Neighbourhood Watch

Theft of motor vehicle

Between 15th and the 23rd August 2018 a 53 plate black Land Rover Freelander was stolen from a layby off Sandy Lane, Wildmoor.

Did you see anything suspicious? Telephone the police 101.

Preventing Vehicle Crime

Preventing Vehicle Crime

Do not be complacent about keeping your property and your vehicle safe. By following the below advice you can help prevent opportunist thieves from striking.

Never leave anything on show in your vehicle and remember to take your sat nav and audio equipment with you. Always remove the sat nav cradle and wipe away the suction marks.

Remember, never leave the car with its engine running or the keys in the ignition and fit self-locking screws to prevent number plates being stolen and always lock your car and fully close its windows and sunroof when you are leaving it unattended. Double check by pulling your vehicles door handles to ensure the central locking system is working correctly.

Fit anti-theft devices to steering wheels, fuel caps and wheels and park in well-lit areas or in a secure car park. Never leave your mobile phone behind and do not store items in the boot, remember to take them with you.

Keyless entry vehicles, although convenient, are currently an extremely easy target for theft with increasing numbers being stolen. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk.

1. Ensure your vehicle is properly locked and keep keys far away from doors and windows to ensure the vehicle is no longer in range of the key?s signal.

2. Place keys in a metal/foiled lined box or container, or another container that blocks the keys signal from reaching the vehicle when it?s not in use.

3. Switch off the key?s wireless signal when you don?t need your vehicle. If you are unsure if the key has this function, find out in your owner?s manual.

4. You could also purchase an aftermarket security device, such as a steering wheel lock, a driveway parking post or even a wheel clamp. Even if the thieves are able to access and start your car, these should prevent them from driving away. Many criminals will consider bypassing these as ?too much hassle?.

5. Other steps include checking if there are any software updates for the car itself, remaining vigilant for unusual activity in your area and having an aftermarket immobiliser or tracker fitted.

For further information on all forms of crime prevention, please visit: https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/4877/Vehicle-safety

Do you own a car with keyless entry and ignition?

Do you own a car with keyless entry and ignition?

Crime Prevention advice for vehicles with Keyless Entry and ignition

Although this technology is advantageous for the driver, it also means the vehicle can be unlocked and started remotely by car thieves. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to capture a vehicle?s radio transmission, which is then relayed to another device held close to the key fob that might be in a pocket at a motorway services or close by at home.

The fob is fooled into thinking it is next to the car and the vehicle can be unlocked. Once the thief is inside the car, the process can be repeated to start the engine. In a bid to combat this, a protective wallet can be used. Within the wallet there is a protective sleeve, which looks like a piece of lining.

There are number of key fob pouch protectors available on the market for you to choose from. It is advised the wallet should be used at all times to safeguard your vehicle with the keys being placed in the sleeve to stop the signal from being transmitted

Reporting Incidents

Please do not report crime or other incidents via Twitter or other forms of Social Media ? Please call 101, report online via https://www.westmercia.police.uk/report or, in an emergency, 999. Additional information is often required by officers in order for the police to act upon any information given.

Please view the advice below on which number you should ring.

999 is for reporting emergency situations only; below is a helpful mnemonic to remember when to use it.

P – Phone 999 only if
O – Offenders are nearby
L – Life is at risk
I – Injury is caused or threatened
C – Crime or disorder is in progress
E – Emergency situations

What is 101?

101 is now the number to call when you want to get through to your local police when it is less urgent than 999. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls to 101 from land lines and mobile networks cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call or how long you are on the phone.

When should I use 101 or the online reporting form https://www.westmercia.police.uk/report?

If you have had a minor traffic collision.
If your property has been damaged.
If your car has been stolen.
If you suspect drug dealing.
If you have been burgled and there are no offenders on scene.
If you have witnessed a crime.
If you have information about criminals in your local area.
If you have seen a missing person.
If you need crime prevention advice.
If you want to speak to a local police officer/ your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.
If you want to speak to the police about any other incident that doesn’t require an immediate response.
If you want to make us aware of any policing issues in your local area.

