‘Bashing a burglar in Canonbury will get you killed’ says charity worker

Don't have-a-go at burglars says charity boss. Photo: Cory Doctorow

Bashing a burglar in Canonbury will get you killed, according to the man who helped set up Islington’s Help On Your Doorstep charity.

John Warby, who talks to both burglary victims and offenders daily, said Justice Secretary Chris Grayling’s plans to allow householders to use more force when confronted with intruders would only cause more crime.

He said: “If you bash a burglar in Canonbury, you’ll get killed. The Tories have got all their priorities wrong. You should leave tackling crime to the police who are professionally trained to deal with burglars, but instead they decide to make cuts to policing which just continues the vicious cycle of crime.”

Canonbury’s safer neighbourhood police team , which works with charities and community organisations on policing issues, has refused to back the Conservative party’s ‘bash a burglar’ plan and said it has implemented very successful measures since the last Safer Neighbourhood meeting in April.

A spokesman for the Canonbury Police Team said they had significantly increased the plain-clothed police presence in crime hotspots and have implemented police patrols in the streets from 2pm until midnight seven days a week. He said other measures, such as issuing residents with an identifiable liquid that can be traced to the owner – called Smart Water – had also helped deter burglars.

Meanwhile, the number of robberies in Canonbury has fallen by 19.4 per cent in the last quarter, according to official Metropolitan Police figures. But the Canonbury police spokesman insisted more must be done to educate the public over phone-snatching.

He said: “People are mindless. They’re not aware of their surroundings because they rely too much on Google maps and someone can easily come and snatch their phones.”