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Worst streets for vehicle crime in Brent revealed as police struggle to catch offenders

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 January 2019

Mapesbury Road, the street worst afflicted by vehicle crime in the whole of Brent. Picture: Google Streetview

Mapesbury Road, the street worst afflicted by vehicle crime in the whole of Brent. Picture: Google Streetview

Archant

Almost 98 per cent of vehicle crime in Brent has gone unsolved over the past three years.

Between December 2015 and September 2018 police received exactly 10,000 reports from people in the borough relating to break-ins, thefts from motor vehicles, damage and vehicle theft.

But according to the Met’s own statistics, they were able to catch just 2.5 per cent of the perpetrators – with 9,752 cases still open, never updated, or closed without a suspect identified.

Thirty-four people have gone to prison since October 2015 for vehicle crimes in Brent, while another 31 went to court and were found not guilty. Thirteen court cases were not able to proceed.

Earlier this year concerns were raised by the mayor of London that cuts to police budgets had hit London harder than anywhere else in England and Wales, with figures suggesting a 20pc fall in spending per head of the population since 2012/13.

A Met Police spokesperson said that, in the case of thefts from vehicles, identifying the perpetrator posed a “particular challenge” for officers.

She said: “Theft from motor vehicles is a prime example of an opportunistic crime where the suspect will not hesitate to smash a car window and find some valuables to steal, all within seconds.

“Often there can be limited opportunities to identify the perpetrator. [But] the introduction of dash cams inside vehicles and CCTV outside the vehicle greatly improves our ability to identify offenders.”

Over three years, the worst-affected ward in Brent was Stonebridge, where 958 vehicle crimes were reported over almost three years – of which 935 went unsolved or unresolved.

This was followed by Queens Park, where 739 crimes took place, and Mapesbury, with 697.

The worst-afflicted location for vehicle crime in the whole of the borough was Mapesbury Road near Kilburn station, where 71 crimes have taken place, leading to just one fine being issued.

This was followed by Willesden Lane, with 52 crimes recorded, Mowbray Road, with 46, Queensbury Road, with 40, and Walm Lane, with 39.

Been a victim of vehicle crime in Brent? Let us know your experiences – we’ll run the most interesting on our letters page. Email times.series@archant.co.uk

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