A new strategy to deal with fears of burglaries and gang violence in Bexleyheath has been developed.

Following on from a crime survey in autumn last year, an action plan is being developed to deal with the biggest concerns from participants.

Ahead of the final council meeting before the election, Teresa O’Neill said in a report “This year’s Bexley Crime Survey had over 1,400 responses, most of which were from residents.

“A predominant crime concern was burglary, followed by gang activity and drugs.

“In terms of anti-social behaviour more broadly, people were concerned about large groups loitering with bad behaviour, intimidation and harassment and littering.

“The Community Safety Partnership will incorporate these concerns into the new action plan.”

Bexley had one of the biggest increases in burglaries in the run up to the festive period, with data showing it was in the top three for the capital in increases.

The borough still remains comparatively low to its neighbours in terms of crime, burglaries shot up between November 2017 and February 2018 compared to the same period a year ago.

The latest data shows an increase of nearly 300, from 326 to 600, a rise similar to the rest of the capital but still below Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich.

The action plan being developed by the Community Safety Partnership will shape the way crime is dealt with in the borough.

Chairman of the Bexley Community Safety Partnership, Cllr Peter Craske, said: “Bexley has a low rate of crime because everyone works together in partnership and we are pro-active in addressing issues. We share information quickly and take action where needed quickly.

“The views of residents play a huge part in our work which is why we run the crime survey annually. The priorities that emerge from that then help shape the overall strategy.”

The strategy says it will work with police and fire services to crackdown on anti-social behaviour and burglary by identifying areas where reports are made.

Labour leader, Daniel Francis, said that tackling issues is made harder because CCTV is not live monitored.

He said: “The results of Bexley’s crime survey has for many years formed the key priorities of the police and community safety staff within the council.

“The priorities raised are broadly in line with those raised with us by residents. However, given the Metropolitan Police needs to make over £300 million of cuts over the next three years and the council’s continued refusal to live monitor its own CCTV, tackling these issues will not be straightforward.”

Cllr Francis added that the council voted against a Labour amendment to introduce live monitoring of CCTV last month.