I was shocked to read a report on the BBC website stating that Barnet is responsible for just under one fifth of all incidents. This is horrific and gives us a clear indication that not only is there a problem, but that in Barnet not enough is being done about.
I had a long conversation about the subject today with a police officer about a local incident that I reported. It is clear to me from the conversation that the police are tied up in red tape and doing anything pro-actively is almost impossible. I had laboured under the misapprehension that if a Police officer was made aware of a crime, then they had a duty to investigate it. I was told in no uncertain terms that this was not the case. The only way to get anything investigated is to report it through the official channel by calling 151 or by filling in a report on their website. When I asked whether the report would be investigated, I was given no reassurance that it would. I asked a very simple question "Is it worth me reporting this, or is it a waste of my time and the time of the Metropolitan Police". The answer I got was not at all reassuring. I was told that was a matter for me to decide. I explained that if it would simply be filed and nothing done to actually deal with the issue, then it was pointless.
Despite my frustration, and having decided that I couldn't be bothered wasting my time if the Police were uninterested, I met a friend from the local Jewish community, who was aware of the incident, who advised me that it should be filed so that the incident was on record. If the Police chose not to investigate it, I could have a clear conscience, if the individuals involved committed further offences. The report could be used in evidence in future cases. This has now been done.
I would advise all members of the local community to report crime. It takes about 15 minutes to do this through the Police website.
Police resources are allocated based on where crimes are occurring, so if they are not reported, we end up with less officers locally. In light of the BBC report, we all need to do more.