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Stop Garden Thieves

Most people are very aware of the importance of home security, but it often stops at the doors and windows of their homes.

Have you thought about the security of your garden, garage or shed?

The value of the property stored in gardens, sheds and garages is often more then people imagine. Power tools, plants, plant containers, hand tools, sport equipment, cycles and toys are among those items most often taken by garden thieves.

What Can You Do?

  • Put away all tools and equipment and ensure that all outside sheds and store cupboards are securely locked when not in use.
  • use good quality locks to secure your gates and locks.
  • bring tools inside if you do not have a garden shed or outbuilding.
  • Garage doors of the "up and over" type should not rely on the standard lock fittings as these are easily overcome, fit garage locks which is two mortise locks one on each side, or padlock with a hasp and staple.
  • if the garage is attached to the main building ensure that connecting doors are secure, with good quality locks.
  • install outside security lighting which comes on automatically when it detects movement.
  • photograph valuable plants or ornaments.
  • check your household insurance policy covers theft from your garden and outbuildings.
  • mark your property with your postcode.
  • join Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
  • use plant protection such us thorny shrubs.
  • consider replacing or supplementing glass windows with a polycarbon/plastic material.
  • when not using the garden shed, cover windows with shutters.
  • consider increasing the heigh of your fence by use of a self supporting wooden trellis.

If anyone needs anu further information please contact your local police beat team or Anna Gomes-Alves at 0116 2890045 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Narborough Road South Community Art Project

For so many years Braunstone Town Council and Blaby District Council have received complaints from local residents regarding the condition and appearance of Narborough Road South subways. As the Council always highlights residents' needs and expectations, the community art project involving local residents has been proposed.

In order to make sure that the project will meet residents needs the Council ran the consultation for the period of three months. Within that time only fourteen responses were received and further twenty replies from young people attending BB19 Bus were received.

If you would like to find out more information please get in touch with us.

12 online frauds of Christmas campaign

Christmas is a very busy time of the year for everyone, including criminals. It may be the season of Goodwill to all, but don't let criminals enjoy Christmas at your expense! Take care with Christmas shopping especially when you do it online! To make life as difficult as possible for the cyber fraudsters, the BBA is running 'The 12 online frauds of Christmas' campaign working in partnership with the City of London Police, which is the National Policing Lead for Fraud, and supported by Get Safe Online, The Home Office, CrimeStoppers, National Trading Standards and Victim Support. Together, they are raising awareness of the major internet threats and providing top tips on how to surf and shop safely, which will help ensure everyone gets to enjoy a very merry Christmas.

You can download their "12 Online Frauds of Christmas Leaflet" clicking here

And if you do unfortunately fall victim to an online fraud, please report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk.
For more online crime prevention advice go to www.getsafeonline.org or www.cyberstreetwise.com

Have a happy, crime free Christmas and a safe and peaceful New Year!

SWITCH ON TO THE DANGERS OF LEAVING YOUR HOME IN DARKNESS

Light bulb-shaped leaflets are being put through the doors of homes left in darkness as part of a police campaign to tackle burglary during the winter months.

The leaflet says: 'No lights on!! If we think no one is home, so could burglars.' Police Community Support Officers and Police Volunteers will be giving out the leaflets from Sunday 27th October 2013, when the clocks go back.

They are an eye catching way of reminding people to leave a light on when they go out during winter evenings or use a light timer which switches lights on when it begins to get dark. The leaflets are part of a Force wide campaign to tackle burglary. The dark evenings and nights help burglars because they can easily see which houses are empty. The Police would like people to think about using light timers or leaving lights on when they are out to deter burglars from targeting their property. The timers don't cost much to buy but could save a great deal of heart ache.

Other things homeowners can do:

  • Put timer switches on radios and regularly change the timing.
  • Fit external security lighting such as dusk to dawn energy efficient lighting that will come on automatically as dusk sets in or brighter infrared activated lighting drawing attention to movement.
  • Make sure gates or access to the rear of the house are locked.
  • Lock sheds, trim overgrown plants, secure windows, use locks and bolts and keep all your keys, out of sight and reach.
  • People should also mark their property with their postcode, name and house number and install intruder alarms.
  • Join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and report anything suspicious to the police

Trick or Treat?

Before you go, don't be hasty.

Stop and think about child safety!

Stop and think about the dangers!

Remember the rules for dealing with strangers.

Children:

  • Ask your parents if you may go out to 'trick or treat'
  • Keep to those streets closest to your home
  • Only approach people you know
  • Don't go inside anyone's house
  • Shout "NO" very loudly if someone threatens you.

Parents:

  • If you can, go with your children
  • If you cant go, make sure you know the people they are going with
  • Make sure you know where they are going
  • Set a time for them to have arrived home
  • If you are not comfortable with your child knocking on doors - don't let them.

For you, "trick or treat" may be a fun activity with the chance to dress up, stay out later than usual and, hopefully, be given plenty of sweets. But for others, it is a stressful time with strangers dressed in scary costumes or masks knocking their doors after dark asking for treats they may be unable to give.

STOP AND THINK!

Who is being TRICKED and who is being TREATED?

 

A short cut to the site can also be found at www.leics.police.uk on the left side of the Home page.

How good neighbours can keep your home safe during the holidays

(article from ourwatch.org.uk)

Is Britain becoming less neighbourly? New research by Admiral home insurance suggests we are. It found less than a third of us make an effort to get to know our neighbours when we move house while four out of ten of us wish our neighbourhood was more 'neighbourly'. We don't even pop next door for a 'cup of sugar' anymore; only one in six of us have borrowed a missing ingredient from a neighbour.

Admiral home insurance surveyed 2,000 people to find out just how well they know their neighbours and whether they ever help each other out. It found that while most are on speaking terms with the people they live next door to, they keep them at arm's length. Only 6% of those questioned said they don't know their neighbours, but a third don't know their neighbours' names and only a quarter have a proper chat when they meet them in the street.

Admiral home insurance spokesperson, Justin Beddows, said, "It's a shame so many people don't bother to get to know their neighbours. Being friendly with the people in your street or apartment block can make life so much more pleasant.

"It's particularly sad that the majority of us don't make an effort to get to know our neighbours when we move house. When you consider you will be living so close to these people for many years, surely it's just polite to call round to say hello."

Britain's lack of neighbourly love could even be a security risk, especially during the summer holidays with few of us relying on neighbours to keep an eye on our property while we are away. The majority (55%) of us don't even tell our neighbours when we are going away on holiday, despite this being good common sense. Admiral's research suggests there could be an issue of trust, with only a quarter of those questioned saying they would trust their next door neighbour with a key to their house. And only a third (35%) saying they have looked after their neighbours' house while they were away.

Jim Maddan OBE, Chairman of the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network, said: "Neighbourliness seems to have slipped down the agenda in our busy lives, and this important survey by Admiral has highlighted the issues. At this time of year when we are often away on holiday, it is vitally important that we share our plans with our neighbours, if only to ask them to feed the pets, water the plants or to make the house look lived-in. In this way burglaries can be prevented and we can do each other a good turn."

However, it's not all bad news; when asked what they would do if they noticed something suspicious happening in their neighbour's property, 44% said they would go next door to investigate.

Admiral's study revealed some parts of the UK are more neighbourly than others. Only 3% of those in Northern Ireland, and 4% in Wales, the South West and the North West said they don't know their neighbours. Northern Ireland (79%) and the South West (73%) also had the highest percentage who knew their neighbours' names. This compares with 49% in London.

See our chairman's interview on home security here.

Visit www.admiral.com/neighbourhood for more information and a breakdown of the results by region and type of house.

#ABSsummerlockin campaign - keep security locked in and intruders locked out!

(Article from ourwatch.org.uk)

The Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network is urging householders to #stayABSsafe this summer by launching the #ABSsummerlockin campaign to coincide with the school summer holidays in England and Wales – a time of year that sees a 10% increase in domestic burglaries and 40% increase in outdoor thefts*.

Working in partnership with its security sponsor Avocet Hardware, the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network will be issuing regular communications throughout the holidays to advise householders about how they can make their homes less exposed to potential burglaries.

The office for National Statistics latest crime survey for England and Wales reports 92% of all domestic burglary in a dwelling is committed through the front and back door, 52% and 40% respectively.

Furthermore the report highlights one quarter of all burglaries are the result of forcing the lock or lock snapping as it's more commonly known – a growing trend directly related to the increase use of uPVC and other double glazed doors.

Jim Maddan, Chairman of the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, said: "The school holidays is a busy time for burglars as many houses are left empty when people head off for a getaway. Throw in the light nights and warmer weather and it's no wonder there is an increase in break-ins.

He continued: "We want people to enjoy their summer holidays without worrying about their home, which is why we have joined with Avocet to let people know that fitting a proper anti-snap lock is a really effective way to help stop a burglar gaining access to your property."

Clive Lloyd, managing director of Avocet Hardware, said: "The rise in lock snapping is directly related to the increased use of uPVC and other double glazed doors, which can be found in millions of homes around the UK. By and large, these doors are fitted with a standard Euro cylinder lock that can be snapped and removed in a matter of seconds using nothing more than simple DIY tools.

"The ABS Snap Secure Lock is the only lock available with a patented snap secure technology, which will effectively lock the central cam in place. The ABS snap secure technology totally blocks access to the door bolt mechanism inside the lock case to effectively combat a snap attack."

This proof comes from a Leeds City Council initiative that began in 2010 and to date has seen over 10,000 ABS Snap Secure locks installed in homes in East Leeds. This, alongside other police initiatives, has resulted on average in a 36 per cent annual drop in burglaries across East Leeds.

For further information and updates on #ABSsummerlockin follow @N_Watch and @avocetabs on Twitter. To stay up to date on Avocet news and competitions join its Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/abs.secure.

More information about ABS locks can be found at www.abs-secure.co.uk. Alternatively call 01484 711 70001484 711 700.

Joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme is completely free and has been proven to reduce your chance of getting burgled. For further information and home security safety advice visit our Safety Advice pages.

(*According to research by Halifax Home Insurance.)

Speak out to stop scams from spreading

(Article from ourwatch.org.uk)

The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (NHWN) is calling on residents across England & Wales to expose scams and help stop more people from falling prey to clever cons that fleece them of thousands of pounds.

Scams Awareness Month launched on 1st July and aims to highlight how scams continue to flourish when people stay silent. Figures show that less than 5% of victims report scams to the authorities, and NHWN is encouraging people to report suspicious activities, get advice if they think they've been conned, and to warn others to help stop scams from spreading.

