Understanding Crime In Richmond

Well it’s time for some relatively good news.  The Community Safety Partnership’s 2013 Strategic Assessment of Richmond has reported that we are in the 5th safest borough in London with relatively low rates of violent crime.

Instances of theft and handling make up 40.76% of Richmond crime in the past year, with Burglary taking up 17.85%.  Burglary on the whole is up 5% in the past year and the focus of this increase appears to be entirely on residential properties. Residential burglaries are up 19%, while all other burglaries are actually down 7%.

However it looks like we (the residents) are trying to combat by installing security systems in their homes.  When we first moved here there were very few burglar alarms fitted (at least there were very few alarm boxes on the front of houses – which is a key deterrent) but on the 2 or 3 nearest roads I see many more have them installed – as we do.  Although they cost a few quid and need annual servicing, I think that if I wanted to break into a house on our street I would choose the one without the alarm box.

A good set of locks can also make a difference although our neighbours recently fitted an expensive lock on their shed to protect their expensive bicycles only to find that thieves ignored the lock and just unscrewed the hinges.  How frustrating is that?

There are also plenty of neighborhood watch schemes in the Borough, although they aren’t everywhere, and of course you want to make sure you’re property is well insured so that if you do suffer a break in that you’re properly insured.

cameraBut moving on from the world of property…. there’s been a worrying increase in the amount of violent crimes.  The summer riots of 2011 stayed well away, but violent crimes increased by 3% in the past year, and made up 16.83% of total crimes.  Two incidents really stand out to me, which were well broadcast across Twitter.  In November 2012 a large fight broke out outside the Royal Oak pub in Teddington resulting in the death of St Mary’s student Patrick Lawless.  And in March 2013 two men suffered knife wounds in Twickenham.

Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do to avoid or prevent violent crimes. However, it helps to recognize behaviours and situations that tend to lead most often to such crimes.  The Community Safety Partnership report that alcohol and town centres are common factors in violent crimes.  Twickenham Police Station occasionally runs demonstrations and informative sessions on dealing with crime in the area, so if you’re concerned about violence in the Borough it might be useful to go alond..

Generally speaking, Richmond is a very safe area, and although burglary and violence are up, the good news is that sexual offenses are down 7% over the last year, robbery is down 5%  and criminal damage is down a massive 15%.