Part of the borough was blitzed by burglars last week.
There were five burglaries on Monday, November 10, three the following day, then a peak of seven break-ins on Wednesday, November 12, and a further two in the following 24 hours.
Police reacted swiftly. “Officers, in both uniform and plain clothes, are out on foot patrols, paying particular attention to specific locations and times of the day that have been identified as a concern,” said Hillingdon Police in a statement.
“We are providing reassurance and up-to-date information to the community, speaking personally to residents at their homes and via social media.”
And it was via social media that residents of the affected area reacted even more quickly, with awareness sites springing up on Facebook as the mini-crimewave peaked.
One, entitled ‘Crime awareness group for the Ruislip & Eastcote area’ – an invitation-only site – has been logging suspicious activity in the area, further burglaries and swapping home security tips.
So the following information went up this week, supplied by police and posted by Alan Palmer of Parkfield Crescent, who set up the website: Friday (November 14): 1 attempted burglary and 1 burglary in Eastcote area. 1 burglary in West Ruislip area.
Saturday: 1 burglary reported in Eastcote area that occurred during the preceding 7-days, 1 burglary in South Ruislip area. Sunday: 1 burglary in Eastcote area.
Mr Palmer said reaction to the page had been amazing. “To be honest, when I took it on I didn’t know what I was starting,” he said. Now he gets greeted in the street, he says.
The page came about as a result of members of another closed Facebook group – Ruislip, Ruislip Manor and South Ruislip – alerting people to the latest spate of burglaries. Within a week, the new page had 1,650 members.
“Pretty much whenever something happens someone posts it up,” said Mr Palmer, who said the page had raised awareness, helped bring the community together and made people think about the nature of crime in their area.
But he bemoaned the apparent lack of police officers, a sentiment echoed by other people posting on the page
“The way I see this is that people need to start putting pressure on their MP and the council.
“It’s all very well having a freeze on council tax but it’s no good if you have no police officers,” he said.
Now he is setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme for his street, and will be meeting police tonight (Tuesday, November 18) to discuss it.
”I have been inundated with queries from people in other streets wanting to set one up,” said Mr Palmer.
Meanwhile, police have re-issued tips to help you keep your home safe
1. Don’t leave your keys or ID documents within easy reach of doors, letter boxes or windows.
2. Close and lock all doors and windows. If you have multi-locking door handles, lift the
handle, lock it with the key and remove it. Remember - LIFT - LOCK - REMOVE. Put the key in a safe place, in case of fire, but out of sight.
3. Lock garages and sheds so garden tools and ladders cannot be used to break into your home.
4. Keep side gates locked and wheelie bins stored behind them.
5. Use timer switches linked to lights and a radio so it appears that someone is at home.
6. Invest in a safe for valuables and sentimental items, and securely fix it to a solid surface.
7. Install a visible intruder alarm system – burglars don’t want to be seen or heard.
8. Install low level ‘dusk till dawn’ lighting to increase visibility and deter burglars.
9. Keep side and rear boundaries high to restrict access and front boundaries low to remove hiding places.
10. Photograph and mark valuables and sentimental items with your postcode and
house number/name. Register items with serial numbers at: www.immobilise.com
Hillingdon Police say they have arrested seven people on suspicion of burglary across the borough in the week up to Friday, November 14.