Finchley: Making our neighbourhood safer

Appeared in our December 2009 issue
By Laura McGuinness

According to the Metropolitan Police website, the crime rate in the N3 area is average. In September this year there were 94 reported crimes in Finchley Church End. Residential burglary accounts for most of these crimes, closely followed by reports of antisocial behaviour and theft from cars. Fortunately, few of the reports involved violence and none of the violent incidents could be classed as serious.

It’s a similar story in East and West Finchley. The lowest crime rate in the vicinity was found in Totteridge, whilst Mill Hill suffered the highest, although even there the crime rate is still deemed to be ‘average.

Although Barnet may have no more or less to worry about than any other London borough, it is still comforting to know that the local police are actively searching for ways to stamp down on crime.

The Safer Neighbourhood scheme has been running throughout London for the past three years. The teams in N3 have been listening to the concerns of local people and have been working hard to try to solve the issues raised.

The Safer Neighbourhood Team is about getting to the heart of the community, building confidence so that crime intelligence is shared, being a visible presence on the streets and targeting the problems that are considered to be the priorities on the ward,” Sergeant Alison Preece told The Finchley Arrow.

Recently the team has

David – decided to remove this as I couldn’t find it on the A-Z and Laura didn’t know where it was either!

Robin Lane NW4 is near Westchester Drive, but isn’t shown on any map I’ve seen.  It’s mentioned at, apparently in the belief that it’s in Church End, but it isn’t so we’re right to exclude it.  DL

encouraged dog owners to be more responsible, carried out several drugs raids and participated in the Junior Citizen scheme at Avenue House, teaching ten-year-olds basic safety skills including first aid and stranger danger.

Concerns about antisocial behaviour on Ballards Lane led the West Finchley Safer Neighbourhood team to work with shop owners to identify the offenders. They then organised football matches in Victoria Park which have successfully kept these young people occupied.

“We have also tried to be more accessible to the public and we now hold a ‘drop in’ surgery once a month at Avenue House and Hasmonean Boys School,” Sergeant Preece told The Arrow. “I genuinely believe we are making the streets safer for residents”.

With Christmas just around the corner opportunist burglary is likely to rise. The police are campaigning to raise awareness and to help residents keep their homes safe at Christmas time.

They are also warning people not to leave presents under the tree and to keep house keys and handbags out of sight. “Report anything suspicious. Do not be afraid to ring us, we are very approachable and we like to meet people on the ward,” Preece advises.

To find out more about the Safer Neighbourhood scheme or how to contact your local team, visit

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