What happens when you call 101?

When you call 101, you will be greeted by an automated system that will automatically identify your location and offer you the option of being connected to your local police force.

If you would like a different force you will be given the option to speak to an operator to select your chosen area. Your call will be answered by police contact handlers in the control room of that local police force.

If you are anywhere in the UK you can still dial 101 and you will be given the option of speaking to police contact handlers within West Mercia. If your selection is not correct, you will be given the option to speak to an operator.

Vehicle Safety

Vehicle crime is not common in West Mercia and we are working hard to reduce it even further. A tiny minority of vehicles registered in the whole of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire are involved in crime each year, but there are simple steps you can take to make life even harder for criminals.

Most vehicle crime is opportunistic and happens as a result of a vehicle being left vulnerable or unsecured, for example:

-doors or windows left unlocked
-keys left in the ignition
-personal belongings on display (e.g. handbag, laptop)
-sat nav and holder left in vehicle
-parked in a poorly lit areas
-vehicles being left unlocked with engines running to defrost during winter
-park in open well-lit and secure areas wherever possible
-ensure windows, sunroof and boot are all secured and doors locked when leaving your vehicle unattended, no matter how briefly
-take keys with you when leaving the vehicle unattended
-remove any valuables and personal belongings from the vehicle
-remove your sat nav and its cradle and wipe away any sucker marks
-fit an alarm or immobiliser
-activate the steering lock – whenever and wherever you park
-have the vehicle registration number etched on each of the windows
-postcode your vehicle stereo using an ultraviolet marker
-keep your vehicle in a garage if possible
-keep vehicle keys secure and out of sight
-fit a locking petrol cap and wheel nuts

Following these simple steps will help us to reduce vehicle crime even further and save you the hassle and expense of having to repair any damage caused during a vehicle break-in.

Free Rollout of SmartWater® Kits – PLEASE ACTION

Free Rollout of SmartWater® Kits – PLEASE ACTION

Fairfield Village Community Association & Wildmoor Residents’ Association have teamed up with Belbroughton & Fairfield Parish Council and West Mercia Police to make Fairfield, Wildmoor & Stoneybridge a “We Don’t Buy Crime” community by supplying all households with a SmartWater® kit to protect their homes.

To be eligible for your FREE SmartWater® your house MUST be in the Fairfield Ward of Belbroughton & Fairfield Parish. If not, e.g. your house is in Wildmoor, Bournheath, please contact your Parish Council.

SmartWater® is an easy-to-apply liquid that enables the Police to trace valuables back to the owner. Full details of what’s Smart Water is visit What is SmartWater.

Two “drop-in sessions” are being held where villagers can collect their kits:

 Wednesday 19th September 7pm – 9pm Village Hall (Barton Room – Enter by the rear side door)
 Saturday 22nd September 10am – 2pm Village Hall

If you are unable to collect your kit on the above dates, please contact: email fvcommunityassociation@outlook.com or tel. 01527 833583

Kits cannot be collected by people not residing at the address that the kit has been allocated to.

If you already have SmartWater® please do collect a second kit.

The Parish Council have obtained a grant from the Police Commissioner as well as part-funding the cost of the packs to provide them free of charge to all residents.

Our aim is to ensure that every household in Fairfield, Wildmoor & Stoneybridge is equipped with a SmartWater® pack.
Subject to 80% of dwellings sign and return the SmartWater® registration form, there will also be signage installed in the village to send a clear message to criminals that our community is united and determined to protect our valuables against acquisitive crime. It is, therefore, vital that all residential properties support this initiative to help make our community safer.

In addition to SmartWater® and the signage, we need vigilance to deter criminals from visiting our community, if you are suspicious that a crime is being committed in Fairfield, Wildmoor or Stoneybridge, please help your community and contact West Mercia Police to report it.

