Western Rural Police Report for Week Ending 4th January

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First of all, I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2015!

The New Year festivities passed with only a manageable number of drink related incidents. Unfortunately there were still a number of people who took it upon themselves to get behind the wheel of their vehicle when they had consumed too much alcohol. The consequences of this will be felt by them for years to come in the form of driving bans, increased insurance premiums and the acquisition of a criminal conviction!

Many people may be contemplating selling unwanted gifts or items which are no longer needed, following the Christmas period. If you intend to use an internet based sales / auction site, please use a reputable well known site and follow the site rules — these are in place for the protection of buyer and seller. There have been a number of reports about monies being taken but goods not arriving and the participants having no comeback, or way of knowing who the other person was, purely because they did not follow the websites rules in an attempt to avoid paying the small admin fee! If someone suggests arranging a sale outside the site rules, there is a high chance that they will be trying to defraud the other party. If you follow the website rules, there is usually good protection in place for both the seller and buyer.

Shed and garage burglaries continue, with a small number scattered over the area this week. Offences have occurred in Sutton Weaver, Helsby, Littleton and Kelsall. These offences do not appear to be linked, but householders are urged to be careful about being seen to store valuable items such as expensive pedal cycles in outbuildings. As well as fitting secure locks and inexpensive shed alarms, householders should consider how secure the door HINGES are — it is all very well fitting a strong lock, if all an offender has to do is unscrew a couple of hinge screws! Please consider drilling the screw head, once fitted, to prevent removal, or fit tamper proof bolts instead of screws.

I have written previously about shredding all paperwork which contains personal information, to prevent 'identity theft'. Please also remember to also shred offers for bank loans and part completed order forms for postal catalogue shopping! Fraudsters will take these, amend a couple of details and then try to obtain money or goods in your name which they will intercept. If you do fall victim to such offences, it can take many months or even years to remove the subsequent 'black mark' from your credit rating. A shredding machine can be purchased from most supermarkets or stationary stores.

In the early hours of New Years day, a drunken reveller on his way home damaged a number of vehicles in Keysbrook, Tattenhall. Thanks to observant neighbours, police were able to identify the male who will have to answer for his drunken behaviour.

Building sites and houses under renovation continue to attract the attention of opportunistic thieves. However, I can report this week that police have taken a number of calls about suspicious activity at such locations, such that officers have been able to attend promptly and prevent crimes or identify suspects. Often, it has been the actions of the person calling that has scared the potential offenders away. Nevertheless, as a result of prompt calls from embers of the public, there have been very few actual offences committed. Thank you for your continued support.

Regards

Inspector Keith Curbishley