Dark, winter nights unfortunately bring with them an increase in home burglaries and Suffolk Police are urging members of the public to boost their home security. As Chief Inspector Stuart Grimsey said: “Leaving your house in complete darkness is a clear sign to burglars that it may be empty, which is an open invitation to opportunistic thieves. So, leave a light on or invest in a timer so that your lights come on automatically. Also consider installing alarm systems or CCTV, as well as doorbell camera technology. This year our officers arrested a burglar, who was subsequently jailed for four years, who was caught on doorbell camera technology attempting to break into a home in Bury St Edmunds.”
Neighbourhood Watch recently spoke to a panel of ex-convicts, who suggested the following deter burglars:
1. CCTV camera 6. Cars parked on driveway
2. Sound of a barking dog 7. Overlooked property
3. Strong heavy doors 8. Surrounding fences
4. TV which is turned on 9. Gates outside of the property
5. Locked Upvc windows 10. Motion activated security lights.
Police are warning that theft of lead from buildings is again being reported in Suffolk. Rural churches, in particular, are often targeted due to their isolated locations. Sgt Brian Calver of the Rural Crime Team said: “Communities can act as our eyes and ears and, by making a note of any suspicious activity of people or vehicles, we can deter thieves. Don’t ignore anything that you think looks out of place – report anything you think may be suspicious to the police.”
Action Fraud has recently heard of calls to members of the public by bogus bailiffs requesting payments for a ‘phantom’ debt. The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a bailiff working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The caller will request payment by means of bank transfer and if this is refused, will threaten to visit the premises to recover the debt that is owed. Bailiffs are only ever used to recover certain debts such as council tax and child support. So never feel rushed or intimidated, and request details of the ‘debt’ in writing to confirm its legitimacy and report any such incident.
Fraudsters often create authentic looking emails purporting to be from genuine companies, or even from someone you know, in order to defraud you. The emails are designed to infect your devices with malicious software (malware), or to steal sensitive information such as your financial details or passwords. Do not open the attachments in any unsolicited emails you receive as email is the #1 delivery vehicle for ransomware, as well as other forms of malware. Do not click on the links within any unsolicited emails you receive, as they could lead to malicious sites designed to infect your computer. Never respond to emails that ask for your personal or financial details. (Even your bank won’t send you emails asking for this type of information.)
Call 999 if you’re reporting a crime that’s in progress, if there is a likelihood of the offender being apprehended if police officers respond immediately, or if someone is in immediate danger.
Call 101 to contact your local Police force for all non-emergency calls.
To report crime completely anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Report all incidents of fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk
Remember ‘crime cannot flourish in a community that cares’, so be on the alert and be watchful in looking after yourself and your neighbours.
Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator
Scheme 180: Dukes Meadow, Cockfield