Be Tough On Car Crime
Seasonal trends show that vehicle crime often increases at this time of year. Most criminals
are opportunists – don’t make it easy for them.
At home, keep your car keys in a safe place out of sight and away from doors and
Use your garage where possible or park on the driveway instead of the road
When you’re out, try to park in well lit open places where there are people about and
your car is overlooked
Take belongings with you when you leave your car – even an old coat on the back seat
is temptation. The thief may think it contains a wallet, or that it is hiding a handbag or
If it isn’t possible to take all belongings with you, lock them in your boot before you
start your journey. Think ahead.
Lock all doors, windows and sunroof every time you leave your car. Never leave your
car unattended with the engine running or keys in
Remove the car stereo/CD player if you can. It’s one of the most sought after items in a
car, and permanently mark it in a visible place with the car’s registration number
If you are offered a ‘bargain’ car stereo, it could be stolen. If thieves can’t sell stolen
stereos, they wouldn’t steal them in the first place – stick to reputable shops and
Come And Join Us
There are still a few places available for this year’s Staffordshire Police Annual
Neighbourhood Watch Conference.
This year’s theme is ‘Our Changing Society, it’s Crime and Policing’. The conference is open
to all members of Neighbourhood Watch and it is FREE other than personal transport costs
– including a FREE buffet lunch.
Please come and join us on Saturday October 8th between 10am and 4pm at Yarnfield Park,
Yarnfield, near Stone.
To enrol as a delegate or to obtain further information, please contact the
Neighbourhood Watch Team on
01785-235995 or 01785-234427.
East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national “in case of emergency” (ICE)
campaign with the support of Falklands war hero Simon Weston and in association with
Vodafone’s annual lifesavers award.
The idea is that you store the word “I C E “ in your mobile phone address book and against
it, the number of the person you would want to be contacted in a case of emergency. In an
emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who
your next of kin are and be able to contact them. For more than one contact name ‘ICE1’
‘ICE2’ ‘ICE3’ etc
With thanks to Pam, Rugeley, for forwarding this information to the team.
Trading Standards Warnings
Residents have raised concern regarding doorstep sales people targeting housing estates
throughout Staffordshire and apparently pressuring residents to allow them to enter the
property so that they can explain the benefits of changing electricity supplier. Once inside,
residents report that they are unable to get the sales person to leave until they agree to
change their supplier. Trading Standards Officers are advising people not to do business of
this nature on the doorstep and to be cautious before inviting any sales person into their
Beware Rogue Driveway Gangs
Gangs of rogue workmen have been reported in the north of the county and in the Lichfield
and Tamworth areas. The gangs are reported to be intimidating and assertive and insistent
that they will carry out tarmacing or paving work on resident’s drives. In some incidents,
residents have found their drives partially dug up without permission. Residents are
advised not to do business of this nature on the doorstep and if anyone has problems with
assertive rogue traders, to phone Cath at Trading Standards on 01785-277835. If a trader
starts work on your drive without permission, phone the police.
Don’t Buy From the Back Of A Van
Three piece suites are still being offered for sale from the back of vans in the Chase
Division. In some incidents, the traders are offering part-exchange for the resident’s
existing suite, and they can be very persuasive. The suites, which are described as leather
are usually a cream colour and may not comply with fire safety regulations.
Always Ask For Three Quotes
It is important to shop around for goods and services before a purchase. One Staffordshire
resident was recently overcharged by £130 for the installation of a new TV aerial by a local
trader. The consumer contacted a second trader as the aerial wasn’t installed correctly and
received a lower quote. The consumer was also told that the ‘new’ aerial previously
installed had been a second-hand one. Once you agree to buy goods or services, you can’t
obtain a refund just because you change your mind or find the same item elsewhere at a
Damp Proof Warning
A company operating in the Midlands is cold calling residents offering free damp-proof
surveys. Once the survey is complete the company try to get the resident to sign up to
have work carried out, often using high pressure sales techniques and charging inflated
prices. It has also been reported that the company is not informing residents of their
cancellation rights and that the company has claimed to be working with District Councils –
which is not true. Residents are urged to just say no if they receive a call from such a
Tips from Co-ordinators
‘You have won…’ telephone calls are still being received by local residents. Beware! If you are asked
to press a number during the call it is likely to transfer you to a premium cost line. Mobile phones
continue to be targeted by ‘missed calls’. Be wary of calling back if you don’t know the number, You
could be dialling a premium charge line
THIS MONTH, THE WINNING ENTRY WILL RECEIVE A
SECURITY DOOR BEAM AND CHIME
Easy to install, the electric powered infra-red beam and alarm can be used on any internal
or external entrance.
