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Neighbourhood Watch April- June 2004

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DVLA HOTLINE UNTAXED MOTOR VEHICLES
0800 032 5202
ESSEX COUNTY COUNCILTRADING STANDARDS HOTLINE
0845 604 4466
CRIMESTOPPERS
0800 555 111

MOBILE POLICE STATION’S NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER
(Monday 31st May 2004 – Friday 5th June 2004)

Rural Police Unit
BeatMobile Visits

The Beatmobile visits to Theydon Bois are on
Second & Fourth Thursdays of the month
from 10.00am - 12.00am


ADVANCED DRIVING

Thanks to those of you who attended the Epping Forest District Council’s driving training course. Judging from the calls I have had, you really enjoyed it. That course is something that you will never regret and could save your life. You all enjoyed the skid car and having driven a double decker bus on a skidpan I knew you would enjoy that part. As a matter of interest, I was in the double decker bus that was driven by Dukes of hazard stuntman Bobby Ore when he set a new world record for distance covered on two wheels. Now there is a story!!

The next Advance Driving Course takes place in October and November and if you are interested then please contact Linda Hague on 01992-564094. They do make wonderful birthday presents!! You may also like to know that there is an annual Ladies Driving Challenge run by Headway Charity on 01206-547616. You get the chance of driving HGVs, sports cars, double decker buses, forklift trucks and so on.

Since I made you aware of the dangers of buying second hand child car seats a number of you have made contact with me because of problems fitting these seats. Linda Hague, on the above phone number, runs an In-car safety course that is open 10am to 2pm on the first and third Friday of each month. She can fit the seat for you and answer all your questions. I also have leaflets on this matter if you require them. Again, this really worth the effort.

SPECIAL CONSTABULARY

Have you ever thought of joining the Special Constabulary? Prior to joining the ‘Force’, I was a special and I can still recommend it. It may well be that you always wished to join the Police Force but were prevented from doing so by children or family commitments. Age and size is no longer a problem. There is a recruitment drive going on at the moment so if you are interested, please give me a ring.

SCAMS

I must thank those of you who have kept me updated with all the various scams. I use the words ‘various’ very loosely because there have been too many to list. They range from Alarm Companies trying to convince you to buy their products to such wonderful statements like ‘You have a holiday or a car’ or ‘You have won this month’s £50,000 jackpot’ and so on. I mention this again because recently I had a caller who was so excited because she thought she had won a £20,000 jackpot. She was wheelchair bound and this money would have changed her lifestyle. It was so sad to see the disappointment on her face so please – You don’t get anything free from these scams – do not get taken in by them. The only reason they keep arriving through your letterbox is simply because people reply to them and send them cheques. You have worked hard for your money, don’t throw it away. If you are in any doubt then come and chat with either myself or my team colleagues – and don’t forget that I shall be away for six weeks and during that time Allan Perrett will be covering the Epping/Ongar areas./ Make sure you call in and keep him busy.

Chris Caten and Allan Perrett
CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police



MOBILE POLICE STATION’S NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER
(Monday 17th May 2004 – Friday 28th May 2004)

Rural Police Unit
BeatMobile Visits

The Beatmobile visits to Theydon Bois are on
Second & Fourth Thursdays of the month
from 10.00am - 12.00am


POWERGEN

Bogus Callers are one of the problems we face these days, however, Powergen, in an effort to ease that problem, now run a Password System. If one of their meter readers attends your property, a pre arranged Password can be given in order to confirm he/she is who he/she claims to be. If this arrangement interests you then ring them on 0800-479-0234. A machine will answer at first but if you ignore the two options offered and wait for an operator this can be arranged for you. I have already spoken to them and arranged this.

If you know of any other schemes, like the Powergem Password, which is suitable for Senior Citizen’s use then please let me know and I will advertise it here. Thanks.

WE’RE NOT BUYING IT!
This is the message shown on Essex County Council’s Trading Standards new Window Stickers. It also states ‘We do not buy or sell at the door’ and supplies Trading Standards Helpline. I now have a thousand of these three-inch square stickers for your use – so please call in if you require them.

