Neighbourhood Watch

 

Purpose

The purpose of Neighbourhood Watch schemes is to assist the Police and help prevent crime. It is also ‘’To reduce undue fear of crime by providing accurate information about risks and by promoting a sense of security and community spirit, particularly among the more vulnerable members of the community’.

How to report an incident

The non-emergency number for the police is 101.  This 24-hour number is to be used if you have concerns but do not require an immediate police attendance.

The Sleepers Hill neighbourhood watch (NHW) co-ordinator is Julian Grose-Hodge (Eldon jgrosehodge@hotmail.com).  If you wish please let him know of any incidents that involve the police so that other residents can be informed of potential issues.  Julian receives communications from the police / NHW authorities and where applicable will send them to the SHA secretary for distribution to all residents.

Cold calling / rogue traders – If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council’s Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 (Monday – Friday 0900hrs to 1700hrs) where specially trained officers are on hand to provide assistance.  If urgent assistance is required outside of these hours please contact Hampshire Police on 0845 045 4545.

Advice

Theft from vehicles:

• When leaving your car, close all windows and lock your car.
• Park your car in an attended car park.
• Look for public car parks approved by the Park Mark scheme.
• When parking at home, use your garage. If you don’t have a garage, park in a well-lit area.
• Don’t leave anything on display in your vehicle.
• Take all your personal possessions with you.
• Remove sat nav holders and visible sat nav ring marks from windscreens.
• Leave the glove box open to show there’s nothing inside.
• Fit an alarm or immobiliser to your car.
• Record the details of your property on the Immobilise website.
• Do not store your car’s documents in the car.
• Secure your wheels using locking wheel nuts.

Phishing Email 

• Opening attachments or clicking links contained within emails from unknown sources could result in your device being infected with malware or a virus.
• The Police, National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, Banks, HMRC will never email you asking for you to disclose personal information.
• Some hackers are able to access your private email and then email you about legitimate outstanding payments and the need to change the receipt bank details. The email recipient knows they owe the money and end up making a payment to the fraudulent bank details belonging to the fraudster. Never accept bank account details from email instructions for a new transaction or when the details are changed by an existing supplier.                                                                                  • If you believe you have become a victim of this fraudulent email get your device checked by a professional and make a report to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

Cold Calling

Trading Standards advise consumers not to agree to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call or via a leaflet drop. Consumers should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or a recognised trade association.

Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair.  All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the Website 

Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives consumers a 14 day cooling off period from the date the work starts.  So, legally, you may have the right to cancel even though work has commenced.

If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council’s

Quick Response Team on 01962 833666
(Monday – Friday 0900hrs to 1700hrs)

Home security

You can greatly reduce your risk of burglary by taking a few simple security measures to help make your property less attractive to thieves. Most burglars are opportunists and target homes and businesses that offer the least risk of being caught.

  • keep front and back doors locked, even when you’re at home
  • install a burglar alarm with a visible alarm box
  • fit a door chain and spyhole for extra security
  • keep all valuables and keys out of sight and out of reach of doors and windows
  • store high value items in a hidden safe
  • mark your belongings and register them for free with Immobilise
  • fit energy efficient security lighting
  • don’t leave spare keys in obvious places such as under doormats or plant pots
  • keep items that could be used to break into your property such as ladders, tools and wheelie bins stored safely away
  • lock side gates to prevent easy access to the rear of the property
  • check fencing regularly to keep it in good repair
  • use pea shingle on driveways or under windows, as it crunches loudly when stepped on
  • trim overgrown hedges and plants to remove hiding places and improve surveillance
  • use a timer switch to make your house look occupied, even when it isn’t
  • consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme

Property Marking

Property should be uniquely marked with your house number and postcode. Popular ways to do this include visible permanent marking such as painting, etching or CRE-mark, or forensic marking with DNA products. You should also photograph each item and make a note of its details, including any serial or model numbers. This is particularly important with jewellery and collectors items. You should also register your property on Immobilise. Anything with a serial number can be registered with Immobilise for free, and helps the police identify the owners of recovered property. Marking your property makes it traceable and more difficult to sell on, making it less attractive to thieves. It also increases the chances of stolen property being reunited with its rightful owner if it’s recovered.

Doors & Windows

Burglars often gain access to their victim’s homes through unsecured doors and windows. Making sure your doors are strong and secure, and that all windows are fitted with a lock is a simple way to prevent thieves gaining easy access to your home. You should ensure any lock fitted is certified by the British Standard Institute.

Sheds

Garages and sheds are full of expensive tools and equipment that can easily be stolen, or used to break into the house. Many are unprotected and lack even basic security, making them a prime target for burglars. Never leave a garage or shed unlocked, especially if it has a connecting door to the house. Any connecting doors should be treated the same as an external door and be fitted with strong locks.

For extra security:

  • make sure doors are strong and secure enough not to be kicked in
  • fit strong padlocks and hardware to doors
  • fit locks or bars to windows
  • secure tools and machinery with anchor posts
  • install a battery or mains-powered shed alarm
  • mark all tools and machinery with your postcode and register them on Immobilise
  • Replace all external screws with anti-tamper screws

Going on Holiday

Whether you’re going away for a day or a few weeks, you should take steps to make your home look occupied. A dark home in the evenings and uncollected mail is a sign to burglars that no one is home.

Before you go on holiday:

  • cancel milk and newspaper deliveries
  • set up automatic timer switches to turn your lights on when it gets dark
  • register for the Royal Mail’s ‘keepsake’ service
  • move valuable items out of view of windows
  • cut front and back lawns and trim back plants
  • don’t discuss holiday plans on social media
  • ask a trusted neighbour to watch over your home whilst you’re away

Distraction Burglary

Never open your door to someone you don’t know or aren’t expecting. Most callers are genuine, but it’s important to be on your guard. Always make sure a caller is who they say they are before letting them into your home. Distraction burglars may try to trick their way into your home by posing as officials or playing for sympathy by asking for help, such as to use your toilet or phone. These people often work in pairs or groups. The caller will try to distract you so their partner can sneak into your home to steal. Genuine callers will be happy to show you their identification or call back when someone else is at home with you. So always ask if you’re unsure. If you are a pensioner, have a disability or impairment, you may be able to set up a password with your energy provider to help protect you further. If don’t know or aren’t expecting a caller:

  • make sure your back door is locked before answering the front door
  • use a door chain when opening the door
  • ask for identification and check it carefully before letting anyone in
  • ask them to come back when someone else is at home with you
  • direct people asking for help to a nearby shop or other public place, don’t let them in

Always report any suspicious callers to the police on 101.

Further advice and support

Immobilise – Sign up to register your property on the national property register.

The Crime Prevention Website – Free and independent crime prevention and home security advice.

Master Locksmiths Association – Get in touch wtih an MLA-approved locksmith if you require their services. Their website offers security advice, also.

To view a map of recent crimes in our local area, go to www.police.uk and type in your postcode.  It also has details and photographs of our neighbourhood policing team and advice on home and vehicle security, reporting crime and antisocial behaviour, and much more.