We have been advised by the local police teams of a spate of burglaries in our area recently. All residents are advised to take suitable precautions particularly as the evenings start to get darker.
Recent burglaries reported to us are in:
- Burdon Lane on Monday 1/10/13 between 9.45 and 22.30
- Devon Road on Tuesday 2/10/13 between 7.40 and 13.45
In both cases a quantity of jewellery was stolen.
If you saw someone or something that you thought suspicious at around these times please contact the police on 101.
What are the police doing about this?
In September, the Met Police launched an operation across London to crack down on the increase in the theft of gold jewellery. This Met-wide operation is being run by Detective Chief Inspector Jane Corrigan, who is in charge of Sutton’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
For the first time, officers are recording the theft of gold to help specialist teams gather information and identify the thieves. Although the operation is focussing on the theft of all gold in burglaries, London’s Asian community accounts for a disproportionately high amount of the victims targeted. The rising value of gold and the increasing ease in which it can be exchanged for cash is said to be behind the rise of gold-related offences.
The Met-wide campaign is timed as the nights start to draw in and ahead of Asian religious festivals such as Eid, Diwali and Navratri. These celebrations typically involve families coming together and wearing more gold jewellery which is accessible at home leading to a traditional increase in burglaries.
What should you do to protect your property?
Keep thieves out
• Lock all external windows and doors including rear and side entrances when you go out
• Lock your front and rear doors and windows when you leave
• Fit proper locks on doors and windows
• Use your key to lock your multi-pointUPVC door otherwise it won’t be locked
• Leave your front door and vehicle keys in a secure place out of sight and out of reach of your front door to prevent a potential burglar ‘fishing’ for the key through the letterbox
• Remove back door keys from locks and place them out of sight
• Install timers to switch on lights and radios while you are out
• If you have a burglar alarm, then make sure you set it even if only popping out for a short time. If you don’t have one, consider getting one fitted by a reputable installer. Remember “Get it and set it”.
• Review your current home security arrangements to ensure that they are adequate. For more information visit www.met.police.uk/ crimeprevention
• Be aware that thieves sometimes ring the doorbell to check whether someone is in. If someone unexpected comes to your door and you are suspicious, call 999 and give details such as a description of them, their car and licence plate. They may ask for someone you don’t know or offer services such as gardening as an excuse.
For more information visit www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention or contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team, contact details on our website www.met.police.uk
Keep your jewellery safe
Gold and jewellery are favourite items to steal because they are easy to conceal and exchange for cash. Many households keep a large quantity of gold and jewellery to hand in their properties for special ceremonies and celebrations. To help protect your gold and jewellery:
• Don’t leave it on display in your home. Thieves are known to target bedrooms and lofts
• Invest in a good quality safe securely fixed to a brick wall or use a bank safety deposit box to store high value items. Some smaller free-standing safes can be removed quickly by a burglar and low quality safes can be prised open within seconds.
• Be discreet if wearing jewellery in public
• Keep a photographic library of your jewellery by photographing each piece next to a ruler to give an indication of size. Keep a written description and get a valuation from your insurance company in case it is stolen
• Make sure your jewellery is property marked with a product suitable for jewellery for example using a UV-type property marking kit (available online). Visit www.securedbydesign.com for more information.
• Register your property on the free secure online database www.immobilise.com – then if police recover your property, they’ll be able to return it to you.
The Met’s official Flickr site contains items of stolen Asian jewellery that we are hoping to reunite with their rightful owners:
What should you do if you see or hear something suspicious?
Don’t delay CALL 999 immediately if you:
• see a crime being committed or anyone acting suspiciously
• see anyone you don’t recognise hanging around a neighbour’s property or hearing unexpected noises next door when you know the owners are out.
• hear a burglar alarm ringing. During this period, the local police would like you to report ANY ringing alarms. When you talk to the 999 operator be sure to say that you think you have seen or heard something suspicious so that they take the call.
The police tell us they would much rather come to check out and find that everything is OK, than to find a resident distressed and upset because they have become a victim of burglary.
But above all, be a good neighbour and watch out for anything suspicious. The police are putting on extra patrols at this time, but they can’t be everywhere.
THEY NEED YOUR HELP.
2 Henderson Hospital site
Members may be aware that the Grove Road and Belmont GP practices are considering merging and building a new joint health centre on the site of the old HendersonHospital in Homeland Drive, Belmont. While this is site is outside our area, the impact of this proposal may affect many of our Belmont members.