HOSPITAL
As from 7th June I shall be away for about six weeks, I shall be having a small operation, Dupuytren’s Contracture Release. Other officers will be covering the venues for me but please, those of you that contact me via the e-mail system; this will have to be closed for that period of time. Can you please use the mobile phone number given below. Thanks.

GARDEN EQUIPMENT

This time of year is great for gardening and there is so much to do in between the showers. When you have finished for the day please put your spades, forks etc away and secure them well. Burglars do not need to carry house breaking equipment with them if you have been careless or forgetful so do not make it easy for them.

Whilst on the subject of burglary – I have been asked to remind you all about storing your holiday money. Cash left over from weekend trips abroad or last years holiday are easy targets – normally the cash is stored with your passport – both are easy pickings for the burglar. This time of year hundreds of pounds worth of currency will be bought and hidden somewhere in advance of our summer holidays – Do not let Christmas arrive early for the thief!!

GREEN THIEVES

During 2002 and 2003, The Mobile Police Station attended many garden centres to promote the use of plants to protect your property. Although that project was not used this year I still have the leaflets which supply a full list of plants that can be used to protect your property. If this is of interest to you please call in and collect one.

CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police



MOBILE POLICE STATION’S NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER
(Monday 3rd May 2004 – Friday 14th May 2004)


THEFT OF MOTOR VEHICLES AGAIN
I have warned you before about working in your garden and leaving the back door wide open. Recently whilst a resident was busy in the garden, somebody entered the house via the open back door, removed their` car keys and drove off in their vehicle.

SMOKE DETECTORS/ALARMS
I have had many callers regarding updating security systems at home and one area that is weak and appears to have been overlooked is that of the smoke detector/alarm. We turn our homes into forts with no consideration for escape in case of fire. I am not a fireman so there is no reason why you should not contact your local fire safety officer for further advice because every property really needs to be seen before advice is given out.

Generally you really need at least two detectors. One downstairs in the kitchen (perhaps a third one near the front if you have a large property with a fuse box situated in a cupboard) and the second one should be placed at the top of the stairs. This one should be a double battery detector with a light built in. If you have a fire, your electrics will go down first and the light on this system will give you an idea where the stairs are through the smoke.

Perhaps the most important point of this is that the detector/alarm should be placed in an area where there is a good airflow and not placed in a corner out of the way. If they are out of the way it may be some time before they detect the first whiff of smoke. It is also worth keeping a couple of spare batteries handy.

AIRGUN OWNERS
Do you own a self-contained gas cartridge air weapon? If so then a new law (Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003) means that you must apply for a certificate by 30th April 2004. If you do not wish to register then you must hand the weapon in at a police station. If you do neither of these the minimum sentence is five years in prison. Our Firearms Certificate Department are based at HQ on 01245-491491 if you have any questions.

GARDEN SHEDS
I know that I have warned you before about security of your garden sheds but a number of recent incidents has prompted me to remind you again. I know that they are not easy to secure but you can make it difficult for the thief. You can contact Tony Ellis, the Epping and Ongar Crime Reduction Officer or Jody Greenfield, the Brentwood Crime Reduction Officer by phoning 01279-641212 and asking for them by name. Can I also ask you to think about items kept in these sheds as one person recently lost a stamp collection from his shed.

CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police



MOBILE POLICE STATION NEWSLETTER
(Monday 19th April 2004 – Friday 30th April 2004)


REPORT THEFTS
I am aware that there have been a few recent thefts of vehicle number plates in this area. Not all of these cases have been reported to the police and this I know because vehicles with these plates on are then used on another vehicle. You will know it has been used when a Fixed Penalty Ticket drops through your letterbox for setting of a speed camera somewhere. It is easier to disprove you were the driver if you have reported the crime.

DVLC have issued a Press Release stating that drivers aged between 21-30 are the worst in the country at keeping their driving documents up to date. Every time you move house or your details change you should have them updated - change of name and address is free of charge. This information is used to help trace vehicles involved in car crime but it also gives you the evidence to support your claim of you have to deny any allegations involving that vehicle.

