Hayes and Coney Hall Ward – Ward Update

Dear all, just a couple of updates for you for now. Bromley has seen an increase in catalytic converter thefts over the past couple of months. Although Hayes and Coney Hall have only had a few reported it is well worth remembering some of the crime prevention advice around this; especially as there are lots of videos floating around on the intranet showing people how easy it is to steal them.

Cars which are often targeted are those with higher chassis, such as a 4×4 or an SUV, however, other cars can still be targeted.

To reduce the risk of having your catalytic converter stolen, you should:

  • Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this isn’t an option, then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area
  • Park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make the theft more difficult
  • Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter
  • If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and facing you bonnet towards the wall if possible. With the catalytic converter positioned at the front of your vehicle, this will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to steal it
  • If there is a fleet of vehicles, park the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles. This will obstruct access underneath
  • If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.
  • Alternatively, you can also etch a serial number on the converter
  • You can even purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a cage device that locks in around the converter to make it more difficult to remove
  • Speak to your dealership about the possibility of adding a tilt sensor that will activate the alarm should any thief try to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter  
  • If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it immediately. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations

Catalytic Converter theft has risen due to the value of what they are made of and how easy it is to steal them. A CAT can be bolt cut from the underside of a vehicle with relative ease, and they are lacking in identifying marks, which makes them hard to trace when they are resold.

A catalytic converter contains palladium, platinum, and rhodium – all precious metals.. If and when the prices of these precious metals rise, so does the value of a CAT, making them far more attractive to thieves.

Despite it being illegal to pay for scrap metal with cash, unfortunately, some merchants will buy stolen materials for cash, making it harder to trace the theft and tempting thieves to steal valuable car parts.

If you see someone acting suspiciously around a car please call 999 immediately. Although our vehicle crime rate remains low at the moment, neighbouring wards are being hit and we want to avoid giving these people golden opportunities.

As always, there are also scams to warn you about. One recent scam is aimed at the over 75’s regarding TV licences and appears as a form to fill out, complete with an area for banking details. This could appear as an email or a text. As the licensing people are now in the process for sending out letters regarding the changes to the licence fee plenty of people could be caught out by this, please don’t let it be you and please help to alert others. I have provided a link via Age UK which gives more details:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/scams-fraud/tv-licence-scams/#:~:text=For%20this%20scam%2C%20the%20emails,details%20on%20a%20fake%20website.

There have also been rumours circulating on social media regarding people selling face masks door to door but then chloroforming people to rob them. There have been absolutely no reports of this in the Met. and appears to have no substance in reality. Whilst we should always remain alert of people selling things door to door (particularly in relation to Covid-19) please do not be taken in by what certain people may term “fake news” in order to cause confusion and undue alarm.

Please also remember that there are still a number of restrictions regarding the lockdown. See the link below for details:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Our main concerns regarding this recently have been gatherings and parties being held on the ward; please familiarise yourself with the latest changes and make sure  you (or other household members) are not caught out by this and fined. Please also remember to wear your face coverings when using public transport and in the shops. There are some exceptions to this; more can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Thank you for your help and support during this time,

Keep safe,

Adam

Adam Lighterness

PCSO 7123SN

Hayes and Coney Hall SNT

West Wickham Police Office

9 High Street

West Wickham

Kent

BR4 0LP

Mobile: 020 8649 3548

E-Mail: snmailbox-hayesandconeyhallsnt@met.police.uk

Twitter: @MPSHayes