Barking community gets credit for crime fall

�Crime has fallen by a fifth in Eastbury ward due to the community’s vigilance and preventative action, a police sergeant said.

Recent statistics show that there was 20 per cent less crime in the ward between March 2011 and March 2012 compared with the same period of the previous year.

Since February, when burglary was set as a policing priority for the area, the Eastbury Safer Neighbourhoods Team has conducted more than 40 stops on patrol and four “meet and greet residents” sessions. The team has also carried out three Operation Reclaim initiatives, which see officers seize cars belonging to uninsured drivers.

Prevention advice

However, Sgt Lucy Cenizo believes the fall in crime is largely down to the actions of local residents.

She said: “We have delivered crime prevention advice to virtually every home in the area and even enlisted the help of local schools, who have helped us by sending crime prevention information home with children for their parents.

“I am incredibly grateful to local residents who have not only taken the information on board but have acted on it. Coupled with highly visible and plain-clothes police patrols, the actions of the community have formulated a recipe for successful crime-fighting in Eastbury ward.”

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Crime prevention tips handed out by the team include ensuring that external doors and windows are properly locked and keeping keys and valuables out of sight.

Ripple Road resident Sherry Falaise, 49, said she had not noticed a change in crime levels but had always felt quite safe in the ward.

“We’ve had a few problems, like car crime and a bit of antisocial behaviour, but nothing major,” she said.

A 58-year-old householder living in Dawson Road, who did not want to be named, said there had been a spate of burglaries before Christmas but believed “things had quietened down recently”.

“Before Christmas, quite a few people said they or someone they knew had been burgled,” she explained.

“I haven’t spoken to the SNT, but maybe their advice has helped. We have security alarms on our house and I always keep valuable things out of sight.”