Scams come in every form, from doorstep double glazing sales to online investment offers. People may be targeted with "vishing" calls where a fraudster impersonates their bank to collect their bank details, or by bogus companies offering computer services. Online scams include dodgy job adverts and offers for goods and services, while mail scams may ask victims to pay a fee in order to claim their winnings from a prize draw they haven't entered.

The Scams Awareness Month campaign is asking people to keep two things in mind when they receive an unsolicited approach or when they are looking for goods or services: don't be rushed and don't be hushed. People should take their time to make a decision and get their facts together before parting with their money or personal information, and speak out when they think they've spotted a scam.

Jim Maddan OBE, NHWN Chair, said:

"Scams thrive on silence. Fraudsters know that victims are often too ashamed to share what happened to them, meaning that scams can continue to spread unchecked. We're urging people to lift the lid on scams and start talking about suspicious email, junk mail, online ads or door-to-door sellers operating in their area.

"Scams are run by professional con artists and it can be very hard to know what to look out for. Our advice is that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you're contacted out of the blue be on your guard, and never give your bank details out unless you are certain you know who the person is, and that you can trust them. If you think you have been scammed, contact Citizens Advice for help and report it to Trading Standards."

Top tips for avoiding scams

  • If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  • It you haven't bought a ticket – you can't win it.
  • You shouldn't have to pay anything to get a prize.
  • If in doubt, don't reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up.
  • Contacted out of the blue? – be suspicious.
  • Don't be rushed – resist pressure to make a decision straight away.
  • Never send money to someone you have never met.
  • Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance.
  • Your bank will never attend your home to collect cash, your PIN, payment card or chequebook if you are a victim of fraud.
  • Your bank will never phone you to ask for your PIN or your online banking password.
  • Your bank will never ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.
  • Suspect a phone scam? Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call your bank.
  • Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.
  • Don't suffer in silence – speak out about scams.

What to do if you have been scammed

Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to help stop it happening to others.

Often you can't always get your money back if you've been scammed, especially if you've handed over cash.

If you've paid for goods or services by credit card you have more protection and if you used a debit card you may be able to ask your bank for a chargeback.

Get advice and report it to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 (for advice in Welsh phone 03454 04 05 05) or online advice at www.adviceguide.org.uk

Scams to watch out for:

  • Pensions scams - phrases such as "one-off investment opportunities", "free pension reviews", "legal loopholes", "cash bonus", "up-front cash sum", "government endorsement", "pension liberation," are commonly used in pension scams. The initial approach is often an out-of-the-blue phone call, text or email or even sometimes a doorstep caller. Or it could be via an imitation website. Scammers may offer early access to pension pots for people aged under 55 even though this is only possible in exceptional circumstances.
  • Online shopping and auction scams – internet shoppers get lured into buying phantom cars, mobile phones, pets or anything else you can buy online. Scammers use a range of tricks including bogus websites, spoofed payment services and "second chance offers" tempting losing bidders with bogus opportunities. Online property market places are also infiltrated by scammers harvesting legitimate property details and posing as landlords.
  • Investment fraud – also called "boiler room" scams because of the high pressure sales technique employed. Shares remain the most common product offered, but they also ask for investment in carbon credits, land, and rare earth metals.
  • Dating scams – using online dating websites scammers groom victims into long-distance relationships using emails, instant messaging, texting and phone calls. Once they are confident of the victim's trust, scammers will tell them about a problem they are experiencing and ask for financial help.
  • Software scams – fraudsters often use the names of well-known companies to commit their crime as it gives a mask of legitimacy to their cruel schemes. Methods include asking for credit card details to "validate" copies of operating systems, stealing personal information, and installing malware before charging to remove it.
  • Courier scams (a form of vishing) – where people receive unsolicited telephone calls from scammers posing as police or their bank warning of a fraudulent payment on their card or that their card is due to expire. The fraudster will then attend the person's address or send an innocent courier company driver to collect the card and sometimes provide them with a "replacement" fake card.

What are you doing during the summer holidays? / Leicestershire Police

An annual campaign to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer has begun.

With the summer upon us, Leicestershire's Antisocial Behaviour Delivery Group, which is made up of a range of organisations including Leicester City, Leicestershire County and Rutland County councils, the police and seven district authorities, is encouraging people to enjoy themselves but also be considerate to those around them.

As part of the safer summer campaign they have contacted all schools across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland asking that pupils consider their behaviour and act responsibly whilst on holiday.

The Force has also gathered information about local activities for young people which are taking place in various locations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland during the summer holidays. That information is now available on: www.beatsafe.co.uk

Neighbourhood officers, local councils and Leicestershire Youth Offending Service, are just some of the many organisations working together to run events in the city and county.

Superintendent Mark Newcombe, the Force's lead on antisocial behaviour, said: "We want adults and young people to work together to enjoy the summer season by respecting and tolerating each other regardless of their age or background.

"It is important that residents consider how their actions will affect others."

Joe Orson, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for safer communities, said: "During this time of year there is an increase in reports of antisocial behaviour. Partners will be using Twitter to provide advice and tips to raise awareness of how people can stay safe, have fun but at the same time reminding them to be mindful of others."

People can follow the campaign on Twitter, @leicspolice and by using the hash tag #safersummerLLR

Report antisocial behaviour by calling 101 or by contacting your local district or borough council.

Their top tips for a safer summer include:

  • drink safe and stay safe 
  • be tolerant of young people who also want to enjoy the summer
  • be considerate, if you're planning an event or party
  • if you're having a BBQ think safety first

For more on the campaign visit www.leics.gov.uk/asb

This Summer Don't Let a Heat Wave Turn Into Crime Wave

Summer is a time of warm days when windows, doors and garages are often left open, and tools and valuables may be left lying around outside. The most common cases of opportunist summer burglary involve offenders that:

  • enter an insecure front door while residents are in the back garden
  • enter doors that are closed but unlocked at night while residents are asleep
  • reach through windows to take valuable items.

Summer burglary prevention tips:

  • If you are out in the back garden, ensure that your front door is secure.
  • Put your garden tools and games away into a secure garage or tools shed after using them, they could be used to break into your home, or your neighbours'.
  • When you leave a room unattended, close the windows and doors - especially on the ground floor.
  • If you want to leave windows open while you sleep, fit window restrictors so they cannot be fully opened, or make sure they are not large enough to allow access to a burglar.
  • Keep all wallets, purses, credit cards, car keys and other valuables out of sight.
  • Consider fitting outside security lighting or a visible alarm to help deter burglars. Even using pea shingle or gravel on a driveway and spiky plants in garden beds can help.
  • If you park your car out in the countryside, take your bag or wallet with you and don't leave other belongings on view in your car. Even an old coat left in sight could tempt someone to break in.

Leaving Home for the holidays:

  • Ensure the house is securely locked, including windows usually left open
  • Cancel newspapers and redirect your mail or have it collected by a friend
  • Put pets into a boarding kennel or have friends visit them often
  • Tell neighbours or friends who can check on the house, you are away and whom will be at the house legitimately – e.g. gardeners, pet minders
  • Secure your garage or, if unable – move items such as bikes inside the house
  • Consider security devices, including light timers etc.
  • Do not leave cash in the house and locate jewellery in a safe place
  • Ensure your lawn is cut, the property tidy and stop all deliveries
  • Avoid leaving the answering machine on and turn the phone volume down

101 or 999?

non emergencyLeicestershire Police is working for you 24 hours a day seven days a week.

You can call 101 to report a crime that has already happened andany other incidents or concerns that do not require an emergency response. You can also call it to speak to your local Neighbourhood Policing Team, to make a general enquiry or make us aware of any policing issues in your local area.

If you have any hearing difficulties or a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 18001 101.

Calling 101 for situations that do not require an immediate police response helps keep 999 available for when there is an emergency. An emergency is when a crime is happening, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, someone is injured, being threatened or a life is at risk, or there is a traffic incident involving personal injury or danger.

Calls to 101 from landlines and mobiles cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call or how long your call lasts.

101 is being rolled out across all police force areas in England and Wales. Until the roll out is complete, anyone calling from outside Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland should call 0116 222 2222 to contact Leicestershire Police.

FAQs

What is 101?

101 is now the only number you need to call when you want to get through to your local police when it's less urgent than 999.

101 replaces our 0116 222 2222* number, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls to 101from landlines and mobile networks cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call or how long you are on the phone.

*If you are calling from outside Leicestershire, please continue to call 0116 222 2222

Why is 101 being introduced?

101 is the new number to call to contact your local police. It is being rolled out by the Home Office, across England and Wales in all police force areas.

101 will provide the public with one easy way to contact their local police to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency police response.

When 101 has been rolled out to all police force areas, it will mean that people only have one number to remember, whichever county they are in when need to call the police.

When should I call 101?

You can call 101 to report crime that has already happened and other incidents or concerns that do not require an emergency response.

For example:

  • If your car been stolen
  • If property has been damaged
  • If you suspect drug use or dealing
  • To report a minor traffic collision
  • To report any other incident that doesn't require an immediate response
  • To give us information about crime or criminals in your local area

You can also call 101 if you simply want to talk to your local police officer or a member of police staff – you will be put through to the relevant extension number in the same way as it happens now.

Why should I call 101?

Using 101 (or our online crime reporting service) for situations that do not require an immediate police response, helps keep 999 available for when there is an emergency.

In the past, it may not always been clear to members of the public, especially those who don't live in Leicestershire, how they should contact us in situations that do not require an immediate policing response.

We hope that by introducing a simple and easy to remember number - 101 – this will make it easier for people to contact us and reduce the number of inappropriate 999 calls received.

If a crime is taking place, or somebody is in immediate danger, people should continue to call 999.

How much does a call to 101 cost?

Calls to 101 from landlines and mobiles cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call or how long the call lasts.

Are calls to 101 answered by the police?

Yes, all calls to 101 are answered by police operators. Calls may be recorded for training, development, evidential and public safety reasons.

Is 101 going to replace 999?

No, 101 is the number to use to contact the police in situations that do not require an immediate police response. 999 will continue to be the number to dial when you need to report an emergency.

999 should only be used for real emergencies – such as when a crime is happening, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, someone is injured, being threatened or a life is at risk, or there is a traffic incident involving personal injury or danger.

All 999 calls go direct to the control room and are dealt with on a separate priority system, so calls to 999 that are not true emergencies could cause a delay in getting help in some other life-threatening situation.

