Burglaries in Chingford rise sharply as police are relocated to provide Olympic Games security
BURGLARIES have spiked since police teams have been taken off the beat to bolster Olympic security.
The safer neighbourhood team (SNT) officers warned households to review their own security six weeks ago after being moved from their normal duties to safeguard Olympic events.
The Police Olympic Aid scheme officially began on July 15, though the letter showed they had moved from their beats in June.
And a total 11 burglaries in just four days across Larkswood ward and Chapel End ward have prompted the Met to issue another warning for people to ensure their premises are secure.
The burglaries occurred between Monday, July 30 and Thursday, August 2 from early in the morning to late at night.
The front door of one home in Chingford Mount Road, Chingford, was forced open on July 30 as the burglar or burglars grabbed what they could.
Another home in New Road was broken into on August 2 by forcing open the back door to take items including cash and games consoles.
The news comes as the latest crime figures show a high rise in the number of burglaries across the area.
Burglaries in Larkswood rose from 10 in May to 15 in June - well above the borough average of nine - causing police to upgrade its burglary rate status to high.
Chapel End, Valley and Hatch Lane wards rose to 12, 14 and 11 burglaries respectively in June, also above the borough average.
Just one ward - Hale End and Highams Park - witnessed a significant drop in burglaries, from 12 in May to two in June.
A Met spokesman said: "We will be increasing our patrols to detect and deter offenders but please do all you can to keep your premises secure."
But households across the area fear their homes are at risk without a strong police presence, despite locking their windows and doors.
Vic Williams, 70, of Friday Hill West in Hatch Lane ward, said: "We've had two burglaries in one week up on Friday Hill. It increases the risk to us and means we're basically on our own, so it does make me pretty angry as we lock everything up but it still happens.
"We need more police on the beat now more than ever but they're just not here. It's a worry to everyone here."
Karen Daniels, 69, of Normanshire Drive in Larkswood ward, said that one of her neighbours had been burgled recently.
"It helps to have a presence on the street, it deters burglars and makes you feel safer," she added. "But apart from the occasional community officer we see no-one."
A police spokeswoman said there has been a 7.5 per cent reduction in offences in Hatch Lane ward in the 12 months up to June, while the borough has seen an overall reduction of 8.6 per cent in burglary in the financial year 2011/12.
She added: "We want to minimise the risk wherever possible of people becoming the victim of burglaries. SNTs are there to serve the community, however they do not operate 24 hours a day.
"We do have 24-hour response teams who patrol the whole of the borough and they are aware of areas where we are experiencing an increase in burglary and patrol accordingly.
"We have also had additional support from other forces since Olympic aid commenced. We will have officers from Dyfed Powys police today providing additional resilience.
"They are supported by local response officers."