This is our weekly report and prompt to see if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns for the Alcester Police North SNT. Thank you to those that have contacted the Team this week. If you need to be removed from this email circulation list, please let me know asap.
Incidents of a public interest from the last week:-
- Anti-Social Behaviour. Spernal Lane, Spernal. Ongoing situation of 4×4’s using the area for off-roading etc. Damage often being caused. 0320 09/12/2019
- Burglary Residential. New Road, Studley. House broken into, resulting in two vehicles also being stolen from the property. Overnight 11th & 12th December. 0039 12/12/2019
- Theft. Shop, Studley. Items stolen by way of shoplifting. Two adults and two children involved. All four left in a 4×4 type vehicle. 6.10pm Tuesday 10th December. 0399 10/12/2019
- Burglary Residential. Green Lane, Studley. Entry gained to house through rear door. Untidy search made. Between 11.45am and 3.45pm Tuesday 10th December. 0288 10/12/2019
- Damage. Brook End Drive, Henley. Two males seen trying to pull the Christmas lights off a tree, resulting in the lights being damaged. Described as two males, late teens / early 20’s, wearing casual clothes and trainers. 11.45pm Saturday 14th December. 0056 15/12/2019
- Theft. Shop, High Street, Henley. Two male offenders have stolen items by way of shoplifting. 5.50pm Thursday 12th December. 0406 12/12/2019
- Theft. Earlswood Common. Garden shed broken into and items stolen including step ladders, hedge trimmer, pruning shears and other various tools. Between 3am and 12 midday Monday 9th December. 0167 09/12/2019
- Burglary Residential. Penn Lane, Tanworth. Offenders have entered the premises through rear door. Unknown if anything taken at the time of the report. Between 11.30am and 2pm Tuesday 10th December. 0235 10/12/2019
Crime Prevention during the Christmas Period:
Using Cashpoints –
Before arriving at the ATM
- If possible, have your ATM card in your hand on approach to the machine, rather than delve into the wallet or handbag either at the machine or whilst standing in a queue to use it
- Have in mind the precise transactions you wish to conduct at the ATM to minimise your time at the machine
- Try to use ATMs that are located in busy public places and ones that are well lit after dark. Check to see if anyone is hanging around. Report any suspicious behaviour on 101.
Arriving at the ATM
- Don’t use ATMs that appear visually different from the norm, especially around the card slot. Have extra things be added onto the surfaces of the ATM? (Tell the bank about your suspicions immediately)
- If in the company of a friend or partner have them stand close to you at the ATM to help block views of the keypad
- Be aware of somebody sitting in a car near to the ATM and be very aware of the people standing behind you and off to the side that are close enough to see you input your PIN. If you are at all concerned about the people near you, walk away and come back later or use a different machine. Trust your instincts!
Using the ATM
- Don’t use your mobile phone during a transaction. Be totally focused on the matter in hand
- Try not to be distracted by incidents around you. Be suspicious of people talking to you and of people trying to assist you with your transactions, no matter how friendly they appear to be
- When inputting your PIN always stand up close to the ATM and cover the keypad with your other hand to stop your PIN being seen by people and cameras
- If you are withdrawing cash, place the cash and your card into your pocket or bag immediately and walk away. Don’t stand at the ATM counting it
After using the ATM
- As you walk away from the ATM continue to be aware of the people around you. Try to avoid walking up some poorly observed and quiet backstreet or alley
- If you think you are being followed walk into a shop, a pub, a restaurant or some other busy place
- When getting into your car lock the doors
- Check your bank statements regularly and report any unusual transactions to the bank immediately
- If you think your PIN has been seen or copied change it immediately. You can do this at nearly all ATMs
Safety of Wallets and Purses –
- Keep purses and bags closed and secure at all times.
- Carry bags in front of you or diagonally across your chest.
- Return cards to your purse or wallet quickly and zip it up or button it.
- Use a purse that’s difficult to open. One that zips or snaps shut is best, and keep it closed. Attach a set of small bells to your purse or bag.
- Use a money belt if you’re carrying a significant quantity of cash.
- Conceal your wallet in a buttoned or zipped pocket where it doesn’t bulge. A rubber band placed around the wallet will cause friction when being pulled out of a pocket.
- Keep a list, separate from your wallet and phone, of contact numbers of family in case your phone is stolen.
- Keep a photocopy of your airline tickets, passport, credit cards and any other documents that would be impossible or inconvenient to replace if stolen.
- Don’t hang stuff on the back of a chair. Especially in Cafes and Restaurants etc.
- Don’t leave anything on the back of a pushchair, shopping trolley or mobility scooter.
- Always place your belongings in sight, especially if putting a bag on the floor. Consider looping the strap of a bag under your chair leg so it cannot be pulled away.
Thefts from Work Vans – Below we offer some simple crime prevention advice on what to do when the vehicle is unattended. Current trends show that offenders are using the ‘peal and steal’ or ‘snip and nick’ techniques. This is where side doors are peeled back to gain entry or metal snippers are used to cut holes in the skin of the van in order to gain access to the opening mechanisms or in fact create a hole big enough to climb in. Unless the vehicle is armoured then removing the most valuable items and using extra crime prevention techniques will be the best deterrent.
