October Crime Incidents
October (up to 26th) saw just one crime report for West Bergholt after what was also a quiet September.
Theft from a vehicle – Whitehouse Lane
At some time between 18:00 on 21st October & 12:00 on 22nd, an unknown suspect gained entry to the victims secured vehicle by unknown means, made a tidy searched and removed property, no damage was caused.
Slightly more of these this month with some advice and support on the subject of Halloween, advice on securing heating oil and also tips on beating burglars.
Halloween – for fun only
Halloween should be a fun event not an excuse for anti-social behaviour – that’s the message from Essex Police in the run up to the spooky festival. Officers want everyone to enjoy October 31st and Bonfire Night but are urging people not to let the fun get out of hand.
Halloween can be an unsettling time for many people, especially elderly people and those who live alone so Essex Police will be taking a firm approach to those who cause problems for others. In the run up to Halloween police officers and PCSOs will be working with shopkeepers to encourage them not to sell eggs and flour to young people and visiting schools to talk to students about the impact behaviour they may perceive as fun can have on their communities.
Officers are also asking parents to make sure their children do not go trick or treating alone and to remind them only to knock on doors of people they know.
Jasmine Frost, Youth Inspector, said:
The message that I want to give young people is please don’t throw eggs and flour at people or houses. At the very least this kind of behaviour is anti-social. At worst it could reach the threshold of a criminal offence and lead to your arrest. If you decide to go trick or treating please take care and think carefully about which doors you knock on, particularly if you know there are elderly people living in the area. The most important message is that we want all children and young people to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night by keeping themselves safe and making sure they do not cause any problems in their communities.
Young people are encouraged to visit the 2Smart website to find out how to keep safe while trick or treating and download advice posters. Adults who would rather not be bothered by trick of treaters can download from the Essex Police webpage a ‘no trick or treaters’ poster. There is also a poster for shop keepers who would like to let customers know they will be restricting the sale of eggs and flour.
Finally Essex Police is reminding residents to call 101 should they feel concerned throughout the evening. While we ask residents to be tolerant of young people enjoying Halloween, they do not have to accept bad behaviour.
Stop Heating Oil Theft
As it comes to the time when you are thinking about topping up your heating oil tank for winter, with the value of fuel it is worth considering its security. In the more isolated parts of the countryside it is primarily domestic properties that have been targeted by the heating oil thieves, but we have also seen such thefts at farms and other businesses.
There are a number of security devices available that will protect your fuel supplies – details of which can be found via your fuel supplier or local plumber’s merchant. One such system is “GPRS Fuel-Oil Alarm” from www.compoundsecurity.co.uk and Tank Commander – www.commandersecurities.co.uk which have “Secured by Design” accreditation; these detect a dramatic drop in fuel and call you on the telephone. There are also other systems that will add on to an existing intruder alarm system, whilst others protect the filler cap and there are of course the conventional locks.
Another consideration would be defensive planting around the tank, concealing it and restricting access to it by gates or fencing, and where possible locating the tank under lighting in view of lived in rooms within the house.
Focus on Burglary
Traditionally burglaries increase at this time of year so we are asking people not to give thieves a chance. Sometimes, you can beat the burglars by taking just a few simple steps:-
- Make your home safe and secure by fitting 5 lever mortice locks on external doors and for all other doors and windows fit secure locks.
- It is most important to take extra care when locking up particularly with regard to UPVC doors. Lift the handle and lock the door with the key.
- When you leave your property remove keys from locks and place them out of sight.
- With the nights drawing in, make your property look occupied at all times by using automatic light timer and you might want to consider installing external lighting, especially now that street lights are going to be turned off by councils in some areas.
- Nowadays burglars break into properties to steal car keys so avoid leaving car keys near a door or window and lock your car in a garage or behind a locked gate if possible.
Remember, burglars have no boundaries, and could be operating in your area at any time. Stay vigilant, stay secure and stay safe!
REMEMBER: You can attempt to beat the burglars by taking just a few simple steps. We do have plenty of crime prevention advice on our website at www.essex.police.uk or by contacting your local Crime Prevention Officer Stephen Armson-Smith, tel: 101 ext: 430126.
POLICE EMERGENCY NO: (Life or Property threatened or crime in progress etc). Don’t delay – dial: 999
The Illusion of occupancy
As the nights draw in earlier don’t forget to use table lamps on timers, and there is a product called “Fake TV” that produces lighting that resembles a television being switched on within a room. You can also record serial numbers of products using a useful free web service free of charge at www.immobilise.com. Consider installing external “Dusk till dawn” lighting and remember to secure those gates closed and lock up correctly.
If you like any advice regarding security please do not hesitate to contact your local Crime Reduction Advisor by using the 101 non-emergency telephone number.
Naturally we also ask locals to report any unusual activity to police in an emergency on 999 or after the event on 101 or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.