The Sutton South Ward Police Consultative Panel met on the evening of 11 October. These are open, public meetings all residents can attend. We were addressed by our Ward Constable, Constable Robyn Skivens. Her colleague Constable Owen Harding often attends but was involved in work for his University course. Constable Skivens set out the crime statistics from 1 July this year to the present. This meeting was much less well attended than the previous meeting, held on 19 July at the Friends’ Meeting House in Cedar Road. Prior to this, meetings were held at Christchurch in Christchurch Park, but this is now unavailable.
Given the level of public interest in crime it is disappointing that these meetings are not better attended and there was discussion of how to increase attendance. A provisional date of Wednesday January 10 was agreed for the next meeting, venue to be determined, and it was agreed that approaches would be made to Ward-based churches, residents’ groups and schools to see if attendance could be increased.
During the period from 1 July there had been 21 burglaries in the Ward. This included 9 residential burglaries, 5 burglaries of garages, 2 of building sites in the Ward and 4 burglaries of commercial premises – including a vape shop and a barbers. These are investigated by a specific Sutton borough burglary team. CCTV evidence including evidence from doorbell cameras is useful to the team. There had been 25 incidents involving motor vehicles, including 9 thefts of vehicles, 7 thefts from vehicles and 4 thefts of number plates. Interestingly, there had been no catalytic converter thefts. The important advice is not to leave anything valuable in your car and be careful to check it is locked when you leave the car. One resident at the meeting said he had accidently left the car unlocked one evening and money had been stolen from the car. There was one parcel theft, one robbery, one offence involving possession of an offensive weapon and four incidents classified as violence against women and girls, including stalking. These offences are a London-wide priority for the Met at this time. The police always stress the need to report all crime, however trivial.
Constable Skivens commented on the number of “extractions” when she and Constable Harding are asked to leave Ward duties and assist in activities elsewhere. This reduces attention to Ward matters. Recently this has included hospital guarding and re-assurance patrols in Wallington following the murder on the Roundshaw estate. There is still a vacancy for a PCSO in the Ward team.
A further meeting was arranged for 10 January, at Overton Grange school.
The localised information given at the meeting usefully supplemented some more general information given at the local committee meeting the previous week. This gave an annual figure for crime in Sutton South Ward for the year ending 31 July 2023, compared to data for the previous year. The figures showed there were 507 offences (total notified crime) in the Ward, a drop of 8.3 % on the previous year. Crime had fallen in every category except robbery, which was thought to be some incidents near Sutton station and arguments between teenage schoolchildren. The data also confirmed that Sutton is a low-crime borough and our Ward a low- crime area within Sutton. Sutton is one of the five safest boroughs in London with figures 21% lower than the national crime rate and 31% lower than London as a whole.