Haringey is London’s top burglary ‘hotspot’
5:09pm Thursday 30th July 2009
HARINGEY is the worst area for burglaries in London.
The break-in rate is now double the London average and the fourth worst in the UK, according to Home Office figures released this week after research by the Conservatives.
Homes in Haringey suffered 30 break-ins per 1,000 households last year — double the capital’s average of 18 burglaries for every 1,000 homes.
Neighbouring Enfield is the second worst London borough, followed by Redbridge, Brent and Ealing.
There were 599 burglaries reported in Haringey between April and June.
But despite the discouraging statistics, police say the number of burglaries have been reduced by 13.9 per cent in comparison to the same period last year when 696 burglaries were committed.
This drop contrasts sharply with London-wide Metropolitan Police figures, which reveal the number of burglaries has risen by ten per cent.
Overall, residential burglaries are down from 2,966 in 2006/7 and 2,772 in 2007/8.
Haringey Borough Commander Dave Grant said: “While the figures appear disappointing, this year we are showing a 10.8 per cent reduction compared with the same period last year.
“Burglary is a priority crime for the borough and we are working hard to disrupt offenders by carrying out a range of intelligence-led activity.”
He said measures included stop and search and anti-burglary patrols, as well as working with Haringey Council to find long-term burglary hot-spots.
Chris Grayling, the Shadow Home Secretary, blamed the recession and increasing number of drug-takers for the high number of burglaries.
He added: “We desperately need real action to get police away from filling in forms at their desk in police stations and onto the beat tackling the problem.”
The Government maintains that burglaries have more than halved since 1997.
Despite the majority of Haringey’s wealth found in the west of the borough, in Muswell Hill, Highgate and Crouch End, burglaries are most concentrated in the area surrounding the Harringay and St Ann’s wards including Tottenham Green and Stroud Green.
Tottenham Green had the second highest burglary rate in the capital, with more than 21 crimes committed per 1,000 residents. St Ann’s and Harringay had 20 and 19 household thefts per 1,000 residents, respectively.
Stroud Green, was the ninth most burgled ward in London, with more than 17 break-ins per 1,000 residents last year.
Police said the problem was due to the high density of flat shares and bedsits in and around Harringay with more people living there per square metre than anywhere else in the borough, making it easy for would-be burglars to strike several homes through one communal door.
Justin Hinchcliffe, of Tottenham Conservatives, was scathing about policing in Haringey and said there was a risk the figures could be even higher.
He said: “I have had my car broken into and Haringey police didn’t even bother to come round and take forensic testing.
“I am sure that like me, many people, have stopped reporting burglaries because they have no confidence the police will get around to looking into it.”
Councillor Ron Aitken, Liberal Democrat spokesman for crime, said: “I know Haringey police work hard to tackle burglaries, which have been a long-standing problem in the borough. They are meeting all their targets.
“All parties know that the answer to cutting crime is more police on the beat and on patrol and away from their desks.”