What happens if I call 101 but it is an emergency situation?

If you call 101 and it is deemed to be an emergency situation, our trained police operators will put you through to 999 for immediate assistance.

Always call 999 in an emergency

Police clamp down on school parking

Article from Leicestershire Police Website:

Police from the Braunstone Town and Thorpe Astley Dedicated Neighbourhood team are clamping down on parking problems outside schools in the area, due to an increase in complaints.

Officers have increased patrols around four schools in the area with the aim of reducing the amount of people parking illegally or/and dangerously.

The four schools in question are Millfield Primary School; Ravenhurst Primary School; Kingsway Primary School and Winstanley School.

PC Leanne Aldridge, a Dedicated Neighbourhood Officer for Braunstone Town and Thorpe Astley said: "Inconsiderate and dangerous parking outside schools is currently a neighbourhood priority for us as it has become a real problem. We have received numerous complaints about badly parked vehicles, particularly during school drop-off and pick-up times.

"To try to combat this issue we have increased patrols around the schools during these times, in the hope of being able to educate parents of the dangers of inconsiderate parking including parking on zig-zag lines or in a bus stop.

"We also want people to be aware that parking close to the school can cause a real danger to children arriving or leaving school. Many avoidable accidents happen due to cars being parked in positions that restrict a child's view of the road, leaving them in danger of walking into the path of a moving vehicle.

"We would like to encourage parents to walk to school where possible to cut down on congestion outside the school gates."

Spring crime prevention advices

Spring often heralds a time when we see an increase in theft of garden equipment and furniture.

Have you taken the necessary steps to reduce your chances of becoming a victim to this type of crime?

By taking some of the following advice you can help protect your garden, and relax this summer.

  • Ensure that your garden's fence, walls and gates are in a good state of repair. Make it difficult for a thief to enter the vulnerable area at the rear of your home.
  • Consider installing outside lighting. Low energy dusk to dawn lighting is recommended
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed so that thieves cannot use them to hide and work behind
  • Consider having 'prickly' plants , such as Berberis, in appropriate places to act as a physical barrier
  • If you have a shed or garage, check it is in good condition, with suitable locks. Bear in mind that sheds, in particular, are normally made of fairly flimsy materials so they should not be used to store very expensive items
  • All valuable property should be marked (PREFERABLY VISIBLY MARKED) with your postcode and house number. Keep a photographic record of valuable items

When you are out in the garden, make sure the house is secure. A large proportion of all burglaries are committed by sneak-in thieves, taking advantage of a door or window open or unlocked. This might be when you go to hang out washing, or when you are in a different room in the house.

  • A sneak-in burglar can be in and out of your house in seconds
  • Keep all doors locked and windows secure even when you are in
  • Keep items such as handbags, wallets and keys away from places where they are clearly visible from outside

Also be aware that burglaries sometimes occur simply to steal car keys.

  • Never leave keys in locks, or where they are visible from outside. Put them somewhere safe and out of sight, but where you can access them easily
  • If you have a garage, put the car in it

Police Report 9/03/2015

Braunstone Town overnight a theft of catalytic converter Narborough Rd South. any info call 101 see something suspicious get in touch

Spring and Easter holiday garden safety advices

As the weather improves and people start using their gardens more, it is tempting to be complacent about security, particularly during the Easter holiday period. Garden tools become more accessible and attractive to thieves.

Garden sheds and garages are popular targets as they are likely to contain expensive items such as gardening equipment, bicycles and power tools. Offenders see sheds and outbuildings as easy targets because they are often unprotected and lack basic security measures. The items they contain can be sold on or implements can be used to force entry into the owner's home.

Neighbourhood policing teams are asking residents to consider the following crime prevention advice:

  • Make access to areas where sheds and outbuildings are located as difficult as possible – lock all side and rear gates using a bolt and padlock or hasp and staple lock and make sure fencing/hedging is secure.
  • Keep sheds, garage and outbuilding locked with good quality locks – padlock alarms are available from hardware shops that sound if any attempt is made to tamper with it.
  • Consider putting bars on the windows of sheds to prevent break-ins and consider bonding any window glass in with mastic to prevent easy removal. Fitting a grille or chicken wire will slow a thief down.
  • Strengthen the security of sheds by reinforcing door hinges, fitting doors with non-returnable screws or coach bolts together with a good quality pad bar or hasp and staple and close shackled padlock.
  • Don't leave tools and equipment in gardens but keep them locked away and consider securing them with cables and chains with robust padlocks.
  • Have power tools, garden implements and pedal cycles security marked with a post code and house number and deterrent warning stickers placed on the shed/garage/outbuilding windows. Use an ultra violet pen or a permanent marker pen on more heavy duty items such as lawn mowers.
  • Install passive security lighting in gardens as a deterrent.
  • Defensive planting in gardens using prickly plants can be used around the fence line to deter access.
  • If you are building or installing a shed, consider locating it where it is most visible to you and neighbours.

If you have any concerns or would like advice and information, please speak with one of our local neighbourhood officers who are out and about in the area and are there to assist you or call 101.

Boiler scam warning!

North West Leicestershire District Council is warning its council tenants to be aware of bogus callers working in the area.

One council tenant has this week been scammed out of £199, after receiving a call from someone who said they were from a company called Quick
Fix Heating and claimed to be acting on behalf of the council. The caller requested bank details, which the tenant passed on. The fraudsters later took £199 from the tenant's account.

To help avoid this happening to more tenants, the council has this advice:

  • Council contractors will never ask for payment
  • Council tenants will never be asked to pay for anything, other than a repair they have requested themselves
  • If in doubt, don't provide any information and contact the council on 01530 454545

Leicestershire Police have been informed of the scam.

Neighbourhood Watch Advice on Keeping Your Car and Contents Safe and Secure

Over half of reported car crime is "opportunistic" and most car crime is preventable by following these easy guidelines. With the winter time and Christmas just around the corner now is the time to become active in order to ensure you do not become a victim of the car crime. There are some steps to ensure you do not become another victim of the crime statistics. Most criminals can be easy outsmarted by taking simple steps in order to secure your car and its contents. This mainly involves removing the temptation to steal them, as follows:

  • DRIVING - it makes sense to keep all valuables out of sight, doors locked and windows closed. Any bulky expensive items should be stored in the boot.
  • PARKING - If you do not have a garage, always try to park in well lit, open location. When away from home, try and find a police recognised "Secured Car Park Scheme" car park, which have high standards of security, including CCTV.
  • BELONGINGS - Even an old coat or briefcase on the back seat is a target for an opportunist thief to have a go at a smash and grab - it's a prime invitation for passers by.
  • CAR KEYS - Remember to keep them safe. Always remove the ignition key every time you leave the car, even when filling up with petrol or just popping into a shop. It takes only seconds for someone to jump in and drive away.
  • DOORS AND WINDOWS - Lock all doors, close windows every time you leave your vehicle unattended - no matter how briefly. Lockable fuel caps are also advisable.
  • SECURITY - Locks or other security devices are always a great deterrent of vehicle crime. Steering wheel and gear stick locks are not expensive and easy to fit.
  • IMMOBILIZERS - This is one sure way to keep out of trouble. Information on vehicle immobilizers can be obtained by calling the Vehicle Security National Helpline on 0870 5502006 or any reputable garage.
  • WHEEL PROTECTION - These days many thieves are targeting vehicles with alloy wheels and tyres from steel wheels. To protect your wheels and tyres, fit locking wheel nuts, these are not expensive and easy to fit.

With the above added precautions - enjoy winter and Christmas time!

How to Beat Scam Mail Fraud

Fraudsters target the most vulnerable members of society through postal mailings promising cash prizes. So what's being done to stop them, and what can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones?

We've all had enticing letters arrive on our doorstep promising guaranteed lottery wins, fantastic investment opportunities, or a glimpse of the future through clairvoyants.

All you have to do is send them money, give personal details, or purchase items to take advantage.

However there is no lottery or prize to win, no investment and no glimpse of the future, just a fraudster taking your money.

If scammed once, the same person will often be repeatedly targeted by scammers around the world, duping them out of hundreds of thousands of pounds. So what can be done to stop them?

Royal Mail scam mail initiative

The Royal Mail and Trading Standards have launched a joint initiative to tackle scam mail by:

  • Creating new processes for cancelling the contracts of fraudulent companies, whereby companies identified by Trading Standards will be warned to stop their actions. If they ignore the warning and persist Royal Mail will cancel its contract
  • Extra training for postmen and women to improve awareness so they can report suspected scam mailings
  • Encouraging you to report fraudulent mail that you or your family have received

How do you report scam mail?

If you believe that you, or a relative, have been sent fraudulent mail you should report it to Royal Mail.

You can call them on 03456 113 413, email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or write to Royal Mail at Freepost Scam Mail.

You can also contact Citizens Advice consumer service by calling 03454 04 05 06, write to them at Citizens Advice consumer service, Post Point 24, Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston super Mare, North Somerset, BS23 1UJ, or you can complete an online form available from the CAB website.

What can you do to stop scam mail?

It can be very easy to fall for a scam mailing. They can look very convincing, and often the potential reward seems so good that it's worth throwing the dice in the hope it's legitimate.

Here are some of the things you can do to avoid being caught out:

  • Never send cash, disclose personal information or buy items to claim a prize
  • If you receive what looks like scam mail bin it straight away and don't respond
  • Contact the Mailing Preference Service to have your name taken off direct mailing lists in the UK (unfortunately this won't stop overseas mail)
  • Put a 'no junk mail' sign on your door

How can you help an elderly relative?

The sad truth of postal scams is the more vulnerable a person, the more they will be targeted.

Scammers work off mailing lists that specifically highlight the elderly or vulnerable; often people who live alone with no internet access and without the knowledge or capability to report these scams.

If you're worried that someone close to you is being tricked or taken advantage of, here a few things you can do:

  • Look out for warning signs like unusual amounts of post, or large cash withdrawals
  • Offer advice and support - People are often embarrassed to admit they've been scammed so try to reassure them that it's a common problem, and that all sorts of people get taken in by them
  • Offer to have their post re-directed to you or another close relative so that scam mail can be filtered out
  • Get help - contact Citizens Advice or Age UK who will be able to help further. Take a look at the Age UK avoiding scams guide for more information.

Another helpful resource is the Think Jessica website; a registered charity that raises awareness of the dangers that postal scams can cause to the elderly and vulnerable. Read Jessica's story to understand just how damaging these scams can be, and the importance of getting help if you suspect a relative is being scammed.

written by MatthewF from money.co.uk.