This month’s question is:
Who is the new LPU Commander for Stafford?
(The answer is in the newsletter)
Telephone 01785-235995 with your answer, or post it to:
Neighbourhood Watch, Police Station, Wolverhampton Road, Cannock, Staffs,
Entries must be received by Friday 23rd September 2005
Results and correct answer will be published in the October/November newsletter
JUNE/JULY PRIZE WINNER
Chase Division Field Intelligence Officer, DC Cliff Hough drew the winning entries out of a
Mrs Julie Bradbury, Cannock and Mrs Susan Starr, Salt, each win a Defender Personal
Safety alarm. They correctly stated that this year’s Neighbourhood Watch conference
theme is ‘Our changing society, it’s crime and policing’.
Following a car theft in West Mercia and a long pursuit through three police force areas,
three brothers of a mean disposition and well known to the West Midlands police, found
themselves in Staffordshire.
A co-ordinated car pursuit finally ended when the three made off on foot after crashing
their vehicle through a hedge into a field.
Wombourne Community Action Team police officers began a search for the three. One of
the team, a female police officer, came upon one of the three brothers, as his head
emerged from a hedge. Gotcha! But he resisted and pulled himself back into the field with
the officer in hot pursuit. A well-performed rugby tackle brought him to the ground.
Assistance arrived and the female officer, who is well known for her turn of speed, gave
chase to the two other criminals. Seeing that they were being outrun, they came to a halt,
pleading for sympathy. Both were promptly arrested.
IT’S ALL HAPPENING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
CCTV together with the increased vigilance of the public and reporting of crimes in urban
areas, seems to have moved some of the criminals into the countryside. Recent incidents
appear to indicate a desire for memorabilia as a potential money-spinner. A number of old
tractors like the Ferguson and the Ford have recently been taken from different locations in
the Chase Division. It‘s all very reminiscent of the war years and just after when farm
machines were very difficult to obtain, especially spares.
If you have any property that you think might be at risk from this type of crime and you
would like some advice on upgrading your security, please contact your local Crime
Reduction Officer. Contact details are on the last page of the newsletter.
Can You Help?
At this time of year, with the harvest season upon us, all types of tractors and other farm
machinery are particularly vulnerable to theft. Please report any suspicious activity or
incidents to the police.
Don’t Play with Lives
To coincide with the summer holidays, Staffordshire Police are once again campaigning to
reduce the number of hoax calls to ‘999’, this year using a poster campaign targeting
youngsters. The number of calls to the ‘999’ service usually rises during the school holidays
due to abuse of the system by children and youths who do not realise how serious the
consequences could be – every nuisance call could delay a genuine call and it could cost
Chief Inspector John Drake says “ We can trace calls and we will take action against
offenders. This could take the form of a visit to that person’s home or school, loss of their
mobile phone service or even fines and a court appearance.”
He went on to say “We are appealing to young people to only use this service in a genuine
emergency and for parents to reinforce the message with their children.”
Peace of Mind While You’re Away
If you are taking a late season holiday, the free Home Office crime prevention leaflet ‘Peace
of Mind While You’re Away’ is available from the Neighbourhood Watch Team.
Make your home appear occupied at all times. An unoccupied home is more likely to be
targeted by the burglar. A light placed on a timer switch and a thoughtful neighbour
removing parcels from the doorstep will help a home to appear occupied. While you’re
away on holiday, perhaps a neighbour could park on your drive and even cut your lawn.
Remember not to show your home address on the outside of your holiday luggage until you
are en route home
Summer Drink Driving
Hot summer days and warm evenings see more people going to the pub and entertaining
outdoors and the police are urging residents not to guess their ‘safe’ alcohol level.
