Echelford Neighbourhood Watch Scheme Newsletter
Newsletter No. 125 - September/October, 2000
There has been an increase in the number of thefts from cars within our area. Power tools especially have been targetted. Please put them out of sight...out of sight, out of mind. The police have asked that if you are offered a power tool and are suspicious of its origin, to call them on 01784 446682.
The police have also reported that there has been an increase in the amount of deception crime in our area. Con men posing as police officers, have attempted to gain access to homes. If you are uncertain about the identity of a caller, ask to see identification. If you are not entirely happy with their story, do not let them in, but instead call the police straight away.
BEWARE OF BOGUS CALLERS
Although all crime is an unpleasant experience for all victims, in my opinion, there is one particular type of crime that comes pretty near to the top of the despicable list.
Which one? It s the crime carried out by the bogus caller. The police terminology for the crime is burglary artifice burglary to enter as a trespasser and steal, artifice trickery. However, most people would use the term con man or woman.
Such a simplistic term tends to distance them from the devastating effect this cowardly crime can have on the victim, who tends to be the more vulnerable and trusting member of society.
Listed below are some tips that may help you recognise a potential bogus caller. If you have some elderly relatives and neighbours encourage them to read the tips.
Bogus callers will:
* Call unannounced
* Usually work in pairs
* They will not generally have any type of uniform or arrive in any official van
* They will not be willing for you to study their identity (if they have any)
* Will try and make you feel under pressure
* If they gain entry into your home, one will stay with you whilst the other one will go to another part of the house
* If they are working alone, then they will ask you to do something which separates you from them
Official callers will:
* Try and make an appointment where possible. They will have your personal details on record and will be able to write/phone for an appointment
* Will only be too happy for you to look at the I.D. they carry
* Will usually wear a corporate rate uniform, and may have an official van
* Will understand if you do not let them in, and should not put you under pressure
* If in the house, will only go to one point, e.g., the gas or electric meter, kitchen stop cock
* Will want you to stay with them
What you should do:
As soon as there is a knock on the door STOP and THINK. Who is it? Am I expecting them?
Do not let them in unless you are 100% sure they are who they say they are. IF IN DOUBT, KEEP THEM OUT!!!
Finally, if you have a visit from anyone who you think is a bogus caller, or you see people down your road who might be preying on your neighbours, then ring 999, and take a description and details of any vehicles that might be involved.
Anyone working officially will not mind being checked by the police.
For the victims of con men, or whatever they are called, life will never be the same again. Let s work together to rid Spelthorne of these unscrupulous individuals.
Spelthorne Crime Prevention Officer
NEIGHBOUR NET WATCH
Following on from the last article, a new website offers help to victims traumatised by burglary. The site, www.burgled.com, advises on property repairs, security and a whole lot more.
NEW STREET CO-ORDINATOR NEEDED
John Lindsay, Street Co-ordinator for St. Pauls Close and part of Coolgardie Road moved out of the area recently. John had held his Co-ordinator role ever since the Echelford Neighbourhood Watch Scheme was formed 13 years ago.
As a consequence, we are now looking for a replacement for John. If you feel you would like to put something back into the community, and can spare literally less than an hour each month, then please let myself or Barbara Scott, our Area Co-ordinator, know. The main task involved would be the delivery of the bi-monthly newsletter to about 20 homes.
Barbara lives at 6 Sundown Road, and can answer any questions you may have about the position.
VEHICLE CRIME IN OUR AREA
A van situated in our Watch area recently had its window broken in an attempted theft.
Fortunately, nothing was taken from the vehicle, but police arriving at the scene soon afterwards were unable to trace the perpetrator.
This should act as a reminder to us all that we should ensure our vehicles are kept locked at all times, and that any items inside the car are stored out of sight, preferably in the boot. Removing any unnecessary items from cars parked in the street overnight, will help still further in not becoming part of the crime statistics.
ASHFORD POLICE OFFICE
For those of you who may not already be aware, the Ashford Police Office (tel. 01784 446658/9) in Church Road is open at the following times:-
Mon Fri: 10a.m. 6p.m.
9 Lynegrove Avenue