Common Rumours and a Ward Update

Message from PS Mick MacDonald of Parsons Green & Walham Safer Neighbourhoods team

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I was contacted by a member of staff from one of our local nurseries, who had been informed by a parent that someone's nanny had witnessed the following incident on Eel Brook Common, and they wanted to verify it before putting out a letter to their parents.

It was reported that a male in his sixties had been seen trying to snatch a very young child from a push chair. Police had been called and the man arrested. This was all apparently witnessed by the source of the information.

There was initially some discrepancy regarding when this had supposedly happened. Firstly it happened on Monday 29th June then, after I had searched all available police systems and found nothing remotely similar, the date changed to Monday 22nd June. The same systems were searched and I have spoken to a number of my colleagues in the borough intelligence unit. I was still unable to find any incident of this nature reported to police.

Therefore, whilst I cannot say with absolute certainty that this incident didn't happen as described, I have severe doubts about it being of the nature that the source has reported to the nursery. The only incident I have managed to find that slightly resembles the scenario was on Friday 26th June, when a mentally ill man was causing concern for lone females on Eel Brook Common. Police did attend that incident and the man was removed from the common.

I would like to thank Rebecca at the nursery for doing what she could to try and verify this story before sending a letter to the parents. Unconfirmed talk of this nature can spread unnecessary panic. I am confident in saying that there is no cause for any undue concern. Responsible parents will always take the basic precautions to safeguard their children and there is no reason to think that the basics are not enough.

To finish I need to update you on crime and disorder on the ward in the first three months of the current policing year. Our top three priorities are:

* Residential Burglary

* Street Crime (robbery and snatch of mobile phones)

* Theft from vehicles

Since 1st April we have suffered 18 burglaries. This compares to 34 last year and 31 in 2007. In the same period we have had 18 street crimes. We had the same number last year and 21 in 2007. There have been a number of arrests this year for these robberies.

Thefts from vehicles has risen to 50 from 35 last year. However, in 2007 we had already had 86 offences by this time, so whilst the rise is disappointing, it should be looked at in the context that last year was a particularly successful one in terms of tackling this particular offence.

I would like to remind you about not leaving anything of value in your vehicle. We have been seeing a number of incidents where no damage has been caused to effect entry to the vehicle, yet property has been stolen. Generally this is coinage for parking. If the property was not there it could not have been stolen. The police cannot be everywhere, so we have to rely on you to take some preventative measures.

Finally, a reminder about registering your belongings online at We recently had a success with this system whereby we were able to track a bicycle back to its owner, solely because she had made good use of this free database.

July 5, 2009