Police advice

 

From time to time, the Town Council receives advice from Suffolk Constabulary, often through Police Connect and from other sources.  Don’t just read the latest item – look through the others as well – there’s plenty of sound advice in these articles.

We have added a page on how to protect yourself against scams.


‘Ask for Angela’ inititative

7 December 2017

Suffolk Constabulary will be supporting an innovative campaign which helps enable those who feel vulnerable on a night out discreetly ask pub and club staff for help.

The ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative aims to reduce sexual violence and vulnerability by providing revellers with a discreet phrase they can use to gain assistance from staff should they find themselves in a worrying or intimidating situation.

The initiative, which was originally launched by Lincolnshire County Council in 2016, has already gained support across the country with a number of other forces, partner organisations and councils backing the campaign.

It is hoped that by ‘asking for Angela’, a person within a club or bar can quickly alert staff and gain their help. Staff will then take the customer to one side and find out more regarding the type of support they need.

As part of the initiative, options available to staff include offering to call a taxi in order to get them home safely, trying to contact friends or family, or as a final resort, asking the individual who may be causing distress to leave the venue immediately.

Staff and officers from Suffolk Constabulary met with security door staff and bar and club representatives at Unit 17 in Cardinal Park, Ipswich, last Thursday (30 November 2017) to launch the campaign.

On the evening, which ran from 7pm and 9pm, various representatives from the community joined the launch when training was provided for door supervisors by Suffolk Constabulary and a presentation on the ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative was rolled out.

Staff and officers from Suffolk Constabulary distributed the posters advertising the initiative to venues across the county where they will be placed discreetly in toilets of bars and clubs set to take part in the scheme.

Detective Superintendent Eamonn Bridger, of Suffolk Constabulary, said: “With Christmas and the party season almost upon us, it seems more important than ever to back this innovative campaign and introduce it in venues in Suffolk as it a simple yet effective initiative that allows those who may find themselves in a vulnerable situation with an easy and quick way to gain help.

“It will now mean the person ‘asking for Angela’ can leave and get away safely without causing embarrassment or confrontation. However should a more serious incident arise, then bar staff can contact police to help them deal with the matter.

“We want people to enjoy themselves on a night out but we want to remind everyone that should any issues arise that they can now ‘Ask for Angela’ at the bar or by way of conversation with a door supervisor or member of staff at participating venues.”

Suffolk Police Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Anything aimed at keeping people safe has my full support.  This is a very imaginative campaign and if it helps protect just one vulnerable person over the Christmas period it will be a success in my book.

“As we head towards the party season I would urge everyone to think about their personal safety and the safety of their friends during festive celebrations this year.

“Asking for Angela is a simple way to flag to others that you feel vulnerable without having to go into detail, it’s a great idea and one that I hope partygoers and staff in bars and clubs will embrace.”


How much will Christmas cost you?

30 November 2017

‘Deciding to drink and drive could cost you dearly this Christmas’ – that’s the message from Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies as both forces prepare to launch their Christmas campaigns.

The month-long operation against driving Don't drink and drive posterunder the influence of drink or drugs will see officers in both counties carrying out extra patrols and roadside checks. Any driver who is stopped due to concerns over the manner of their driving, a vehicle defect or is involved in a collision will be breathalysed.

Specific time slots at Norwich and Ipswich Magistrates Courts have been reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving. This effectively means that offenders could now lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.

Throughout the campaign roads policing officers will be using social media to share messages and provide updates on campaign results using @NSRoadsPolicing and via Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies Facebook pages.

During last year’s campaign 2,649 drivers were tested with 224 drivers providing positive readings in total for both counties. In Norfolk 1,320 tests were carried out with 82 drivers failing, while in Suffolk 1,329 tests were carried out with 142 drivers failing the test.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the joint Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, said: “Anyone caught faces a minimum 12-18 month ban, however, deciding to drink and drive could cost you more than just your licence.

“Think seriously about how having no licence could affect your life; would you lose your job? How would you get the kids to school? How are you going to see family or friends this year?

“Remember, it is your decision whether you drink and drive. You are responsible. You must face the consequences which could include a serious collision where you or someone else is injured or killed. Drink driving is just not worth the risk.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Let’s all hope that this year those who have chosen to ignore this message in the past take heed. I know the vast majority of drivers are responsible but sadly there are way too many, that despite the obvious dangers, are still taking to the road under the influence of drink or drugs.

“I’d like to think the message is getting through but sadly it seems far too many drivers have still not learnt the lesson – drink driving kills.

“I am pleased that Suffolk Constabulary continues to focus on road safety; it means that drink drivers are much more likely to get caught; prosecuted and sentenced appropriately.”

The campaign starts on Friday 1 December and runs until Sunday 1 January will see officers carrying out roadside checks throughout the day and night – including early morning checks – as well as intelligence-led enforcement activity. The public are also encouraged to report any concerns relating drink or drug driving anonymously using Crimestoppers on http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org  or 0800 555 111.


Crime spate

30 November 2017

There has been a sharp rise in our area of burglaries (including jewellery & valuables), theft from sheds and theft of catalytic convertors and tools from vans.

Residents are asked to take all the necessary precautions – you will find plenty of advice that Police Connect has sent us within the pages below.  Places affected include Clare, Kedington, Stoke-by-Clare, Sudbury and Haverhill.

Have you signed up to receive Police Connect messages?  Have you registered belongings eg mobile phones, laptops, cameras & cycles on www.immobilise.com?  Have you thought of marking items with a forensic marker such as Smartwater (www.smartwater.com) or Selecta DNA (www.selectadna.co.uk)?

