Report on the recent Neighbourhood Watch Meeting.

The meeting was attended by some residents plus one of our Councillors – Jane Lyons – and our local Village bobby PC Daniel Mclynn.  Daniel is extremely knowledgeable in the area of home security, having worked in this sector before joining the police force.  He reported that several burglaries had occurred in Court Lane, especially those houses backing onto the Park, also in Woodwarde Road.  A detailed discussion took place regarding preventative measures.

One of the cheapest and most effective of these is the installation of a wooden trellis 2.5 to 3.0 ft high along the top of existing fences.  Intruders do not like to attempt to climb these due to the possibility of the wood breaking and causing injury, and with a six inch lattice they do not obstruct the view too much.  A possibility that Dulwich Park might pay for the installation of something like this was suggested – as they own the rear fences to the Park – but initial soundings indicate that there would not be funds available for this (where have we heard that before!).

Daniel reported that marking high value items with ‘smart water’ (some kits have been already distributed free to some residents) has proved very effective, and has enabled several prosecutions to succeed when suspects have been apprehended with stolen goods in their possession.  Things to mark include computers, ipads, mobiles, video and camera equipment, pictures, jewellery and antiques.  ‘Smart Water’ marking will last for about 5 years, after which it should be re-applied.

Video surveillance cameras have proved very effective (especially covering the rear of properties).  They do not have to be the real deal…a simple camera housing can be fixed high up onto the wall, and these provide a real turn-off to professional pilferers!

There are many other things that can be done…lights on timers…proper locks (the burglary in Woodwarde Road was a break-in through rear patio doors)…net curtains on downstairs windows…etc…etc.  The theft of a high quality bike from Woodwarde was due to builders removing the lockable side passage gate.  These are an area of vulnerability…wheelie bins in front gardens can be utilised to clamber over side gates…some sort of barrier above the gate can provide a deterrent.  Daniel says that he will be very pleased to make an appointment to come to any house to assess and advise.  Highly recommended…and all for the cost of a cup of tea!  You can contact him by e-mail at southwarkvillage.snt@met.police.uk.  Or by post at Village Ward LPT, 9 Wren Road, SE5 8HT.  Or by ‘phone on 020 8721 2446.

Remember in an emergency dial 999.  Non-emergency dial 101.  Crime Stoppers (for giving anonymous information on crime) is 0800 555 111.

Whilst on the subject of Neighbourhood Watch…at the last AGM it became apparent that there is a bit of a crisis over lack of volunteers to be on local committees…such that some meetings have sadly become not quorate.  If you would like to be involved in keeping our neighbourhood safer – contact Lucia Annear (e-mail  lucia_annear@yahoo.co.uk).