WHO’S AT THE DOOR ?
Distraction Burglary and Rogue Trading
are very similar, both have the same aim - to steal - either
money or property while the householder’s attention is distracted, or by
overcharging for poor services.
Be wary of all unexpected callers, especially those offering Driveway,
roofing or guttering repairs, or to buy antiques. The identity of anyone
unknown should be carefully checked.
The burglar may pretend to be an official, visiting to check the water
supply or the gas pipes - but any excuse to get in the house will do.
He might claim to be lost, or in need of a drink of water, or he might
ask to use the phone or look for a lost cat. This kind of burglar can
spot the home of an elderly person and has an uncanny way of knowing
where cash, pension books and valuables are kept in the house.
It is a particularly insidious crime in which the victims are often
elderly people who live alone. A few minutes distraction of the resident
is all that is needed to complete the theft, but the effects can be
In two recent Rogue Trading cases, residents were alarmed to be
presented with bills of up to £6,000 for the resurfacing of their
driveways - when in both cases the drives had been worked on without the
Alresford Neighbourhood Watch, the Police and Hampshire County Council's
Trading Standards Office have introduced a number of initiatives to
combat the problems -
ADVICE AND REASSURANCE TO THE MOST VULNERABLE
A A supply of crime prevention advice leaflets on
this particular subject has been sent to each Neighbourhood Watch
Co-ordinator, with a request for them to distribute to elderly or
vulnerable residents in their area and to discuss the problem.
As the "Doorstoppers" scheme
progresses, Trading Standards will be giving talks to elderly people at
lunch clubs, and older peoples’ groups to explain how to deal with
unwanted callers. They will provide residents with `Safe and Sound'
information booklets and stickers to go on front doors to warn doorstep
traders not to call.
DO YOU LIVE ?
Is your house number or name clearly
visible? Emergency services are being increasingly hampered by
not being able to identify houses, especially in more rural areas. Make
sure you are easy to find. Put up a new number, or cut back overhanging
foliage. Also, if you do have to call for help, then if possible get
someone outside to show them where you are, when they arrive.
The name of the murdered Crimewatch presenter
lives on after a London Institute of Criminology was named after
her. Researchers there have noticed that houses situated within a
400 metre radius of one which was burgled face a significantly
increased risk of being burgled in the next 2 months. This follows
the finding that any house is at risk of being burgled again within
12 months of the first offence.
In places like Alresford, where burglary is so
rare that it is difficult to predict, these models are now being
developed by our local police so that crime prevention measures can
be focussed in the areas where it can have the most effect.
Further information on this interesting
development can be obtained from Alresford's Inspector, Steve
Sargent at -
A small sub-committee has been formed with the
aim of maintaining the yellow and black Neighbourhood Watch signs in
good condition. Some signs have been in place for over ten years and
the weather does eventually render them illegible. We think the
signs in the town area have now been dealt with, but if you feel any
require attention, please call 734833 or 732959 and we’ll take
Shortly we shall be approaching the rural areas as many signs are
either overgrown or faded. It is a proven fact that a poor
Neighbourhood Watch sign is likely to attract crime, rather than
deter, so please help us keep up the standard.
TRADING STANDARDS QUICK
W When a call comes in from a concerned householder the quick
response team aims to set out immediately in order to arrive whilst the
trader is still in the area or is scheduled to return. The team aims to
catch the culprits red-handed and save residents from potentially being
duped out of thousands of pounds. In the team's first week of operation
it dealt with three incidents and saved consumers over £8,000. Anyone
feeling under pressure or threatened by a cold caller and feels they
need advice or assistance can call Hampshire Trading Standards on - 0845
603 0081. If you believe a crime has taken place, or is about to, ring
999 while they are still in your street, so that the Police can attend.
Al Always keep the caller waiting outside while you check their
identity card - preferably by telephoning their office.
G Genuine callers will not mind waiting while you check them
out. If you are still not happy, ask the caller to come back at a time
when you can have someone in the house with you.
Use traders known or recommended, or from the Trading Standards approved
‘Buy With Confidence’ at -
or phone - 0845 603 0081.
THEFTS FROM MOTOR VEHICLES
There has been a spate of vehicle break-ins in Alresford recently.
Please be alert and report suspicious vehicles, especially registration
numbers. Police patrols are always active in the area, so make that call
immediately. Also, remember NOT to leave anything of value in your car,
and it is vital to lock the vehicle, even on your own drive.
Update from WPC Jane Brookes -
Alresford’s Beat Officer
Crime levels in Alresford are virtually unchanged
from last year. For instance, the number of house burglaries in the
town over the 5 months from April to August was the same this year as
last - just 4.
Crimes against property are generally falling all over the country, and
we have seen a particularly welcome fall in the number of cars which are
broken into, except over the last couple of weeks.
Further reductions in this problem will occur if we all stop leaving
anything in our cars or vans, either at night outside our homes, or when
out walking the dog.
The amount of violent crime has risen nationally and this is mostly
connected with drunkenness. Alresford, with no night club, has not seen
this, and violent crime remains low here.
We will continue to defeat crime if we remain vigilant and look out for
our neighbours - especially those who we know are more vulnerable than
the rest of us.
As a rural complement to N.W., Alresford Police are launching Farmwatch
now that harvest is over. Many thefts occur in isolated farms and
farmers will soon benefit from increased contact with the Police and
from better crime prevention advice, along with warning notices for
would be thieves. This approach has been very successful in the
Petersfield area and further details will soon be issued to farmers by
the scheme’s organiser, PC Steve Thompson.
Alresford PC’s Penny Linstead and Richard Morgan were
congratulated by their Superintendent recently at a ceremony held in
Whilst on patrol in April, the two prevented the suicide of a young man,
who upon recovery, attacked them and had to be restrained until help
arrived. PC Morgan received a minor injury.
Advance notice for your diary. The Neighbourhood
Watch AGM will be held in the Edward Knight Centre (Goods Shed) on
Wednesday November 10th.