Cops clamber on rooftops and dive through windows to drive out burglars

Police initiative has seen a decrease in break-ins

Police are taking to the dizzy heights of West Hampstead and climbing through windows to drive burglars out of the area.

Operation Poppins has seen Fortune Green Safer Neighbourhoods Team keeping a watchful eye on suspected burglars by clambering on rooftops and showing residents how easy it is to become a burglary victim.

The long-term project aiming to curb house break-ins has been dubbed a success so far following a decrease in house break-ins this month.

The team are also targeting suspects by challenging cold-callers and ‘officials’ who prey on vulnerable residents and questioning suspicious loiterers as to why they are lurking the streets.

Highly visible crime prevention signs have been posted on street lamps in Fordwych Road and a wave of publicity materials and prevention packs are being delivered to homes across the ward.

PC Adam Owers of Fortune Green SNT, said: “People don’t realise how quickly a burglary can take place and most residents are surprised when we tell them how little it would cost to make their homes safer.

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“Burglars are creatures of habit, they are opportunist, and they prey on the easy target.

“Operation Poppins is all about raising people’s awareness and, if they see something suspicious, letting them recognise they can tackle it head-on by calling the police and the local SNT.

“Likewise, if you’re worried about security, call the SNT and we will visit you.”

One resident received an unexpected visitor after an officer climbed through an open window in her home to demonstrate the ease in which burglars strike.

Acting Sergeant Aaron Clarke, for Fortune Green SNT, said: “We’ve had a great response from people who have noticed an increase in our presence and who like our innovative approach - residents said we should focus on burglaries; that is exactly what we are doing, and we will continue to do so until people can rightly feel safe in their homes.”

To contact Fortune Green SNT call 020 8721 2698 or 0300 123 1212.