Link to Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Newsletter (Dec 2019)
The clocks have gonne forward, which must mean that spring is finally here!
The (hopefully) warmer weather offers a great opportunity to get outside in the garden. Take a moment first to think about home security and you’ll reduce your risk of falling victim to opportunistic thieves all summer long.
Ensure that doors and windows at the front of your home are secure if you are enjoying time in the garden.
Expensive garden equipment should always be locked away in a safe and secure location when not in use. The same goes for bikes which can be a tempting target if left unattended and unsecured. Fit good quality padlocks to sheds and garages.
Make sure tools such as ladders and spades are securely locked away as well. Don’t give thieves a chance to use these to help break into your home.
Visibly and permanently marking your belongings helps you and the police identify them if they are stolen. It can also make it difficult for the thief to dispose of the property.
Remember to securely lock all doors and windows before leaving the house. It’s easy to forget when you’re in a hurry to get out and enjoy some fun in the sun, but it’s the simplest way for a burglar to enter your home.
If you’re going away, cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries. If you can, ask a neighbour or relative to make your home look occupied by clearing the post away from the door mat and opening and closing the curtains.
While you’re thinking about home safety, take a minute to check your smoke alarms, too. It could save your life!
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.
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.
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