Sunday, December 02, 2018

The Auction.

The photos above (click on either to see a larger version) were taken yesterday at the very first event to be held in the former Carnegie Library in Walnut Tree Road, Erith since it was taken over by local arts, heritage and community group The Exchange. As covered in the last update, the former library has been open every day for the last week to allow viewing of the 230 art works on display. The works had been created by members of the Centrepieces mental health arts charity. Founded in 1999, Centrepieces is a registered charity which helps adults in their mental health recovery through art. The organisation’s work centres on an effort to improve the confidence, well-being and self-esteem of people suffering with mental illness, while offering an opportunity to build a social community and promote a better understanding of mental health to the wider public. Centrepieces provides the resources for people to participate in art workshops and activities, and to exhibit and sell their artwork. Running regular workshops, which encompass art practices from sculpture and painting to mask making and photography, they are committed to providing their artists with the tools and the environment for creative expression. Yesterday the exhibited artworks were put up for public auction to raise money both for the artists themselves, and also for Centrepieces. I was in attendance, as were a large number of people, some of whom had travelled from as far away as Colchester in order to attend and bid for items. The former library restoration is very much a "work in progress" with most of the first phase refurbishment efforts being focused on the lower ground floor, and on the (now completed) replacement of the roof of the building. Phase two of the restoration will concentrate on the main library space on the ground floor - where the exhibition and auction took place - and on the upper floor which used to contain the Erith Museum, and the private apartment that once housed the Chief Librarian and his family. I don't currently have the total amount of money raised by the event, but I think it will be substantial, as many works were sold, and some even became the subject of a bidding war. A very successful event, especially considering the absolutely foul weather on the day. 

The whole situation in regard of Electricity House and the two major occupants of the 80 year old building has taken a new and intriguing twist. Extremely reliable information has been passed onto me from a regular anonymous local source. The former Bright Steps children's nursery - forcibly closed after it lost its Ofsted licence to operate after a child was smacked by a member of staff, and the owner of the nursery covered this up by deleting CCTV recordings in a subsequent Police and Ofsted investigation - is now up for commercial rent, as can be seen on the estate agents website. As well as this, the contentious P2 Events Centre - located in the former Erith Snooker Centre in the upper floor of the same block, is also up for rent, after efforts to market the venue for social and business meetings seem to have fallen flat. The P2 Events Centre has attracted unfavourable attention due mainly to the misleading photographs and information presented on their slick website. If you look at the middle of the three photographs above - click on any of them for a larger version - you will see the image of the main hall portrayed of the P2 Centre from their website. The lower of the three images is the actual hall - image taken from the estate agents' website that are trying to rent out the facility. As you can see, reality is markedly different from the image portrayed on the P2 Events Centre website. I get the feeling that many potential customers were attracted by the glossy (but entirely false and very misleading) images on the website, but when they came for a viewing, their hopes were brought crashing to the ground when they saw the dismal reality of the run down and scruffy venue. As I have said on more than one occasion in the past, I am strongly of the opinion that the owners of both facilities in Electricity House are playing a very clever game. I do not believe for one instant that either the nursery or the events centre were ever intended to be viable business propositions; instead I feel that their owners have been carrying out a sophisticated "land grab" on the now end of life 1930's building, so that when it becomes the target of a compulsory purchase order by Bexley Council, the owners can claim that due to the investment that have put into the old building, their compensation should be considerably greater that the norm for such a building. Basically they have spent pennies on making the P2 Events Centre look like a viable business, but in reality is it nothing but "smoke and mirrors" to try and deceive Bexley Council when it comes to deciding compulsory purchase remuneration. Incidentally, information has recently come to my notice that Bexley Council are indeed quietly approaching the various lease holders in Electricity House with regard to buying out their leases prior to compulsory purchase of the old building, which is a prime site for redevelopment. If the owners of the nursery and the events centre can get sitting tenants into the building prior to any compulsory purchase negotiations, this will undoubtedly strengthen their bargaining position with the council.

