Thieves face the boot in Barnet
Ben McPartland THIEVES in Barnet are to be given the boot, as police and charity workers have become inventive. Officers from the Child s Hill Safer Neighbourhoods Team and staff at Jewish special needs charity Kisharon are hoping their new Barnet Boot
THIEVES in Barnet are to be given the boot, as police and charity workers have become inventive.
Officers from the Child's Hill Safer Neighbourhoods Team and staff at Jewish special needs charity Kisharon are hoping their new 'Barnet Boot' will stomp out crime.
The wooden and rubber device attaches to the back of a door and stops bogus callers or burglars forcing their way into homes - particularly those of vulnerable and elderly people.
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Sgt Shannon Farthing, of the Child's Hill police team, said: "We developed the Barnet Boot as a direct result of conversations we had with burglary and con victims and adapted it to meet their concerns.
"Elderly and vulnerable victims often suffer serious psychological effects and the Barnet Boot will give them vital confidence within their homes that we hope will enable them to live normal lives again."
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The Boot was launched at Golders Green police station last month when Kisharon users presented the first crime busting gadget to Adrianne Marks, 73, who had been a victim of a bogus caller.
A thief convinced her to open the door before he grabbed her handbag and ran off.
She said: "I can't remember exactly but he said he was here to speak to me about something or other and then he just grabbed my handbag and ran off.
"I ran after him and luckily I ran into three policemen who caught him. If anyone comes to the door now I will jolly well put this boot in the way to stop them coming in."
The idea was developed by PC Terry Hay. The wood was donated by local merchants and produced by the learning disabled men at Kisharon's Business Centre based in Hendon. In recognition of this effort, the Child's Hill police team has designated Kisharon as its chosen charity this year.
So far, more than 100 boots have been made and handed to residents.
Dr Beverley Jacobson, Kisharon chief executive, said: "We are delighted to have been involved in a project of this nature. It has provided our learning disabled Business Centre users with an opportunity to learn a range of new skills.
"It has also given them a sense of worth at having been able to contribute so meaningfully to the community around them. We are grateful to the Child's Hill team for their thoughtfulness and sensitivity.