Start typing ‘Is Dulwich…’ into a search engine and the first suggestion that comes up is ‘Is Dulwich safe’. For those of us who live here the answer to that is probably ‘yes, it is safe’. Yet in MoneySuperMarket’s Top 20 burglary hotspots, SE21 comes fourth, so how do we reconcile these two viewpoints? The Met Police’s website details around 50 total crimes a month in Dulwich, of which around 6 are burglaries. This places it in a ’low’ crime rate category with 4 crimes per 1,000 residents, compared to 8 per 1,000 for London as a whole. So not quite the hotbed of crime you might imagine from that Google search or those ‘burglary hotspot’ claims.
This does not mean that our local police officers are complacent, however. There are police officers assigned to each of our wards: Dulwich Hill, Dulwich Village, Dulwich Wood and Goose Green. The local Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) work closely with their Ward Panel, a group of community members that meets quarterly with the SNT to set local ward priorities and hold the SNT to account for issues affecting our community.
This quarterly meeting uses local crime statistics to inform the setting of the three main crime priorities for Dulwich. At present those priorities are: reducing violent crime (this is in fact a London-wide priority set by the Met as a whole); reducing burglaries; and reducing traffic offences. The SNT and the Ward Panel also support residents with crime prevention advice and home security reviews, as a vital part of the fight against burglary is good home security.
So the statistics tell us that Dulwich is not in fact a hotbed of crime and anecdotal evidence from speaking to people in Dulwich gives the impression that people feel Dulwich is safe. Other online searches confirm that: 'Country Life' said Dulwich is ‘the perfect home for families’ and ‘The Resident’ said it was one of London’s best neighbourhoods.
Oh, and by the way, that Top 20 burglary hotspot league? Not quite what you might think. When people request a home insurance quote, they are asked if they have made a burglary claim in the past five years - the figures are derived from those historic claims, which may not be for the postcode for which they are requesting a quotation, or even for burglary at all. Perhaps we should be more aware of who is producing these league tables - the one that prompted this article was made by people wanting to sell us insurance. So it seems that while we should always be vigilant, there is not too much need to worry about crime in our little corner of South London.
Dulwich Village Ward Panel:
Metropolitan Police Service, Dulwich Village SNT:
Gipsy Hill Police Station, 66 Central Hill, SE19 1DT. Telephone 0208 721 2446
Crime Prevention Advice: https://www.met.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/
To report crime to police call emergency 999. If it is not an emergency, call 101 or report online here.
Dulwich Hill: PC Paprocki, PC Williams and PCSO Johnson, supervised by PS McKay
Dulwich Wood: PC Beadle and PCSO Mustafa, supervised by PS McKay
Dulwich Village: PC Hall, PC Liparoti and PCSO Allan, supervised by PS McKay.
Goose Green: PC Hiseman-Baker and PCSO Tahir, supervised by Acting PS Huxley