A press release from local organisation The Exchange:- "The Exchange are pleased to present a three week Pop up Cinema and Grotto Bar in the former Carnegie Library in Walnut Tree Road, Erith. They will be sifting through the library bookshelves for cinematic inspiration; poetry, classic literature, short stories, comics and graphic novels will get the big screen treatment. Films include Black Panther, O Brother Where Art Thou, Beauty and the Beast, Persepolis, Pulp Fiction, The Muppet Christmas Carol and Its a Wonderful Life.  Tickets are £4 for Adults; £2 for under-16s.  The accompanying Grotto Bar is being created using decorations donated by local company James Glancy Design; the menu includes a tasty selection of festive drinks and snacks including mulled cider, mulled apple juice and spiced nuts. For more information and to book tickets, visit:"

Two weeks ago I wrote at some extent about the problems with the deployment of smart energy meters in the UK, and how the project was in danger of failure. Since I wrote that piece, additional information has come to light, which means a follow - up article. Parliamentarians are set to haul civil servants in for a grilling after the National Audit Office (NAO) confirmed the UK will miss its 2020 smart meter rollout target, piling an extra £500m onto the cost of the £11bn project. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) underestimated how long it would take to implement the infrastructure and technical standards for the second generation of Smart Meters (SMETS2).  Smart meters come in two forms at the moment, SMETS1 and SMETS2. SMETS1 is the get-it-up-and-running basic specification. Most of these meters are operator-specific, a bit like having your mobile phone handset locked to a particular network, and, as the NAO noted, nearly 950,000 of these have already lost their smart features as a result of customers changing supplier - if you change your energy supplier, a vast majority of SMETS1 meters become dumb meters, just like the one it replaced. Full functionality came with the SMETS2 standard, which supported all of the data-broadcasting features that were supposed to make smart meters a viable economic prospect in the first place. The audit office's report stated:- “Significant technical delays resulted in the first SMETS2 meters only being installed in July 2017, over three years later than first planned. In their absence, energy suppliers have installed 12.5 million SMETS1 meters, 7.1 million more than the Department’s planned 5.4 million. Pressing on at full speed to get SMETS2 units installed by 2020 “is putting increasing timetable pressure on the programme” according to the NAO, risking “cost escalation and/or technology being rolled out before defects have been addressed". The NAO calculated that savings to consumers will now be less than £18 per year. Ten years ago, when the Cabinet Office was pondering whether to commit the country to the £11bn project, that per-household benefit was supposed to be £23 by 2020. A meeting is scheduled to be held on the 9th January where a Parliamentary committee will question senior civil servants as to whether the 2020 completion date for the smart meter project will have to be extended due to the failure of take up of the meters by the general public. I get the feeling that this story has plenty of time left to run. 

Now for an article from guest contributor Dave Collings:- "I thought that you and your readers might be interested to know about the closures of the Pop In Parlours in the Borough. (Now called Well Being Centres). There have been several of these providing a valuable service to our older population for many years. The number of parlours have sadly dwindled and the last 3 are being closed this week. Age UK Bexley used to run these parlours in property owned by Bexley Council. The people attending the parlours only discovered this month that the closures were imminent. Meetings were arranged by Age Uk Bexley and well attended by the consumers. The decision had already been made prior to these meetings and there was no flexibility regarding the closure date. As well as providing a much needed resource for the  older community, the closure has had a serious effect on the clubs that hired rooms in the parlours. Age UK Bexley assured one of the clubs that this would not affect the room hire and we would be invoiced as usual in the new year. Fortunately we checked this with Bexley Council to find that in fact the buildings will be closed and no longer available for hire after the end of December 2018. They stated that they had only recently been told that Age UK were withdrawing from the buildings. Clubs that have been running for many years may be forced to close as it is not easy finding alternative venues for evening and weekend activities. This will have serious repercussions for the North Kent Radio Society who have met at the Graham Road, Bexleyheath facility for over 30 years". A fascinating insight into the local situation; it would seem that Bexley Council have taken a very narrow - minded view on closing these community assets. Whilst I understand that the Age UK centres have not been getting the amount of use that would justify them continuing as dedicated meeting places for retired people, it does seem that the needs of other community groups that have historically shared the buildings has been overlooked. There is a solution, which to date has not yet been communicated to the clubs and community groups in the borough. That is, why not transfer your meeting place to the former Carnegie Library in Erith? The Exchange welcome community groups and clubs to use the newly refurbished building as their meeting place. In many ways it has much more to offer than the old well being centres - subject to discussion in individual cases, of course. A declaration of interest here; I am a trustee of The Exchange, so I do have a direct involvement in the matter. What do you think? Leave a comment below, or Email me at

