Despairing neighbours say crime has become rife in their area - with burglaries and car thefts a reoccurring problem.

People in the Grange Park area are using WhatsApp messaging to keep abreast of break-ins - but are pleading for CCTV to act as a deterrent to brazen criminals.

Ajay Popat says his wife and 16-year-old daughter have been fearful ever since a burglar attempted to kick down the front door of their house in Wades Hill at 1am early last December.

At the time the family heard a loud bang but thought nothing of it until the morning, when they saw a footprint on the door and evidence of attempts to unscrew the door.

He said: “The magnitude didn’t hit me until my daughter said ‘Dad, when are you going to get this done? When are the guys going to come with the locks?’

“I’m scared more for her than myself. My concern is for my wife and my daughter.”

Enfield Independent: People are calling for CCTV to help deter crimePeople are calling for CCTV to help deter crime (Image: Handout)

Mr Popat was quick to react by increasing security at his own property, but was shocked when he heard the extent of similar issues from neighbours.

This was not a few homes happening to be targeted at one time. People living in Wades Hill and surrounding roads near Winchmore Hill said crimes was happening over and over again.

Mr Popat set up a community WhatsApp group so that people living in the area could relay any concerns they had, and the Enfield Independent has been made aware of dozens of instances where cars were stolen, houses were broken into or suspicious characters roamed the streets.

Some of these issues date back years. One Ring doorbell video provided shows two masked burglars breaking into a car parked on a driveway on March 4, 2022, at 6.40am.

Others claim they have experienced two break-ins and one attempted break-in at their Wades Hill home in 13 years of living in the road.

Just before Christmas last year, thieves tried to steal a car from outside a house in Wades Hill reportedly causing damage that cost £14,000 to repair.

Crime statistics show that there were at least two reported burglaries in Grange Park in October last year, with four in November as well as one attempted burglary, and four in December along with three attempted burglaries and three burglaries at businesses.

There were also multiple vehicle thefts and reports of damage in each of those months.

Enfield Independent: The roundabout where people believe CCTV could help deter crimeThe roundabout where people believe CCTV could help deter crime (Image: Handout)

Mr Popat said: “I think we’re hitting our head against a brick wall. Nobody’s taking it seriously.

“It’s been going on for ages. I’ve been here for three and a half years and was oblivious to what was going on until I set up the WhatsApp group.

“One couple, and I felt so sorry for them, said 'look, we’ve been burgled three times – there’s nothing you can take now'."

He believes CCTV on roads in and out of the area would deter criminals.

He added: “There’s strategic areas where you could put cameras at the bottom of Wades Hill, Green Dragon Lane, even on the roundabout where you’ve got the Queen’s Head pub – because you’re in, you’re out, you’re on the A10 and you’ve disappeared.”

What has been the response?

But Enfield Council has no plans, citing lack of money - although there is hope of temporary cameras.

In one email to Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous, the council said: “When considering any request for cameras as a permanent asset, crime analysis needs to be undertaken to establish if the location is a high crime hotspot to justify installation of a camera, however unfortunately there are no plants at present for CCTV installation in/around Wade Hill due to budget constraints.”

Mr Charalambous said : “I share the concerns of the residents of the Wades Hill area about burglaries and car crime.

“I have raised their concerns with the Metropolitan Police, the Grange Park Safer Neighbourhood Team and Enfield Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour team.

“Residents are keen for CCTV to be installed in the area as a reassurance to those living in the area but also as a deterrent to offenders. I understand that Enfield Council are currently liaising with local police on the feasibility of temporary CCTV being installed and I do hope that this can be progressed.”

Cllr Chris Dey, the Grange Park ward councillor, has been listening to reports from members in the WhatsApp group.

He said: “I am very concerned about the recent spate of break-ins, attempted break-ins and car thefts in Grange Park Ward. I fully support residents setting up WhatsApp groups in their roads to share information of suspicious activity and to keep an eye out for each other's property etc.

“I will continue to work with our excellent colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Service to ensure that the culprits are identified, apprehended and charged with the crimes they have committed.

“We are fortunate to have incredibly hard working and experienced police officers in Grange Park Ward.

“I welcome the new officers which have recently joined the team as a result of the Government funding the recruitment of 20,000 additional police officers as pledged in the 2019 General Election manifesto.”

Enfield Council was approached for comment.