You must also sign your driving licence. Your signature can be compared with the user of that licence to make sure holder and user are the same!! The top fine is £1,000 for failing to update these records. Your driving documents along with items like Passports fetch a lot of money on the black market so it is important that you sigh these and inform us of their loss.

MORE SCAMS
A gent recently received a phone call from BT. They stated that his bill had not been paid and that unless he paid now he would be cut off. Of course, it wasn’t BT at all but the gent was certainly concerned over the call. A lot of us reply on our telephones and being cut off could affect welfare issues. BT, like many other companies, has a system to go through before cutting you off. Do not be taken in by these types of calls. If you are elderly and are unable to deal with these types of calls then please take their names and telephone numbers and call me. I will speak to them for you.

Recently, an elderly female had callers who advised her that her roof required re-tiling. She was bright enough to move them on but they did start asking questions about whether she lived alone, where her family lived and so on. It is best not to chat with these people or if you have to then tell them you have a wild Kickboxing Champ as a son and he will be home in a minute. Seriously though, try not to chat with them. The callers did in fact go next door and they were told again to go away but when the husband went outside again he found one of them on the roof.

SID
The most common concern raised at The Mobile Police Station is that of speed through the villages. Essex County Council have now supplied me with a digital speed display product called SID. This product flashes the speed of approaching vehicles; it smiles at that them if their speed is correct and pulls a sad face if their speed is incorrect. Isn’t technology wonderful? It will only be in your village whilst I’m there but already it has shown that vehicles do slow down when approaching it. Hope you like it.

CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police



MOBILE POLICE STATION'S NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER

(Monday 5th April 2004 – Friday 16th April 2004)

AIRBAGS
Recently a vehicle had its passenger and driver’s side airbags stolen. I am told that these bags are then fitted to other motor vehicles that can increase their price. This is the first time I have heard of this type of offence but I doubt whether it will be the last. There are also serious safety issues here as well. The bags are very difficult to fit to another vehicle and there is a good chance that they will fail to deploy correctly. They could also deploy without warning, you could be driving at high speed on the motorway when they decide to deploy!! The other safety issue here is that the chemicals used in them can become toxic. If you are buying a second hand vehicle then it is a very good idea to take someone with you who understands the mechanics of motor vehicles, perhaps someone from the AA etc. Better to be safe than sorry. A little added pointer when buying a vehicle, this is also a good idea if you are involved in a road accident, is to look at the Vehicle Excise Licence. Check to see if the index number on the disc is the same as the two number plates.

DRUG RAID
I would like to thank those people who were kind enough to help recently with information that led to a drug raid at Nazeing. 211 grams of cannabis with a street value of £500 plus 145 ecstasy tablets with a street value of £1,160 were recovered. Thanks.

CHILD’S CARSEATS
There is a campaign going on to try and ban the movement of second hand child car seats. It is claimed that the new owner has no way of knowing the history of these seats and once a seat has been involved in an accident it may well have damage that can’t be detected and therefore could lead to your child being hurt. This has become an issue and it is well worth thinking about if you do buy a second hand seat. You should only buy a second hand seat if its history is known. Any knocks or cracks will be detrimental to its use. Therefore, its history has to be really known to you – and trusted. Also, the webbing on the five point fixing harness should be closely looked at for wear.

BOGUS OFFICIALS
There has been a case recently where bogus officials managed to enter a property by claiming to be police officers. In another case, a male dressed up as a postman tried to obtain private information from a female by claiming that a parcel was being held at the post office for her. I know it is difficult because these bogus officials are very good at what they do but please try and keep your wits about you. Remind your friends especially Senior Citizens. Do it daily if need be but don’t forget, look out of a window first, do what ever it takes, but don’t let them in your house.

BACK DOOR

There have been a couple of recent cases of burglary that could have been prevented by shutting your back door when working in your gardens. So busy were the victims that they failed to see anyone entered their gardens and house through the open back door. This was a problem last year and will be the same again this year.

CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police

 

 
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Last Up Dated: 4th June 2004