‘You said we did’/ Priorities
Rural Crime – During September we held a two night operation to help combat rural crime working with gamekeepers, farmers and landowners who act as spotters for suspicious activity and have direct contact with police officers on the ground. Although it was pretty quiet we did seize an air rifle of one male and also stop checked many vehicles gaining useful intelligence on who is out and about in our rural areas late at night. Also during the month two vehicles were seized that were suspected in being involved in hunting offences, four persons arrested and five dogs seized.
Under aged drinking – We received only one call this month regarding under aged drinking. Regular patrols are still continuing and we are working closely with King Alfred’s School and the Wantage Community Alcohol Partnership to help spread the word regarding the dangers associated with under aged drinking.
Anti-social behaviour (ASB)
We are still getting a few calls regarding a small group causing issues around the Leisure Centre, Chain Hill Cemetery and the Market Place. We are encouraging members of the public to report incidents of ASB to us as we are gathering evidence to help us deal with this small group effectively. Patrols in these area will continue by the neighbourhood team and we are working together with the schools and parents to deter their behaviour.
Crime prevention advice
Over the last month there has been an increase in theft from vehicles across the area. Vehicle criminals are opportunists, and most vehicle-related crimes can be prevented by taking simple security measures. Always lock your car, wind up the windows and close the sunroof, even if you’re only leaving it for a few minutes. You should also double check it’s locked before leaving. It only takes a few seconds for your valuables to be stolen from an unlocked car.
• fit a car alarm
• use a steering wheel lock
• get an immobiliser, this stops the engine from starting if the car is being stolen
• always park your car in well-lit areas in full public view
• look for police approved car parks with the Park Mark logo
• when in stationary in traffic, keep your doors locked and windows up
• take your sat-nav with you and wipe away any marks left by the suction pads
• don't leave items in the glove compartment
• if you have a garage, use it
Never leave valuable possessions such as handbags, laptops, phones or sat-navs on show inside a vehicle. This makes it much more likely to be targeted by thieves. Even items of little value, such as shopping bags and clothing, may tempt a potential thief to break into the vehicle to see whether they contain anything worth stealing. Keep your possessions out of view, or take them with you.
Offenders Brought To justice
A 29 year old male from Wantage has been charged with four theft from motor vehicles, a theft of a pedal cycle and aggravated burglary.
Lead theft from church and school roofs
Recently we have seen a rise in lead thefts because of the rising value of scrap metal value of scrap metals. Many older buildings like churches and schools in the area have suffered. Recently a church in Hendred, the Charlton Centre in Wantage and a school in Hanney have all been victims. To reduce your chances please consider:
• Security marking – marking the lead will make the crime less attractive and make it harder for the offenders to sell on. If you use a DNA marking solution i.e. SmartWater it can be traced back to the owner if recovered.
• Keep gates locked and restrict vehicle access.
• Maximise surveillance levels i.e. cutting back tall trees.
• Encourage members of the local community to keep an eye on the building and report anything suspicious.
• Remove things that might help thieves get access to the roof, like water butts, bins and tall trees.
• Conduct regular checks of the roof so the theft is detected at the earliest possible time.
• Apply anti-climb paint to drain pipes and roof guttering to restrict access to roofing (warning signs must be displayed when using the paint and below a height of 2m)
• Install CCTV.
If you want any advice or would like to contact the neighbourhood team you can call us on the police non-emergency number 101 or if it is an emergency then dial 999. You can also contact us via email WantageandGroveNHPT@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk. Please note this email address cannot be used to contact Thames Valley Police to report crimes or for any urgent matters. To view information on your neighbourhood team visit the Thames Valley Police website at: www.thamesvalley.police.uk. Receive free local crime alerts and crime prevention advice by registering at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk today. This allows anyone who signs up to choose what updates they receive and how they would like to receive it. The Thames Valley Police Twitter account is kept up to date with what we are up to; please follow us @TVPSouthandVale