The description of the planning application reads:
Demolition of former hospital building and erection of a mixed development comprising a part two, part three storey Doctor’s surgery (Class D1) with 45 car parking spaces and ten cycle spaces with refuse/recycling stores and nine 4 bedroomed, three storey houses each with integral garage and a parking space together with hard and soft landscaping and new access roads.
More details can be seen on the Council website at:
Several members have already contacted us with concerns about transport arrangements for those wishing to travel without using a car as the proposed site is over 300m from the nearest bus route on the Brighton Road. There have been suggestions that a bus route could be diverted to drop off nearer the proposed surgery, but there are several reasons why this may not be practical.
There is also a rumour circulating that access from the west may be eased by removing the barrier in Brasted Close. As far as we are aware there is no proposal on the table to do this, and we have been assured that any such proposal would be strongly opposed by our local Councillors.
We will be circulating any further details as they emerge. Please let us know what you think. If you want to send letters of objection (or support) they need to be with the Council by the 31st October. You can send your letter by email to the Case Officer Tiago Jorge at email@example.com
3 Avenue School – parking problems
Parking around the AvenueSchool has been an issue for local residents for some time now, and the recent expansions of the school from 3 to 5 form entry is only making the problem worse. We held meetings earlier this year with the school and local residents to consider ways of improving the situation. A number of proposals were suggested which include:
- Make waiting restrictions on east side of Avenue Road continuous from 08.00 to 17.00 (Mon-Fri). Retain 9.00 to 14.30 Sat.
- Parking restrictions to be extended to Dorset Road, Holland Avenue (part) and York Road (part).
- Double yellow lines on entrance corners to Balmoral Way and Sevenoaks Close
- Provision of white lines across all residents drives in adjacent road: Avenue Road, Dorset Road, York Road (part), Holland Road (part).
The problem has been how to fund these changes as without any source of funding we could not involve Council officers to carry out more detailed proposals. We approached the Children, Family and Education Committee of the Council to help as they were responsible for formulating the expansion plans. However, despite several attempts no funds were forthcoming. We finally resorted to the South Sutton, Cheam and Belmont Local Committee who came to our rescue and agreed at their meeting on 26th September to fund £15K of measures which should be sufficient to implement many of the above changes.
We will be preparing more detailed plans to discuss with local residents, but please let us know if you have any initial comments.
4 Blue Badge Holders parking in Belmont CPZ
Members who live within the Belmont CPZ reported a problem to us earlier this year where Blue Badge holders were parking in Residents Only bays near the Royal Marsden, meaning residents could not park near their own homes. Nationally this practice is not permitted, but at some time in the past, Sutton exempted Blue Badge holders from not being able to park in Residents Only bays. That exemption pre-dated the establishment of the Belmont CPZ and was intended to allow Blue Badge holders to park near Sutton Town Centre. That exemption has since been rescinded for a large part of central Sutton, but for historical reasons it still remains in force for the Belmont CPZ.
We approached the Local Committee, but changes to CPZ rules are beyond their remit. However, we were able to get them to pass a resolution that was sent to the Environment & Neighbourhood Committee who agreed with our case for change, but had no funds to implement. We took this back to the Local Committee who have kindly agreed to fund the change. This has so far taken over 8 months, but we are reasonably optimistic that the change will be enforceable by January 2014. Only 12 months, but hopefully we will get there! Don’t ever think that changes involving traffic orders can be implemented quickly!!!!
5 Cheam as Postal District
If you think a year is a long time to get a traffic order changed, then what about this topic. I have notes in my files going back to 2003 – yes 10 years ago!
In 2011, after the matter was raised at one of our public meetings, we approached Paul Burstow, who had been championing the cause for some years, to ask if we could help push things along. It seemed that the project was stalled as no-one could agree what the boundaries of Cheam should be. Paul agreed we could help and we picked up the challenge. In early 2012 we worked closely with the Royal Mail and the Gazetteer team at the Council to propose a practical and realistic boundary for Cheam. After much refinement of information relating to over 15,000 households we came up with a list of addresses that could be considered to be Cheam. These were agreed with Paul Burstow and were also acceptable to the Royal Mail. The address list includes an area to the west of CheamVillage that is actually in Epsom and Ewell. This has also required the approval of their MP, Chris Grayling.
The area to be considered as Cheam includes CheamVillage, South Cheam and North Cheam. The London Road (A24) and Gander Green Lane form the northern boundary and York Road / Holland Road form the eastern boundary. To the west the boundary runs to St Pauls Church at the west end of Northey Avenue and then runs due north to the railway line. If you would like to know if your house will be in Cheam or not, please let me know.
The addition of Cheam to your address is seen as beneficial to exploit its local differentiation and identity. However, please note that there is NO change to your current postcode and that the use of Cheam remains optional as an addition to Sutton in your full address. For businesses this means that there is no need to make immediate changes to stationery, websites or advertising which may incur unwanted costs.
