Category Archives: Security

Police questionnaire on security in Herne Hill

The local police, based at Brixton Police Station, are helpfully asking HH residents to complete a simple questionnaire.

This is their request and a link to the short questionnaire:

“I have created a quick online survey/questionnaire to gather feedback from the local community on issues in the Herne Hill area.

This is separate to the official ward panel but I think would be useful to discuss at the meetings as the plan is to send it out to a wider catchment of people so we can get a better overview of how Herne Hill residents are feeling.

“Therefore, please feel free to pass on the link below to any other residents of Herne Hill – it should take no longer than 5-10 minutes to complete.

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/CH3SU1/

“Many thanks in advance and do let me know if you have any questions,

 Lucy

Lucy STONE | DWO – Coldharbour & Herne Hill wards| Brixton Police Station| Email lucy.stone@met.police.uk | T0208 649 2007  “

For the sake of accuracy and future policing decisions, it might be good if as many residents as possible respond.

Fighting with a Leylandii cypress hedge?

If you walk to or from the centre of Herne Hill via Herne Hill itself, rather than by Milkwood Road, you may have felt the aggression of the Leylandii hedge pictured here. It’s on the right-hand side (going downhill) outside the flats at number 90 Herne Hill.

Outside no 90 Herne Hill

It extrudes over the 2 metre wide pavement, 70 cm at the bottom of the bushes, but is well over a metre wide at an adult’s shoulder height – over half the pavement’s width. Preserving social distancing, families and couples walking up or down the hill might expect anyone walking the other way to step off the pavement to give them space to pass – but if they do, the uphill pedestrian(s) cannot see the traffic behind them and may rely on hearing and inaccurately judge the situation.

So this could be a tragic accident waiting to happen, all because someone – presumably the owner of the block of flats at number 90 – has failed to maintain the hedge properly.

Further, the nearby pedestrian crossing outside the Church also serves Herne Hill School with 280 pupils aged from 2-7, so there can be well over 300 people gathering at different times of the morning and afternoon, often with smaller siblings in buggies.

The Herne Hill Society have been informally asked to see whether Lambeth Council can deal with this issue, perhaps by themselves cutting the hedge back to the wall, if they have the legal powers to do so.

One of our councillors, Jim Dickson, has been made aware of the problem and has promised to look into it. Meanwhile, please take care when navigating this bullying obstacle.

Whether it’s worth expecting the council to do anything to diminish the pollution thrown out by the traffic converging from all directions, at a snail’s pace, on our junction under the bridge – well, that may be too much to ask. ‘Unintended consequences’ …

Security Alert – local credit/debit card scam

A neighbour has circulated this warning:

“Last Monday, 29th June, soon after 9.am, I was tricked at Herne Hill and my debit card was stolen. Is there any way of making this scam known more widely in this area and warning other people?

It was done very cleverly.

I park in Carver Road in order to be able to take home heavy shopping from Tesco and Sainsbury at Herne Hill.

A young black man, dressed in black and wearing a blue disposable mask, came up to me and said that I need to pay to park there. I said that was not necessary because I have Southwark residence parking permit for this area. He said that there is a new rule for the Covid 19 time and that there is a small fee for parking there in connection with Sainsbury in order to stop people from taking up the space for too long. I said that there were no signs in the street about this and he said that they were being put up soon, and that if I did not get a ticket for the shopping time I could be fined £170. I would be able to see this in on the internet.

I asked him why he was telling me about the parking. He said that he was the undercover Sainsbury parking person. And he explained that I could get the temporary ticket from Sainsbury’s ATM. I thought, well I will go and look at the ATM. Of course I should have checked with Sainsbury’s staff but he kept wandering in and out of Sainsbury’s as if he was a staff member. He stood some distance away and told me how to get the ticket. I put in the card and tapped in the number. The sun was glaring onto the screen so I moved my hand to shade it in order to see the instructions and at this point the card must have been taken. I looked round and there was another man just behind me, also in black clothing and wearing a blue disposable mask. The card was no longer in the slot. I was confused because this man looked like the other man. But then I saw the other man standing near the Sainsbury’s entrance and he said “Try pressing cancel” and “Oh the machine has swallowed it”, you will have to go to report this, there have been problems with this ATM. Go to your bank branch, or go into Sainsbury’s to see if they can get it out”. I went into Sainsbury’s to tell them that the card may be stuck in the machine, but that I think that it has probably been stolen and they said that this has happened there already.