In an emergency use 999. However, for less urgent matters for example; if your car has been stolen, if your property has been damaged, if you suspect drug use or dealing; or to give the police information about crime in your area please ring 101.

To share your suspicions with others and raise an awareness so that others do not fall victim of being a crime, Fairfield Village Community Association is the verified Neighbourhood Watch Group for Fairfield & Stoneybridge.

Livestock and worrying dogs in the countryside

West Mercia Police sometimes receives calls from farmers, landowners and members of the public reporting farm animals being chased by dogs.

Sheep can be savaged and killed by dogs or have to be put down by a veterinary surgeon.

The impact this can have on a rural business can be devastating. Not only does the farmer incur expensive veterinary costs but for pregnant ewes there is the risk of aborting their unborn lambs.

This can incur further veterinary expense but also the loss of income from a depleted flock.

The advice on this page is for dog owners, residents, farmers and landowners about their responsibilities and what happens when livestock are worried by them.

Legislation

Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953

”If a dog worries livestock on any agricultural land, the owner of the dog, and, if it is the charge of a person other than the owner, that person also shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.”

What is ‘Worrying’?

Worrying means attacking livestock or chasing livestock in such a way as may reasonably be expected to cause injury or suffering to the livestock or, in the case of females, abortion, or loss of or diminution in their produce. Also being at large (that is to say not on a lead or otherwise under close control) in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep.

What does ‘livestock” mean?

Livestock means cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses or poultry and for the purposes of this Act ‘cattle’ means bulls, cows, oxen, heifers or calves, ‘horses’ includes asses and mules and ‘poultry’ means domestic fowls, turkeys, geese or ducks.

What is ‘agricultural land’?

Agricultural land means land used as arable, meadow or grazing land, or used for the purpose of poultry farming, pig farming, market gardens, allotments, nursery grounds or orchards.

This legislation does not apply to a dog owned by or in charge of the occupier of the field or enclosure or the owner of the sheep or a person authorised by either of those persons. Neither does it apply to a police dog, a guide dog, trained sheep dog, a working gun dog or a pack of hounds.

Penalty

The maximum fine £1,000.
The Animals Act 1971

Section 9 of the Animals Act 1971 provides that the owner of livestock, the landowner or anyone acting on their behalf, is entitled to shoot any dog if they believe it is the only reasonable way of stopping it worrying livestock. Such action must be reported to police within 48 hours (telephone 101)

Dog Owners

If you are walking your dog in the countryside:

  • Do not allow your dog to enter a field on its own and keep it under your control at all times.
    Keep your dog on a lead when crossing through fields that contain livestock. However don’t hang onto your dog if you are threatened by cattle, let it go as the cattle will chase the dog.
    Stick to public right of ways.
    When at home:
    Make sure you know where your dog is at all times.
    Ensure that your property is secure and that your dog cannot escape day or night.
    If you know your dog has previously chased or attacked sheep then take responsible measures to prevent it happening again.

Farmers, landowners, livestock owners

  • Dial 101 to report incidents of livestock worrying to West Mercia Police and:
    Take photographs of injuries to the livestock.
    If you are able to, secure the dog until the police arrive so that evidence can be gathered to identify the owner of the dog.
    Put signs up on gateways alerting dog walkers to the presence of livestock in the fields.
    If sufficient evidence is available the police can prosecute the dog owner on your behalf.
    Compensation for damage caused is a civil matter between you and the dog owner.

Billy Burglar wants the contents of your shed

Billy Burglar is on the prowl looking for items to sell or for his own use. It’s the time of year to review your shed/outbuilding security.

Shed alarms cost around £5 and remember to display a good sign saying the shed is alarmed! Mark your equipment both overtly and covertly.

