurance to the community.

The following weekend, PC Edmondson and I attended the Remembrance Sunday service at the Church of the Holy Spirit on Narbonne Avenue, along with many members of the local community, from all generations (see photo at top). The service was extremely moving and, as always, a huge thank you to all those who attended and of course helped organise.

Sergeant Mohammadi and PC Andrews had a cracking result on the very same Sunday, arresting one of our car criminals in the act of stealing from a parked car on Abbeville Road. It may sound patronising, but please do always check you have locked your car. We have more than a few criminals who will clear out your car (taking change, sunglasses, SatNavs, phones, chargers, handbags, jackets, laptops, tablets, etc.) if you leave it unlocked. A top tip for residents is to always try your car door handle before you walk away!

A few days later we served a Closure Notice in relation to a flat on the Oaklands Estate. The residents (and visitors) to that address having been the cause of persistent and really quite horrendous anti-social behaviour and disorder. The Notice and other targeted action ought to help put a stop, at last, to the outrageous behaviour of a small number of individuals. I hope that residents nearby shall be able to sleep peacefully. With Lambeth Council, we will continue to pursue eviction proceedings against the individual concerned. We will not tolerate persistent anti-social behaviour.

We also continued our regular patrols of crime and anti-social behaviour hotspots, all the more important given the darker nights:

The team continued to get good results from stop and search, with a man arrested for handling stolen goods when he was found in possession of stolen property in Clapham. He was subsequently charged with theft by finding.

PCSO Hill and I continued our patrols of the Notre Dame Estate, SW4, recovering another weapon from a stairwell, as shown below. The prevalence of knives on and near the estate continues to be a major cause for concern.

A few days later, just outside the Notre Dame Estate, a young man was stabbed. Serving only to further highlight the importance of our work combatting knife, gang and related crime on and around the Estate.

With limited resources at a ward level, we were very fortunate to be able to draw upon our excellent Problem Solving Team to assist with additional patrols on the Notre Dame Estate in the wake of the stabbing.

Continuing with knife-crime related news, the man that was arrested on Clapham Common Southside last month following a stop and search for possession of a knife, obstructing police and assaulting police, was charged with these offences and has been remanded to Court. As any further updates are received, these shall be relayed.

We have continued to do our best to keep up the pressure on habitual knife carriers at a local level, through targeted stop and search and regular weapon sweeps.

In more cheerful news, PCSO Hill has been going above and beyond the call of duty, helping a local lady get to hospital on time after she went to use her car and found she had a flat tyre:

Finally, a man from Clapham received a 7 year prison sentence for the possession with intent to supply of heroin and cannabis in the Clapham area, following a warrant executed last year. We were pleased to hear this result – sending a signal to the dealers of heroin and other drugs that persistent offending will not be tolerated.

We hope that this update demonstrates our continued commitment to tackling crime, illegal drugs and anti-social behaviour wherever it exists in the Abbeville Road area and Clapham Common Ward. We continue regular patrols of stairwells, communal areas and open spaces. We appreciate the continued support of our residents and would ask any information regarding crime be provided in the usual fashion and by Crimestoppers if you prefer to do so anonymously (0800 555 111).

If you’d like to receive news updates via email you can sign up to Neighbourhood Link or email the team at claphamcommon.snt@met.police.uk and request to be added to the Ward Panel Newsletter. If you feel we have missed something out or would like us to address a particular issue, please do get in touch.

About the Author

PC Rory Geoghegan
I was the Dedicated Ward Officer for Clapham Common Ward in the London Borough of Lambeth until May 2016. I’m a former strategy consultant and criminal justice researcher. As a Dedicated Ward Officer I was something of a foot and cycle patrol fanatic! All views expressed are/were personal opinions and the usual disclaimers apply.

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