Neighbourhood Watch Rep for Gestingthorpe
Helen Skerratt 01787 237 297
Non-Emergency police call 101. Emergency 999
Theft of catalytic converters is still continuing.
What types of vehicles are most likely to be affected?
High Clearance vehicles.
What does High Clearance vehicle mean?
These are vehicles which do not have to be jacked up to gain access to the underside / exhaust system. They can be accessed by persons simply sliding themselves underneath the vehicle.
What types of vehicles have suffered?
Commercial vans, 4x4’s, People carriers and Motor homes appear to be the most vulnerable when it comes to this type of crime. On rare occasions thefts have occurred from standard cars.
This type of crime is affecting businesses and private owners.
How would you know that yours has been stolen? This would be apparent from the sound of the vehicle when you start it up. If it sound like a loud roar similar to an old race car it would be worth having a look underneath or have the vehicle checked by a your vehicle service agent.
The cost to businesses is not just the replacement part, labour cost is on top, plus your business will suffer as your vehicle may be off the road for a day or two whilst the part is ordered and then fitted. Those persons who commit this type of crime do not give a thought to the amount of damage they cause or the disruption this causes.
So what can you do to try and prevent this happening?
- Garage your vehicle whenever possible, be it in the garage at home or if permitted by your business insurance store vehicles within your industrial unit.
- If you cannot get into a unit, then think about defensive parking, by parking your vehicles as close as possible to walls and fences and surround the vehicles with other low clearance vehicles. ( low clearance means vehicles that you cannot slide under to gain access to the underside) Thereby making it as difficult as possible to access any high clearance vehicles and at the very least slow the thieves down making the target less attractive.
- Where possible ensure that all business parking areas are locked at night and it you have gates on your driveway at home close them at night.
- Park in well-lit busy areas.
- Fencing is the first line of defence for most businesses and regular checks of fences for damage, ensuring any holes etc are quickly and properly repaired will help deter the opportunistic catalytic thief. There are many types of security fencing and increasing the protection will help prevent or at least slow down the more organised thief.
I am still being sent many scams. Please do take on board the following
Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud reporting centre and the place for you to report fraud and scams, or to get advice if you’re not sure what to do.
If you’ve been a victim of fraud, you can report it to Action Fraud online. You’ll be given a crime reference number and your case will be referred on to the police force that investigates fraud.
Why contact Action Fraud?
Sometimes people choose not to report fraud because they are embarrassed that they fell for a scam.
Remember that fraud is a crime and that fraudsters will constantly reinvent themselves to find new ways of tricking people. Anyone could be a victim.
Some people also think that fraud is a victimless crime, or that it’s not as serious as other crimes. This is not true. Fraudsters are often part of serious organised criminal gangs, who use the money to fund other crimes such as human trafficking, illegal firearms trade and terrorism.
Fraudsters rely on silence. We can beat fraud if we talk.
Top 5 tips to prevent fraud
- Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
Non-Emergency police call 101. Emergency 999
Please find below information on how to report incidents or any suspicious activity to the police.
Listed below are some helpful tips that may assist you when calling Essex Police.
What number should I call?
101 This number can now be used to contact the Police anywhere in the UK This came into force on December 5th 2011
If it is an emergency such as a crime happening at the time call 999
If you are victim of crime try to touch as little as possible until the police arrive.
If you want to give information anonymously you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
What can you do to help reduce incidents of crime?
Be extra observant. The only persons who really know the area in which you live are the people that live there. The police may not note a suspicious person within your road, but you probably would. Neighbourhood watch area the eyes and ears of the community.
Have you noticed persons hanging around the area? These persons may be on foot, on a bike or in a vehicle.
Have you noticed a tool or a piece of equipment that has been discarded? This may have been used to commit a crime. Have you noticed anything in an odd location and thought it strange? Then report it 101
Did you hear something?
Perhaps you may have heard a noise during the evening or at night. Have a look out your window. If you note someone or a vehicle acting suspiciously then please call Essex Police straight away. Do not think that you are wasting Police time.
Did you over hear something?
Perhaps you may have over heard someone talking about a burglary / crime and can share the information with us.
How as Neighbourhood Watch can we make the area more secure?
