Weekly Message From Merton's Police Borough Commander

Darren Williams gives a timely crime reminder

"Dear all,

I hope that you are all well and have had a good week - hopefully you all remembered to set you clocks back an hour on Sunday 27th !

Please remember that the evenings will now be significantly darker, earlier and so if like me, you will be cycling (or walking) in the dark, please wear bright or reflective clothing so you can be seen easily by other road users and stick to busy, well-lit routes where possible.

Burglars will also make the most of darker nights, when they are less likely to be spotted committing crime. Limit their chances to strike by securing your home properly before you go out or go to bed, moving valuable items like wallets or car keys away from windows or doors where they might be seen. Timer switches can also be handy to turn lights on and off, giving the illusion that someone is home.

Speak to your neighbours, ask neighbours to your left, right and opposite to keep an eye on your property but most of all, trust your instincts. If you see anything or anyone suspicious near your or someone else's house, or you think that a crime is happening or about to happen always call 999 as soon as possible. 

For more tips to protect your property, visit www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention. Also if you use twitter follow @MPSMertron for daily updates on crimes, new stories and useful tips and alerts.

I need to take this opportunity to thank all my officers, police staff and volunteers for the amazing efforts they made to get into work on Monday. For many this meant considerably longer journeys than normal, finding alternative methods of transport and in some instances helping with the removal of trees blocking roads. In a similar vein a massive well done to our Emergency Response and Patrol teams who received significantly more 999 calls than a normal Monday yet coped admirably. They managed to get to every 999 call in time and provide service as we normally would.

Of course not everyone who called 999 on Monday had an "emergency" that needed the police but as we tend to be the emergency service of choice it was no surprise that people phoned us for things such as loss of power in their homes and to ask why the trains were not running !

Next week I am at many different events, here in Merton and across London. This starts on Monday (and Wednesday) with the Merton staff conference where I have the honour again this year of talking with the amazing staff that work for the local authority. Last year I did a PowerPoint presentation, but this year, to give them a break from my voice I have created a short video to show what we have done over the last year. On Tuesday and I am adding my weight to the latest Domestic Violence initiative by becoming a male DV champion at a launch t the Civic Centre.

Wednesday is the Annual Solemn Requiem Mass held to commemorate serving officers who in the past year have died or lost their lives in the course of duty. The service will be at 2.30pm in Westminster Cathedral, Victoria Street, London, SW1. PC Terry Elmer, Sgt Ian Harman and PC Andy Duncan will all be remembered at the service and so it would be great if some of you could come along to the event with us. If you would like to attend this event please let  Dee / Dan in my office know.

Do you remember that a few weeks ago I mentioned that we will be combining the "Toys & Presents" initiative that we ran last year with a challenging plan to deliver a complete Christmas Dinner hamper to 500 of our most needy families and individuals across the Borough on Dec 21st. In my case that will be in my uniform (but with Santa hat) and it would great if some of you would be willing to be part of this too.

Yvette Stanley from the local authority has agreed to help identify the 500 most at need families (or people) across our borough and also help facilitate communication with Heads of Schools who we are going to ask to run a non-uniform day where £1 will help feed a family on Christmas day.

It is obvious that we already have amazing people doing similar events to help others at Christmas and so to ensure that all these efforts compliment each other I am attending the Christian CARE AGM on Wednesday at 8pm at Morden Baptist Church to discuss this with those involved. If any of you think you will be able to help out with this project please try and come along to  this meeting. Which reminds me to tell you again that on Thursday 21st November at The Warehouse, 13 Theed Street, SE1 8ST there is going to be a fantastic evening of classical music entitled "The Merton Messiah".

It will be a specially adapted rendition of Handel's Messiah, performed by the London Festival Orchestra and Liquid Strings Chamber Choir and is a "one-night only" exclusive performance with only 100 tickets available. There will also be an auction of 6 amazing items that have been donated by people across the borough and all the proceeds of the event will be going to support the Christmas initiative.

If you have any questions or you know you definitely want to buy tickets please email themertonmessiah@gmail.com and not me!

My week concludes in a very important way as I am representing the Borough at two Remembrance Day services - the first at  St Mary's Merton Park, War Memorial and then on to Wimbledon War Memorial in Wimbledon Village.

I think that is about if for this week - I hope to see some of you at these events, if you see me, please come over and say hello."

Many Thanks

Darren Williams

November 2, 2013

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Borough Commander Darren Williams