LEAVE NOTHING INSIDE YOUR CAR OR VAN

This is the key message. After six consecutive years of reductions in theft from parked vehicles, the Police are reporting that instances are now showing a slight increase, and are asking the public to help in removing the temptation for thieves.

Last year's figures were an all-time low and perhaps an increase was inevitable - but there are still things that the public can do to help.

The most common kind of vehicle crime is when cars and vans are broken into and property stolen. Both could be avoided if people were to follow the simple rule: LEAVE NOTHING INSIDE YOUR CAR OR VAN - even if it is hidden.

It is now power tools - not stereos - which are the most popular items to be stolen. Many working people leave tools and equipment in their vehicles overnight, and these are very attractive to thieves. If there is no alternative to leaving such items in the vehicle, a robust and locked safe should be secured inside, and an alarm fitted.

Also on the increase is the theft of handbags, laptops and other personal items from cars parked in beauty spots, pub car parks and golf courses. It's so simple; leave nothing in a parked vehicle. Don't just move it into the boot as you leave - they could be watching!

All members of the public have a part to play. If you see any suspicious activity report it immediately on 999. You can also help by refusing to buy used tools and equipment from strangers.

Anyone with information about the activities of criminals can report it anonymously and confidentially by phoning Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. If they wish, their name will not be taken, and they won't be asked to act as witnesses.

Crime adversely affects us all - even if we are not victims - through increased costs such as insurance; feelings of insecurity, and an erosion of the quality of our neighbourhoods. Help bring it under control.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH AGM

Date for your diary. This year's AGM will be on November 10th at the Alresford Goods Shed.

A SIMPLE DETERRENT

As autumn draws in we should ensure our properties are adequately lit and appear occupied when we are out. Timer switches are very cheap now, e.g. 7.99 for three, at Homestyle in Broad Street, Alresford, so why not invest in a couple more for rooms other than just the hall.

DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR CHILDREN GO WHEN THEY ARE OUT ?

Perins School has suffered a number of burglaries over the summer holidays and a large increase in damage, which has included smashed windows and graffiti.

Perins suffers because of its title of Community Sports College and from having an open gate policy. People must realise that the 'Community' tag means its facilities can be used in certain circumstances by members of the community for specified activities with permission of the Facilities Manager. It does not mean that anybody can wander in and around the grounds at will. That is still trespass.

Local Police officers find and challenge children in the grounds nearly every time they patrol. Most are well behaved and doing no harm, but may however be tarred with the same brush as those committing the damage, just by being there at the wrong time.

MINI MOTORCYCLES and POWERED SCOOTERS

Mini motorbikes are becoming increasingly popular and many purchasers believe that there are no legal restrictions. However, anyone who uses them on a road must have a driving licence. The legal definition of a road includes the pavement, and the same requirements also apply on public footpaths, bridleways, 'green lanes' and other public places such as parks and recreation grounds.

Anyone riding in these areas is committing several offences unless they have the correct documentation. The vehicle must also be insured and taxed. It doesn't matter how fast they go or who rides them, the law is the same. The only place to use these machines without breaking the law is on private land.

Parents are also warned of the safety concerns, as the potential for a serious accident is enormous. Only use these bikes in fields with the landowner's permission, and with the correct training.


WHAT SORT OF PERSON BUYS ALCOHOL FOR A CHILD?

There has been much in the press recently about alcohol laws and unfortunately Alresford is not immune from the problems. The Police have received very positive support from almost all the alcohol retailers in the town with regard to sales to under 18's. Staff who flout the warnings could receive a fixed penalty notice.

Remember it is an offence to buy alcohol for consumption by anyone under 18.

Shops are entitled to refuse to sell if they believe it is for the use of those under 18, even if the person trying to buy is over 18.

Police have powers to pour away alcohol being consumed by under 18's and also ANY ALCOHOL being consumed in a group of people where one or more people in the group is under 18.

These youngsters are the potential "binge drinkers" of tomorrow. Please help stop this happening.

CO-ORDINATOR REQUIRED

There is a vacancy for Lime Road/Hawthorn Close. If you know of anybody prepared to act as Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, which includes helping distribute the Newsletter, please call Ralph Pointer, Hon Secretary on 01962 734833, or the editor (see below).

KEEP IT TO YOURSELF

There are so many scams around now. The simplest rule is 'never give any personal information to anyone'. For example, current advice is 'never answer your home or mobile phone with either the number or your name'

Also, you are the only person who needs to know your PIN number. Don't reveal it to ANYONE!

USEFUL CONTACTS

EMERGENCY 999 Crime in progress
Life in danger
Violence being used
NON -EMERGENCY
0845 045 45 45
Ask for Alresford Police Station
Contact Police officer
Report minor crime
Leave messages
ALRESFORD POLICE STATION ENQUIRY DESK
Monday - Friday 12.30 - 13.30
18.00 - 19.00
Weekends
09.30 - 10.30
18.00 - 19.00
Hampshire Constabulary website
www.hampshire.police.uk
Information on crime prevention and all Police services.

Constabulary Column

An update from Alresford's Sergeant Andy Heward

MORE ON PREVENTING THEFTS FROM (PARKED)CARS

PC Murphy has continued his crusade with the laminated cards (no valuables left in this car....). In fact he has exhausted most of the county's supply! A new batch arrived which were not laminated and proved useless when it rained. We put forward a cost argument that saving money on the laminating was ridiculous. If the cards prevent just one offence (and we believe they have prevented many), then the money saved in time and investigation would fund many thousands of new cards. The upshot is that we are now awaiting delivery of 5/000 new laminated cards. PC Murphy has even arranged dispensers for the car parks so he doesn't physically have to go around putting them under wipers any more! Anyone can then help themselves.

KNOCKERS STILL AROUND

The "Nottingham Knockers" visited in July for a day but got so much hassle they left at lunchtime !

We have also received a warning about an increase in Hampshire of Polish and other eastern European "Knockers" getting in on the action and taking every opportunity to commit opportunist crime whilst doing the rounds. There have been no instances of this locally, but it is starting to spread out from the cities.

LOCAL POLICE OFFICER RESPONSIBILITIES

New Alresford, Cheriton, Bramdean, Kilmeston, Hinton Ampner. Beauworth. Tichbome

PC Gary McKernon and PC Steve Dicker

Kings Worthy

PC Mike Chappell, PC Lynn Owen and PC Alexandra Stanford

Micheldever, Easton, Old Alresford, Itchen Abbas, Bighton Gundleton, Northington. East Stratton

PC Steve Thompson, PC Andrew Murphy

POLICE COMMUNITY SUPPORT OFFICER UPDATE

Following the article in our last Newsletter, the Alresford Advertiser carried a piece in August about Cat Daniel our PCSO, who has been active in the town during the summer. If you want to leam more about the work of PCSO's they have a website at national-pcsos.co.uk which includes a link to a free calendar to download.