Sgt. Rob Goodwin, in charge of our local police team, has given us this latest report:
Following a borough wide increase in residential burglaries, operation carbon was put in place throughout May to combat it.
I am pleased to report that, following an arrest my team made on the first week of this operation, the number of residential burglaries in Penge fell dramatically in May. The arrest occured while we were on routine patrol, doing normal beat policing, checking out a house alarm sounding in Birkbeck Road. Two burglars were seen inside the flat. They broke out via the windows, we gave chase. Unfortunately one escaped over fences and back gardens. However a passing traffic police car which came to assist spotted the other suspect jogging along Beckenham Road , so he was quickly arrested. This man was charged with burglary and a court date is pending.
There is a growing issue of homeless persons in Penge sleeping rough behind Coleman House and more recently in Penge Rec and now Alexandra Rec. We are trying to solve this but of course it needs a much wider response. Many of these people are from eastern Europe and have their own misfortunes, however we cannot tolerate the daily abuse of the alcohol exclusion zone and associated anti social behaviour that comes with this, such as littering.
As far as police numbers are concerned, a new shift pattern starts from 11th June for the Olympic period, which for the MPS runs from then until mid October. Officers cannot take anymore leave during this period, and there will be many “abstractions” away from their local policing duties. However, the good news is that with the new shift pattern comes increased coverage which includes more weekend working as well as later shifts, all designed to meet the demand.
Penge SNT should be receiving some more police officers in June. I will confirm this when I am 100% confident that will happen. With regards to PCSO’s, we always should have had six, but have been running on five for a long time. Of these five, three were successful in becoming Police Officers, which has left us with two, Adam Goodfellow and Julie Pope. I still have PC Williams and PC Palmer as well as some special constables who work one or two days a week.
Rest assured that the team are working flat out, despite their increased workload.
We have uncovered three cannabis factories during May.
The most significant one to date was at 65 Crampton Road. We raided this address on Friday 1st June with the assistance of the TSG. One adult male was arrested. Four large rooms inside the property had been converted to growing the harmful “skunk” variation of cannabis. Each room had approx 70 plants in. This represents a huge blow to the criminal networks involved in this crime.
Tell tale signs of a cannabis factory are :-
Curtains drawn ,or windows covered from the inside using plastic material.
Unexplained new air vents being positioned around the property, or a tin tube type ventilation pipe poking out of the property somewhere often through brickwork.
Irregular comings and goings, often at night.
Aroma , wafting in the wind, or sometimes seeping through adjoining properties, this can often be more noticeable through the attics.
Thank you for that comprehensive round up, Sgt, Goodwin. We can all play our part in helping our local police during difficult times.