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Friday 6 May 2011

Crime News

The local Neighbourhood Policing Inspector at Crewe, Inspector Andy Smith, has asked us to highlight the seasonal issue of sneak in burglaries and thefts as widely as possible amongst the local community due to the time of year. 
Historically, lighter nights and warmer weather often leads to an increase in sneak in burglaries or thefts in various ways.
In light of the Easter break, when many of us will hopefully be enjoying some time off with our families and friends, please remind members to be mindful of their security both in their homes and when out and about.  Although this can be a well publicised issue, we still have instances of people being victims of this type of crime so it is important to remind as many people as possible about this issue.
1.)  Ensure that doors and windows are locked and secured at night.  With many of us having windows open during the day and our doors unlocked it can be easy to retire to bed and overlook an open window (such as a downstairs bathroom etc) or unlocked door.
2.) With the warmer weather many of us will be accessing sheds and outbuildings more frequently to gain access to tools, gardening equipment and sports equipment.  Again, ensure that these are properly secured overnight.
In relation to the above two points, it is worthwhile to get into the habit of doing a quick walks around your house and outbuildings just prior to going to bed.  Take a couple of minutes to double check that sheds, garages, all windows and doors are secure on a nightly basis.
3.) If you leave your property for a short period during the day allow the same level of security as you would do overnight.  Many people are unaware that more burglaries occur during daylight hours than overnight  Therefore, don't be tempted to leave a window open 'as you are just nipping out for 10 minutes' or leave tools and equipment in the garden.  Such equipment could be used to gain access to your property or a neighbour's property or may be taken by an opportunist thief.
4.) If you are preoccupied outside or upstairs ensure that you close any downstairs windows and secure the doors.  It only takes a matter of seconds for an opportunist thief to walk in and take a purse, wallet, handbag or mobile phone.  Most of us are creatures of habit and tend to take off these items when we come through the door, hanging bags over a banister or popping wallets , phones and keys down on a table so they are often conveniently located near to the main access points of your property meaning these items are easily accessible.  Sneak in burglaries often occur during daylight hours so it is important to be mindful of these even when you are at home.
5.) Whilst out and about in your vehicle, don't be tempted to leave car windows down whilst you nip in a shop or petrol station and ensure that any valuables are put out of sight every time you leave your vehicle - even if only briefly.  Many of us are conscious that a thief may take a sat nav, cd player, phone, purse etc but it is worth remembering that they can take items that may seem less appealing to us such as sunglasses, coats and clothing, a rucksack, loose change and other such items.  To be ultra safe try and leave nothing on show in your vehicle when it is unoccupied.
If anyone would like any specific information in relation to sneak in burglaries, home security, vehicle security or garden security for their members please let me know what type of advice you would like from these options and in what quantity and I will send it out to you for your schemes.


In the last couple of weeks I have received a large number of phishing emails into both my work and personal email in-boxes.  Several purporting to be from various banks and one claiming to be from HM Revenues and Customs in relation to a tax refund.
Information has been sent out about various types of these emails in the past.  However, in view of the fact that there seems to be a number of these floating around at present I thought it worthwhile to send out a general reminder email for members and circulation.  Some of these emails are very basic and extremely unbelievable in their make up but others can appear to be very realistic (in terms of design and web address sent from) and someone could fall foul of one of these if caught at the right moment.  As home watch members I am sure that you are very security conscious about such emails but please try and share this message with friends and family, particularly if some are less familiar with the internet or are vulnerable.
Please remind contacts that they should never respond to any email that tries to get them to provide any personal or financial details via an email or by clicking a link to another page.  Various threats (your account will be shut down/suspended) and sweeteners (you are due a tax refund) will be offered to try and encourage people to provide their details in whatever way possible.  Genuine financial organisations will never try and obtain your details in this manner.  They will never ask for your password.  If you receive an email of this nature you can be confident that it is a hoax.
Sometimes, people are concerned that an email may be genuine - if it is one of the more well designed ones.  If in any doubt or you have concerns find a contact yourself for the Customer Services Department of the organisation in question (never open a link or follow what is already provided) and contact them directly to discuss the matter in person. 
Many organisations have a facility on their websites to report suspicious or hoax emails.  As such if anyone receives such emails they always appreciate them being reported directly via this facility so that they can investigate the origins wherever possible.

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