Regrettably this also means the return of the uninvited odd-jobber, risks from windows being left open and our usual reminder about locking sheds and garages.
A reformed burglar working with the Dorset Police Integrated Offender Management Programme recently gave some home safety advice from his perspective including:
- Don’t leave keys close to the letterbox, or hanging from an unlocked door whilst inside.
- Don’t leave ladders or spades accessible where they can be used to gain access or make an intruder look like a legitimate workman.
- Do ask a neighbour to park their car on your drive if you are going to be away.
However, after a recent spate of reports on social media of “so-called” bogus callers, I wanted to remind residents that not all calls are rogues.
Stories have been shared warning of “suspicious” young girls knocking doors – they turned out to be youngsters offering to clean neighbours’ cars to raise pocket money! This is something we all did as children, does no harm, can be dealt with by a simple “no thank you” and I expect my own children will be doing just this in coming weeks as an alternative to asking for sponsor money.
“No doorstep caller” signs are available from the Neighbourhood Watch, Poole Council and online and will reduce the likelihood of an unexpected knock at the door. If you do get a visit and you aren’t expecting anyone use a door-chain or spy-hole and if the caller is unknown don’t open the door. Any legitimate caller will understand and bring ID or return after making an appointment.
Remember that aggressive or persistent callers can be dealt with by calling 101 and if you feel personally threatened, 999 is always available.
Nowadays, the majority of homes have broadband using a wireless connection, with mobile devices being used in a number of rooms, automatically linking to the router on entering the house.
But did you know that, once paired, a device will always find the free Wi-Fi when in range. This is great news when you are sitting in a café in Broadstone or go into the Dolphin Centre and want to take advantage of the latest offers but it could present a problem if a casual visitor is accessing your home broadband without your knowledge.
You might give your password to a utility provider when they come in and ask for the code so they send meter information back to HQ, or a workman doing some home improvements might flip the router over to get the password from the back, which seems reasonable if he is in your home for a week but would you be happy that once they have this pass-code they could pick up your connection when they pull up in the street and use your connection to download a movie?
If your connection is slowing down, or your data allowance disappearing fast it might be worth updating your password in case a neighbour or casual visitor is piggybacking your internet access and risking your home cyber security.
On the plus side, I have witnessed some incredible technology this week enabling cheques to be paid into the bank without leaving home, and a secure wristband for paying for items rather than carrying cash or a card – a godsend for a mum of teenagers who wants to set a spending limit and know they can’t lose their card or have their bag stolen. The technology at our fingertips can be truly liberating but we must keep abreast of the ways it can be used to make sure we are protected.
Vikki Slade, Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Watch.
Police Report – Broadstone
A busy February for our local policing team with some community engagement events, the Poole Neighbourhood Policing Facebook site has the details. We have been busy conducting cycle patrols, working with partners at Corfe Hills School to educate some of our young people, engaging with the cinema-going community to share crime prevention information, doing some internal training on domestic abuse and answering calls for service.
Four Anti-social behaviour calls to Police for the last period:
- 08/02 Concern for a group of youths in wooded area Lewesdon Drive and suggestion of underage drinking – officers conducted an area search but found no trace of youths – beat officer PC Walton has subsequently patrolled and stop checked three young people in that area – we will continue to monitor.
- 13/02 Concern re group of young people harassing others to purchase tobacco on their behalf outside Tesco, Broadstone – the Neighbourhood Policing team are reviewing the CCTV to identify those involved.
- 19/02 Group of 5 youths being rowdy and smashing glass – Widworthy Drive – called in the following day – please call us at the time.
- 23/02 Nuisance male reported outside shops on the Broadway.
Community Priority for Broadstone SNT
Cold Callers – we are still receiving the calls in relation to rogue traders / odd jobbers going door to door offering their services – whether it is roofing, gardening or window cleaning.
This month it is suspected that a lady in Ascot Road, Broadstone has paid a male for gardening work he has not carried out – enquiries are ongoing.
On 17/02 a neighbourhood watch co-ordinator called police about a suspicious male banging on neighbours doors – police responded and checked out the individual who was legitimately collecting on behalf of the Air ambulance – keep the calls coming!
Just a reminder, if you have approaches to your door and you have doubts, call us, a genuine company won’t mind the delay. Equally, neighbours please look out for each other; on more than one occasion the questions posed by a well-meaning ‘nosey neighbour’ have prevented a crime!!
Really good news however, is that areas with a strong Neighbourhood Watch Group are statistically less attractive to these criminals.
