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Notices

Home and Property Security Advice

 

There’s no place like home, and it’s important to make your home as protected as possible to ensure that it is a safe place for you, your property, and your loved ones. Follow our advice on keeping your home and property secure from most criminal threats:

Make sure all points of entry to your home or property have locks.

When you leave the property, no matter for how long, make sure that these entry points are all locked. Also make sure you lock up before going to bed at night.

There’s no point leaving your keys in an accessible place – don’t leave them in doors/windows or hanging within easy reach of the front door.

Think about further security measures – a fence, burglar alarm or security lights can be a good investment and are much more likely to deter burglars. They may also decrease your insurance payments.

When leaving the property to go on holiday, use timers on lights and radios to create an impression that someone is still in the property, or ask neighbours to make occasional visits to your property or park in your driveway.

Finally, to ensure you feel secure when answering your door, fit a “spy hole” so you can see who is calling. You should also fit a door chain. Don’t let anyone into the property that you feel unsure about, and always ask to see identification – if they don’t have any, do not let them in.

Dog Fouling in the Village

In response to residents’ concerns, volunteers from the Community Association have this morning cleared dog faeces from the cut grass verge along Brook Road.

For some having a dog leave its mess on the path, cut grass verge, recreation ground or on someone’s garden appears to be a laughing matter. Last year an elderly resident stepped in some dog mess, unfortunately unknown to the resident there was a slight cut on her foot and she became infected, subsequently requiring hospital treatment.

Please spread the word, clear up dog mess after your dog has defecated.
Place dog poo bags in the bin, not on a tree, hedge, railings, side of road etc.

To report dog fouling please complete the online form http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/my-place/street-cleaning/litter,-street-cleaning,-dead-animals-and-street-name-plates.aspx

Doorstep Pedlars – It could be a scam

Who are Nottingham Knockers?

They are doorstep callers who target areas offering small household products for sale. These callers may claim to be ex-convicts attempting to mend their ways, however they are not part of any recognised rehabilitation scheme.

Please warn your neighbours, particularly elderly or vulnerable neighbours, not to open the door to strangers or buy or sell on the doorstep. Some doorstep callers may offer poor quality goods at inflated prices and if a caller is not genuine, they may be gathering information for future crime.
Please keep in mind that if cold callers don’t get any sales in your area, they are less likely to return.

How they work

The sellers may say that they are on a “rehabilitation course” arranged by probation services or other organisations trying to find people work. This is not the case and often they are known criminals. Probation services do not run such schemes.

They may show a card which claims to be a “Pedlars Licence” or work permit.

A bag of household products (including the typical tea-towels!) is supplied at a minimal sum by the person who employs them. Once they sell enough to cover the cost of the products they get to keep anything else earned.

Usually they are deposited in an area from a transit van and given a list of streets to work. An hour or so later they are picked up and dropped off in another location. They often work from 9am to 9pm.

They will knock on a door, offering cleaning items which they know are cheap and of very poor quality; the householder also knows they are rubbish but that is part of the scam. Many people will purchase items and pay them something, just to get rid of them. There have been cases of elderly residents handing over large sums as these lads can be very persistent and confrontational.

The price for whatever has been purchased usually comes to a note; usually £10. The householder disappears to get the money, this is when the scam begins. When the note is handed over, the lad examines the condition and how long it took the person to get it. If it is crumpled, they accept it and move on. If it is crisp flat and new, they are much more interested and may engage the person in more conversation, to obtain details about them. As they leave they will smell the note. If it is slightly musty, this is an indication that there is more in the property. Those addresses are noted. The addresses of elderly / vulnerable / gullible people are all noted.

These are handed to the employer and there is a small amount of cash handed over for each one.

These addresses are then sold in prisons and pubs. If there is a later break-in, the employer expects a further cut of the proceeds.

These lists are purchased by all sorts of people including; tarmaccers, tree workers, roofers, dodgy builders etc., and can be shared amongst the travelling community. Once on a list, your address could be sold on and on. Hence the repeat nature of these persistent callers.

