Police Refute "Unscientific" Burglary Claims

Fulham is bucking London trends with falling break-in rates

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Local police have refuted claims in a new survey that Fulham is one of Britain's burglary hotspots.

The survey, by financial website Moneysupermarket.com, listed 20 areas across the country where break-ins are most likely to occur. Fulham was 11th in the top 20, equal with other areas including Maidenhead in Berkshire and Battersea.

But Police Sergeant Mick MacDonald of Parsons Green and Walham Safer Neighbourhood Team says: " This is very surprising news indeed.

" In Parsons Green and Walham ward we have seen burglary decrease year on year for the last five years.

" In 2008 we had 46 residential and 9 non-residential offences, a total of 55. So far this year we have had 30 residential and 12 non-residential burglaries, a total of 42 overall. So we are significantly down on Parsons Green & Walham."

Figures for the borough as a whole also show the number of bulgaries falling considerably. In the 12 months leading up to July, there were 1,541 break-ins in Hammersmith and Fulham, compared with 2,020 the previous year.

The survey was also criticised by Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Smith the borough's head of serious crime, who pointed out the main question was misleading.

"The survey is based on raw, unscientific data from respondents to a questionnaire asking 'if they have ever been burgled'," he says. "That doesn't mean it happened in Fulham.

"We have a large population of people who are mobile and move in and out every year. The survey didn't ask them if they were burgled in their previous homes or here."

He added that Fulham is bucking London-wide trands. " Our burglary rate has been falling for four years. We're currently doing the best in the Met with a 27% drop in burglary over the last year."

August 20, 2009