Link to Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Newsletter (July 2019)
Following a noticeable increase in Bogus Caller/Doorstep Crime incidents across the country please be alert and consider how you can protect yourself, family friends and neighbours. The old adage ' If in doubt, keep them out' is a simple but effective message. Everyone has a part to play to keep the community safe.
Here are some simple steps that may prevent those around you falling victim to criminals who target the vulnerable in our communities.
Look out for your community and report any suspicious activity immediately to Police Scotland on 101 or your local authority Trading Standards.
- Discuss the advice in this message and links below with family, friends or neighbours who are older or vulnerable.
- Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
- Keep front and back doors locked.
- Use the door viewer or nearby window when answering the door.
- Fit a door chain or bar – use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
- If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
- Don’t feel embarrassed – genuine callers expect you to be careful.
- Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
- Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity.
- Some companies offer a password system. Ask your utility providers if this can be used and if you have a password with a company make sure the caller uses it.
- Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home even if they are asking for help – they may not be genuine. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you.
- Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door.
- Don’t keep large amounts of money in your home.
- Remember, it’s your home. There’s no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes. Keep an eye out for strange vans in your neighbour's driveway.
- Make sure your relatives are not regularly taking large amounts of cash out of the bank.
- Make arrangements to ensure your relative’s house looks well maintained and, for example, that it is not immediately obvious that an older person lives there alone.
- Doorstep criminals will often target the same victim more than once, so be particularly alert if someone has previously been a victim.
Blue Green Algae has been found in Mill Burn at the outflow from White Loch at Colvend.
Blue green algae is toxic to dogs and livestock and can be fatal. Please be cautious in letting your dog / livestock drink from this source
Please take time to have a look at this information on Purple Alert. If this may be useful to your family, friends or neighbours let them know about it and encourage them to sign up.
Alzheimer Scotland, in partnership with Police Scotland and partners from across the public sector developed the Purple Alert mobile app.
Purple Alert is a free, community minded app, to help people living with dementia if they are missing.
Purple Alert allows the community to support Police Scotland National Missing Persons Unit during a missing person search. The app shares key information at the point of crisis and allows for more eyes and ears on the ground helping with the immediate search. When a carer sends an alert, all app users in a 30-mile radius get a notification that contains an up-to-date photo of the missing person, information about them and places they enjoy going to.
Since Purple Alert went live two years ago, all 13 alerts resulted in the missing person being found safe and well within four hours. We now have over 9,000 downloads of the app and you can help us to reach 10,000 downloads by asking 3 other people to sign up and create a profile.
To find out more about Purple Alert or to download the app, visit purplealert.org.uk
Dementia is Scotland’s biggest public health issue. There are around 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and it is now estimated that 20,000 people will be diagnosed with the condition every year by 2020. If you have any questions about dementia, or about the support available in your area, call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 Hour Freephone Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000.
Dumfries and Galloway Partnership Against Rural Crime (DGPARC) will be launched at Dumfries Show on Saturday 3rd August 2019. More details on the role will be published over the coming weeks but a vital part of the strategy is to expand membership of Neighbourhood Watch and Rural Watch across the region.
Please encourage as many neighbours, family members and colleagues to sign up to receive alerts and come and speak to local Police Community officers at the local shows across the region over the coming weeks.
Wednesday 31 July 2019 - Stranraer Show
Thursday 1 August 2019 - Stewartry Show
Saturday 3 August 2019 - Dumfries Show
Wednesday 07/08/2019 - Wigton Show
we are delighted to bring you some exciting news. At our last AGM and through recent newsletters we introduced you to one of our key partners – the Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN). Over the past 12 months we have progressed our partnership and are delighted to report that from October 2019, SCSN will host Neighbourhood Watch Scotland. That means we are entering a contractual partnership with SCSN who will provide management, administration and governance support to NWS. In return NWS will allow SCSN to have much better links with communities and community groups.