TURN THEM AWAY

REMEMBER if cold callers don’t get any sales in your area, they are less likely to return.

Operation Snap – report poor driving and dangerous behaviour

 

Road users across Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Warwickshire can report incidents using footage from dashcams or other devices

As part of Operation Snap, members of the public can submit (via a secure online form ) digital footage showing potential traffic offences. This can range from driving dangerously or carelessly to overtaking on solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving, ignoring traffic lights or dangerous driving around other road users, such as horse riders and cyclists.

Your submission will be sent to West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police where the evidence will be reviewed by one of our road traffic officers, who will enforce against any offences committed. Any footage submitted through the portal can also be used by us to help educate other road users and to advise on case results.

See the Frequently Asked Questions section (https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/article/47353/National-Dashcam-Safety-Portal-NDSP-FAQs)

For further information regarding the Safer Roads Partnership please visit the West Mercia Police Website, (Crime & Safety Section) Safer Roads Partnership

https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/38869/About-Safer-Roads-Partnership

Is crime harming your community?

If you have any information about criminal activity and you know who is responsible but you feel that you can not go to the police because you are scared that it would mean going to court and giving evidence, or you are scared of what might happen to you or your family if those responsible find out? You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and tell them what you know. You will remain 100% anonymous.

Always!

Just tell them what you know, not who you are.

Contact Crimestoppers about crime anonymously:

Tel: 0800 555 111
Website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/
Twitter: @CrimestoppersUK

Using SMS to contact the 999 service in an emergency

Do you know about the EmergencySMS service?

It is a valuable tool that can be shared with our communities, partners and even families and friends.

It assists anyone who may have communication difficulties with contacting the police or other emergency services.

The service is free and allows you to use text messaging to get in touch with any of the UK 999 services (police, ambulance, fire and rescue or coastguard).

It is available for anyone who finds making a voice call difficult, has communication difficulties, is deaf and includes members of the autistic community.

To use the service you need to pre-register your phone on the website. For further details go to – http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/

Say No to Marketing Call – The Telephone Preference Service

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service. It is the official central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.

Organisations with which you have an ongoing relationship, for example those who regard you as a customer, (or in the case of charities – a donor) may well gather your consent during the early stages of your relationship with them and will therefore be entitled to call you even if your number is registered on TPS, unless you have previously told them specifically that you object to them calling you for marketing purposes.

The TPS can accept the registration of mobile telephone numbers, however it is important to note that this will prevent the receipt of marketing voice calls but not SMS (text) messages. If you wish to stop receiving SMS marketing messages, please send an ‘opt-out’ request to the company involved.
As TPS registration only prevents marketing calls, organisations will still be able to call you for the purposes of genuine market research.

To register your number or make a complaint the quickest and easiest way is to do this online by visiting: www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/number_type.html

Alternatively you can phone the Registration Line on: 0345 070 0707. You can call this number to register your number, discuss your concerns or request a complaint form to report receipt of unsolicited direct marketing calls.

For more information visit: www.tpsonline.org.uk

Traffic Issues – Background and Update on What Is Being Done to Address the Issue

During a visit to a FVCA meeting in February 2017, the Chief Constable recognised that there was an issue with regard speeding through the village and suggested that the following measures needed to be adopted:

1. Psychological interventions e.g. signs,

2. Enforcement and

3. Engineering work.

The first two have been achieved, with better signage in the village, a speed limit that is now enforceable (at the time the Traffic Regulation Order for Stourbridge Road was non-compliant) and now visits by the Mobile Enforcement Officer. The Safer Road Partnership found that the road through the village was of concern, in fact the speeds can be so high that it is deemed unsafe to operate Community Speedwatch.

The last things that needs to be done is Engineering Works. FVCA in partnership with the Parish Council, having considered the options and the community impact (residents, school, businesse, etc), have suggested suitable works for consideration by Highways. It is vital that any works are effective and have minimal negative impact on the community (residents, businesses, school, etc).