Les Dyble, head of the Traffic Management Unit says “If you have been out drinking you
may still be affected by alcohol the following day. Only time will get rid of alcohol in your
body - and this may take longer than you think. If in any doubt at all, don’t take the risk.”
Don’t Give Thieves an Open Invitation
Simple crime prevention measures can help to thwart opportunist thieves:
During hot weather, be careful not to leave doors and windows open when you go out. Lock
windows rather than just closing them.
When you are in, make sure that items such as mobile phones, keys, wallets and purses
are not left in view near to doors or windows. Often, a thief only has to reach through an
open window to steal an item!
If you are at the back of your property, ensure that windows are secure inunoccupied
Make sure that a thief couldn’t walk around the back of your property and in through an
open or unlocked door
If you have a gate, keep it locked. Keep sheds and garages secure. If you can’t garage
your car, make sure that you leave all doors and windows secure, and don’t leave any
property unattended in your vehicle, even if it’s parked on your driveway.
Did You Know?
If a trader calls at your home without an invitation, and the goods or services that they sell
cost more than £35, the law requires them to give a 7-day cooling off period. They must
give you a written notice of this cancellation right. If they don’t, they are committing a
criminal offence and they cannot legally demand payment for any “work” – real or
imaginary – that they claim to have done.
Staffordshire Together Against Rogue Traders (START) is a pioneering project from Trading
Standards aimed at tackling doorstep crime and protecting vulnerable adults. The project is
presently running on a trial basis in the Rugeley area and if successful, will be rolled out
across the county.
Across the UK, Trading Standards receive thousands of complaints each year concerning
the activities of doorstep sellers. Some complaints are simply about bad service but others
describe frauds and some relate to other crimes such as distraction burglaries. The project
will support people who because of their age, isolation, disability or financial position might
be vulnerable to exploitation by people calling at the door. It aims to do this by raising
awareness of issues that affect vulnerable people and encouraging the reporting of
incidents. The project also aims to build people’s confidence and provide such things as
The project is being led by Sharon Stafford-Jones who has been employed by the County
Council to work with Trading Standards officers. Sharon is encouraging local agencies to
work together and become involved in the project. The Neighbourhood Watch Team has
worked closely with Trading Standards for a number of years, and is already taking an
active part in this project.
If you would like to find out more about this project, contact Sharon on 07815-827770
Crime, Sentencing and Your Community
Although many of us have a general idea of the sentencing process it can be helpful to
have a more informed knowledge. To this end the Criminal Justice System has produced a
very useful booklet that leads you through the whole detail of sentencing.
Free copies of the booklet can be obtained from any local police station or by contacting
the Neighbourhood Watch Team.
Worth Taking? Then it's Worth marking!
Nobody wants to be burgled and lose their valuable property, so property marking has to
make sense. You can help deter would-be thieves by marking your property with your own
post code and your house or flat number (or the first two letters of the name of house).
Then, if your property is stolen it will be much easier to trace, as it can be positively
identified as yours.
Take a good look around every room in your home as well as outside in your garage or
shed. Consider all the things you would be sorry to lose or find hard to replace - then mark
Remember that anything remotely useful or attractive is re-saleable. For instance, all your
electrical and mechanical goods, garden equipment and power tools, household appliances,
furniture, pictures, ornaments, antiques and silver, in fact anything can be a target of
Property Marking is a quick, cheap and easy do-it-yourself job. Engraving identifies your
property for good. Inexpensive tools and kits for the job can be bought from DIY shops and
ironmongers. For other valuable property which might be devalued or spoiled by visible
marking, there's an invisible ultra-violet marker pen. Burglars cannot see it, but if
something marked is stolen it can be identified with a special ultra-violet lamp. UV markers
are available from most good DIY stores and stationers at around two pounds. It's
important to remember that UV marking fades and will need to be renewed every so often.
Copies of the booklet ‘Coded For Keeps’ with further advice about property marking, and
‘Burglar Beware, Out Property is Postcoded’ window stickers are available free from the
Neighbourhood Watch Team.