Police investigate dog attack in Braunstone Town area

Issued on 10/8/14 at 8:35 p.m.

Crime number: LEP-100814-0645

Police were called at around 7.05pm this evening (Sunday August 10) following a report of a dog attacking another dog and its owner in the Braunstone Town area.

In the interests of public safety, firearms officers were deployed to the scene. On arrival the attacking dog continued to be aggressive and attack the dog and its owner.

To prevent further injuries and possible attack of other members of the public or officers, the decision was deemed necessary to deploy taser.

The dog subsequently died.

The attacked dog is currently receiving treatment for its injuries at a veterinary practice. The injured owner received puncture wounds to his legs and was taken to hospital for treatment.

No-one else was injured during the incident.

Enquiries are in their very early stages and officers are appealing for anyone who has any information regarding the incident to please contact police or Crimestoppers.

Anyone with information in relation to any appeals featured on this site is asked to contact the relevant officer on 101, follow the instructions to leave a message for the officer and when prompted key in the officer's identification number. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.

Calls to 101 cost 15p for the entire call from both mobile 'phones and land lines. Please note some mobile 'phone service providers may charge for calls to Crimestoppers.

Don't let green fingered thieves spring clean your shed

Message sent by Marion Lewis

Many people take a great deal of trouble securing their house and the property within it...but what about sheds and garages? With the array of lawn mowers, power tools, garden equipment, bicycles, sports and other valuable equipment kept in them, security measures should certainly be put in place.

Property

Gardening tools and garden furniture are not cheap - what's more they are very saleable items for the thief. Don't make it easy for them to be stolen and remember that tools stolen from your shed could be used to burgle your house.

  • Postcode or property mark anything in your shed or garage that is value and might be stolen, for example, lawn mowers, garden furniture, bicycles, sports equipment.
  • Take photographs of expensive items - they may be useful to police to identify the goods and return them to you, should you be unfortunate enough to have them stolen.
  • Never leave garden tools and equipment outside, even if you are just popping back into the house. It only takes minutes for an opportunist thief to take them.

Consider fitting a pair of garage door locks that are fitted either vertically or horizontally and can be locked both from the inside and outside of the garage.

For further general safety and security advice advice go to
http://www.ourwatch.org.uk/knowledge-base-category/crime-prevention/

Neighbourhood & Home Watch Week is an annual campaign that takes place during the week of the summer solstice. In 2014 it will run from 14-22 June.

Message sent by Marion Lewis OBE (NHWN, Regional Representative, East Midlands)

During the Week we encourage members and coordinators across England and Wales to hold events that celebrate the work of Neighbourhood and Home Watch. These could be anything from a street party to an information stall or an extension of activities that the scheme already does regularly.

This year the theme for the week will be 'Fraud & Cybercrime'. We have produced the following downloadable resources for our members and supporters:

For more details go to National NHW Week 2014

Holiday safety

Whether you are taking a weekend get-away or going away for the entire summer, you'll want to defend your home and possessions from burglars. Sadly, most burglaries occur when there is no-one home, so whether you are leaving the house for a few minutes, the day or a fortnight, remember to shut and lock all your windows and doors.

By now most of us are in habit of making sure windows and doors are closed and locked on our vehicles and houses when we leave them, but in the excitement of going away, we can sometimes forget. If you have locks on your windows and a burglar alarm installed to your property it is important you use them. Remember to remove the keys from the locks before you go.

It is advised you always try to make your home appear occupied. Here are some steps you can take to ensure this:

  • Cancel deliveries of milk and newspapers.
  • Make sure you only tell people who need to know that you will be away.
  • Get a friend, neighbour or relative to keep an eye on your house or flat. Even the smallest of jobs such as collecting post from the letterbox, sweeping up leaves, putting dustbins out and even mowing your lawn, can make it seems as though someone is home.
  • Leave the house looking occupied using automatic timers on lights and radios.
  • Do not leave valuables on display.
  • Take close-up photos of any items you move to safe places.
  • Mark electrical items with your postcode and house number. Free marking pens and SmartWater Kits (£5.00 each) are available from the Braunstone Civic Centre.
  • If you must leave jewellery in the house, do not leave it in the bedroom drawer!
  • Lock all exterior doors securely -- such as, using thick cylinder locks on outside entrances.
  • Never advertise your departure. This may be easier said than done, especially for those who often share personal information on social networking sites (such as Facebook and Twitter).

Doorstep crime

Message sent by Marion Lewis

When someone tries to sell you something or gets you to sign up for something in your home, someone else's home or your place of work, they may be a genuine salesperson, but sometimes it's a scam. This is known as doorstep crime.

Sometimes thieves turn up on your doorstep claiming to be there on official business. They may say they are from the council, that they're a police officer or are there to read your gas or electricity meter. Once you've let them into your home, they distract your attention and steal money or goods, often by having a second person working with them.

If someone turns up unexpectedly on your doorstep like this, always check out their ID before letting them in. If they don't have ID, don't let them in.

Call the relevant organisation, for example the council, using a number from the phone book or internet. Don't use a number on the trader's ID card. Real officials should be happy to wait. If you are not happy after this, ask them to call and make an appointment or come back another time. You may wish to have a friend or relative with you when they come back.

Some organisations, like energy companies, have password schemes for you to check you are speaking to someone from the real company.

For more information about this, see Being switched without consent.

If a trader says they belong to a professional organisation, such as the Federation of Master Builders, check this out with the professional organisation by ringing them or looking on their website, to see if this is true. It is an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 if they lie about this.

If you are caught out:
If you think you've been a victim of doorstep crime, you can get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline. They should be able to help you to identify whether the trader has broken the law or whether you have any other rights, such as for a breach of contract.

If you've fallen for a scam like this, you should report it to the Police and you can also report it on the Action Fraud website, which is run by the Police.

Next steps

If you have been tricked into changing energy suppliers, see Being switched without consent

To report doorstep crime see Reporting doorstep crime

Report a problem to Trading Standards

If you need more help

Other useful information:

Action fraud at:www.actionfraud.police.uk

The Big Lunch

message sent by Sam Cox (NHWN, Administrator, UK),

Have you heard of The Big Lunch – the UK annual get together for neighbours? The Big Lunch is held annually on Sunday 1st June and with a few weeks to go there is still time to join in and have a little get together in your neighbourhood. In fact the pack is undated so you could even organise your get together a different day. Here are some simple steps to get you started.

The Pack is available at www.thebiglunch.com. It contains fun stickers, invites, posters, bunting template and competition and lots of tips and ideas, there is even a packet of vegetable seeds to grow food together.

The Big Lunch is funded by Big Lottery who, like Neighbourhood and Home Watch, wants to encourage stronger neighbourhoods where we look out for each other and share more. The idea started with Tim Smit KBE and the folk at the Eden project, who believe the simple first step of sharing lunch together can start to change how people feel as part of their wider community, and we agree!

Paul Selby and Brooklands watch are Big Lunch champions and believe the simple act is making a massive difference to their streets – so why not order the pack and float the idea in your local area, we'd love to hear how you get on!

Stay SCAM safe

Criminals around the world are trying to steal money from people. They use a number of tricks, often known as 'scams'. Criminals contact potential targets by sending letters, emails, using websites to offer fake services and making phone calls. Scams can affect many different types of people. It is often thought that older people are the most likely to fall for scams, but while this does happen, other age groups can be just as likely to be taken in. Scams cost UK citizens around £3.5 billion a year. Behind these figures lie huge numbers of heart-breaking tales about people being robbed of their entire life savings. It could be a scam if:

  • You are asked to send money in advance
  • You have never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about and did not buy a ticket
  • You are told to keep it a secret
  • You are told you have to respond quickly so you don't get time to think about it or talk to family and friends before you decide.

Stay SCAM safe. Think!

  • If it sounds too good to be true it probably is;
  • If you haven't bought a ticket you can't win it
  • You shouldn't have to pay anything to get a prize
  • Never send money to someone you don't know
  • Never give out your bank details unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you.
  • Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance
  • Take your time – resist pressure to make a decision straight away
  • Just say 'no thanks' to persuasive sales patter.
  • IF IN DOUBT, DON'T REPLY. BIN IT, DELETE IT OR HANG UP.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud or targeted for fraud you should inform Action Fraud, either on their website www.actionfraud.police.uk, or by phoning 0300 123 2040.

You can help to stop scammers by warning your friends and family, and by making Action Fraud aware of any scams that you have encountered.

If you need help, or more information about scams please come up to the Civic Centre to pick up our SCAM information pack.

‘Neighbourhood Takes Charge’

Do you live in Shakespeare Drive, Shakespeare Close, Burdett Close or Peveral Court and want to have a say about how problems are tackled in your neighbourhood ?

A meeting will be held on Wednesday 14th May 2014 at the Braunstone Civic Centre at 7pm to discuss your concerns and how local residents can tackle these. Please come along and get involved with this community initiative.

Telephone call alert (13/3/14)

Blaby police would like to make you aware that we have received two reports concerning telephone calls being received by an Asian sounding male stating he is from the Microsoft Technical Support team. The male goes on to say; your computer is at risk and he needs you to open up your computer and give him information so he can get it restored.

Reports suggest that the caller comes across very convincing and assertive – but if you do as he asks your computer and telephone will be compromised.

This has already caused considerable upset to the people that have taken these calls resulting in a costly repair and great anxiety after bank accounts had been tampered with.

If you should receive such a call DO NOT open up your computer or give out any information, but contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Further information can be found at www.actionfraud.police.uk

Protect yourself, your friends & relatives against scams

Message sent by Catherine Dunn - NHWN, Administrator, England & Wales

At the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network office we often get phone calls or emails asking for advice about scams.

We always advise anyone who suspects a scam, or who has been the victim of a scam, to report it to the police on www.actionfraud.police.uk or 0300 123 2040. However, it is always better to take preventative action where possible and it is good to know what to look for to avoid being taken in, as well as to advise friends and family members when necessary.

The charity Think Jessica (www.thinkjessica.com) provides a lot of useful advice about scams. Their 12-page booklet, 'Scam mail is blackmail', is particularly useful and covers: lottery and prize draw scams, clairvoyant scams, catalogue scams, courier scams, bank / building society scams and more. You can order afree hard copy of this booklet by writing to:
Think Jessica
PO Box 4442
Chesterfield S44 9AS
(Please enclose a 2nd class stamp)
Or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

They also provide information packs, including a DVD, which cost £7 per pack, and free downloadable posters which you can access at www.thinkjessica.com/posters.htm.