This decision has not taken place overnight. Whilst the Neighbourhood Watch Scotland network has grown by over 80% in the past 3 years and benefited from the application of our key principles of ‘Your Watch, Your Way’ and ‘getting the right information to the right people at the right time’ we know that the next step forward cannot be made in isolation and needs effective partnership working. With this in mind since August 2018 NWS and SCSN have conducted joint development events and established a joint working group. These identified areas of expertise that both organisations bring to the partnership in addition to identifying their shared strategic and operational requirements. In short the organisations need one another and community safety in Scotland will benefit from the partnership.
The organisations have taken legal advice on partnership options with both agreeing the most suitable partnership model to be that of a Contractual Co-operative Partnership. This option should be able to deliver the agreed outcomes of both organisations without the need to establish a more complex structure of governance and without incurring significant establishment or operational costs. This option would also allow the required flexibility for the partnership to further evolve in the years ahead.
The partnership will have other mutual benefits such as a closer working relationship, sharing of work sites and equipment, representation on each other’s Boards and some shared staff resources. For community safety in Scotland the new partnership brings together two significant organisations working to keep our communities safer and will ensure a more co-ordinated support for Community Safety Partnerships and local communities across Scotland.
Importantly both organisations will retain separate identities, their charitable status and there will be no change to the level of service they provide to members and communities.
In addition to this major structural development we have some other changes on the horizon
With so much happening we look forward to our 2019 Annual General Meeting which has been scheduled as follows:
Date: Monday 23rd September 2019
Time: 10.30 registration for an 11.00 start (partner presentations after lunch 1200-1230).
Duration: 11.00 to 14.00.
Venue: The Dumyat Room, Enterprise House, Springkerse, Stirling, FK7 7UF
There were 88 theft by housebreaking (including attempts) in Annandale & Eskdale between April and December 2018.
Police Scotland offers a free home security survey to anyone who wants to review the security of their home. The survey, carried out by one of our Crime Reduction Officers will give practical and low cost advice on how best to secure your home and could include advice on lighting or CCTV.
To get one of these surveys, call us on 101 and ask to be put through to your local Crime Reduction Officer. We will make an appointment suitable to you to come and carry out the survey.
"By taking basic crime prevention steps, you can help make it harder for thieves. Simple things like always locking and securing your home when leaving it unattended or small changes to lighting or window locks could be all it takes to deter thieves. Working together we can help reduce crime, and ensure that the number of those who experience the trauma of a break-in is kept to a minimum.”
Help us #BeatDoorstepCrime and report any bogus callers or rogue traders to Police or Trading Standards.
Bogus callers try to get into your home or obtain personal details by pretending to be someone they’re not, including council staff, charity collectors, meter readers and police officers. In reality, they are criminals trying to steal money and valuables.
Rogue traders usually cold-call, claiming to be workers offering to sell services, make repairs or carry out work on your house, garden or driveway. In reality they charge inflated prices for shoddy or unnecessary work.
We DO NOT recommend dealing with cold-callers for property maintenance and home repairs.
You can find out more information here -http://www.scotland.police.uk/…/doorstep-crime-and-bogus-ca…
Police Scotland Home security advice...
We're reminding householders not to let the improved weather blind them to the importance of home security...
- As you spend time outdoors in the warm weather, doors and windows are often left wide open, providing a ready invitation to passing opportunist thieves who could sneak in and out in a matter of seconds taking valuable property with them. Keep windows and doors locked.
- Don't keep any keys or valuables within arm’s reach of the front or back door - keep them out of sight.
- For visibility at night, consider sensor-operated lighting which is convenient and an effective deterrent.
- If your shed/garage has windows, consider fitting a curtain, or similar, to obscure the view of the shed contents.
- Mark all the electrical equipment with an ultraviolet marker pen or register at imobilise.comwww.immobilise.com
- If you have an alarm - make sure and use it. Also, consider an intruder alarm for your shed or outbuilding.
- Never leave your shed/garage unlocked. Are the locks secure?
• Use significantly different passwords for each service you have
• Change passwords every 90 days for all services
• Ensure your passwords are a minimum of 8 characters, using lower-case letters, uppercase letters, numbers and special characters in a scrambled sequence
• The password chosen must not include any usernames or easy to guess phrases e.g. “password”
• Having difficulty remembering lots of different passwords? Try a password manager
• Use multi-Factor authentication to give further security to your online accounts
reproduced by kind permmission of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre
Police are urging bicycle owners to securely fasten their bikes after forty bike thefts in Dumfries since the start of the year.