Following my article last week on the response to the Bexley Council Growth Strategy document by residents of Slade Green, I have had the following response, which I publish in full. "Re your article about the Bexley Growth Strategy draft consultation (you say 'the proposed Bexley regeneration consultation project') ... you talk about more 'lurid' claims not having come to pass, but omit to say that quite a lot of residents in Slade Green wrote in to respond to the consultation on the draft and that Bexley toned down what was in the draft when they published the actual Strategy. You also fail to mention the role played by Bexley's officers, who contradicted each other at the various public consultation events (some within my own hearing at the consultation event in Slade Green) with some telling Slade Green residents that there would be compulsory purchases and some saying there wouldn't be. (Despite local residents groups asking several times, I still haven't seen a straight answer to that, perhaps you might be able to extract an answer from someone?) Despite the toning down the Strategy still calls for 8000 new homes in Slade Green with a high street (strategy states 'of similar size and function to existing centres such as Northumberland Heath and Bexley Village'), offices and mansion block housing close to Slade Green station in areas where there is currently low rise housing (see page 30, pages 110-112). The area around Crescent Road still falls in the 400m radius area for 'Urban High Density' mansion blocks in Erith (see pages 107 and 108). (Here I must note some bias on my part - my mid-terrace house in Slade Green sits well within the area the strategy says will be mansion blocks). The Strategy doesn't go into much detail on Crossrail, you have to realise just what is implied by the 'dedicated infrastructure' referred to (page 86) and dig around to understand that that is new tracks alongside the existing tracks. I think it will be difficult to have two extra tracks between Abbey Wood and Dartford and avoid an impact on housing. (I participated in several weeks of the Public Inquiry into the proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchange this summer and note that no-one from the GLA or Dartford disputed claims by the appellant that their freight trains would not interfere with the running of the proposed Crossrail extension because Crossrail would be on dedicated tracks)". Some interesting and enlightening information; if any other reader has a view on the Growth Strategy, then please contact me via Email in confidence -

Proposals have recently been published relating to the possible local listing of Erith Town Hall - pictured above - click on the image for a larger view. Bexley maintains a Local List of buildings and structures that have been identified as positive elements within the local environment due to their local historic or architectural significance. Locally listed buildings are of local significance, as opposed to national significance. They are heritage assets that contribute to our understanding of the borough’s past and inform its present character. They add to the quality of the local environment. Buildings on the Local List are not subject to additional statutory controls, but their conservation and enhancement is an objective of national, London-wide, and local planning policy, and therefore is a material consideration when determining planning applications. Erith Town Hall opened on 2 June 1932 and is of historic importance locally in that it provided services for the locality as part of the Erith Borough Council (and formerly Erith Urban District Council). Erith Town Hall remains an attractive and prominent landmark building located within Erith Town Centre and retains the original Council Chamber. The building is the only remaining purpose-built Town Hall within the borough. It is currently utilised for some of the statutory functions which are provided by The London Borough of Bexley. Personally I find it somewhat surprising that the building has been proposed for a local listing, as it is my understanding that one of the prime conditions for local listing is that the building in question should be substantially unchanged since it was constructed; this cannot be said of Erith Town Hall, which had an additional storey added (the raised roof level) in the early 1990's. I also am aware that the Council are looking to dispose of the building, now that its main function - as the centre for council tax and housing benefits has been merged with Bromley, Erith Town Hall is now somewhat underused. It also makes me wonder that the cost of converting if for another use - for example as a hotel, might be greater than the cost of demolishing it and replacing it with an entirely new structure. As mentioned earlier, Electricity House, which is directly opposite, is of a similar vintage, and is already being targetted by Bexley Council in an attempt to buy out the leases prior to an expected compulsory purchase order being sought. I would not be at all surprised if the council refuses the local listing application in order to make the old town hall as attractive as possible to a developer. What do you think? Leave a comment below, or Email me at

At long last, it may finally come to pass that Erith Station gets step - free access to the London bound platform. Local MP Teresa Pearce has been campaigning for years on the issue. The fact remains that if you are a wheelchair user, or a parent with a heavy pram or buggy, it is not possible to take a train towards London from Erith. You have to go on the Kent bound platform to Dartford Station, then change there to pick up a London bound train. This means you go three stops in the opposite direction, only to then come back on yourself. Apart from the inconvenience this brings, there is the added expense of what should really be an unnecessary journey. You can see Teresa's campaign website for step free access to Erith Station by clicking here. As you can gather, the campaign has been running for seven years now, and only in the last couple of days has anything positive come of it - better late than never I suppose.

