From the Met Police YouTube channel:
Police in Greenwich have released CCTV footage of a distraction theft at a cash point outside Barclays bank in Vanbrugh Park, SE3.
Officers are asking the public to assist in identifying three men suspected of being involved.
The incident occurred on Tuesday, 10 September at approximately 14:00hrs when the victim, a man aged 82, was at the cash point and while waiting for his money he was distracted by a man standing behind him.
The suspect was speaking in a foreign language and kept pointing at a £10 on the floor by the victim’s feet, implying he had dropped it. The victim subsequently bent down to pick up the £10 note. When he stood back up, he noticed his card and £50 cash had been taken.
The victim saw the suspect walk away with two other men. The victim was unharmed.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Burglary Squad on 020 8284 9449 or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Gary writes on Facebook that there have been a few of these in Blackheath village too.
According to a slightly spurious press release yesterday, Blackheath came highest in a list of London postcodes for home insurance theft claims.
Across the UK, Chorlton in Manchester came first, followed by Blackheath, then Hammersmith.
Greater London has 10 of the 20 worst postcodes in the country.
Local councillors have called the survey “unfair, broadbrushed and misleading”.
The survey analysed more than 1.1 million insurance inquiries on the site last year.
It found 8.65% of homes in Chorlton claimed for theft or burglary.
It also found Blackheath, SE3, and Hammersmith, W6, as the most at-risk postcodes in London for theft-related insurance claims, with 8.17% and 8.06% respectively.
The survey covered request for home insurance quotes on moneysupermarket.com which sounds slightly iffy to me… How can a quote be used as a test as to whether a valid claim was made for a theft? These aren’t crime statistics.
I should reveal that before living in Blackheath, Mr & Mrs Bugle lived in Hammersmith, near a strip club. Never had any trouble there, possibly due to the high proportion of bouncers, but it certainly felt less safe than Blackheath.
On the whole, this story is great news. If it encourages people to avoid moving to Blackheath, on the basis that it is a terrible place to live, then that leaves more space on the lovely heath (and the trains) for the rest of us!
So, here’s the question – does Blackheath really qualify as the most burglar-ridden area in the UK? Or is it just that people in Blackheath are organised enough (and can afford) to sort out their home insurance?
I got on the train yesterday at Blackheath. It was packed. I stuffed my bag under a chair to get it out of the way. More people got on, so I moved down. Then a seat next to me became free, so I sat down. The train was still packed to the end of the journey. When I looked for my bag, it was gone. And it had my passport in it. The passport that I need in order to get married next week. Oh god.
So, I spent a miserable morning talking to the Met Police, the Transport Police (who are completely separate), SouthEastern Trains, SouthWest Trains (who also do not talk to each other), and the passport office.
Amazingly, out of all these institutions, by far the most effective and helpful was the passport office. I now have a new passport, and every time I look at that terrified, miserable passport photo, I will be reminded that, yes, I am an idiot, and that, yes, I really should listen to Mrs Bugle when she says hold on to your bag on the train.
And to the lost property man at Waterloo station- a bag that has been thrown away by a thief doesn’t have any uniquely identifiable DNA that proves which Train Operating Company was being used when it was stolen. If I’ve had a bag pinched at Waterloo East, perhaps you should at least pretend to give a damn when I tell you about it at Waterloo Main Station?