For a cost they will supply bulk orders to a group or organisation, which can be personalised with your logo and local contact details if you wish - contact Think Jessica at the address above or on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your requirements.

The Youth Commission on Police and Crime for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

Application Notes - The Youth Commission enables young people to support, challenge and inform the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, Sir Clive Loader. For more information about what the Youth Commission has been doing in this and other areas please visit the website:www.youthcommission.co.uk .For this year's Youth Commission, participants must be aged 14-25 years from the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland policing area. You will participate in five Youth Commission sessions (March, May, July, October and December). These will normally be held on an Saturday between 10.30 am to 4.00 pm . There will be the opportunity for 6 to 8 Youth Commission members to join an advisory group to give input directly into the police force.

Application Forms - Please fill in the application form and email it to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday 14th March 2014. If you have any questions about this section, please call Kaytea Budd-Brophy on 020 7242 5504 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

‘Neighbourhood Takes Charge’

Do you live in Shakespeare Drive, Shakespeare Close, Burdett Close or Peveral Court and want to have a say about how problems are tackled in your neighbourhood ?

A new project called 'Neighbourhood Takes Charge' which builds on the success on the consultation by EMH Homes is being piloted in your local area aiming at bringing likeminded residents together with local services like the Police, Blaby District Council, Braunstone Town Council and support agencies to tackle the issues that matter to you.

YOU CAN BECOME PART OF A TEAM OF RESIDENTS WORKING WITH THESE LOCAL SERVICES

This Project is meant for local residents who are keen to work together to improve safety and quality of life in their neighbourhood. You will get the opportunity to say what your priorities are in your neighbourhood and help decide how agencies can best use their time and resources.

So what do you need to do?

  • On 3rd February 2014 representatives from a number of agencies, the town council and local housing associations will be visiting your home address to drop off leaflets and questionnaires.
  • Complete the simple questionnaire on the information leaflet and hand it back to the officer that visits on 10th February 2014, or you can drop it off at the Braunstone Civic Centre by 14th February 2014.
  • The results of the survey will influence how local services are used in your neighbourhood.
  • A public meeting will then be held on 24th February 2014 at the Braunstone Civic Centre from 7pm to decide on your top priorities – please come along and have your say.

If you want to know more about how you can become involved in

Neighbourhood Takes Charge Contact Sgt Marc Simons or PC 4220 Leanne Aldridge at Blaby Local Policing Unit by calling 101.

TRADING STANDARDS ALERT

Leicestershire Trading Standards is currently investigating a number of complaints relating to doorstep sales of mattresses.

We have received complaints from vulnerable consumers in Narborough, Burbage and Thurlaston. Some of the consumers were cold called by telephone first, or were cold called at home by a sales rep and pressurised into buying mattresses for between £200 - £400. Payment appears to be always be cheque/card rather than cash.

We have a number of concerns about the way in which these mattresses are described and being sold. We will also be getting one tested to check for the safety requirements.

Trading Standards always advises residents not to purchase good from 'cold callers'. If you receive any reports of similar activity please contact Trading Standards on 0845 404 05 06 use This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vehicle Crime. Don't become a victim!

The main concern for the area at present is the large increase in theft from motor vehicles. A lot of reported car crime is "opportunistic", and most of them could be prevented. Most criminals can be easy outsmarted by taking some simple steps in order to secure the car and its contents. This mainly involves removing the temptation to steal them.

One of the ways to make your community safer is to join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Neighbourhood Watch is about people working together to make communities safer and more pleasant places to live and work. The aim of Neighbourhood is to help people protect themselves and their properties, reduce fear of crime and improve their local environment.

How Neighbourhood Watch can reduce vehicle crime?

There a number of things that Neighbourhood Watch members can do about vehicle crime: look out for their neighbour's cars; encourage everyone to postcode property; encourage good security on garage doors; make sure all vehicle crime is reported to police; bulk purchase of vehicle security equipment, including window etching kit.

To find out where you can find your nearest Neighbourhood Watch scheme, contact the Braunstone Town Council.

You can easily outsmart the car thief.

  • never leave anything on display in your car, whether it's an expensive laptop or just some loose change. Even items of clothing can attract thieves as they may think that there will be money in the pockets
  • take audio and satellite navigation equipment with you
  • remove the sat nav cradle and wipe away any windscreen marks
  • close all windows and take all your belongings with you. If you can't, then lock them in the boot or glove compartment
  • lock your car at all times even if you leave it just for a few seconds

Modern cars are increasingly difficult to break into and car thieves prefer to have the keys. Some may try and break into your home just to get your car keys.

  • hide your car keys in a drawer and don't leave them on a hook or by the front or back door
  • if you have a garage, park in it over night
  • always lock your windows and doors
  • never leave your engine running, not even on your own drive.

Catalytic convertors - these are stolen for the metals that are inside them. Vehicles with a high clearance, enabling easy access underneath, are the most likely to be targeted. It can take as little as three minutes to remove a catalytic converter.

  • keep your vehicle in a garage whenever possible
  • consider fitting crime prevention devices such as catalytic converter alarms; metal cages or have it etched to prevent and deter thieves
  • park your vehicle in a well-lit spot that is visible to other members of the public, or covered by CCTV, as thieves are less likely to break in if they can be seen

Number plate theft - crimes committed following the theft of a number plate can include: speeding, illegal parking, avoiding a congestion charge, not paying for fuel or disguising a stolen vehicle.

  • fit anti-theft or tamper proof screws which have a 'one way' design making them virtually impossible to remove. They are available to buy for as little as £1.00 per pack (including 3 different sizes, 4 screws per size) at the Braunstone Civic Centre and the Thorpe Astley Community Centre.

Tools in vans - leaving tools and electrical equipment in a work van can jeopardise your business.

  • empty your van every night and lock your equipment away
  • always ensure your vehicle is locked when you leave it and consider fitting an internal security cage to prevent anyone from forcing their way in
  • consider a note which says 'no tools are kept in this vehicle overnight' but make sure you empty your van
  • fit your vehicle with a good quality alarm
  • park it in a well lit place
  • post coding your powers tools and equipment acts as a deterrent.

Remember! Always report the crime or if you see anything suspicious to Leicestersire Police on 101 or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Festive Security Tips

With Christmas and New Year just around the corner, you are probably in the process of buying presents and stocking up on supplies for the festive season. However, at this time of year rich pickings can be found.
We want you to be able to relax and enjoy the festive season, so here are some useful tips to ensure that you don't become a victim to an opportunist thief.

Make sure gifts and valuables, wrapped and unwrapped, are out of view and not visible from any windows. This applies in the car as well as in the home.

  • Photograph valuable property and log any serial numbers. Don't store the information on a laptop, as that might be stolen too – keep it on a memory stick in a safe place.
  • Don't put gift packaging out for recycling or leave it sticking out of your bin – thieves will notice boxes for branded products like laptops, TVs or accessories that could indicate an expensive piece of kit somewhere in the house. The safest thing to do is to break down any cardboard boxes or fold them inside out so that you cannot see the branding. You can then store them out of sight inside your home until you can dispose of them at a local recycling site.
  • Mark any expensive gifts you receive for Christmas with a UV pen or property marking service. This will make it harder for burglars to sell the items and allow police to return them to you. Call your local policing team on 101 for advice about property marking products. You can register your property with which is endorsed by a number of police forces.
  • Lock all doors and windows, leave a light on and draw the curtains when you go out at night. Keep your doors and windows locked from the inside even when you are inside your home.
  • Visible burglar alarms, exterior security lighting, timer lighting switches and leaving the radio on help to deter thieves and give the impression that somebody is at home.
  • Bolt and padlock garden gates and make sure you don't leave ladders out, or other things that burglars could easily use to climb on. Remember to lock your garden shed and store your tools inside; it stops burglars using your tools to break into your house. Consider fitting extra padlocks to gates, sheds and garages. Don't keep presents in the garage or shed.

If you're going away, we always recommend asking a trusted neighbour to pop in to your home every now and then to turn the lights on and off, draw the curtains, collect the mail and make the house look occupied. It goes without saying, make sure everything is properly locked up before you leave and the burglar alarm – if you have one – is set. We advise cancelling your newspapers, magazines and milk deliveries. We also recommend that you don't advertise the fact you are away from your home on Social Networking sites - thieves use Social Media too!

You don't have to be a member of a Neighbourhood or Home Watch scheme to be a good neighbour, and even if you don't have much contact with your neighbours, Christmas could be the perfect time to break the ice, have a friendly chat and get to know them a bit better.

Burglars wander around looking for chances. The best opportunity for the police to catch them in the act is for you to spot them before they break in. Wherever you live, remain vigilant and if you see anything suspicious, call 999 immediately. You can also call 101 to contact your police in a non-emergency situation.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust has also produced a guide on how to keep safe during the Festive season, which can be viewed and downloaded here:

http://www.ourwatch.org.uk/resource_centre/document_library/festive_season_safety/

Christmas Time - an exclusive pricing policy for ABS snap secure locks only for NHWN members

Article from Neighbourhood Watch website

Christmas, sadly, isn't always the perfect time we all hope for. Across the UK thousands have their Christmas ruined by those who view it as the ideal season to break in and take what isn't theirs.

The statistics, according to Raymond Pearce of our primary sponsor for security products, Avocet Hardware, are truly horrifying, which is why he and his team have chosen the run-up to Christmas to unveil an exclusive pricing policy for NHWN members.

"It's a well-known fact that home break-ins rise significantly during winter months and that the build-up to Christmas and the weeks following it are perhaps the worst time of all," said Raymond.

"The reasons for this are straightforward – long dark nights throughout the winter months provide ideal cover for burglars, and present-packed homes ensure Christmas and New Year can prove the most lucrative time for them.

In order to protect more homes, we have worked closely with Avocet to develop a pricing structure for its ABS snap secure locks that is exclusive to NHWN members – with prices dropping significantly when multiple locks are fitted.

Under the exclusive pricing structure, having one Avocet ABS snap secure lock fitted in your home by an Avocet Elite Centre locksmith would cost NHWN members £75 (inc VAT). Two locks plus fitting would cost £127, three locks £159, four locks £191 and five locks £223 – the five lock offer equating to a 40 per cent saving per lock.

Avocet always recommends professional fitting for peace of mind, but for those who prefer to tackle installation themselves, ABS locks can be purchased directly from an Avocet approved ABS Elite locksmith for £32 each.

