Is Westfield a Crime Hotspot?
Borough Commander Lucy D' Orsi views new figures in a different light
Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Commander Lucy D'Orsi has reacted swiftly to reports that, according to new Home Office figures, the area around Westfield is one of Britain's most dangerous crime hotspots.
In fact, the figures show that 2,524 crimes were recorded around the Shepherd's Bush shopping mall in the last 18 months, from January 2012 till June 2013, the second highest figure in the country, with only Westfield's other London site at Stratford recording a higher figure of 3,440 crimes.
In both areas, the majority of the crimes involved theft, shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.
However, on her blog the Borough Commander says she views the figures in a very different light. She says: " You may have read over the weekend a report by the Daily Mail in which it is outlined that the postcode where Westfield is situated has the second highest volume of all crime in the country for the 18 months from January 2012 to June 2013.
" Context is key with all statistics and it is worth mentioning that the footfall of people to Westfield annually is about 27 million people.
" With the footfall of Westfield, the transport hubs, the night time economy and the football ground it can be seen that the numbers of crimes per person is relatively low (about 1 crime for every 16,000+ people who visit Westfields over the 18 months).
" Set this against a borough resident population of 180,000 and the annual number of total crimes of 21,747 or 1 crime for every 8.3 residents per year and the headline figure in the Daily Mail can viewed in a different light."
The report comes shortly after the launch of a new policing "model" which has seen the closure of the front counter at Shepherd's Bush Police Station and Metropolitan Police statistics revealing that our borough has 30 fewer police officers and 32 fewer PCSOs than two years ago.
However, the Borough Commander says: " Putting the maths aside we are keen to continue to drive down the total number of crimes, building on the reductions in recent years.
" The majority of the crime committed at Westfield is shoplifting and theft from unattended bags etc. Westfield is a private premises and we are working with the management of the centre to assist them in making the centre far more difficult for criminals to operate in.
" The company do fund a small unit of our police officers dedicated to patrolling the centre and we will be looking to work with them over the coming months on further developing this.
" Shepherd's Bush Green ward, where Westfield is situated, is a default patrol area for all our officers and we have a local authority funded SNT for the ward who won the pan London SNT of the year award a year or two ago due to their efforts.
" We will continue to work hard to reduce crime on the borough. Thank you for your help with this, we couldn’t do it without you.
" What I can say is that the number of frontline police officers has increased on the borough following the implementation of the local policing model and borough establishemnt has slightly increased compared to just before the local policing model was introduced. It will however take time to fill the establishment posts as new recruits join the borough."
August 15, 2013
written a message to local people on her blog explaining the new policing "model" which comes into force on Monday.
She says: " Monday 24th June 2013 signals the start of probably the biggest change in how we police London in quite some time.
" The Local Policing Model aims to put more uniformed officers on the streets on foot or pedal cycle tackling local crime and anti social behaviour. I think this is a fantastic opportunity for us to build upon the reductions in crime of the last couple of years that we’ve achieved.
" In some ways we are connecting back to some of the ideas of 180 odd years ago when the 'Police of the Metropolis' started.
" However, we also have to develop new ways of policing in the modern world using technology and policing smarter. I am conscious that one of the areas of the LPM that has caused some local concern is the closure of, or reduction in opening hours of our front counters at police stations.
" I completely understand these concerns, however we need to ensure that we are making best use of our resources by having officers on the beat, not in police stations with a very small footfall of people attending each day.
" With that in mind, on Monday, as has already been publicly discussed the following changes will take place:
" Shepherds Bush Police Station front counter will close. Fulham Police Station front counter will reduce its opening hours to Tuesday to Friday 9am to 5pm with opening hours 12 noon to 8pm Saturday and closed on Sunday, Monday.
"All police stations remain operational with police officers working out of each of them, this is just a change to the front counters.
" Instead of you coming to us, we very much want to come to you if you need our services. When you need us, where you need us.
" We can be contacted by phone, online or by speaking to us on patrol.
" Thank you for your continued support. We couldn’t continue to drive down crime without your help."
June 21, 2013