Get Your Blanket Tested
Did you know that electric blankets cause more than 500 fires every year? Staffordshire
Fire & Rescue Service and partners including Councils, Trading Standards and Age Concern,
are providing FREE electric blanket testing at various locations in your area. Of those tested
last year over 60% failed! Everyone is encouraged to get their blanket tested, and
pensioners will receive a FREE new similar electric blanket to replace their old one if it fails
Cannock & Rugeley Dates and Venues for Testing
Tuesday 11th October 10am-4pm Rugeley Fire Station, Bryans Lane Rugeley
Wednesday 12th October 10am-4pm Norton Canes Community Centre, Brownhills Road,
Thursday 13th October 10am-4pm Cannock Fire Station Old Hednesford Road Cannock
For enquiries regarding the dates and venues in the Stafford and Stone areas, telephone
the Fire & Rescue Service on 01785-236100, for Watling Street and Wombourne areas,
telephone the Fire & Rescue Service on 01902-847392
Don’t fold electric blankets to store them, it can damage the wiring. Roll them or put
them on a spare bed.
Always follow instructions. Never use an over-blanket as an under-blanket or vice
Tie electric under-blankets to the bed or mattress. It stops them slipping and
creasing, which could damage them.
Switch off and disconnect the blanket before getting into bed unless it has
thermostatic controls for safe all-night use.
Don’t get electric blankets wet, and if your blanket does get wet, never switch it on
to dry it!
Offender Is Hit in the Pocket
A Cannock man caught selling counterfeit CDs and DVDs at car boot sales in Cannock and
Bednall has been fined £1,000, handed a community sentence, and a confiscation order for
Speaker Is Well Received
The thriving Bishopswood Neighbourhood Watch scheme invited Sergeant Phil Lloyd of
Watling Street LPU to speak at their recent AGM. Sergeant Lloyd gave a presentation
highlighting the work carried out by the Community Action Team and touched on many
policing issues including speeding complaints and local crimes. He said “I feel that this sort
of input into Neighbourhood Watch schemes can only assist the people who kindly act as
our eyes and ears in the community.”
If you would like a speaker for your scheme meetings, contact the Neighbourhood Watch
Team. We are happy to give talks and can also suggest other speakers from within the
New LPU Commander For Stafford
Inspector Juliet Prince transferred to her new role on 14th July. She began her career with
Staffordshire Police 22 years ago and had previously been the Inspector on Chase
Division’s Incident Management Unit. Following promotion to Chief Inspector, former
Commander of Stafford LPU, Cliff Grainger will be taking up a new role in shaping the
division’s Reassurance Project.
Safer Parking in South Staffs
Three car parks in South Staffordshire have been awarded the Safer Parking status under a
scheme promoted by the Association of Chief Police Officers and the British Parking
Association. Work involved in achieving this status included landscaping, lighting, road
layout markings and clear signage. The three car parks are in Station Road Codsall, High
Street Kinver and The Acre, off the High Street in Kinver. Each provides facilities free of
Sneak-in Cash Theft
An elderly Stafford resident disturbed a youth who had sneaked into her house through an
insecure door. The youth made off with a quantity of cash, but fortunately, the resident
was able to give the police a good description and the youth was subsequently arrested.
This Month’s Smartest Criminal?
A female offender attempted to commit a robbery at a store in the Stafford area.
Brandishing a silver cutlery knife, the offender demanded that staff hand over the money
out of the till. Unknown to the offender, the police had been alerted and she was arrested
at the scene. No property was stolen and no one was injured.
As part of an ongoing campaign, July saw officers from Chase Division proactive unit
execute eight search warrants at addresses in the Stafford area. Five people were arrested
and a quantity of cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines recovered.
A young Cheslyn Hay burglar was apprehended thanks to the eagle eyes of a neighbour
who spotted damage to his neighbour’s window and went to investigate. The neighbour
caught the youth red-handed and having identified the youth, he escorted him from the
premises. The youth was subsequently arrested.
A resident in the Watling Street policing area spotted a youth setting fire to an abandoned
vehicle in a local field. The good citizen detained the youth and conveyed him to Cannock
police station, where he was arrested.