Ensure this information is known to others within your watch group.
Some members may walk their dogs regularly during the evening and may notice something.
Look at security, Trisha Staerck the Essex Police Crime Reduction Officer can offer advice. Have a look at the Sold Secure or Secured by design websites. There are a whole host of products on sale to secure property
Mark any property with a UV or permanent marker pen – just write your house number and postcode.
Take photos of any valuable items
Think about having an alarm installed, the Crime reduction officer can assist you with this and give you advice on what you need.
What information will help the Police?
A description of the suspect(s)
Male/ Female, Ethnicity
Clothing (any patterns or logos)
Age, Height, Build, Hair colour/style
Was the suspect holding anything, goods / backpack?
Tattoos, Glasses, beard
Give any directions that the suspect is heading towards.
Do not worry if you do not have answers to all the above, just try to remember as much as you can.
Keep and pen and pad to hand if it helps you.
Try to make note of the following
Was the vehicle sign written?
Direction of travel.
If you note something strange report it straight away. Tell the Essex Police call taker that you are a Neighbourhood Watch member.
If you noticed anything suspicious in any of the areas listed above or have any information please call Essex Police on 101 or 0300 333 4444
Please do not wait to be told about any incident before you think about suspicious activity in your area.
If you see something that perhaps does not feel right, please let us know, you may just prevent someone else becoming a victim of crime.
If you would like on advice on what to look out for please do not hesitate to contact me direct.
Essex Watch – Essex Police
Braintree office 101 ex 400166
Chelmsford office 101 ex 485952
Mobile 07970 599923
National Equine Database, for registering horses. Apparently many horse owners are now hiring out their horses to help with the upkeep costs, and of course some are never returned. The database is to allow purchasers to check whether the horse they are being offered has been stolen. She also warned that sometimes horses are being left in farmers' fields, for a few days free grazing, and then being retrieved!
Mobile numbers for PCSO's in our area, which were:
European Commission - Press release
Europeans don't know what emergency number to call when travelling in the EU. New campaign
Whether for skiing holidays, family days out, business travel or visits to this summer's sporting events,know that 112 is the single emergency number they can call, both in and outside their home country when in trouble. Many major rail, air and other transport companies have joined Vice Presidents Neelie Kroes and Siim Kallas in a campaign to raise 112 awareness rates. The emergency number will be publicised without cost to taxpayers on e-tickets, in on-board magazines, on their company websites and through their staff.
Objects targeted range widely, from cable, drain covers, lift panels from housing estates, memorial plaques, to children's playground slides, fire escape stairs, local electricity substations and even English Heritage buildings including Churches.
If you see any suspicious activity near to any of these locations please call Essex Police or Crimestoppers.
Essex Police Tel 101 or 999 if an emergency or
Crimestoppers Tel 0800 555 111 - Call anonymously with information about a crime
The thieves are using uniforms, stolen vans etc. One witness recently reported that they did not look like real workmen - they were working too fast.
Security products for sale
Door Guards and door chains @ £2.50
- Door viewers @ £1.50
- Personal Attack Alarms (140Db) - 60mm x 70mm x20mm @ £4
- Plug in 24 hr Timers @ £3
- Personal Attack Alarms (140Db) – 40mm x 45mm x 16mm @ £3
- NEW – Shed Alarm (key pad PIR) @ £14.99.
- NEW – Optional external sounder to (7) @ £6.99 – buy 7 & 8 together and get £1 off each.
- Special Price – SelectaDNA home property marking kits @ £16.50 (domestic kit normally priced at £49.99).
“Allows you to mark and protect valuable items, both quickly and easily. Deters would be thieves and in-house theft. Proven to reduce thefts by up to 85% in some cases, especially where people are made aware of its use through warning labels, window stickers and outdoor signage.”
NB - item (3) has many other uses with a little though of its application, i.e. it can be used as a shed alarm, or protects the piping in the tube on a plumbers van.
Contact to order:
Nigel Oldacre 01376 325074 email@example.com
Stephen Armson-Smith, tel -101, extn 400152 firstname.lastname@example.org or
Brenda Cross, tel – 101, extn 400166 or 421131 email@example.com