"Upgrading locks can be costly and we accept some people may be put off by price," added Raymond. "This is why we have put together the exclusive pricing structure for NHWN members, who we know are amongst the most home security conscious members of any community."

In order to take advantage of Avocet's exclusive price, NHWN members should visit www.homesecurityandsafety.co.uk/upgrade, locate their nearest Elite Centre and then simply contact them to place their order and arrange a suitable fitting time. Should there be no local Elite Centres then simply call Avocet on 01484 725601 to order and arrange fitting. In both instances you would need to quote ABSNHW.

"Our ABS snap secure locks are the only locks on the market to be both British Standard TS007 (three stars) rated and have SS312 Sold Secure Diamond standard accreditation," concluded Raymond.

"Installing them really could mean the difference between a Happy Christmas and a truly miserable one."

For further information on lock-snapping and the steps that can be taken to prevent it visit www.homesecurityandsafety.co.uk or call 01484 725725.

Article courtesy of Avocet Hardware

Stay Safe online this Christmas

Stay Safe online this Christmas - This is a message sent via Leicestershire Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Leicestershire Neighbourhood Watch

With Christmas approaching, using the internet to purchase goods or services saves considerable time and effort – and also presents you with the widest choice. There are, however, risks associated with online shopping and you need to take care with what you are buying, from whom, and how you pay for your purchases. 
Read a full list of tips to help you from becoming a victim from Neighbourhood Watch.
Online safety is a massive subject that affects every internet user. So it's no wonder that every day, the news contains stories about the latest scams and frauds, viruses, identity theft, lost data, and a host of other subjects. As well as the latest defences against cybercrime.
For free expert advice on all aspects of online safety go to : www.getsafeonline.org or follow them on Twiiter @GetSafeOnline or Facebook

Message sent by Marion Lewis (NHWN, Force Lead NHW Volunteer, Leicestershire)

Police and Crime Commissioners – One Year On

Between the 11th October and 13th November 2013, the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (NHWN) undertook a comprehensive survey reviewing the perception of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) amongst NHW members and the general public, one year after initial PCC appointments.

Almost 10,000 people took part in the survey, disseminated across England and Wales (excluding London). Results were fairly consistent with previous findings, suggesting that a healthy proportion of respondents know who their PCC is, although the majority still did not understand the role undertaken by their PCC. Key factors identified as communication, consultation and engagement continue to underpin findings, which may vary from force to force.

SPEED ACTIVATION SIGN FOR THORPE ASTLEY - 4th October 2013

Speed SignResidents in Braunstone Town and Thorpe Astley have raised concerns about the increasing problems of speeding vehicles in area. Following a consultation with residents to investigate where the main problems were located, Braunstone Town Council has decided to purchase a Speed Activation Sign. The sign will flash up the vehicle speed if it exceeds the maximum speed limit for the designated road. These signs have been shown to help reduce the speed of vehicles and make roads safer for drivers and pedestrians. The sign will initially be installed on Murby Way at Thorpe Astley where the largest number of complaints have been received. 

 

Bogus telephone caller impersonating a police officer

Crime number: LA/2484/13-7

Police in Leicestershire are raising awareness of a national telephone scam currently in operation across the Force area. The scam involves a bogus telephone caller impersonating a police officer and asking the victim to provide their bank details in order to put a stop to fraudulent activity on their account. As part of the scam, the callers request the victims allow the collection of their bank cards via taxi for ' safe keeping ' .

Police have been made aware of recent victims in both Market Harborough and Loughborough. The false names Detective Constable John Asper and Detective Constable Rachel Gates were given to victims.

Inspector Paul McKinder, Commander of Market Harborough Local Policing Unit, said: "This is a nationwide problem. It is important to note that a police officer will at no time ask you for your bank details over the phone, and will not arrange to collect your bank cards as part of an investigation."

The matter is currently under investigation and we would urge anyone who is contacted by, or has any information about the suspects, to call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Security Alarms available from Braunstone Town Council

Window Alert Alarms are now available to purchase from Braunstone Civic Centre and Thorpe Astley Community Centre for all residents to buy. These small wireless alarms emit a high decibel siren if an attempted break-in on a window or glass panel is detected. The alarms are £2.00 each and available now. Telephone 0116 2890045 or call at Braunstone Civic Centre or Thorpe Astley Community Centre for further details.

Trading Standards Alert (30/5/13)

Leicestershire Trading Standards has received a report of a Melton resident being telephoned by a person claiming to be from the Police and asking about their home security. Leicestershire Police have confirmed that this was not one of their officers or representatives. Trading Standards always advise residents to never give or confirm personal details over the telephone, and not to agree to appointments from cold callers. If you receive any reports of similar activity or callers please contact Trading Standards on 08454 04 05 06 or use This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Theft of Charity Bags

Police are alerting the public following a series of thefts of charity collection bags.

Since December 2012, there has been a steady reduction in the number of charity collection bags collected by the mental health charity, Mind, across the Blaby district.

Numerous reports have been made to the charity by the public informing them that a van without a Mind logo has taken their bag on the arranged collection day. There also seems to be an increased interest in bags taken containing clothes.

On a particular day last month inBraunstoneTown, Mind were expecting to collect in the region of 40 bags, but only came across 22 on their arranged collection day.

"We would like to firstly make the public aware of this particular issue and secondly ask people to report any suspicious vans they see collecting these bags. Mind only use vans displaying their logo so if you witness a van without a logo collecting a bag, we would please ask that you take down what details you can of the vehicle and its occupants and contact police or the charity."

Please contact the Police on 101 to report any suspicious activity

Police are asking riders to think of others this summer ! Do you own an off road bike? Do you know the law about where you can ride it?

Youngsters and their parents are being urged to think carefully about safety issues and where Mini Motos can be ridden. Programme of presentations being given in schools to educate young people about the dangers of riding mini motos in parks. Mini motos and off road bikes are noisy and can disturb local residents. Think of others. You can only ride an off road bike on private land if you have permission from the landowner

Find out where you can ride your off road bike legally at : http://www.trf.org.uk/

Love off road bikes? Consider joining a local club do not ride on parks or other land where you could injure someone. Anyone caught riding an off road motorbike illegally could have it crushed and face. Any vehicle that is driven on the road must have an MOT, be taxed and insured. If not then it can't be ridden on the road.

Police and Youth Offending Service visiting schools to talk about the dangers of riding mini motos and off road bikes.

Riding mini motos on the road is anti-social, illegal and dangerous. Please think of others this summer.

Remember if you ride your off road bike illegally or anti socially it could be confiscated and crushed!

You can contact your local beat team by telephoning 101 and entering the officer's collar number to leave a message. For PC Aldridge enter 4220, PCSO Marsden 6077 and PCSO Kazi enter 6684. You can also send an email by logging on to www.leics.police.uk and click on to the Neighbourhood Policing icon. If anyone has any information about crimes being committed in the area, please telephone Leicestershire Police on the non emergency number "101".

You may also contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111. If you are affected by ASB please report it to us or to Blaby District Council Community Safety Team on 0116 272 7677. The Environmental Health Protection Team may be reached on 0116 272 7555.

Police issue warning following telephone scam

Leicestershire Police has received reports of residents receiving a telephone call from British Telecom (BT) informing them that they were being disconnected because of an unpaid bill. The caller who is reported to have an 'African' accent, demands a payment immediately or it would increase at a later date to reconnect your telephone. One resident told the caller her line rental was with another company, at which point the man offered to demonstrate that he was from BT. He went on to apparently 'disconnect' the resident's telephone to prevent her making another call. For operational reasons the process of how this effect is achieved will not be disclosed. The Police would like to reassure the public that bogus callers are not able to disconnect phones. The man stated he wanted payment by credit card, there and then, but the resident refused to pay as she didn't believe his name or that he worked for BT. The resident dialled 1471 which showed that the number the male had called from was withheld and the number the male gave as BT was incorrect. This scam is all about getting credit card details which include the security number, to be used for future larger purchases. Police and Trading Standards always advises residents never to confirm personal details over the telephone, even if the caller seems to have some knowledge of them or their personal circumstances. If you receive any reports of similar activity or callers please contact, Trading Standards on 08454 040506 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We would ask for your help in passing this information out in the community, especially to the elderly and vulnerable.

County say Street Lights will turn off at midnight until 5.30am. Reports suggest that in other areas burglaries dropped by half after lights were switched

Representatives from Leicestershire County Council attended the last meeting of Braunstone Town Councils Plans & Environment Committee held on 25th April 2013.The County Council had carried out a risk assessment and will be part-night lighting streets in residential areas of Braunstone (including Thorpe Astley) in consultation with local communities. The street lights will turn off at midnight until 5.30am (+/- 15 minutes)

Once the changes in street lighting are introduced the County Council will be monitoring all the sites in conjunction with the emergency services and parish and town councils. This is to ensure that the introduction of part night lighting does not have any unanticipated adverse impacts. This process will identify if any further changes need to be made to the lighting. Lights in your area may be subject to the following changes:

Part- Night Lighting - Lights turned off from midnight to 5.30am in residential areas in
consultation with local communities.

Dimmed - Lights turned down on urban through-routes when
traffic flows are lighter.

Switch Off- A small number of lights in rural areas are being switched off.

  • Part Night Lighting Scheme

Cold calling warning from Trading Standards

Leicestershire Trading Standards has received reports from across the County that elderly and vulnerable residents have received cold-calls on their doorstep from traders offering to jet wash paving, repair fences, cut down trees and lay new driveways.

Large sums are charged for relatively little work and once the resident agrees to have the work carried out and the traders gain access to the property, such as rear garden areas, pressure is applied to the resident to persuade them to have other jobs done.

No cancellation rights or paperwork are given and the traders start work straight away, which they should only do if the customer specifically agrees to this in writing. Professional looking leaflets showing an '0800' number is the only information the customer receives.

Trading Standards always advise residents to never agree to work on the doorstep and if the caller refuses to leave call the Police on 999 and then Trading Standards.

If you know of similar activity or callers please contact Trading Standards on 08454 04 05 06 or use This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A new BBC series - Have you witnessed a crime and helped solve it?

Theft – Vandalism – Antisocial Behaviour – Assault

A new BBC series about crime and antisocial behaviour is looking for inspirational stories from across the UK. We're looking for ordinary men and women that have turned the tables on the crooks with the aid of video surveillance, photo evidence or just good old fashioned cunning! Ever caught a criminal in the act? Mobilised your neighbours to combat antisocial behaviour? Perhaps thwarted a would-be burglary? Helped the police tackle crime in your community? If you have a great story to share, we want to hear from YOU!

