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Neighbourhood Watch

Reminder to lock out thieves during the hot weather

Police are reminding people not to leave their home open to thieves this summer as the country basks in hot weather.

With the onset of the school summer holidays and the hot weather it can be easy to forget to take a few home security measures, yet open windows and doors are often an open invitation for thieves.

Simple steps such as closing a window when you go out and locking doors can make all the difference and help prevent a house being targeted.

Holiday makers are also advised to take time to consider home security before they go away to give them peace of mind while they’re on holiday.

The advice forms part of We Don’t Buy Crime, West Mercia Police’s response to tackling serious acquisitive crime which includes crimes such as burglary and theft.

Sergeant Ram Aston, from the We Don’t Buy Crime team, said: “We Don’t Buy Crime continues to go from strength to strength with more and more areas signing up as part of our towns and villages initiative which sees whole communities protected by forensic property marking technology which acts as a great deterrent to criminals. So far this year we’ve seen some considerable reductions in house burglaries but this doesn’t mean we’re complacent and we want to make sure everything is being done to help prevent someone from becoming a victim to thieves.

“Crime prevention is absolutely crucial and anything residents can do to help protect their home can help make a difference. It can be easy in the summer months, especially when the weather is warm, to forget you’ve opened a window or left the back door open before you go out or go to bed. It only takes a few moment to double check but could help prevent your home being targeted. If you’re in the back garden, make sure you haven’t left any ground floor windows open at the front of the house and always make sure valuable items, such as car keys, mobile phones or wallets, are not in easy reach of an open window.

“If you’re going away make sure the house is locked up before you go and the burglar alarm is set. Hide any valuable items from view from the outside and don’t leave anything in the garden that could potentially be used to gain entry into your home. Be mindful of where you store your wheelie bin too and consider if it could be used for someone to climb on and access an upstairs window or used to climb over into the garden. If you’re leaving the car at home and have a garage, park it in the garage while you’re away rather than on the drive and if you’ve got gates close and lock them with a good quality lock.”

In addition to We Don’t Buy Crime towns and villages police carry out a range of covert tactics to catch thieves and work with second hand stores to make it more difficult for thieves to sell on stolen goods.

Sgt Aston added: “We Don’t Buy Crime essentially aims to put criminals out of business and we have a range of tactics at our disposal which are both overt and covert to not just prevent acquisitive crime in the first place but catch those who are responsible when they do happen and want to send a clear message to thieves that we are utilising a range of methods to target them.”

For more crime prevention advice visit https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/1955/Home

Attempted Burglary in Mill Lane

Attempted burglary between 1140 and 1210 yesterday, Thursday 18th July, on Mill Lane, Wildmoor. Thankfully they did not gain entry.

Please be extra vigilant and report and suspicious activity to the police calling 101.

PC Kelso. SNO. Bromsgrove North and Rural.

Nextdoor Neighbour Website

We have been contacted today by a couple of residents that have received letters from Nextdoor Neighbour, asking them to join their networking site. 

Earlier this year we were contacted by two other residents who also received similar letters.

There is a social media site called Nextdoor Neighbour that allows residents to share local information within a closed group; incidents, events, good news stories, etc.

We understand that if you register with the site you will join an online community that is wider than Fairfield, it includes Bournheath, Clent, Hagley & Belbroughton. 

We also understand that if you sign-up you will agree to the collection of your data for marketing purposes that will be shared with third party organisations. 

Searching the internet, there are complaints about “SPAM” letters from Nextdoor Neighbour, and people are claiming that letters are being sent to their neighbours from them but they were not aware that they had given their consent – this was the case earlier this year, the person that received the letter passed it on to FVCA and when we spoke to the person whose name appeared on the bottom of the letter, that person said that they had joined the site but was unaware that letters were being sent out in their name.   Nextdoor Neighbour have challenged these comments by saying:

“The invitation you have received is from a neighbour that has verified at their address and chosen to send invitations to other residences in their neighbourhood to grow their Nextdoor network.”

“To be clear, we will never send out neighbour invitations on behalf of the member without the explicit permission of the member. Members are presented with the option to invite their neighbours when they join and through emails from time to time, however, members may choose to either ‘skip’ this step or choose not to click on the ‘send postcards” button in the email. There is additionally an option to cancel postcards from the email if the member has accidentally sent invitations they no longer wish to send. “

“We are deeply committed to the privacy and security of our members, if this member doesn’t believe they have sent invitations from their account, we would like to review their account with them directly and are available on help@nextdoor.co.uk.”

FVCA encourages people to think carefully before joining sites and to do their research before subscribing and sharing personal information.

Traffic Enforcement Update

We have received the following message from our County Councillor, Shirley Webb:

“I have been advised by Safer Roads Partnership that the current motorcyclist who is off sick is just waiting for clearance to go back to riding from his specialist. The new recruit is yet to be fully trained, we are looking at mid August at the earliest to start.

In the meantime i have asked our Safer Neighbourhood team when time allows, to spend time monitoring around my division.”

Another Scam Call

An elderly resident this morning has received an automated telephone call claiming to be Mastercard saying that the resident owed money. The resident, who does not have a Mastercard, put the phone down.
 

We appeal to you to speak to your elderly neighbours to tell them about Scams and not to become a victim of fraud.

Elderly Fairfield Residents Targeted with Scam Calls

Two Fairfield residents, both in their mid/late 80s, have each received a telephone call, claiming to be from Barclays Bank. The call was an automated voice asking each residents to press the 1 button. Both residents, not having an account with Barclays, put the telephone down.

Please be vigilant when answering the telephone and PLEASE speak to your elderly and vulnerable neighbours about Scam telephone calls.

Residents Adopt A Smart Approach to Deter Burglars

This week, with the support from Sgt. Ram Aston and Community Volunteers, more properties have received their SmartWater Property Marking kits.

To date, our rollout has been fantastic, most properties have received their kits. If you have not received a FREE property marking kit (worth £25.00) and you live in Fairfield, Wildmoor or Stoneybridge do get in touch, email admin@fvca.org.uk

Don’t forget to put your SmartWater sticker in the window, front door, porch, back door, etc. When a criminal is looking for a property to target he/she will know not to bother with you as your property will have been marked.

Rogue Garden Contractor

Report received of a Black van driving around the village today, driver claiming he needs to get rid of some gardening stuff. Chap claims he has been working at Catshill school. White man in his 50s with crooked front teeth. Shirt with logo on left side something like world gardening. Seemed very genuine at first until he offered the resident a garden bench!!

Catshill school has been contacted and it is not one of their contractors.

Operation Smartwater Mop Up

Volunteers needed to help the police & SmartWater staff to rollout property marking kits to dwellings in Fairfield, Wildmoor & Stoneybridge that have yet to claim their FREE SmartWater kit.

Please donate an hour on Tuesday 9th July and/or Thursday 11th July, meet Village Hall 7pm.

The more properties that sign up to Smartwater the greater the deterrent for any would be criminals, we may be eligible for other crime prevention strategies if we can increase oiur take up rate.