Alresford & District Neighbourhood Watch Association
Issue No. 38 Winter 2010
The reduction in crime reported in the town area, has been overshadowed by an increase in the rural areas. This is borne out by the number of incidents reported by Jon Radcliffe the Countrywatch officer. These are circulated to a wide audience of farmers, gamekeepers and landowners. Many are just sightings of suspicious vehicles, but as the Sergeant says in her piece in this Newsletter, it appears potential targets are being sought out during daylight hours.
It is, therefore, even more vital that the Police are supplied with suspect registration numbers, together with colour and any noticeable defects or peculiarities about the vehicles. These can then immediately be investigated on the police national computer. Far better to check out and eliminate an innocent vehicle, than miss a guilty one. We live in a mixed, residential and rural area. Criminals may well drive through villages and hamlets on their way to commit offences.
Anyone wishing to join Countrywatch can contact Jon Radcliffe, Countryside & Wildlife Crime Officer on 0845 045 4545 ext 643126 or Mobile. 07901 102255 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Following a recent Police Authority organised rural event, attended by two ADNWA committee members, Assistant Chief Constable, Laura Nicholson has provided a commitment that she would look at rural policing models within Hampshire & the Isle of Wight.
Check out who's at the door, even though it's the season of goodwill. Watch out for suspicious callers targeting the elderly and encourage them to check the caller’s identity, to use the door chain before opening up and if in doubt, get them to call a neighbour or friend for help.
Last Christmas one in four homes burgled had been left insecure, with offenders easily gaining access through a door or window and not even having to break in. Lock all side and rear gates, windows and doors and keep valuables out of sight.
At this time of year there is a bounty of goods in the average family home to tempt a burglar, with certain items being attractive as they can be sold quickly for cash. Laptops/MP3 players/games consoles/mobile phones/digital cameras/plasma TVs/jewellery/ and credit cards are favourites.
Don't let a burglar ruin the festive period!
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Chairman John Stevenson welcomed 40 members to the 20th AGM, held this year at Alresford Golf Club on September 30. He said that the earlier date seemed to have encouraged a much better turn out and he gave a synopsis of the year’s activities.
Addressing her first AGM, Sergeant Amanda Smith said she was very grateful to the committee and volunteer members of ADNWA, as this made her job easier. Reported crime had reduced by 45% in the year to date period compared with 2009. There would be lots of challenges ahead, particularly in budgetary terms, but assured us there would be no staff cuts in her very dedicated team. Special efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour (ASB) problems had resulted in a 25% reduction. There had been a special operation on rural crime on the night of 17th September and it is planned to repeat these operations on a monthly basis.
Speeding motorists had been targeted in the area. There had been a successful operation mounted recently, on thefts from vehicles with some arrests made. However, the public need to show more responsibility by ensuring valuables are not on display and vehicles are locked, even when parked in drives.
PCSO Steve Hull outlined the initiatives he had undertaken, particularly with youngsters, to try to reduce ASB within the town. More No Cold Calling Zones could be established if residents wanted them. An Allotment Watch had been set up at the site off Spring Gardens and he had arranged for improvements to be made under the Community Payback scheme whereby convicted offenders carry out unpaid work in the community.
GUEST SPEAKER, Simon Theobalds, of Hampshire Crimestoppers gave an interesting talk covering the organisation’s creation as a charity in 1988 and which is not part of the Police. In 2008 the one millionth “good” call was taken. In Hampshire actionable calls result in six arrests per week and detections were up 100% in the last year.
The scheme is for people who for a variety of reasons do not wish to talk to the Police. The biggest number of arrests last year was for driving with excess alcohol, or under the influence of drugs. Crimestoppers is now receiving lots of calls from third parties about domestic abuse. Rogue Traders, often linked with distraction burglaries, are also a concern.
Simon ended by referring to the Most Wanted gallery on the website – http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/in-your-area/south-east/hampshire-and-the-isle-of-wight
There are some 250 wanted people on it and arrests have been made in places as diverse as Spain and South Africa as a result.