Call us on 0207 013 4208 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with an outline of the story and a member of the team will be in touch.

False Security Alert Phone Calls

This is a message to all Neighbourhood Watch members across the Leicestershire force area. The Police have had reports of a resident receiving a telephone call from a with held number stating 'that a security alert was happening at the weekend and that they needed a security device to alert police and fire departments'. The resident told the caller that they would check with police first and the caller immediately ended the call.
We would ask for your help in passing this information out in the community, especially to the elderly and vulnerable and inform them by telephonong 101 if you should receive a telephone call of this type.Thank you

Marion Lewis (NHWN, Force Lead NHW
Volunteer, Leicestershire

TRADING STANDARDS ALERT

Leicestershire Trading Standards has received a report from a resident in the Coalville area who was cold-called at their home by a man claiming to be from Trading Standards.

The man had an ID badge which the resident described as looking 'home-made'. He explained to the resident that Trading Standards were collecting information about 'cowboy builders' who had been arrested in the area and asked for the resident's name and address. This was not one of our officers and further enquiries are underway about this.

All Trading Standards Officers carry official Leicestershire County Council photographic identification, including contact numbers for the Trading Standards Service that members of the public can contact to determine whether the caller is from the Service or not. Residents are advised never to give any personal information to those calling at their homes unless they are able to verify that individual's identity and reason for their visit.

If you receive any reports of similar activity or callers please contact Trading Standards on 08454 04 05 06 and Leicestershire Police on 101, as there is a proven link between bogus callers and distraction burglary.

Suspicious Telephone Calls

The Police has received several reports of suspicious telephone calls.

These calls appear to be automated and are purporting to be well known companies and are after obtaining personal details from you via the call.

Trading Standards always advises residents to never confirm personal details over the telephone, even if the caller seems to have some knowledge of them or their personal circumstances.

If you receive any reports of similar activity or callers please contact Trading Standards on 08454 040506.

New neighbourhood policing model adopted by Leicestershire Police

Leicestershire Police has adopted a new neighbourhood policing model to ensure it's able to deliver the best, most efficient service in the future.

The neighbourhood teams have been expanded to ensure more police officers are dealing with local issues and concerns. Four years of incident and crime data has been analysed along with other research to provide a highly accurate picture of demand and crime trends. This has enabled the Force to ensure it has the right officers in the right place at the right time, focussing on issues of local concern.

The City Basic Command Unit (BCU) successfully moved to this model eighteen months ago and it is now being rolled out across the Counties Basic Command Unit (BCU) which covers the nine local policing units of Leicestershire and Rutland.

Every community in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland has a team dedicated to policing their neighbourhood - now known as Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs), made up of a Sergeant, a Beacon Officer, Police Community Support Officers and other Police Officers and special Constables. The Beacon Officers, many of whom are already well known in their communities, will be a principal named point of contact for the public. They have committed themselves to working on their neighbourhood for a minimum of three years to provide local knowledge and continuity.

Response officers continue to be based at every local policing unit in the counties but will be supported by those who start and finish their shift at five hubs in Loughborough, Melton Mowbray, Market Harborough, Braunstone and Coalville. This ensures they are deployed in the most effective way across the counties and work across local authority boundaries.

Assistant Chief Constable Steph Morgan, who has led the project for the Force, said; "A great deal of hard work has gone into this review and we are confident that by realigning our staff in this way we will be better able to match demand. This isn't about cutting costs it's about delivering the best possible service but with tight financial conditions we are rightly looking at how we can work in the most efficient way. Our duty is to protect communities and that is at the heart of everything we do.

"The newly expanded SNTs will take on greater responsibility for crimes and issues on their Neighbourhood while response officers will have more time to proactively patrol and respond to calls for assistance. Technology such as GPS tracking and mobile computing now enables us to intelligently deploy our people to make sure we use the nearest, best resource.

"If we are to meet the ever changing needs of a modern society the police service needs to adapt. Modern technology also enables our officers to patrol their neighbourhoods for longer without the need to return to their base station. This keeps local officers in the heart of their communities working alongside local residents and other organisations to tackle issues together."

If you would like to find out who is in your Safer Neighbourhood Team then log on to www.leics.police.uk, click on local policing and find your beat. All SNTs are also using Twitter and Facebook and will be holding monthly beat surgeries.

TRADING STANDARDS ALERT

Leicestershire Trading Standards has been contacted about a resident in the Sileby area receiving a cold telephone call from someone claiming to be from Leicestershire County Council's 'Finance Department' and requesting the resident's bank details.

It has been confirmed that the County Council has not contacted this resident in relation to any finance matter. The Finance Service Centre would not call residents to ask for their bank details over the telephone.

Wehave also been advised of another resident in the Barwell area who received an unsolicited call from a company that implied it was working with Age UK who wanted to visit and discuss financial matters, particularly that they could protect their house from having to be sold should they need to go into a care home. Although an appointment was initially made, the resident then cancelled it and no visit took place.

Trading Standards advises all residents to never disclose any of their banking details or other financial information over the telephone to anyone, even if they claim to be from that person's bank.

Your online safety Christmas checklist

As the festive season draws closer, most of us are busy preparing for the big day and maybe anticipating a few days off work to enjoy time with friends and family.

These days, a lot of this preparation involves spending time online – whether it's shopping for gifts or items to dress up the house, ordering our festive food, inviting people round for the day by email, sending and receiving online cards or chatting about our plans, or what we got for Christmas.

We'd like you to stay safe online this Christmas, because we don't want your family's celebrations to be ruined. And let's face it; we're all so busy at this time of year that sometimes we can be less careful than usual.

So here's a quick checklist of things you may be doing online where you need to be careful and together with quick links to our free, practical, unbiased information and advice.

To view the checklist, please click here.

Police are warning motorists not to leave their cars while defrosting windscreens

Leicestershire Police have issued a warning to motorists not to leave their cars unattended while they are defrosting windows.

In the last 24 hours there has already been two vehicles reported stolen in Whetstone and Ratby while left unattended on driveways with their engines running.

Sergeant Steve King, said; "It can be tempting to leave car engines running while the windows are defrosting and go back inside a warm house, but this means that it is easy for someone to get in and drive off with your car.

"Most thieves are opportunists who are just looking for that one chance to steal your car. Others take advantage of the cold weather and are actively on the look out for an easy target.

"On icy mornings when the car needs to be defrosted you should stay with your car. It is also important that people are extra vigilant and report anyone they see acting suspiciously to the police."

During the frosty weather officers will be advising drivers of any vehicles found unattended with engines running and handing them a leaflet to remind them that their vehicle could have been stolen.

This type of crime is avoidable by staying with your vehicle and it is also worth remembering that if a car is stolen in this way it might not be covered by your insurance company.

Insurance companies are unlikely to compensate owners whose vehicles have been stolen while unattended with the keys in the ignition. If the car is left on a public highway with its engine running, the owner could be guilty of an offence.

Anyone with information about these offences can call Leicestershire Police on 101* or Crimestoppers, which is free** and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.

Calls to 101 cost 15p for the entire call from both mobile phones and land lines

*Please note some mobile phone service providers may charge for this call

Postal scam email from Parcel Delivery Service

Crimestoppers has recently received a number of enquiries regarding a chain email warning people about a postal scam that could leave you £315 out of pocket.

This email is a hoax and the information contained in it is not true. If you receive this information please ignore it.

The email in circulation is similar to this:

"Can you circulate this around especially as Xmas is fast approaching - it has been confirmed by Royal Mail. The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a Premium rate number).

DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655."

PhonepayPlus, the UK premium rate telephone services regulator, is aware that a chain email about an alleged postal scam is being circulated on the internet. The email refers to the Royal Mail, Trading Standards and ICSTIS (PhonepayPlus' former name).

PhonepayPlus appreciates that recipients of the email may want to find out more information about the alleged scam and has therefore issued the following statement:

The chain email refers to a service (operating on 0906 661 1911) that was shut down by PhonepayPlus (then ICSTIS) in December 2005. PhonepayPlus subsequently fined the company that was operating the service, Studio Telecom (based in Belize), £10,000.

  • The service is NO LONGER running and has NOT been running since December 2005.
  • You do NOT need to contact PhonepayPlus, or the Royal Mail, about this service as it was stopped almost six years ago.
  • If you receive a copy of the email warning you about the alleged scam, please do NOT forward it to others. Instead, please forward this statement from PhonepayPlus.
  • If you receive a delivery card through your letterbox which you do not believe is
    genuine and which asks you to dial a premium rate number, you can contact
    PhonepayPlus on 0800 500 212 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) for further guidance.

For more detailed information about PhonepayPlus' work, please visit www.phonepayplus.org.uk.

Switch on to the dangers of leaving your home in darkness

Light bulb-shaped leaflets are being put through the doors of homes left in darkness as part of a police campaign to tackle burglary during the winter months.

The leaflet says: 'No lights on!! If we think no one is home, so could burglars.' Police Community Support Officers and Police Volunteers will be giving out the leaflets from Sunday 27th October 2012, when the clocks go back.

They are an eye catching way of reminding people to leave a light on when they go out during winter evenings or use a light timer which switches lights on when it begins to get dark. The leaflets are part of Operation Dynamo – a Force wide campaign to tackle
burglary.

House burglaries across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are at a thirteen year low but year to date figures are showing a small increase of 8% which is 160 offences more than this time last year.

"The dark evenings and nights help burglars because they can easily see which houses are empty. We'd like people to think about using light timers or leaving lights on when they are out to deter burglars from targeting their property. The timers don't cost much to buy but could save a great deal of heart ache. We know how awful it feels to be burgled which is why we are doing everything we can to tackle it. We are sending crime prevention advice out using the police's community messaging system Neighbourhood Alert and on Facebook and Twitter so we'd urge people to sign up to those to get the latest information."

Other things homeowners can do:

  • Put timer switches on radios and regularly change the timing. (Available from NHW at only £2)
  • Fit external security lighting such as dusk to dawn energy efficient lighting that will come on automatically as dusk sets in or brighter infrared activated lighting drawing attention to movement.
  • Make sure gates or access to the rear of the house are locked.
  • Lock sheds, trim overgrown plants, secure windows, use locks and bolts and keep all your keys, out of sight and reach.
  • People should also mark their property with their postcode, name and house number and install intruder alarms.
  • Join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and report anything suspicious to the police.

