Kate Moss moves in – and fear of crime goes down

Of all the gifts Kate Moss has brought to her neighbours in north London – a rise in house prices, late-night partying, fading rockers – none has been welcomed as warmly as the latest: safer streets.

Residents of St John's Wood are thanking the supermodel's star quality for heightened security in their area, located in the borough of Camden, as swarms of paparazzi and bodyguards, combined with a beefed-up police presence, help reassure residents following a spate of horrific crimes.

Insisting that Moss's fame is helping to ward-off would-be criminals, locals are keen to come to the fashion icon's defence. "There's no question that the police presence is both bigger and more visible now that Kate's a local," said Alan Lydon, 55.

"People who have lived here for a long time are very conscious that we suddenly have a few uninvited guests. When she first moved it in proved a bit of a nuisance, because you could hardly walk down the streets without bumping into photographers. Now, though, we're delighted they're here. There are a lot of dimly lit, narrow streets around here, and it used to be very lonely and quiet by night.

"But now we've got clusters of paparazzi everywhere, and quite apart from the noise they make, all the flashing lights keep our streets well lit. Especially on the edges of small estates, that's very welcome".

Last week, the headless torso of a man was found behind bins less than a mile from Moss's property, the latest and most grisly in a string of attacks that have shocked the neighbourhood. But the arrival of Moss in St John's Wood has calmed the nerves of many.

"The paparazzi take it in turns to walk around the estates," said Fenella Gabriel. "It's like having a few dozen grown men perform neighbourhood watch – for free. They're perfectly nice, except for the cigarette stubs. And because they have cameras, if any layabouts are thinking of breaking the law, you know you've got trained camera operators ready to catch them out."

A perhaps unlikely standard-bearer of good community relations, Moss, 34, bought her new house for a reputed £8m at the end of last year. Last month she was reported to be planning a marathon 34-hour party to celebrate her birthday.

A few miles from the suburb of Primrose Hill, the glamorous cover girl remains within walking distance of her friends Sadie Frost and Davinia Taylor. Together with the actors Jude Law and Rhys Ifans, her pals have been described as the "Primrose Hill set".

At her current rate, however, the affection of some of Moss's less-well-heeled neighbours might soon outweigh those of her famous friends. "When she first moved in it was hell – my balcony was full of paparazzi and reporters were going door to door offering money for stories," one told the Camden New Journal. "But now she has been here three weeks, car crime has stopped... There are even fewer traffic wardens, too."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore