Last updated: 14 August 2023
Next review: 14 August 2024
Crime prevention activities
Crime prevention activities promote personal safety and target issues such as domestic burglary, street and vehicle crime.
Crime prevention van
The SafetyNet Partnership have a crime prevention van to enable crime prevention activity to be targeted more closely at communities throughout the borough. The van incorporates side opening doors that open into a wide area.
The van is wheelchair accessible and fully equipped with a wide range of information leaflets and crime prevention products. Inside the rear of the vehicle is a small office area to facilitate private discussions or interviews on sensitive matters.
The vehicle will be widely used for community safety crime prevention events as well as being used by the police, accident prevention unit and other partners.
Preventing crime in Waltham Forest
There are things you can do to make it much less likely that you'll become a victim of crime. We want to raise the level of awareness about some of the community safety issues in Waltham Forest.
‘Acquisitive crime’ covers all crimes where items are stolen or acquired fraudulently. This covers aspects of theft, robbery including street crime, vehicle crime, residential burglary, as well as business and retail crime, which includes shoplifting, fraud and counterfeiting.
You can contribute to the fight against crime by protecting yourself and your property.
Police warn residents to secure their homes
Police are warning residents to be vigilant and properly secure their homes following a spate of burglaries. Officers say that criminals are targeting houses and flats with uPVC doors because homeowners are not locking them correctly.
To avoid becoming a victim of burglary, members of the public who have a uPVC front or back door must lift the handle, turn the key fully and then check the door is securely locked.
Most doors have a five-lever dead bolt system which is activated when the inside handle is lifted upwards. If uPVC doors are not locked properly, all but the central bolt can be disarmed and burglars can force the door relatively easily.
Read the police warning on UPVC door burglaries (PDF)
Keep your keys safe
Police are also warning residents not to put their home or car keys near their front door because opportunistic thieves are fishing them through letterboxes and then using them to steal cars or break into the house at a later time.
Staying safe at home
- Check that doors and windows are locked every time you leave the house
- Fit deadlocks to all outside doors and make sure the deadlock key isn’t in an obvious place
- Fit key-operated locks to all windows
- Don’t hide spare keys outside, or in the garage or shed
- Leave lights and the radio on a timer for the evening so it looks like someone is in
- Make sure thieves can’t get into the garden by fitting a good fence, padlocking any side gate and ensuring the shed is locked
- Make sure the TV, DVD player and other valuables can’t be seen from the window and there isn’t any cash lying around
- If it’s dark outside close the curtains and leave a light on
- Lock your valuables away somewhere safe
- Some burglars break in looking for your car keys so they can steal your car so don’t leave car keys near a door or window
- Use security markers to mark expensive or important items with your postcode and door number, it makes them easier to for the police to return them if they are found
- Make sure that any improvements you make do not stop you from getting out of your house as quickly as possible in the case of an emergency, such as a fire
HEET fits energy efficiency and home security measures, free of charge for older people and low income residents living in Waltham Forest.
Visit the HEET project for more information.
Travel safe across London at night
For your quickest route home, live travel updates and last tube and train times contact Transport for London (TfL) travel information on 020 7222 1234 or visit the TfL website.
Taxis and minicabs
- Always use a taxi or licensed minicab. Unlicensed minicabs are uninsured and could be driven by a criminal or sex attacker
- Always check that the driver knows your name and destination before you get in the car. Sit in the back and carry a mobile phone
- To receive local licensed cab numbers from TfL text ‘HOME’ to 60835
- Check that the driver has a PCO (Public Carriage Office) licence. If they have then they will have a round yellow disc overlaid with a white diamond in their front and rear windscreens
- If possible inform somebody which company has been used and the estimated time of arrival
- Licensed minicab drivers, vehicles and operators can be checked against the TfL database
There are more night buses and night bus routes than ever before, all of which are fitted with CCTV. If you feel unsafe on a bus try to sit downstairs, close to the driver. The following 24 hour bus and night routes serve Waltham Forest:
- Route N8: Victoria to Hainault via Oxford Circus, Liverpool Street and Leytonstone
- Route N26: Trafalgar Square to Chingford via Liverpool Street, Leyton and Walthamstow
- Route 69: (24 hours) Canning Town to Walthamstow Central via Leyton
- Route N73: Victoria to Walthamstow Central via Marble Arch, Kings Cross and Seven Sisters
Trains and tubes
- When travelling on trains and tubes late at night, look for a carriage with several other passengers, preferably not all in the same group.
- Make sure you know the time of the last train or tube and leave plenty of time to get to the station.
Safer travel tips
- Try to walk with confidence, with your head up, and avoid putting your hands in your pockets
- Don’t proclaim “I’m lost” or make other similar statements. If you are unsure of where you are going, go into a shop and ask for directions
- Stick to well-lit areas, avoiding dark alleyways and short-cuts
- Keep your bag close, carrying it under your arm with the straps around the shoulder. Only carry the money and valuables you need
- Wait for buses or trains in a well-lit area ideally close to other people
- Try to avoid using cash machines late at night
- Avoid using your mobile phone or headphones when you are alone
- Use your common sense and trust your instincts
- Safer travel at night is a ongoing campaign being led by the Mayor of London, Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police to promote safer travel across London at night.
Be aware of scams and fraud
Read The Little Book of Big Scams produced by the Metropolitan Police (PDF file) or visit the Met Police website.