Anyone with information about crime in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland is urged to call Leicestershire Police on 101* or Crimestoppers, which is free** and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.

Scam of the week: the 'Card Courier' rip off

A new card scam in which people are tricked into handing over their bank card details and pin numbers has seen customers duped out of £1.5 million since the beginning of 2011.

The scam works by the victim being telephoned by the fraudster to renew their debit or credit card owing to a fraud on the account. The owner is told to key in their pin number on the phone and a courier is sent out to collect the card. The card is then sent direct to the criminal who also has the pin number.

The majority of victims are older adults and the scammers often give an alternative number for people to call back on to ensure the call is genuine. But instead of hanging up many people are tricked into thinking the call is from their bank and stay on the line.

In total, £1.5 million has been lost to this type of crime and £750,000 of this was taken in the first four months of the year - the same as the whole of 2011.

The UK Payments Council has urged people never to hand over their card to anyone who has come to the door, never to enter their pin number over the telephone and to always speak to their bank securely by making sure there is a dial tone when calling and only ever using the bank's advertised number.

"Many of us feel confident that we can spot fraudsters but this type of crime can be sophisticated and could happen to anyone," warns DCR Paul Barnard, head of the bank sponsored dedicated cheque and plastic crime unit (DCPCU).

"While we have seen an increase in this type of fraud, we know collectively we can stamp it out. If you have friends or relatives who you feel may be vulnerable to this, please help them to be more aware of the potential risks and what to look out for," he adds.

You can report a fraud or internet crimeto Action Fraud by using their online fraud reporting tool, or by speaking to their specialist fraud advisers on 0300 123 2040.

Create a FREE private and secure portfolio of all your personal property.

If your phone, bike, computer or any other registered item is lost or stolen, use Immobilise to instantly tell police, insurers, and the second-hand trade. These actions help greatly in the recovery of your property and capture of thieves.

Benefits of registration:

  • Immobilise helps police identify the owner of lost & stolen property thousands of times each day.
  • Loss & theft updates you make are immediately available to the Police nationally.
  • Combat the sale of stolen gadgets & valuables; alert the second-hand trade & publicly checkable stolen goods database CheckMEND if an item goes missing.
  • Simplify insurance claims and Police reports with certificates of ownership.
  • Great member offers from Immobilise's numerous supporters, often helping support provision of Immobilise.
  • These features are unique to the FREE Immobilise service.

If you want to know more about what sort of items can you record on Immobilise, please follow the link: http://www.immobilise.com/item_types.html

Keep your identity safe!

Last week was National Identity Fraud Prevention Week where a number of organisations from the public and private sector begin a month-long drive to help combat identity fraud in the UK [1st October 2012]

During this month Action Fraud is reminding you how to keep your identity safe with some simple tips:

  • Don't throw out anything with your name, address or financial details without shredding it first.
  • Be careful about what information you share on social networking sites, and check your privacy settings.
  • Monitor your credit status by getting regular copies of your credit report from a credit reference agency.
  • Install anti-virus software and make sure it is kept up to date.
  • Regularly change your passwords and protect mobile devices with them.
  • Never click on suspicious hyperlinks.
  • Look into any mail that does not arrive when you are expecting it.

The National Fraud Authority (NFA) who runs Action Fraud estimates that identity theft costs individuals a total of £1.2 billion each year.

Braunstone Town Council to support ‘Smart Water’ Scheme.

Following an increase in burglaries in Braunstone Town (including Thorpe Astley) the Council's Community Development Committee has agreed to a request from the Local Police Beat Team for a grant of £1,000 towards the purchase of more packs of Smart Water. Councillors received a report from the Police and learnt how they had targeted specific streets delivering advertising leaflets the day before the event then knocking on each door explaining what Smart water is and how it works. The Beat Team delivered leaflets to each house on Mossdale Road recently and held an event on the following Sunday selling 76 Smart Water Packs - Police say this was an excellent event with residents feeling much more positive and reassured.

Smart Water consists of a liquid containing a code which can be read under ultraviolet light. It is intended to be applied to valuable items, so that if they are stolen and later seized by police, their original owner can be determined. Signs are another form of Crime Prevention advertising that the area is protected with Smart Water.

If you want to learn more or are interested in joining 'Braunstone Town Neighbourhood Watch' please contact Anna (Braunstone Town's Crime Reduction Officer) at the Civic Centre each Monday, Tuesday and Friday (Tel: 0116 2899270) or at the Thorpe Astley Community Centre each Wednesday (Tel: 0116 2890704).

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hackers are distributing rogue email notifications

Hackers are distributing rogue email notifications about changes in Microsoft's Services Agreement to trick people into visiting malicious pages designed to infect you with malware.

The email messages are identical copies of legitimate notifications that Microsoft sent out to users to announce changes to the company's Services Agreement that will take effect Oct. 19. However, in the malicious versions of the emails, the correct links have been replaced with links to compromised websites.

The links host pages that attack your computer and exploit vulnerabilities in order to install malware. This type of attack is known as a drive-by download and is very effective because it requires no user interaction to achieve its goal.

What should you do if you receive a
Microsoft notification email?

Action Fraud's advice is clear; if you are not sure it is safe do not click on the links.

Karla from Microsoft has said, "If you received an email regarding the Microsoft Services Agreement update and you're reading your email through Hotmail or Outlook.com, the legitimate email should have a Green shield that indicates the message is from a Trusted Sender,"

"If the email does not have a Green shield, you can mark the email as a Phishing scam."

Hovering over the links in the legitimate version of the email should point to locations on the microsoft.com domain. Anything else should be treated as suspicious.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

New Crime Reduction Co-ordinator employed by the Town Council

A new approach to crime reduction in Braunstone Town has been taken by Braunstone Town Council with the employment of a new Crime Reduction Co-ordinator. Anna Gomes-Alves has been employed is to liaise more closely with the Police and other partners to improve communication and provide a faster response to any incidences occurring inBraunstoneTown. She will be responsible for simplifying the formation of Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the area and being the main 'co-ordinator' for a Braunstone Town wide Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Anna will be available for residents to contact four days a week and will be posting regular updates in the Braunstone Life and local press along with face book and twitter so please get in touch!

Anna can be contacted at Braunstone Civic Centre, 209 Kingsway, Braunstone Town, Leicester, LE3 2PP, 0116 2890045 or emailed on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Narborough Road South Underpasses (5/10/11)

Concerns raised by local residents about the condition of the underpasses on Narborough Road South are being tackled by Braunstone Town Council, Blaby District Council and the neighbourhood Policing team.

What have we done so far?

The subways are cleaned by Blaby District Council Neighbourhood Services

  • This is normally done 5 times a week, Monday-Friday
  • Additional cleaning has and will continue to be done in response to complaints (0116 2727555)
  • Extra cleaning visits will be done over the Christmas and Easter bank holidays
  • Jet-washing equipment has been hired and used to ensure more thorough cleansing and a new cleaning agent is being used to improve results.
  • Your local Police beat team is;
    Visiting the underpasses regularly, including weekends/evenings to take appropriate enforcement action against anyone engaged in anti-social behaviour
  • Blaby District Council Anti-Social Behaviour Team is;
    Supporting the police with enforcement action in your area against anti-social behaviour
  • Monitoring the issues through a multi-agency Joint Action Group to check progress made
  • Leicestershire County Council is;
    Removing graffiti from the underpasses once per month

How can you help? Please continue to report any concerns to Blaby District Council.

Useful contact numbers:

Blaby District Council Neighbourhood Services – 0116 2727555

Police – 0116 2222222

Blaby District Council Anti-Social Behaviour Team – 0116 272 7673

Leicester County Council Customer Services – 0116 305 0001

We want to tackle the root cause of the problem – anti-social behaviour, and take positive action against those responsible. We need your help to do this. If you witness anti-social behaviour (e.g. youths drinking alcohol; graffiti or damage taking place) or you have any information that may help us to identify a pattern of behaviour or who is responsible, please report this immediately.

UNWANTED MAIL

If you wish to stop or reduce the amount of "junk" mail coming through your letterbox you can register with the Mailing Preference Service FREE OF CHARGE.

The Mailing Preference Service is for you or anyone who wants to be removed from or added to most mailing lists in the Uk. Many companies and charities rely on Direct Mail to tell people about their products and services. Most people are agreeable to having mailings delivered to their homes but not all people want their name and details to be included in mailing lists. The Mailing Preference Service is there to safeguard and support your right to decide whether or not you receive direct mail.

For full details and to register visit the MPS website - www.mpsonline.org.uk

Write to: Mailing Preference Service, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W8SS

Telephone 0845 703 4599 (automated registration)
Telephone 020 7291 3310
Fax 020 7323 4226

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UNWANTED TELEPHONE CALLS 

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a central opt out register whereby individuals can register their wish not to recieve unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls. it is a legal requirement that companies do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS.

The term individual includes consumers at their residnetial address, sole traders and, except in Scotland, partnerships.

It is FREE to register and takes 28 days to become effective.

For full details and to register visit the TPS website - www.tpsonline.org.uk

Write to: Telephone Preference Service, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W8SS

Telephone 0845 070 0707
Fax 020 7323 4226

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Customer Services Shop


Braunstone Civic Centre
Kingsway,
Braunstone Town,
Leicester, LE3 2PP
Tel: 0116-2890045
Fax: 0116 2824785
 
BTC colouredlogwith text   Local Access to Local Services  blaby district council logo
 

Our Community Centres


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Kingsway, Braunstone Town, Leicester, LE3 2PP.
Tel: 0116-2890045. 
   
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Off Lakin Drive, Thorpe Astley, 
Leicester, LE3 3RU. 
Tel: 0116-2890704

DATA PROTECTION: by contacting us you agree to Braunstone Town Council collecting and processing your personal data to deal with your enquiry, booking or service request.  

Business Hours


Customer Service Shop
Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm   (Closed on Public Holidays) 
Council Tax Payment 
Mon-Thu: 9.00am to 5.00pm  (Closed on Public Holidays)  
Fri: 9.00am to 4.30pm (Closed on Public Holidays)  
Braunstone Town Council Offices
Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm (Closed on Public Holidays) 
Braunstone Civic Centre
Available for Hirings
Mon-Sat: 9am to 11pm
Sun: 9am to 10:30pm 
Thorpe Astley Community Centre
Available for Hirings 
Mon-Thu: 8am to 11pm 
Fri-Sat: 8am to 12 midnight
Sun: 9am to 10:30pm