Vigilance Pays Off
Vigilant residents helped to bring a spate of crime in one Stafford street to a close. They
called the police immediately when they spotted two youths committing a burglary at a
neighbour’s house, and although the youths made off, they were arrested later the same
day and identified as the offenders.
Two offenders committing a burglary in the Hednesford area were surprised by the arrival
of police officers who had been alerted to the crime when the alarm was activated. The
youths ran upstairs and attempted to escape by jumping out of a first floor window. One
youth sustained injuries to his ankles and both youths were arrested at the scene.
Tyre Slashers Arrested
An eagle-eyed resident called the police when she spotted two youths slashing car tyres in
a Rugeley street in the small hours. The police attended immediately and arrested the two
for criminal damage to three vehicles.
Drug Dealer Sentenced
A 19 year old youth has been sentenced to five years youth custody after being found
guilty of supplying cocaine in the Stone policing area. during the trial, it emerged that he
was selling drugs to youths as young as fifteen.
Rugeley Vandals Caught In The Act
A Rugeley police officer, patrolling in the early hours, came across three youths attacking
street lights, swinging off them and kicking them in an attempt to make them go out. The
three were promptly arrested.
Two people have been arrested and a substantial quantity of cocaine, amphetamines and
Ecstasy tablets seized following the execution of a search warrant at an address in
Penkridge during July.
The eagle-eyed manager of a Wombourne store gave chase when he spotted a shoplifter.
He pursued him along the village green eventually grabbing the man and holding on to him
until the police arrived.
Later West Midlands police also thanked him for his actions, as there was a warrant
outstanding for the arrest of the shoplifter.
Five youngsters who caused damage to the pavilion in a Stafford park, and to nearby trees,
in attempts to retrieve property that had been thrown onto the roof, have been arrested for
criminal damage and bailed until late this year.
All Fired Up
Following a successful investigation, CAT police officers from the Wombourne LPU have
arrested an arsonist who had committed an arson attack on property in Dimmingsdale.
The fire was estimated to have caused damage at a cost of £43K
Residents in Stone telephoned the police when they spotted a youth going down their road
trying car doors. The police attended immediately and on apprehending the youth, found
him in possession of stolen property. The youth was promptly arrested.
Do You Share?
We hope that the information in the Neighbourhood Watch newsletter reaches as many
members as possible, even though we can only provide copies to Area Co-ordinators and
their Deputies. Do you pass your copy on to other members of your scheme once you have
read it? Would you like a shorter newsletter for every member of your scheme, choosing
the Neighbourhood Watch articles best tailored to their interests? Would you, or any other
member of your scheme like to receive copies of the newsletter by e-mail?
To find out more, call Vicki on 01785-235995
Td out more, c1785-
When a crime is occurring or about to NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
occur, and for all highly suspicious We provide members with support,
incidents e.g. youths checking car doors. guidance and advice.
RING ‘999’ We are here to receive reports of recent
or long-standing nuisance or anti-social
behavioural problems in your
We would like to receive your
Ring 08453-30-20-10 information of all suspicious persons,
vehicles, activities or occurrences
For all non-emergency calls. The call handler (information that doesn’t require an
will transfer you to the person best able to help immediate telephone call to the police)
Crime Reduction Officers All information received is treated with
Cannock & Rugeley LPUs complete confidentiality.
PC Gordon Scott: Ring 01785-234228
Stafford & Stone LPUs PLEASE, LET US
PC Jack Welsh: Ring 01785-234029 KNOW WHAT YOU
Wombourne & Watling Street LPUs KNOW!
PC Andy Heaton: Ring 01785-235984
Local Councils Ring 01785-235995
Cannock Chase District Council e-mail:
Ring 01543-462621 victoria.singleton@staffordshire. pnn.police.uk
Web address: www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk Ray Jones
Stafford Borough Council Ring: 01785-234427
Ring 01785-619000 e-mail:
Web address: www.staffordbc.gov.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
South Staffordshire District Council
Web address: www.sstaffs.gov.uk STAFFORDSHIRE
FIRE & RESCUE SERVICE
Staffordshire Crimestoppers For information and advice
Cannock & Rugeley 01543-572944
Stafford & Stone 01785-236100
Staffordshire Trading Standards
South Staffs 01902-84739
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