Crime Prevention Advice-Outbuildings/Garages and sheds

Garages and sheds are vulnerable to burglary, as they are generally quite flimsy structures, but they should not be forgotten. They are often the first places that a burglar will target, because they provide a ready source of tools and implements for breaking into the main house.

Garages and sheds also have lawnmowers, bikes and other valuables that are easy to steal and costly to replace. By fitting additional security to garages and sheds, burglars will find it more difficult to break in and they will have to make more noise doing so. A few simple security measures can increase the visual deterrent and reduce the likelihood of garages and sheds being targeted.

1. metal up-and-over garage doors can be secured with additional purpose made locks fitted to either side, approximately 300mm up from the floor, to reduce the leverage points

2. an external floor mounted, solid steel locking ‘T’ bar with a closed shackle padlock, will offer a good visual deterrent and make it difficult to force the door open

3. wooden garage double doors can be secured with two substantial hasps and staples and closed shackle padlocks, one towards the top and one towards the bottom.

4. garage side or rear doors can be secured with British Standard 5-lever mortice locks and two internal mortice rack bolts, one towards the top and one towards the bottom to reduce the leverage points

5. shed doors can be secured with two substantial hasps and staples and two closed shackle padlocks on the outside, one towards the top and one towards the bottom. External hinge screws should be replaced with one-way clutch head screws to prevent them being removed and access gained this way

6. garage and shed windows can be secured with internal diamond mesh grilles, which provide a good visual deterrent to opportunistic burglaries

7. garden tools and ladders should be secured by wrapping a substantial chain around them and padlocking them to an eyebolt which has been secured to the floor or wall. This will prevent them being stolen or used to break into the house

8. tools and garden implements should be visibly property marked with the postcode and house name or number, to deter theft and assist police with identifying the rightful owner

For more information regarding Home Security please vthe West Mercia Crime and Safety section

Scam HMRC telephone calls on the rise warn Trading Standards!

The bogus callers attempt to frighten residents by falsely suggesting that the Police are on the verge of arresting them for unpaid taxes. The fraudsters then ask the residents to pay the bogus ‘tax bill’ often using iTunes gift card voucher codes.

Trading Standards has seen an increase in the number of complaints in the past month relating to bogus HMRC phone calls, emails and texts. Many of the calls relate to demands for payment, but some also concern bogus tax refunds. In these cases residents are asked for personal and financial information that can then be used for identity theft and are normally asked to pay money in advance to receive their non-existent refund.

Be Aware

• HMRC will never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty or ask for payment using iTunes gift card voucher codes or similar.
• Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephone’s display.
• If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately.
Protect Yourself and Others
• There are now a number of scam call blocking/filtering devices on the market that are very effective in reducing and in some cases eliminating bogus calls. These are particularly useful for vulnerable individuals who would struggle to spot a scam caller.

For more information and to report HMRC scams, visit:

• HMRC: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phishing-and-bogus-emails-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples/phishing-emails-and-bogus-contact-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples

• Action Fraud: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Protecting Your Shed From Burglary

Although theft from outbuildings and sheds is uncommon there have been a few over recent months across the West Mercia Police area. Therefore police are asking residents to remain vigilant.

Police have seen a number of sheds and outbuildings across Shropshire being targeted and the Police do need people to take precautions to protect their property. Please ensure you keep Valuable tools out of sight lock buildings, fit good security lights and alarms where possible.

If you have CCTV look at using it to cover your sheds and outbuilding as well as the house.

Whitewash the shed window or put a curtain across to stop any one looking inside the shed.

Fit good locks and attach the fittings with bolts. Cover the screw heads on hinges so they can’t be taken out.

Remember, sheds that are not attached to homes or are out of sight at the bottom of a garden can be quite vulnerable. Look at making sure that your boundary fences and hedges are in good condition and grow shrubs such as Firethorn or Hawthorne in your hedges. Don’t make it easy for the thief.

Put tools away and out of sight after use and don’t forget to lock the shed up before popping off to the shops.