The Crime Prevention Website

Dear all

It's been a very long time since I published anything new on this website and so I thought I should give you an update.

At the beginning of 2018, having lived and worked in London for almost 40 years, my wife and I decided the time was right to fulfil our ambition to sell up and move back to the South-West of England. We sold our house quite quickly and in August 2018 moved in with my Mother in Devon from where we went house hunting. In the middle of December we moved into the quiet village of Cubert, which is about four miles from that hotbed of summer staycations…….. Newquay!

It's a modern house with views across open countryside and sand dunes with the sea just in the distance about a mile away. The parish of Cubert has a resident population of about 1,800, but I expect this more than doubles during a normal summer season.

So, having moved to a new place has meant that, until now, I have been knee deep in DIY. That period is now just about finished and so I am free to get back to The Crime Prevention Website, which, as you know, I operate as a hobby in my retirement from the police.

Over the next 12 months I shall be adding new information pages and updating the rest. Very soon I shall start expanding the section on rural crime and will start by adding some completely new guidance for all of you horse and stable owners. I should say though, that in my absence from the site, it has continued to be well used and many hundreds of you have taken that free Home Security Survey.

So, getting back to my move to clotted cream land, what can I say about the crime down my way. I checked the place out on '' before we moved in and found to my delight that it doesn't really have much - well, certainly nothing like the amount we would experience in North Hayes, where I used to live.

I've just checked and noted that my old ward in West London had 960 crimes in the last 12 months up to April 2020. Cubert Parish, which comprises two villages, a couple of hamlets and a whole bunch of fields had 35 in the same period. When you do the sums it turns out that my old place was in a ward where there was 1 crime for every 14 people annually compared to 1 crime for every 51 people where I live now- three and a half times less crime.

So what does this mean to us living down here? Well, it doesn't mean that you don't lock your doors or secure your car at all times, but it does mean that if you accidentally go out and leave your back door wide open it is highly unlikely that you'll get burgled. In actual fact you could probably leave it wide open for an entire two week holiday and not experience a crime. Mind you, the place would probably be full of bird's muck and other deposits from the wide variety of wildlife that lives down here.

It does make you wonder though, why crime is so low here. There's some lovely houses around with plenty to steal and the security of them is generally quite low when compared to where I used to live. There are also lots of empty second homes and quite a sparse population to keep an eye out for you.

It comes down to two main factors. The first is to do with density of population. As a rule of thumb, the higher the density of population, the higher the crime. Higher density means higher anonymity for the villains and a greater choice of targets and opportunities on their doorstep. In a small village community there are fewer targets and opportunities for crime and non-residents stand out. Julia and I have only lived here for 18 months, but even we have developed the ability to spot the stranger. (Shorts, flip-flops and a towel are the usual giveaways, but I'm sure you know what I mean!) Higher population density can also mean a higher number of criminals living in the area. In a small village there will be very few active criminals and it doesn't take long for you to know who they are and where they live.

The second is access. We live on a road to nowhere, so to speak, which finishes at a great big beach. In effect we live on a very long cul-de-sac with one way in and the same way out. Villains are generally not attracted to such limited access areas as they stand a higher chance of being noticed and no choice of escape routes after they have committed a crime. Those of you who live on cul-de-sacs back in London will know what I mean.

In the meantime, I shall enjoy my new found low crime levels!

My best regards to you all and remember to 'keep 'em peeled'


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