Summer has arrived and chances are that you or a friend or family member will be out and about enjoying the various cycle paths and taking in the fabulous scenic routes Dumfries and Galloway offers.This however increases the desirability of bicycles to thieves. Recently there has been a spate of bicycles stolen in Dumfries, almost of which have been as a result of the bike being left unattended and insecure.
Crime Reduction Officer Derek Hughes from Community Safety said: “Some modern bicycles can be fairly expensive and thieves will take any opportunity to exploit that. We are reminding the public there can be a number of common sense measures that can reduce the chances of being a victim of crime.
- Do not leave your bicycle in isolated places.
- Always lock your bicycle when you leave it. Failure to do so will most likely invalidate any insurance cover.
- Where possible, lock your bicycle to something solid like a lamp post or railings.
- If your wheels are easily removed, remove the front wheel and lock it to the frame and back wheel.
- Take a photograph and a description of your bike.
- Do not leave your bike lying about!
“Even in the safest community, we would advise against leaving your bicycle outside your home or in your garden, unless it is a secured with a bicycle lock.
“Pedal cycles can be of high value, and are easily sold on or often dissembled for parts. If you wish to have your bicycle post-coded, please contact your local police station on 101.”
BE ALERT TO MACHINERY THEFTS
Police are urging you to secure your vehicles and other machinery this summer.
While Dumfries and Galloway is enjoying low crime rates officers are doing their best to make sure this continues and the national problem of vehicle crime does not hit this region. It is a rural area so it can be sometimes subject to thefts from farm or rural properties. Furthermore it is not immune from the more urban crimes such as domestic car crime.
From time to time a region can be targeted by teams of thieves from elsewhere in the UK. Such thieves often visit a property in advance, and if challenged give an apparently innocent reason for their presence.
To prevent this police officers in the region are stepping up patrols during the summer months. Police are also warning farmers and other members of the public to pay particular attention to their plant and machinery security. Farm or even residential vehicles can be high value and securing them should be considered to prevent any thefts from farms, building sites and industrial premises.
Identify your property by:
- Keeping a record of the serial number, chassis and model numbers of machines.
- Use metal engravers to mark tools and equipment with your postcode followed by the first two letters of your farm's name.
- Consider physical crime prevention measures for all machinery and vehicles.
- There are a number of products on the market which would deter persons from stealing such vehicles, ie Data tag, Quadloc, Smartwater, etc.
- Always keep tools and small pieces of machinery locked away. Do not leave them lying about.
From a police point of view it is disappointing when officers are called to thefts plant, machinery and other vehicles and quickly learn how easy it has been for the thieves.
Members of the community are urged to take the opportunity to contact us and ask for a visit from their local crime prevention officers for a free security survey. It may just save you hundreds or thousands of pounds and stop you becoming a victim of theft.
Inspector Alan Cook of Dumfries Division Community Policing Unit said: “We are lucky that Dumfries and Galloway has a relatively low crime rate compared to other areas, however the area has at times been a target for travelling criminals who come to the area and commit crime.
“We are advising members of the public not to be complacent and insure that they secure all items of plant, machinery or vehicles that they own or use. These are all very valuable commodities and should be treated as such. Crimes of this nature are on the increase throughout the country and we would urge people to take all appropriate steps to ensure their property is adequately secured.
“Plant, Machinery and Vehicles are a valuable part of modern day life. However they are also a valuable commodity to thieves and it is therefore important that our community take relevant measures to secure their vehicles and machinery properly.”
“There have also been incidents throughout the force area of vehicle number plates being stolen from parked and unattended vehicle’s, the main reason for this type of theft is in order to fit the plates to another vehicle that has either been or is about to be stolen. Members of the public are urged to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious incidents immediately to Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary on 101.
Telephone number for Dumfries & Galloway Police 101
Emergency Calls are still on 999
Crimstoppers 0800 555 111
Dumfries & Galloway Neighbourhood Watch welcomes your input to the site, if you have any local neighbourhood Watch events or information you wish to share contact us at email@example.com