Harrow Town Centre Team update

21 October 2015

New Scotland Yard

Our Aim is to Make Harrow the Safest Borough in London

The Harrow Town Centre Team:
Inspector Tanya Sprunks, Sergeant Mark Pullen, PC Joe MacDonald, PC Alastair Hinchliff, PC Simon Limb, PC Martin Robinson & PCSO Anda Ben-Chaim.

With Halloween fast approaching, Harrow Police is reminding the public to enjoy the festivities safely but to ensure they respect others. Enhanced patrols will be carried out by officers on Halloween evening, Saturday 31 October, as well as the weekend following to ensure members of the public enjoy a safe and trouble free Halloween. Please do call us if you see anyone suspicious or a crime being committed and together we can continue to make Harrow the Safest Borough in London.

Operation Bumblebee is well underway, with officers intensifying their work to target offenders and prevent offences, whilst calling on Harrow residents to act now and follow basic crime prevention advice to prevent them from being a target. 
As the clocks go back and nights draw in homes remain in darkness for longer; making them easier targets. Please take the following precautions:

  • Ensure doors and windows are properly locked with a key when leaving home;
  • Keep valuables out of sight and out of reach;
  • Lock side gates and store bins behind them;
  • Avoid leaving packaging outside, which may indicate you have expensive new items in your home, especially around Christmas time.
  • As part of Operation Bumblebee officers will employ a range of proactive measures including traditional tactics and the use of science and technology such as MetTrace, to tackle offences.

Halloween Safety Tips

  • Halloween can be great fun for children and families but it can also be an intimidating time for others. If you are taking part in Halloween events, please remember to respect others and have a safe and enjoyable time.
  • During this busy period, ensure stay safe by staying with others and try to attend well organised events.
  • When you are out, keep your valuables and high value mobile phones out of sight, or leave them at home.
  • If trick or treating, be aware of the impact of your actions on others - it may cause unnecessary worry to some of the more vulnerable members of our communities. Wherever possible parents should try to accompany their children.
  • If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team or in an emergency always dial 999.
  • Do not forget the security of your home. If you are going out for the evening, ensure you have closed and locked your doors and windows and make sure that you leave lights on. The clocks go back on Sunday 25 October, so will become dark earlier.

When trick or treating you should also stay as safe as possible by following the 'Halloween Code':

  • Always go trick or treating with an adult.
  • Only go to houses where you or your friends know the residents.
  • Don't knock on doors where there is a 'No Trick or Treat' sign.
  • Stay in areas that are well lit with street lights - take a torch with you just in case.
  • Stay with your friends - don't split into smaller groups unless an adult goes with you.
  • Don't talk to strangers on the street.
  • Don't enter any house - stay on the doorstep.
  • Be careful not to frighten vulnerable people, especially the elderly.
  • Be visible.
  • Look carefully before crossing the road, even if you're part of a group.
  • Don't vandalise anything or throw things like eggs and flour. This can cause a great deal of damage and misery. It can be classed as criminal damage or even assault and a night of 'fun' could end up with you in trouble with the police.

Stay safe on Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with your local community, but Harrow Police want to make sure that everyone celebrating Bonfire Night has an enjoyable and safe time. We are urging anyone who is using fireworks or having a bonfire to consider the potential fire risks.

Anyone acting anti-socially with fireworks not only put themselves and others at risk of physical harm, they also risk arrest and prosecution if their behaviour amounts to a criminal offence. Misuse of fireworks can leave some members of our communities feeling scared, intimidated and distressed.

Our Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be carrying out extra patrols over the Bonfire Night period. Crime and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. If members of the public have any concerns they can contact Police on our non-emergency number 101.

The Firework Code:

  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114;
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks;
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box;
  • Follow the instructions on each firework;
  • Light at arm's length, using a taper;
  • Stand well back;
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode;
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them;
  • Always supervise children around fireworks;
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves;
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five;
  • Keep pets indoors.

 Bonfire advice:

  • Site well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs and always away from fireworks;
  • Before lighting the fire, check that no pets or children are hiding inside it;
  • Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side;
  • Never use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire;
  • Don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols and tins of paint or bottles;
  • Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children, who must be supervised at all times.

Dangers of bonfires

  • Bonfires can collapse unpredictably – sideways, as well as inwards – so it might be necessary to fence off a boundary, especially if there are small children about.
  • Also beware of lighting bonfires close to trees.
  • Burning tyres and other toxic materials releases pollutants into the atmosphere, which is bad for our health, especially for asthma sufferers and those with respiratory diseases.
  • Illegal Bonfires are dangerous - children, adults and pets are at a high risk of injury and trauma from fireworks and bonfires.
  • It’s bad for the environment - burnt earth on parklands, pitches and community green spaces will take approximately 18 months to recover before grass will grow back.
  • Communities, especially older people, can become afraid when they see a bonfire and hear the associated noise.

Harrow Town Centre Events

Crime Prevention Stall 
Start: Thursday 29 October 2015, 12:00 PM
End: Thursday 29 October 2015, 1pm
Location: St George’s Shopping Centre
A one-to-one consultation session in conjunction with crime prevention advice.

Crime Prevention Stall
Start: Saturday 14 November 2015, 4pm
End: Saturday 14 November 2015, 5pm
Location: St Ann’s Shopping Centre
A one-to-one consultation session in conjunction with crime prevention advice.

Christmas Lighting Up Event
Start: Friday 28 November 2015, 3pm
End: Friday 28 November 2015, 6pm
Location: College Road, Harrow
A fun and exciting event for children and families in Harrow Town Centre including activities for children, displays of a vintage police car and a police van to explore!