- Park your vehicle in a secure area (in a garage or behind locked gates, if possible).
- Use extra security devices to make sure the van cannot be moved. Park near to walls or park another vehicle in front of the van if on a drive.
- Use motion detectors inside and outside the van to alert you that someone is nearby. (We know of one local tradesperson that has a simple baby monitor in their van to monitor noise and motion in real-time)
- Park in a well-lit street in easy view of your own or neighbours’ houses.
- Where possible, remove valuable items from the vehicle overnight and store them in a secure place.
- Do not leave tools or equipment on view inside the vehicle.
- Consider fitting an appropriate alarm system, protecting the cabin and load areas.
- Apply a security marking product to power tools and equipment. Alternatively, etch or emboss identifiable marks to these items. Take photos of the valuable items
- Consider installing secure storage containers or lockers in the van to store tools in.
- Ensure that the van doors are securely lockable and consider having suitable deadlocks installed.
- Make sure to physically check that the van doors and windows are locked if you have used the remote to lock the vehicle, even if the feedback indicates the van as locked.
- When visiting businesses, try to park close to the entrance and preferably in the view of CCTV
- Register serial numbers of your property for free on www.immobilise.com. Please visit the website for more information.
- Consider a battery powered PIR alarm that calls you on the mobile phone when activated.
- Be vigilant when unloading. Watch out for people that are taking an interest.
- Call the police on 101 or 999 as appropriate of you see anyone looking suspicious.
Six top tips for securing your shop against theft:-
- Meet and greet – Shoplifters can always assess how easy it is to steal from a shop by how soon after they enter they are spoken to by a member of staff. It’s known as ‘the three-to-five second rule’. Greeting customers as they enter your premises can put off shoplifters because it sends out a message that you and your staff are paying attention. If a thief thinks they’ve been spotted they’re more likely to leave.
- Crime mapping – Work out where inside the store thefts are happening. Keep records of location, dates, times and CCTV of incidents or suspicious behaviour. This is called ‘crime mapping’.
- Take a look at this area as if you are seeing it for the first time, then work out what you can do to protect it. Can you improve the surveillance? For example, can you see it from the till? Try making the area more visible by repositioning or lowering stock and shelving. Consider placing more staff here or even displaying the items elsewhere.
- Electronic tagging – Tag your items with ‘Electronic Article Surveillance’. Anti-theft systems encompass a wide range of devices and technologies. A correctly installed and security accredited anti-theft terminal (and tagging system) at a store entrance is a statement to potential shoplifters that ‘this store is protected’. Thieves will often target premises that don’t have this equipment. Most shops see a marked drop in shoplifting once they install an anti-theft terminal on the door. They’ll simply go elsewhere.
- Keep it tidy – A clean and tidy retail outlet with clear visibility across the shop floor tells a thief that everything is shipshape – and that surveillance is also probably first class. Keep things security friendly, with uncluttered, wide aisles where possible, thereby making it extremely difficult for them to steal unnoticed. Ensure that the exterior, the grounds and the building itself are also well maintained and clean, to keep the space as visible as possible.
- Personal safety – You can’t predict who’s coming into your shop or how they will behave. Shoplifters could respond aggressively when challenged. Employers should conduct a risk assessment in conjunction with Health and Safety directions. Always trust your instincts and only engage a potential shoplifter if it is safe to do so. If you feel confident with the situation, keep a safe distance and then ask them if they need any help or if they require a basket or a bag. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, be polite, step away and quietly alert your manager or security team.
- Safety in numbers – For as much of the day as possible, try not to be alone. Thieves target stores where there is only one member of staff. More eyes in the store, means you’re more likely to spot a thief, so have a few members of staff and make sure they’re trained in how to spot shoplifters. For more guidance, see our page on how to spot a shoplifter.
Neighbourhood Watch – We have several NHW schemes around the area. To find out more about the Neighbourhood Watch and how you can set up or join a local scheme, please visit – https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/ <https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ourwatch.org.uk%2F&data=02%7C01%7Camandawilsonpatterson%40warwickshire.gov.uk%7C4d8b517f5f3a457566cb08d7816abd74%7C88b0aa0659274bbba89389cc2713ac82%7C0%7C0%7C637120167771270287&sdata=tPBUah48uNT%2BTiI7gwlFhapUrpBvNC8JP5vcApc8YUg%3D&reserved=0>
Further Crime Prevention advice – Please visit the new Warwickshire Police website for more crime prevention advice on a number of topics. https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/ <https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.warwickshire.police.uk%2Fcp%2Fcrime-prevention%2F&data=02%7C01%7Camandawilsonpatterson%40warwickshire.gov.uk%7C4d8b517f5f3a457566cb08d7816abd74%7C88b0aa0659274bbba89389cc2713ac82%7C0%7C0%7C637120167771280289&sdata=6HLx13p%2FurmALJJalbUWd8%2F8M%2F7foQ%2FCrYSVbxAeaOY%3D&reserved=0>
If you have any questions regarding the above please contact us on the details below or via the Warwickshire Police website. If you would like to be removed from the Teams email circulation list – please let us know.
ALCESTER POLICE NORTH SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD TEAM