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Neigbours' cry for help amid crimewave on Barnet road

Neigbours' cry for help amid crimewave on Barnet road

People living on a suburban road say their homes have been broken into by criminals armed with knives and machetes in a horrifying crime spree.

Neighbours on Winnington Road, in Hampstead Garden Suburb, have hired private security firms to tackle the crimewave and claim the Metropolitan Police is not dealing with the problems effectively.

More than 70 people signed a petition calling on the council to put in CCTV and parking restrictions to deal with would-be attackers lurking in cars and vans.

The petition was presented to Finchley and Golders Green residents’ forum on Thursday (September 5), where residents gave details of the attacks.

One resident, Vered Aaron, told councillors she had moved to the suburb 10 years ago for a better quality of life.

She said: “It is very green, and I used to go for a walk every morning.

“Today, I walk for a maximum of 15 minutes, and only on the main street. I don’t go to any side streets, and I remove my jewellery. I don’t have quality of life.”

Ms Aaron said many neighbours had given up reporting crimes to the police because they did not seem to catch the criminals.

Another resident, who had installed gates to protect his property, said: “You can’t see these criminals. They hide between the cars.

“I opened the gates one evening and they ran through the gates and followed me in. I was mugged in my driveway.

“I reported it to the police. They came and gave me a case number, and the next day I received an email to say the case was closed.”

Peter Williams, from private security firm LCS, said four attackers armed with machetes had run through a gate and attacked staff in one resident’s house.

He said another resident had been the victim of a crime in which a gun was held to the head of a 10-month-old baby.

Mr Williams told the meeting that his service had expanded by 30 per cent in the last three months because of the crimewave.

The neighbours called on the council to help them out, pointing out they had already spent considerable sums on their own security measures.

Cllr Jennifer Grocock (Conservative), Finchley Church End, urged residents to report crimes to the police because it shows them where there is a need for policing.

The Met Police has an online crime reporting system people can use to log incidents.

Cllr Grocock also advised reporting crimes to ward councillors, who can pass on the information to police safer neighbourhood teams.

Philip Hoare, head of parking and infrastructure, said the council was unlikely to install CCTV except in “core public spaces” such as outside train stations.

But he said the council’s community safety team would look at all the options and come up with a series of recommendations aimed at tackling the problems.

The team’s report will be considered by the Finchley and Golders Green Area Committee, which can provide funding for measures such as controlled parking zones, when it meets on October 17.

Cllr Grocock added: “Unfortunately, there is a general increase in crime across the whole of London.

“There are a lot of active criminal families who come into our area, for obvious reasons. It is a serious worry for all of us.”

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