Within 15/20 minutes I had contacted the bank to cancel the card and they told me that £500 had been taken at Tesco ATM shortly after the card theft.”

Government updates guidance on work carried out in our homes

The government recently updated their guidance on work carried out in people’s homes  –  including cleaners.

The full guidance is here and at Gov.uk  here, but the relevant extract reads:

Working in people’s homes as a tradesperson, cleaner or nanny

You are a tradesperson carrying out essential repairs and maintenance in people’s homes, or are carrying out other work in a home such as cleaning or paid-for childcare in a child’s home. You can continue work, providing that you are well and have no symptoms. No work should be carried out by a tradesperson, cleaner or nanny who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild, or when someone in their own household has symptoms.

Tradespeople should assess whether the visit is essential or if the work can be safely postponed. There may be alternatives to a visit, such as a phone or video call. If the visit cannot be postponed you should agree the procedures in advance.

During a visit

You should notify all clients in advance of your arrival. On entry to the home you should wash your hands using soap and water for 20 seconds. You should wash your hands regularly, particularly after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing, and when leaving the property. Where facilities to wash hands are not available, hand sanitiser should be used, and you should carry this with you at all times.

Make available for cleaners!

If you are a tradesperson or cleaner, you should maintain a safe distance (at least 2 metres) from any household occupants at all times, and ensure good ventilation in the area where you are working, including opening the window.

If you are a nanny, you should maintain a safe distance (at least 2 metres) from the household occupants you are not providing care for as much as possible.

 

CAR-RELATED CRIME IN HERNE HILL

There have been some outbreaks of car-related crime in the area in recent weeks.

 

 

 

Here on Fawnbrake Avenue last weekend, an attempt was made overnight to steal a pedal bike that had been dismantled and was being stored in a hatchback.  The attempt failed but some other items were stolen.

Down in Poets’ Corner off Dulwich Road, several car break-ins and attempted thefts have occurred. One suspect (a woman) has been arrested; another suspect is being sought.

And across on Ardbeg Road in North Dulwich, in the past 3 months, people have reported that 6 different cars have been targeted – 4 break-ins (broken window, petty theft) and two cars stolen, most recently this month.

Relay thefts

Both stolen cars were modern Land Rovers supposedly with all of the modern anti-theft technology. The issue is that professional thieves have found a way to hack these new keys. And almost all modern cars are vulnerable.

So called ‘relay’ thefts happen via a £100 relay device, which allows people to come along in the early hours, open a car and drive off as if it were their own.

This involves one person standing outside your front door, and using a radio device to activate (and get a response from) your car keys inside the house. Then a second person stands near your car, and ‘relays’ the signal from your key which is still safely tucked away in a drawer somewhere, tricking the car into thinking you are there with that key. Some cars (key-less opening) just open up. For others, the thieves smash a small window, open the door from the inside and start the car as if they were inside with your key.  Most car brands are vulnerable including Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, Volvo, VW, Audi etc.

Car owners with modern keys may be vulnerable to this theft. Many experts recommend buying  a ‘faraday’ pouch off Ebay or Amazon and keeping your car key in it at night. This shields the key from radio signals.

The old-fashioned Krooklock systems are probably worth looking at too.

Beware Gutter Snipes

The Herne Hill Safer Neighbourhood Police team report that gutter cleaners have been canvassing the area – indeed, some have been leafletting here in Fawnbrake Avenue.

They offer to clean the gutters, then miraculously discover serious problems in the guttering, or roofing (even removing tiles to create a problem which they can then demonstrate).

It is better to use recognised roofing firms to check out any suspected problems in gutters.

Bike theft on Fawnbrake Avenue

A neighbour on Fawnbrake Avenue had his bike stolen when the family were away over the Easter weekend, i.e. between last Saturday morning (31 March) and Tuesday (3 April).

The bike is black and had a child seat mounted on the rear, so it is quite distinct. The same (or other) thieves also made off with two fire extinguishers from the communal hallway, which is another thing somebody might have noticed.

If anyone happened to see someone wheeling or cycling that bike along Fawnbrake Avenue last weekend, please post a comment and I will pass it on to our neighbour.