Now for the weekly local safety and security updates from Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association. Firstly a report from Barnehurst ward:- "Barnehurst has suffered one burglary in the last week. This burglary occurred in Edendale Road on Tuesday 27th November 2018 between midnight and 06.00am. Entry was gained via the front UPVC door which had not been double locked. Coats were taken off the bannister on ground floor and items taken. It is believed suspects were looking for keys to a high value vehicle that was parked on the drive way. We cannot stress enough the importance of double locking your front door and if you have an alarm please set it every morning / night. The Barnehurst team posted six hundred letters to property's inviting residents to a street briefing in Westfield Road. Approximately one hundred residents attended and crime prevention advice was given with regards home security. Our next community contact session has been cancelled due to change of shifts, please see next week's alert for updates". Belvedere ward, From a Neighbourhood Watch Member - Abbey Road:- "Around 10 am a neighbour who lives on an elevation saw from her front bedroom window a man walking slowly down the alleyway (leads to Laymarsh). ‘He was looking from left to right and then peered over the fence into the garden of the 1st house. Then he walked back along Abbey Rd, turned into Shortlands Close and returned with 3 other men. They all walked back into the alley and started peering over the fence, at which point I opened the bedroom window and shouted 'Oi!' and they all immediately pulled their hoods over their faces and walked back to Shortlands Close - making obscene gestures at me. Shortly after they'd disappeared from sight they reappeared in a white unmarked Transit van and drove off towards Abbey Wood. The 1st man to appear yesterday was tall, red haired and wearing black tracksuit bottoms with a white stripe down each leg, a sweater and something with a grey hood and a yellow hi viz jacket. The other 3 who appeared later all looked much the same as each other I'm afraid and I can't recall anything distinctive other than that one of them seemed to be all in grey. The van was parked out of sight, not on the main road, but when it appeared after they'd all rushed off with their hoods pulled up. A family member was fairly sure that he could see them inside. It was a scruffy unmarked white Transit van with a ladder on the roof and although it was almost out of sight by the time he took the photo the reg no looks like either ND59 XGM or NO59 XGM or even XGN'. We have had no other reports of any other suspicious activity however as it is darker earlier we are all being vigilant". Bexleyheath ward:- "We have had two reports of burglary on the ward. One was reported along Lynsted Close Bexleyheath. Entry was gained via the front door of the property. The other was reported along Latham Road Bexleyheath, entry was via the rear kitchen door window. Regular burglary patrols are conducted by the team. There has been three reports of mobile phones being stolen along the Broadway on the Monday 26/11/2018 & Tuesday 27/11/2018. Two were stolen from pockets and one from a handbag that was placed on a pushchair. The team conduct regular hi-visibility patrols. Also patrols are conducted in the car park areas and the Broadway to reduce anti-social behaviour including Martens Grove Park. As a result a group was stopped in the cinema car park. One was arrested for possession with the intent to supply. Also another male was arrested for possession of drugs. Regular patrols are conducted by the team along Gravel Hill because of children running out on the road causing a danger. Team is liaising with school officers on the borough. Our next drop-in surgery is on Friday 7th December between 2pm and 3pm at CafĂ© Nero on the Broadway. Please feel free to drop by. If you do wish to pass on information to Police then please contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111. Please do not hesitate to contact us via Twitter, Facebook, email and the ward phone. If you are after crime prevention advice, please look at the Met Police website which has lots of information that you may find useful. Remember in an emergency please dial 999 and 101 for non-urgent reporting". From a Pinnacle Hill, Bexleyheath, Neighbourhood Watch Member:- "I have had a report from one of my watch members. Earlier this month while a mother and her adult daughter (the ladies) were in a shop in Bexleyheath, they were subjected to a 'bag dipping' by two Eastern European looking women in their thirties (the women). One of the women dropped an item on the floor next to one of the ladies. While that lady helped the woman pick up the dropped