Residents concerned with a lack of police resources in Biggin Hill should report crimes more, according to the chairman of the Biggin Hill Safer Neighbourhood Police Team.

David Haslam, a former councillor, said he did share people’s worries but argued that not enough crimes were being reported.

He said: "If more people would report crimes, we are more likely to get more manpower.

"Complaining about such and such on Facebook is not reporting a crime. You have to report crimes to the correct authority, which is the police."

Biggin Hill police consists of just two police officers and one police community support officer (PCSO).

However, last year there was a low number of crimes reported in the ward.

In total there were 449 crimes reported in Biggin Hill in 2018, compared to more than 1,000 in Orpington.

One of David’s biggest worries was the threat of losing Biggin Hill police station in Main Road.

He told News Shopper the lease was lost years ago and they are now operating on an uncertain month-by-month basis.

"Nobody is going to let you take premises for nothing," David said. "The Mayor of London has no budget for police hubs, so how do you square that?"

David used to volunteer on the front counter for Biggin Hill police for eight years over crime concerns.

A shopwatch scheme is being introduced in Biggin Hill next week, an idea from David who wants businesses to work together to prevent crime.

He said: "We have most of Main Road onboard. One or two shops have not been able to be persuaded but the vast majority have."

David believes it will be "tough" to envisage Biggin Hill getting more resources in future.

"In Bromley town centre and elsewhere there is drug trafficking and gangs, hopefully that is not something that will arrive in Biggin Hill.

"I can’t guarantee anything, but I’m sure that’s a concern for people here."

He added: "Unfortunately in this world money is allocated where it is deemed required. If you can’t substantiate that there is a need for more money, then it is not going to happen.”

Vehicle theft is one of the main priorities for the police team, and David said he is hoping for a progress report update next month.

Biggin Hill MPS Twitter reported a rise in vehicle thefts earlier this month.

One of the replies read: "And if there was an actual police presence in BH, like there used to be, with regular patrols at times when these attacks are happening, maybe there’d be less victims."

However, David said: "If you look out your window and don't see a policeman passing it doesn't mean they are not there. If you have two officers and a PCSO it is spread pretty thin to begin with."

Biggin Hill councillor Julian Benington, a former police officer, said he shared residents’ concerns about police resources in the ward.

He said the two police officers and one PCSO work five days a week at the same time, and as such there is a limited presence.

However, he said: "It is difficult in Biggin Hill because it is a low-crime area, but that doesn’t satisfy people who are victims of crime and who see crime.

"It’s no comfort and there needs to be more. The other reality is that we are the end of the road for police vehicles.

"There will be more in Bromley and Penge rather than patrolling here.

"As an ex-policeman it is never as it was in the old days. We do share the concerns and we are trying to do as much as we can."

Julian and his colleague Melanie Stevens are meeting the police team next month for an update.