For pure crime statistics please use the following website which enables you to access number of crimes and type in your area http://www.police.uk/
For the month of February so far, Police have received reports of 73 occurrences for the Broadstone area which all have to be processed by our control room. This includes everything from a fallen tree, concern for welfare messages to crime reports.
Also of interest, is the number of cybercrime referrals reported to us – these are internet/identity frauds and scams, where, your neighbourhood is not relevant as they happen online, but I think the volume of these incidents will be worth monitoring, this month 2 (documented below) have been reported to Police from the Broadstone area.
- Tappers funeral service contacted police to advise us of a scam where a company called Perfect Choice Funeral Plans have contacted people on the telephone advising of a refund being due on a prepaid funeral service – they then typically request bank details in order to pay the monies – THIS IS A SCAM and a police investigation is in hand.
- Microsoft Scam call
Local Community Crime Summary for BH18 in February (not including online crime, domestic abuse or road traffic incidents)
What can you help us with this month?
- Overnight Theft from motor vehicle and visible handbag removed – Berwyn Court, Dunyeats Road 06/02
- Theft from motor vehicle, IPAD stolen – Kirkway, Broadstone 10/02
- Indecent Exposure – adult male seen naked from waist down in Delph Woods on 11/02 – officers have spoken with witness but have little to go on. Male described as white, aged late 20’s – early 30’s, 5ft 6″ in height wearing a grey jumper and light denim jeans around his ankles.
- Theft from insecure van – power tools stolen – Fairview Drive 15/02
- Theft of cutter from building site – Charborough Road 19-22/02
- Commercial burglary – McColl’s 25/02
Dates for the Diary:
New dates to meet the Broadstone team are being shared between Molly’s café and Costa Coffee on the following dates and with some general themes, albeit they are happy to discuss any issues arising:
Thursday 10th Mar 2016 – bike night at Broadstone youth club supported by Dorset Police.
Fri 11th March 2016 10am at Costa Coffee, the Broadway (Theme – Scam & cold callers)
8th April 2016 10am at Molly’s café (theme tbc)
Please remember if you have information that can help us solve crime, you can call the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111 anonymously or email the local policing team.
Together, we will keep Broadstone a safe place!
Inspector Claire Phillips, Poole North
The new Watch year starts on 1st April which will soon be here. There is no change to the suggested annual donation which remains at £1 per household whether you receive your newsletter as a paper copy or by email. Please be ready to pay your Contact when asked to ensure your continued membership and receipt of the Newsletter.
You can register to receive the Newsletter by email by clicking on http:/bit.ly.bnwatch which means you will get it earlier and save your Contact from having to deliver it and reduce our annual printing costs and save paper.
Stepping Stones – Dementia Awareness
A Dementia –friendly Easter Service will take place on 29th March at the United Reform Church
The monthly drop-in at the Methodist Church will be on 2nd Friday from 2.30pm for tea and chat, information and advice.
Drop into the Library on 3rd. Thursday each month, 10 – 12 for a chat and advice for Carers
A weekly group in the Library on Tuesday mornings for coffee and chat, and listen to short stories and poems.
BNW members are asked to keep an eye on and be aware of vulnerable neighbours.
We are looking into the possibility of finding a “safe haven” to look after lost and wandering people until their carers can be contacted.
The website for information is www.broadstonesteppingstones.uk.
The AGM this year will be held on Thursday 26th May 2016 at St John’s Church Hall, Macaulay Road, starting at 7.30pm
At the present time we have four elected officers (Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer) and eight elected Co-ordinators.
Anyone interested in any of these roles may raise their hands at the AGM or contact the Chairman before the AGM.
Committee members will inform the committee meeting in May whether they will stand for re-election, and the AGM will vote on these people together with any other nominated volunteers.
At the meeting, current and potential new committee members may offer themselves for election in the normal practice followed by the Watch.
Any questions for the AGM should be sent to the secretary at least 2 weeks before the actual meeting, so we can ensure a full response is provided.
Light refreshments will be provided.
BH18 Crime Statistics
|Violence and sexual offences||5||7|
|Criminal damage and arson||1||9|
|Possession of weapons||0||0|
|Theft from the person||0||0|
To help reduce 101 waiting times, Dorset Police has issued the following advice.
Peak times are between 9am and 1pm, and 4pm and 7pm, on weekdays. Calling outside these hours for general enquiries will reduce your waiting time and make best use of call handlers we have available at all hours of the day.
T. 01202 604191
T. 01202 693480
T. 01202 778526
|Email Membership & Special Newsletters
T: 01202 699731
|Membership & Development Officer
T. 01202 989549
|Community Beat Officers
PC 2183 Caroline Walton
PCSO 5439 Kerrie Burns
T. 01202 601159
T. 0800 555 111