item, the second woman took the lady's mobile phone from her bag. Luckily, she had felt a tug on her bag, and soon became aware that her mobile phone was missing. When the women were challenged, they remonstrated saying that the missing phone must be in the ladies bags. A call was made immediately to the missing phone and it rang from where it had been placed on a shelf in the shop. At this the two women made off running from the shop. The phone was recovered. These events bear the hallmarks of professional 'bag dipping' style pickpockets. The purpose of placing the phone on the shelf was to ensure that no one had seen or noticed what they were doing. Only finally to have taken it when sure no one had. Everyone should remember, not only when shops are busy and crowded, but at all times that pickpockets work together and do more than just bump and distract to steal people's belongings". Crayford ward:- "Here is our news for this week. Just to let you know, I'm away next week, it may be an idea to email John Cullingham, Scott Gardiner or Chris Murphy directly to remind them to do the update!! Sadly, another week where burglars have been out and about. On Wednesday 21st November between 02.00 - 6.30 a house in Wyatt Road was entered through the front door. It was believed the door had been locked and secure. Keys to a Citroen Relay van were stolen and used to steal the van parked outside, other items stolen included cash, driving licence, mobile phone, power tools and credit card. On Monday 26th November between 00.20 and 06.00 a house was entered through the porch door and internal front door of a property in Barnes Cray Road. After a messy search, keys, a watch and handbag were stolen as was the grey Audi Q7, number plate LX15 NBY that was parked outside. It is believed the vehicle has since been involved in a local incident in Welling. The cards have been used but now cancelled and some items from the vehicle have now been recovered. There was an attempted burglary in Shearwood Crescent between 02.00 - 03.00 on Tuesday 27th November. The owner heard a noise near the door and opened it and scared off the prospective burglar. On 13th November the front and rear number plates were stolen from a red Hyundai Sovereign V8 auto whilst parked in Barnes Cray Road. On a more positive note, a prolific shop lifter who frequents Crayford was arrested, charged and taken to court this week and sentenced to four months in prison. Two dangerous dog warrants were executed this week, one dog was seized pending further investigation. Please don't be a needless victim of burglary, lock your doors and windows are locked when you go out and ensure your home is secure when you retire to bed". Erith ward:- "Good news - no Burglaries this week in Erith, bad news we have been hit hard with theft from motor vehicles. Please make sure you fully remove any items from your car when you lock it up at night. Don't leave anything on show. Date for you to note Friday 30th November - This Friday we will be in the Blackberry Patch Orbit office from 7pm. Feel free to pop in if you need to speak to us about anything. Theft of MV 21/11/2018, Thanet Road - By suspects by taking the vehicle without the consent of the owner; Shoplift <£200 21/11/2018 Matalan Retail Ltd; Theft from MV 22/11/2018, Neptune Walk - vehicle entered via unknown means and searched; Theft from MV 24/11/2018 James Watt Way - By suspects forcing entry to van and stealing equipment; Theft from MV 23/11/2018 Morrison's, Pier Road – no more details at this time; Theft from MV 24/11/2018 St Johns Road - Unknown suspect has unscrewed both front and rear VRM plates; Theft from MV 24/11/2018 James Watt Way - By suspect by using an unknown object to smash a window then taking the property from within; Shoplift <£200 08/11/2018 Farmfoods Ltd, Pier Road; Theft of MV 26/11/2018, Avenue Road – car taken; Theft from MV 27/11/2018 Windrush Court, Erith, – Car broken into smashed window and messy search". Northumberland Heath ward:- "The team have been conducting patrols through Northumberland Heath's current ASB and crime hotspot areas. In all of the areas patrolled, all appeared well. PC Smith from the North Heath team conducted an arrest enquiry in Frinstead Road, one male was arrested for shoplifting offences. We have unfortunately had one incident of note reported this last week: Residential burglary overnight between 26th-27th November in Frinstead Road. Entry was gained through a side entrance into the property, car keys stolen from inside the property and then the vehicle was stolen from outside. If you have any information in relation to any of these incidents please report this to the police and continue to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity you see".

