Chief Inspector: Expect to see burglary increase due to change in stats

Chief Inspector Rob Bryan Chief Inspector Rob Bryan

Rob Bryan, Hillingdon Temporary Chief Inspector, gives readers his latest updates on police matters in the borough.

Read on for his thoughts and tips for residents and also see his profile below.

Q. What criminal activity have you seen rise most recently and which have you seen fall the most?

A. To begin with I would like to mention residential burglary. From April, classification for this crime changed. Previously, a residential burglary meant a home being broken into. Now, it includes sheds, garages and outhouses. These were previously recorded as non-dwelling burglaries. So expect to see a 13% increase in this area – not because of extra break-ins, but because of a change of how we add up!

You may have seen in the news that violent crime is on the increase. This is the case and I would encourage anyone who has details about those who carry knives on our streets to call us and let us know. If you don’t want to speak to us, call CrimeStoppers.

Theft of cars has seen the biggest decrease in recent years as car manufacturers design safer motors. That being said, the march of technology can have an unforeseen impact. We now see theft of high value cars via electronic means. If you don’t want your flash motor nicked off your drive, please invest in a good steering wheel lock.

Q. What is your main message to residents this month?

A. When you have a problem please let us know. More and more often I am meeting people who are suffering a local issue who when asked say they have not called police assuming someone else would. Some residents even think we should just know about the problem because they do. It just doesn’t work like that. Tell us about the problem and give us a chance to fix it.

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Q. What has been the main challenge in recent months?

A. In recent months we have made a few changes to Safer Neighbourhood Policing for the better I believe, but none of it has been without its challenges. First we have doubled the number of dedicated ward officers (DWOs) on every beat.

This is great news and means we are able to deal with more local issues that matter to you. The challenge comes because of our promise that they will not be taken away to do other things. I am making sure that promise is kept, which brings on a few pains for my other Chief Inspectors who are doing their very best to balance their areas of business.

Secondly, we have made a small team of officers who now deal solely with local crime investigations. Before, our dedicated ward officers were doing this and frankly it was bogging them down.

A dedicated team again frees up the DWOs and it is also an effective way of training our young officers in the skills of investigation. Again, the challenge comes in trying to create that new team within the constant churn of staff.

The last challenge has been the reduction of sergeants within Safer Neighbourhood Teams. We now have sergeants looking after up to 3 wards when previously no one had more than 2. This has been the easiest challenge as our sergeants are excellent workers and have risen to the task. We make these changes at supervision level so as to maintain the number of PCs we have.

Q. What is your message to criminals in the Hillingdon borough this month?

A. We have a new team called the Fugitives Team. Their job is to seek out those people who fail to attend court or return on police bail or breach the terms of their license. They are relentless. If you don’t want to be nicked on a Saturday night of a bank holiday weekend, then turn up when required – or better still stop thieving [insert alternative crime here!] in the first place.

Q. What is your top tip of the month for helping to prevent crime in your area?

A. Steering wheel locks for your cars. Double lock UPVC doors. If you see something fishy, report it straight away and only then tell your mates on social media if you must.


Name: Rob Bryan Temporary Chief Inspector.

Area of responsibility? All of Hillingdon.

What rank do you hold? Temporary Chief Inspector.

How long have you been a police officer? I joined the police cadets in 1988 and the regulars in 1989.

Role: Chief Inspector, Partnership and Neighbourhoods.

Job Description? My main responsibilities are Neighbourhood Policing, Licensing, Gangs, Schools, Youth Engagement, Special Constables and CT. I am the lead for reducing violence in Hillingdon and oversee Smartwater delivery. I also maintain working relationships with our partners such as the council, housing associations, the IAG and NHW.

Tell us a bit about yourself: Movie fan, especially sci-fi.

What do you do in your spare time? I am the official taxi driver for all things involving my kids.

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