We hope that you will be receiving a questionnaire through the post very soon asking if you agree with the proposals. Please return this and say Yes.
6 Free Grit
The summer seems only just past and yet the Council is planning for winter. It’s good that they are preparing early.
As in the last 4 years, the Council is providing 10kg of free grit for your personal use on pavements near your house or on your own paths and driveways.
In addition to this, Sutton is looking for good Samaritans to also collect grit for their elderly friends and neighbours who may not be able to collect themselves.
The free grit will be available for four weekends in October, 5/6 (sorry missed that one!), 12/13, 19/20 and 26/27 from four locations around the Borough.
It is available from B&Q in Carshalton Road, Sutton, Woodcote Green Garden Centre & Nurseries in Woodmansterne Lane, Kimpton Park Way Reuse and Recycling Centre and The Mount in Clockhouse.
At Kimpton Park Way residents have to bring their own container for the grit. Remember you can check if there is a queue before you go by clicking on the following link:
In order to claim your free grit you will need to bring your Sutton Council tax bill/business rates (NNDR) or a current utility bill. Anyone who wants to help a neighbour can bring along one of their bills and collect the grit on their behalf.
Residents who currently receive an assisted bin collection can have the grit delivered to them. Simply call 020 8770 5070 for details.
B&Q – 7am-5pm (Saturday); 10am-4pm (Sunday)
WoodcoteGreenGarden Centre & Nurseries – 8:30am-5pm (Saturday); 10.00am-4.30pm (Sunday)
KimptonPark – 9am-5pm (Saturday); 9am-2pm (Sunday)
The ClockHouse – 9am-3pm (Saturday); 9am-3pm (Sunday).
7 S4 Bus route
A member reported hearing a rumour that the service on the S4 bus route may be cut back. We have asked TfL for comment and have received the reply which indicates that the service is actually being increased.. TfL write:
“No truth to these rumours. In fact, from 30th Nov 2013 the S1 frequency will increase from every 20 minutes to every 15 minutes Mon-Sat daytime, and from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes on Sundays and all evenings. In addition, we are also looking into whether a frequency increase is warranted on the S4, although no decision has been made on this yet.”
8 Cheam Station Car Park
After the recent occupations by travellers, you may have seen that Network Rail have installed a height barrier at Cheam Station car park. This enforces a 2.1m height limit on any vehicle entering. It is intended that this will prevent any future incursions to this car park.
9 Belmont Guides
We are delighted to hear that the 2nd Belmont Guide group has moved back to the heart of Belmont and is again operating from the AvenuePrimary school. However, they desperately need new members. If you have a daughter aged 10-14, then why not give them a try. The Guides are a fantastic organisation and can teach so many “life skills” while they are having a great time. A short flyer is attached.
For more information on Guiding see:
2nd Belmont Guides meet at The Avenue primary school hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 8pm. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Anna on 07909 330324
They look forward to meeting you.
10 Fed up with all the cutbacks – try a few more!
After the article in our last Bulletin, we have been notified of several troublesome hedges. If you have a hedge at the front of your property that overhangs the pavement, please cut it back.
The Association is very keen to keep our area green and leafy and in many cases front boundary hedges are preferable to brick walls. However, the wet weather earlier in the year, followed by the hot spell has meant that many of the bushes and hedges in our gardens have put on a lot of growth. This is a particular problem where the plant overhangs the pavement. Please note that trees, bushes and hedges in front gardens must not overhang the pavement at a height below 2.5m.
We understand that the Council has already written to several residents in the area about overhanging hedges. If you don’t do it yourself, the Council have the right to cut any offending vegetation back and send you the bill!
Hopefully members will get their hedge-trimmers out to prevent this happening. Please don’t be offended, but we may drop a card through your door as a reminder if your hedge needs taming.
Let’s keep South Cheam and Belmont green and pleasant but without becoming a jungle!
11 What’s On
Members have told us about a couple of events that you may be interested in:
a) Kingswood Big Band – Dance. Banstead Community Hall on Saturday 30th November from 7.30 onwards. See attached flyer.
b) Banstead Operatic Society are presenting Gilbert & Sullivan’s IOLANTHE at Banstead Community Hall, Park Road Banstead SM7 3AJ on Thursday 14 November to Saturday 16 November – Evenings 7.30pm Matinee Saturday 2.30pm Tickets £12 (refreshments available). See attached flyer for more details.
If you have any events coming up that would be of general interest to our members please let me know in good time and I will add to our next What’s On section.