Residents, School Parents, Commuters etc are invited to email Cllr Alan Amos, Cabinet Portfolio holder for Highways, detailing their experiences and personal observations. This will help focus his mind as he considers our suggested works, i.e. works before the entrance to the village to slow down traffic and a traffic table between school drive and the post office. Please email Cllr. Amos at AAmos@worcestershire.gov.uk Please copy your email to Cllr Shirley Webb swebb2@worcestershire.gov.uk

Of course, people will be wanting more. A systematic step by step approach is required.

It is worth noting that a pedestrian crossing was considered in 2016, the cost would be £100,000 + (cost of build, consultants, electricity, etc) and the County Council said that there was a long waiting list. The works that are being proposed would provide traffic calming across the village (Stourbridge Road), whereas a pedestrian crossing provides a one-point piece of calming that in reality will only be effective when someone wants to cross the road.

Even though the County Council have trialled 20mph zones outside schools located on minor roads, the Council will not adopt a similar policy on a main B-road, i.e. Stourbridge Road.

Parking restrictions do have a part to play with regard accessibility for pedestrians, especially for enabling safe accessibility for young children, the elderly and people with mobility issues. FVCA are urging Highways to adopt strategically placed lines that have minimal negative impact. Before adoption, any further parking restrictions will need consultation.

Lastly, the Parish Council have agreed to consider an extension to the Recreation Ground carpark. Unfortunately, we need someone with planning experience to help guide us through the maze that is Green Belt regulations. If you or you know anyone that can assist us do please contact fvcommunityassociation@outlook.com

318 Bus Update

13th July 2018

Kev’s Coaches have been awarded the contract to operate the 318 Service from 2nd September.

Kevin will be at August’s Community Meeting (Monday 6th, 7.30pm, Fairfield Villa Club House) to discuss community requirements and issues – please attend.

14th May 2018

Update received from Cty Cllr Webb “The replacement service is currently out to tender and an extension has been agreed with Diamond buses to align the start dates, the service will continue with Diamond bus until September.”

21st February 2018

Diamond Buses have acquired Central Buses – From Monday 26th February 2018, Central Buses services will be operated by Diamond Buses.

Diamond last year announced that they would be withdrawing from the 318 service, the service was re-tendered and awarded to Central Buses, delivering the 318 service from 26th February 2018.

The County Council’s commercial team have been in discussions and have decided not to novate the contract to Diamond buses but to re-tender the 318 again. The County Council have agreed to an extension of the 318’s current operation with Diamond buses until the 3rd June 2018 to allow the commercial team time to complete a tender exercise.

5th January 2018

Central Buses will replace Diamond to deliver the 318 bus service. There will be no break in service.

4th December 2017

Diamond will continue to operate the service to the current timetable including Fairfield until the 25th of February 2018, the County Council will be going out to tender for a longer term option.

1st December 2017

Diamond Cancels 318 Bus Service: Linking Fairfield to Catshill, Bromsgrove, Belbroughton & Stourbridge

It was announced by Worcestershire County Council on Thursday 30th November 2017 that Diamond are withdrawing this partially subsided and partly commercial service. The County Council are in discussions with operators to provide a replacement contract for a similar service on Mondays to Saturdays.

County Hall have confirmed that Diamond are withdrawing from the 318 bus service with effect from 2nd January 2018, i.e. the scheduled last Diamond Bus Service will be on Saturday 30th December 2017.

FVCA has raised concerns with local County Councillor Shirley Webb. Withdrawal of the bus service will impact many residents, including school children and the elderly.

FVCA have been informed that the County Council are considering replacement services, further details are not known. Cllr Webb has said she will update FVCA when she has further news.

In the meantime, FVCA has asked the Parish Council to discuss the issue as a matter of urgency and it will also be discussed at the FVCA meeting on Saturday 9th December (10am, Village Hall), open to all residents.