You often hear that Sands End is a “safe place” to live. There is a relatively low crime rate here and most people feel safe to walk alone in South Park or along Wandsworth Bridge road. They should – it is everyone’s right to feel safe where they live. But is this the real picture for Sands End? Sadly not…
In line with the rest of London, crime is increasing in Sands End. The statistics are very hard to ignore.
In Sands End in 2014 there were 999 instances of crime of which 222 were violent crimes. In 2017 there were 1390 instances of crime and 291 of these were violent crimes.*
Considering this is an increase of over 30% in just 3 years you would think that outside of the resources that the police have, the council would have addressed this increase in Sands End. They have not.
CCTV has been proven to reduce crime rates and increase the number of convictions considerably. I was interested to find out how much of Sands End is covered by CCTV and how visible this was. I was staggered to find out that there is NO CCTV anywhere in Sands End** Not even in South Park where a woman had her handbag snatched from her in broad daylight just a month ago. Just 4 years ago South Park was THE safest park in London according to crime statistics.
In a poll on the Nextdoor app for Sands End and local surrounding areas 76% of people considered CCTV and reducing crime rates the most important issue to them right now. I believe this is because it is something that affects us all without prejudice and we all want to feel safer.***
Unfortunately, if there are no eye witnesses it is very hard for the police to trace criminal activity and the arrest rates are low in those instances. I myself was the victim of a petty crime (damage to my vehicle) last year and whilst the metropolitan police were very responsive, they had to close the case as I did not see it happen and there was no CCTV. The person who did this could easily continue to do this on a regular basis with very little deterrent.
If there had been CCTV in the area I am certain of the following: That either the crime would not have happened to me or the woman in the park. Or if they had that the police would have had a much better chance of catching the culprits and therefore helping to reduce crime rates in our area.
I hope you can support me in my campaign to reduce crime in Sands End and get CCTV in the high risk areas of the ward. I want us all to continue enjoying a safe area of London together.
*Data from the Metropolitan Police Service
**Not including private individuals who have their own CCTV
***out of 7 issues inclugin Elderly services, Preschool services, Traffic and Parking, South Park and the community centre, Adult and youth special needs services and Tideway and the Super Sewer.