You don’t need to be old, slow or distracted to be taken in. Scammers are getting much more sophisticated. There was a time when you could tell an e-mail or a phone call was a hoax; poor spelling, overseas call etc. Now, they are very much more professional.
Beware of scam calls that thank you for “your previous support”, or tell you have placed an order previously and just want to “check your details”; this is a ploy used to trick you. Scammers will try to lull you into a false sense of security on the phone, after which you give them information you wouldn’t otherwise have done. Remember you can always hang up!
The technology to take over your computer remotely is now widely available. It can be used perfectly safely, for example, by the company who supplied the computer, to help you fix a problem. The trouble is that there are many fake “fixers” who just want your details, to allow them to empty you bank account and/or infest your machine with viruses.
The safest guidance is NEVER EVER agree to doing business with a cold caller. If you do like what they are offering, then hang up and ring them back on a number you KNOW is valid. Beware of numbers they give you or websites they have pointed you to.
DON’T agree to something to get rid of them – you could be making a binding agreement.
DON’T talk to them if don’t want to; hang up!
DON’T give them any personal details
Finally, if you have elderly parents, then quietly check what they are doing. Look for strange patterns, drawers full of unused stuff. Some scammers keep their victims paying regular sums on the promise of a big prize “soon”.
Mention that you are in an active Neighbourhood Watch area when placing calls
|EMERGENCY 999|| Crime in progress
Life in danger
Violence being used
|NON –EMERGENCY 101||
Report minor crime
|0845 045 45 45||Contact Police officer
ALRESFORD POLICE STATION ENQUIRY DESK
Subject to operational demands or, by appointment - telephone 0845 045 45 45
|Hampshire Constabulary web site
|Alresford & District Neighbourhood Watch web site
CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
Call anonymously with information about crime
Mention that you are in an active Neighbourhood Watch area when placing calls
Alresford’s Sergeant Amanda Smith
We have recently seen an increase in rural crime around the Alresford area.We do need to keep this into perspective and Meon Valley North - see note below- is still a very low crime area.
However, I do take it to heart that thieves are targeting my patch, from outside the area. They are scouting for potential targets during the day time and then returning later in the hours of darkness to commit the crime. Property that is being taken includes staddle stones, hay, gardening equipment and chain saws.
The message from my team is to the watches in the rural villages; please report any suspicious persons or vehicles. Where possible, please try and obtain vehicle registration numbers so police can make follow up enquiries.
I would recommend that all suspicious vehicles are reported to the police control room via 0845 045 4545. This means a check on the police national computer can be done immediately and the vehicle circulated to patrols.
With regard to property - where possible please mark items so that if they are recovered we can trace the owner. I appreciate that, while this can be difficult, even photographing items is of use.
Note - My area of responsibility extends beyond that covered by ADNWA-
Beat 1 Itchen Valley
Beat 2 New and Old Alresford
Beat 3 Bramdean, Cheriton, Kilmeston and Tichborne
Beat 4 Upper Meon Valley
PCSO Siobhan Murray is our Equine Liaison Officer. She encourages horse owners to mark all their tack and has a marking kit which is available to borrow. Police often recover stolen tack, but are unable to reunite it with its owner, as it isn’t marked. Photographing tack is worthwhile.
She also has Incident Checklist booklets, to note details of suspicious persons or vehicles.
Please contact her for advice on 07901 102508 or by e-mail - email@example.com
We welcome new Coordinator Liz Pakenham. Grange Road is now divided into three Watches, Liz will cover the eastern end, plus John Arlott Court, Brill Close and Carpenters. Laurie Cook will cover the central part, plus Thornton Close and Margot Power the western end, plus Grange Close.
At the AGM the Chairman thanked Mark Flemming for his hard work on the committee and as Administrator. We now need someone to replace him, both as Administrator and as Coordinator for East Street.
We are looking forward to welcoming two new members to our committee in December.