Avoiding thefts- good practices

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Police Service

Over the last few months we have published regular reports from our local policing team. Looking back over these articles there are some good practices to bear in mind which will reduce the chance of these incidents repeating.

Theft of vehicle keys
There had been a number of burglaries where the offenders had broken into houses with the sole intention of getting vehicle keys. Often offenders will only break in when they can actually see the keys through a window or letter box. Obviously the easiest way to protect yourself from this type of offence is to keep your car keys out of sight and where they cannot easily be found.
Insurance companies may refuse to pay out if your vehicle is stolen and basic security measures have not been taken!

Checking for suitable properties to break into
Occasionally occupants of a vehicle have been seen taking photos of houses and when spotted they immediately make off. There has also been a van driving around the local area looking at properties, with the occupants dressed in 'Hi-viz' workmen type clothing. Burglars will often try to pass themselves off as door to door trades' people whilst looking for places to break into. Sometimes people knock at addresses, purporting to be workmen, often saying they are from BT. Always ask for identification from any such caller, and report anyone that you think may not be genuine. It is quite possible that the action of residents in noting and reporting suspicious individuals have prevented offences from taking place in the past.
Police will take action, but as always, they need the eyes and ears of the local community to assist in securing evidence.

'Identity theft' fraud
This is becoming more prevalent. There have been a number of reports about different 'scams'. These can be where an offender obtains some basic personal details and applies for goods or services in your name. They then make attempts to intercept or divert the proceeds for their own gain. Other postal or internet scams try to dupe people into sending payment on the promise of goods or services which never materialise. Please keep your postal mail box secure and ensure that you destroy / shred any paperwork with personal details on.

Rural properties at particular risk
Thefts from rural sheds, barns, garages and outbuildings are likely targets so look out for your neighbours properties as well. Padlocks and bolts should be sturdy enough to withstand an attack by bolt croppers. Houses in either isolated rural locations or on the edge of villages have been broken into. Always ensure your security is good and lock doors and windows, even in warm weather ( next summer!).

Theft of Car Registration plates
There have been a thefts of registration plates off parked vehicles. If you suffer this offence or witness anyone possibly in the act of removing plates, please phone the police. The stolen plates are often used in the commission of far more serious offences

And on a slightly different note...
Dogs out of control and running loose
In the warmer weather there were a number of incidents about dogs running loose. Some of these were on farmland, where farm livestock has been worried. Please be aware that farmers are allowed to shoot any dog out of control near livestock! Dogs have also terrified young children playing on public parks. Owners are responsible for any actions of their dogs whilst out of control. Should such a dog bite then the dog may be destroyed so please keep your dog under control.