Slade Green and Northend ward:- "Three vehicle crimes to report in the last week. On Thursday 22/11 at around 10pm, a van was deliberately set on fire in Frobisher Road, CCTV footage from a phone has so far been inconclusive in identifying anyone involved. Overnight on Saturday 24/11 a car window was smashed in Jenningtree Road and a similar incident happened overnight on Sunday 25/11 in Whitehall Lane. Nothing taken in either incident and enquiries are ongoing. An empty flat in Frobisher Road was broken into sometime last Thursday 22/11 and the water tank was taken along with taps and other fixtures and fittings. The relevant Housing Association are aware and have secured the property. Last Friday there was a large fire at a tyre place out on the Industrial Estate of the marshes. We assisted LFB for over 5 hours with the road being closed at Ray Lamb way which caused a standstill for traffic all the way back to Erith town centre for the whole time. This was due to LFB discovering gas canisters inside a shipping container at the location and all safety measures had to be taken. The road re-opened at around 4.45pm and it took around an hour to get all the traffic back down onto the estate. We attended the St Augustines Christmas Fair last Saturday and gave crime prevention advice to everyone that attended. On Sunday, we assisted Belvedere SNT with the annual Guru Nanak Sikh parade through parts of Erith and Belvedere. The event went without any issues except the usual disruption to traffic for several minutes as the parade passed. This coming week PCSO Mark is attending Peareswood Primary School to do some reading with the pupils. On Saturday it is the Slade Green Big Local Christmas Fair at St Augustines church hall starting at 11am and we will be in attendance with Mark doing a stint as Santa from 1pm". Thamesmead East ward:- "No Burglaries this week but the Thamesmead East Ward has been subject to a rise in car crime. Criminal Damage to Motor Vehicle - Grange Crescent on Saturday 24/11/18 between 3pm – 26/11/18 8am Tyre slashed/stabbed and punctured by persons unknown; Leatherbottle Green Sunday 25/11/19 between 5:50pm-7pm Both wing mirrors smashed; Glimpsing Green Sunday 25/11/18 between 5-6:30pm Concrete block thrown onto bonnet of car causing damage; Wolvercote Road been cut open, nothing taken from vehicle; Wolvercote Road Monday 26/11/18 between 6:30pm -28/11/186:30am Window smashed money taken unknown quantity; Parkway Monday 26/11/18 between 8:25am-5pm Brick thrown through window by unknown person; Fieldfare Road Monday 26/11/18 between 7:50pm-8pm Suspect unknown smashed passenger window of victims vehicle. Theft From Motor Vehicle - Southmere Drive Saturday 24/11/18 between 6pm-10am Indicator cover stolen; Lensbury Way Sunday 25/11/18 8:30pm-8am Window smashed car manual stolen; Hartslock Drive Saturday 25/11/19 9:30am-12:30 Various documents stolen from vehicle including victims Passport; King Fisher Close Wednesday 28/11/18 between 6:30am-6:50am Sat Nav, phone and wallet taken from victims vehicle. The next meeting will be Tuesday 11th December at Lakeside Medical Centre in Yarnton Way between 1-2pm". West Heath ward:- "Over the last week on Wednesday 21/11/18 a car's wing mirrors were damaged in New Road SE2. There was a residential burglary in Brampton Road in the early hours of Monday 19/11/18, resident woke to find their back door had been forced open but nothing taken. Sometime between 0945-1450 hours on Monday 19/11/18 there was a second burglary in Brampton Road, the rear patio doors were smashed and an untidy search conducted and jewellery and vehicle stolen. There was another burglary in King Harold's Way sometime between Sunday 18th - Tuesday 20th November. While the occupants were away, entry was gained via the dog flap and items taken. In the early evening around 1745-1800hrs on Sunday 18th November there was an attempted burglary in Abbotts Walk. The occupant heard a loud bang and on investigation found a male in their doorway and the glass panel of the door smashed. The male ran off on seeing resident and 3 males were seen running off. On Tuesday 20th November a vehicle was stolen in Gipsy Road without the keys being taken and in Lansdowne Road on Friday 23rd November between 10pm and midnight items were stolen from a car. We have been made aware there may be a possible scammer in the King Harold's Way area. Two males, claiming to be builders working nearby, and noticing damage to residents roofs and offering to look in the loft. Once in the property the males spray a wall while the occupant is distracted then offer to repair the roof for an exorbitant fee. Due to the recent rise in burglaries on the ward the team have increased our high visibility burglary patrols both on foot and mobile CCTV patrols. We now have keys to the alley gates in target areas and have been patrolling the rear alleys and are stop and searching any suspicious persons".

The end video this week shows one of the two new Woolwich ferries before it was delivered to the UK. You can see the vessel on trial in Poland prior to its journey to Woolwich. Both ferries are now in place, and undergoing further end user acceptance testing on the River Thames before they go into service early in the New Year. 

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