Potters Bar MP to meet residents following 55 per cent increase in burglaries

PUBLISHED: 11:14 20 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:31 20 December 2017

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden (left) meeting Chief Inspector O'Keeffe. Photo: supplied by Oliver Dowden

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden (left) meeting Chief Inspector O'Keeffe. Photo: supplied by Oliver Dowden

supplied by Oliver Dowden

Burglaries in Potters Bar have risen by 55% in one year, police figures show.

Oliver Dowden meeting Hertfordshire Police Chief and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd. Photo: supplied by Oliver DowdenOliver Dowden meeting Hertfordshire Police Chief and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd. Photo: supplied by Oliver Dowden

According to the latest Home Office statistics, burglaries shot up from 104 in October 2015-October 2016, to 163 in the same period in 2017.

The rise is worrying residents and is having an impact on home insurance premiums.

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden met with Hertsmere’s Chief Inspector Steve O’Keeffe and Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd on Friday, December 8 to discuss the issue.

Mr Dowden will also hold a meeting with residents at the Wyllyotts Centre in Darkes Lane at 1pm on January 4 2018.

Abhishek SachdevAbhishek Sachdev

Mr Dowden said: “It was good to meet with the Police Commissioner and our Chief Inspector following the concerns that have been raised with me by my constituents about an apparent rise in crime in Potters Bar over the past few months.

“I was pleased to hear from both men that Hertfordshire Constabulary are very much aware of this issue and are actively taking steps to address it.

“Our local police here in Hertsmere do excellent work keeping us all safe.”

These discussions follow a meeting held on November 29 by Potters Bar Neighbourhood Watch, when Inspector O’Keeffe spoke to residents about crime figures, police action and advice on staying secure.

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden (left) meeting Chief Inspector O'Keeffe. Photo: supplied by Oliver DowdenHertsmere MP Oliver Dowden (left) meeting Chief Inspector O'Keeffe. Photo: supplied by Oliver Dowden

Abhishek Sachdev, Conservative councillor for Potters Bar Parkfield, attended the meeting.

He told the Potters Bar edition of his concern about the reduction in police numbers across Hertfordshire.

He added: “There’s an important message here for residents too – there’s a lot that residents can and should be doing.

“Inspector O’Keeffe talked about making sure doors are double locked, and having adequate sensor lighting, and alarm systems.”

Councillor Sachdev has been personally affected by the issue, after his parents’ home was burgled in 2016.

“My mother is much more afraid in general, and sometimes if she’s alone in the house she’s afraid to go downstairs.

“In the nearly 30 years we’ve been here, we’ve never ever seen it so bad.”

He added that the South Asian community in Potters Bar may be a particular target, due to the higher likelihood of having gold jewellery in the house.

Bunty Shah, who runs the community group Potters Bar Indians, is also concerned for elderly residents.

He said: “We’ve got a lot of elderly members in the group.

“Out of 400 people, I know five households have been burgled, one as recently as two weeks ago.

“One couple in particular who were burgled earlier in the year, they moved from Birmingham.

“To move from a city like Birmingham to Potters Bar and then get burgled is quite shocking.”

The issue is affecting insurance premiums, according to Callum O’Driscoll, an insurance consultant at A-Plan Potters Bar, which is a major provider of home insurance in the area.

He told the Potters Bar Edition: “Without a doubt, we are seeing an increase in insurance premiums compared to the rest of the market because of the increase in burglaries.”

He explained that insurance premiums are calculated on the basis of numerous factors including the reputation of the postcode, the size of the house, and security measures taken by the homeowner.

Councillor Sachdev plans to attend the January meeting.

He said: “When I see Oliver Dowden on January 4, my issue is for him to lobby central government to get more money for policing.”

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