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 DETERRENTAs 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.