CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
Here are a few tips / reminders to bear in mind during the busy festive season (most are valid at any time of year - not just at Christmas!):
Whilst out shopping
- Stay alert to what’s going on around you.
- Only carry the cash and cards that you need. (It is safer to pay with cards).
- Avoid going back to your car to leave your shopping part way through your trip. If you have to keep presents in the car make sure they are out of view in the boot, the car is locked and keep the receipts with you. (Note - don’t leave anything on display in the car!)
- Beware of pickpockets and thieves hoping to snatch things from your grasp. Be particularly careful with purses and wallets. If you have a handbag carry it close to, and in front of, your body, and make sure it is fastened. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket.
- NEVER put your handbag on your trolley when shopping, e.g. in a supermarket - you will take your eyes off it when selecting items etc. - and it only takes a second for someone to steal it.
- If you are shopping online never enter your personal or card / bank details on websites that don’t have a padlock symbol in the address bar (address should start https - s for secure). Please note – currently, there are tips and advice relating to online shopping in our notice board in the precinct.
At cash machines
· If you see anything suspicious at / with the machine alert the bank or ring the Police (101).
· Check around you – ensure no one is looking over your shoulder - and shield the keypad when typing in your PIN at a cash machine (or in a shop).
· Only withdraw as much cash as you need and avoid carrying large amounts. Put money and cards away safely (not in your back pocket) before leaving the machine.
· Don’t leave presents under your Christmas tree if they are visible from outside your property. (Put them where they cannot be seen from any windows / doors).
· Make sure you keep your doors locked at all times.
· Keys should always be kept out of sight and not left in doors or in view of a window.
· Make your house look occupied, use a time switch to operate lamps as it starts to get dark.
· When you leave your property check that all doors and windows are locked and if you have a burglar alarm set it. If it is dark leave some lights on and draw the curtains.
After you have opened your Christmas presents
Burglars are aware that households may have new and expensive items in their homes following the Christmas holiday - especially gadgets such as tablets, laptops, mobile phones, etc. Avoid being an easy target for post-holiday burglars by not leaving boxes for new electronic goods and other items sticking out, or at the side, of your green bin - dispose of such boxes unobtrusively:
Break down any boxes you are throwing out and put them in your bin - preferably at the bottom under lots of other recyclable goods. If you have a lot, you could consider keeping them in the garage and getting rid of them gradually - or take them all directly to the tip.
Mark your valuables with your postcode using a UV pen (available from various stockists, including Amazon, eBay, B&Q) or CREMark (www.creproducts.co.uk).
Register your property securely and free of charge on www.immobilise.com - the national marking database (a Police ‘Secured by Design’ service).
CRIMES* REPORTED 2.10.21 – 15.11.21 *Acquisitive Crime + Damage
(Excludes crimes of a domestic nature, neighbour / employment disputes, non-payment of goods, e.g. shop thefts)
Time of Day
6 unknown males on motorbikes took wing mirrors off vehicle whilst it was being driven
10 - 11.10.21
2200 - 0500 hrs
Theft from Vehicle
Offender entered a vehicle parked on the road by unknown means. Made untidy search and stole items
17 - 18.10.21
2300 - 1000 hrs
Victim reported that offender entered rear garden of property and moved a ladder to another part of the garden in an attempt to steal it
2 unknown males arrived at business premises in a vehicle and attempted to take a container of used oil left outside premises. Left empty handed when challenged by staff
14 - 15.11.21
1700 - 0732 hrs
Theft from Vehicle
Offender(s) stole catalytic converter from a vehicle parked on a driveway
CURRENT SCAMS TO BE AWARE OF
I have recently been informed of 2 scams which are circulating:
a) calls received from 0845 and 0843 numbers (service numbers charged at special rates)
The advice is that if you get a missed call from a number you don’t know, especially 0845 or 0843 numbers, think twice before calling it back as you’ll be charged, possibly a large sum. If the caller really needs to contact you, they’ll leave a message or try again. If you experience any issues with such calls, contact your phone provider.
b) WhatsApp – a message is received, supposedly from a friend or family member, asking for help as their phone is damaged, lost or stolen (so making contact on a new number) – they go on to request personal info, a transfer of money or a six digit pin no. DO NOT provide any details - ALWAYS verify any unusual requests in person or verbally (i.e. call them) to confirm their identity.
How can I avoid receiving phone scams and cold calls?
Here are some things you can do to reduce the number of such calls received:
1. Register with the Telephone Preference Service (tel no. 0345 070 0707 or via www.tpsonline.org.uk) – you can register both landline and mobile numbers free of charge. This will opt you out of receiving any live unsolicited telesales calls. This should reduce the number of cold telesales calls you receive – but won’t stop ‘automated calls’ or block the scammers.
2. Talk to your phone provider to see what privacy services and call-blocking services are available (there may be a charge for some of them).
3. If you have a smartphone, you can use the settings to block unwanted numbers.
4. Consider a call blocker. These are devices which you can attach to your phone, or which may already be part of a phone.
Note: before you activate or install these products, please make sure that they won’t block calls you want to receive (e.g. some will block all withheld numbers – but some legitimate organisations use withheld numbers as well as private individuals who you may wish to receive calls from).
Wishing all our members, and readers of this page, a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Crime-free New Year!
For further advice please visit our website: www.ravensheadneighbourhoodwatch.co.uk
To contact RNW email us at email@example.com or leave a message for us on 07583 296 466 (Note: Please report all crimes and any suspicious activity to the Police on 101).
BURGLARY – A Reminder of key points.
If your property is going to be left empty, please make it look as though it is not. There are various things you can do to achieve this – one of the most effective is to have lights coming on during the hours of darkness (use a timer where necessary). Here are some other recommendations:
· If you have an alarm, please set it. Also ensure that all exterior doors and windows are closed and locked.
· Don’t leave curtains drawn (i.e., leave the curtains open) – burglars do recces during the day as well as during the hours of darkness! Closed curtains when it is light, suggest no one is in.
· Neighbours – if you are going to be away for a while, ask them to occasionally park their car(s) on your drive if possible, and put your wheelie bins out for emptying. Also ask them to put some of their rubbish in your bins (empty bins can be a giveaway!)
· Neighbours / Friends / Family – it is a good idea to have a trusted person check on the property regularly. (Make sure they know how to work the alarm). They can move any post - including the flyers which get delivered even if you have cancelled the mail, etc.
· Valuables – remove any valuable items from sight. If you have a safe, put them in there and lock them away. If not, hide them in a place you wouldn’t expect to find them – e.g., at the back of an airing cupboard, covered by bedding / towels etc.
· Put all ladders and garden tools away – locked in a shed / garage. Ladders are best secured to a fixed anchor point with a good quality lock / chain (and essential if stored outside).
Please remember to report anything / anyone suspicious on 101 – if you think a crime is in progress dial 999.