For more detailed crime prevention advice on various subjects please visit www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z


Local Burglaries

2 November 2017

Our local police team based at Haverhill compile various statistics of crimes in our area.  You can see here the latest chart of burglaries in this part of Suffolk.  On the pages below, you can see plenty of advice on how to protect your property – the best way to respond to crime is prevention.

The full crime map of various kinds may be seen on the Suffolk Constabulary website.


Is your shed safe & secure?

31 August 2017

Police are advising the public to review the security of their properties after a series of shed burglaries in areas of Babergh District over the past 10 days.  Burglaries have been reported in and around Acton, Sudbury, Little Waldingfield, and Newton Green over this period.

The risk of becoming a victim can be significantly reduced by following some basic advice.

Property owners are advised to consider the following:

Shed cartoon

Courtesy: Daily Mail

  • Avoid storing valuable such as high value power tools or golf clubs in your shed.  These should be kept in the house or in a locked garage.
  • Remember to lock your shed or garage after use.
  • Secure shed doors by fitting a strong hasp and staple (also called a ‘padbar’). Secure this with coach bolts and lock the hasp over the staple with a closed shackle padlock.
  • Secure shed door hinges with coach bolts or non-returnable screws.
  • Further protect your shed with a ‘shed bar’.  This and other approved security products will improve the security of your shed or garage and can be found at www.soldsecure.com or www.securedbydesign.com
  • Replace any rotten door or window frames. Replace broken glass panes or use perspex or polycarbonate as a more secure alternative for shed and garage windows.
  • Use a window lock along with a strong grille or wire mesh.  Use curtains or netting so people cannot see inside.  Screw windows shut if you do not use them.
  • Fit a good quality battery operated alarm to your outbuilding.
  • Up-and-over garage doors can be secured by putting padlocks through the inside runners or fitting padlocks with a hasp and staple on either side of the door.
  • Fit British Standard approved locks to all your external garage doors including integral doors which access your house.
  • If you have a household alarm fitted, consider extending the system to cover your garage.
  • Chain items such as bicycles, ladders and lawnmowers to a strong anchor point or to each other and use a closed shackle padlock.
  • Property mark items such as drills and lawnmowers. Items can be postcoded by etching, painting, stencilling, etc.
  • Register your property at www.immobilise.com this is a free web based property registration service supported by Norfolk & Suffolk Police.
  • Make sure your household insurance covers your shed or garage.

If you witness any suspicious activity, or if you have information that may assist police with their inquiries, please call 101.  Always call 999 in an emergency, or if you believe a crime is in progress.


Knife crime action

16 August 2017

stop knife crimeOperation Sceptre, the national week of action against knife crime, took place between Monday 17 to Sunday 23 July and was proactively supported by Suffolk Constabulary.  The operation aims to highlight the risks that carrying a bladed weapon can bring, as well as targeting offenders who use and carry knives.

Officers carried out weapons sweeps in two public parks in Ipswich resulting in two bladed items, a heavy table leg and pool cue being recovered in Jubilee Park.  No weapons were found in Alderman Park. Ipswich Borough Council provided support during this operation.

During the week three people were arrested in connection with weapons offences, two of which were subsequently charged with possession of a bladed article in a public place as follows:

  • Chloe Kittl, aged 19 and from Morland Road, Ipswich was arrested on 18 July and is due to appear at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 28 September
  • Terry Audus, aged 32 and from Cutters Close, Beck Row, was arrested in Mildenhall on 20 July. He was due to appear at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Monday 14 August, but failed to do so and the court has now issued a warrant for his arrest.
  • The third person – a 34 year old woman from Ipswich arrested on 18 July – will face no further action.

Amnesty blade bins across Suffolk were emptied with the following results:

  • Ipswich: 50 bladed items
  • Lowestoft:204 bladed items including a swordBin a Blade campaign in Suffolk
  • Bury St Edmunds: 252 bladed items including two swords
  • Sudbury: 85 bladed items
  • Mildenhall: 114 bladed items

The bins were last emptied in May 2017. Since the Bin a Blade campaign was launched in Suffolk in 2011, well over 18,500 bladed items have been deposited and destroyed.

Superintendent Simon Mills, who was in charge of the operation, said: “Operation Sceptre is part of our ongoing proactive work across Suffolk to take knives off the streets and out of the hands of offenders. The relatively small numbers of weapons recovered and the limited number of arrests for possession of knives during this period points to the success of previous work.

“There is no excuse to carry a knife in Suffolk. Knife crime can have devastating consequences and if you are found illegally in possession of a knife you will be arrested, could be put before the court and brought to justice.

“Knives do not keep you safe – quite the opposite. By carrying a knife you are putting yourself in much greater danger, being more likely to become involved in a violent situation and get injured yourself. If you believe that somebody you know is carrying a knife, do the right thing and report it to us or Crimestoppers – it could save a life.

“There are a number of knife amnesty bins across the county in place across the county and I would encourage people to use them and help us to keep Suffolk safe.”

 


Off with the family?

family holiday cartoon

Courtesy of Money Dashboard Blog

9 August 2017

Crime reduction advice in order to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime when you are away on holiday

  • Use timer switches to turn on some lights when it gets dark
  • Remember to secure windows (use locks, and do not leave keys in locks), doors and outbuildings
  • Ensure any burglar alarms are set before departure, make this your last check
  • Do not leave valuables on display – if possible keep your valuables, jewellery, cash, passports & deeds to your property in a safe
  • Make sure valuables are property marked. Take photographs and keep a note of any serial numbers & register them at www.immobilise.com
  • Any important documents could be left with friends or family if there is no safe in the house
  • Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your house while you are away (to open/close curtains etc), collect post, to park on your drive. (leave them with your emergency contact details)
  • Cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries before you go away
  • Keep keys safe and do not label keys
  • Make use of Royal Mail’s ’Keepsafe’ letter and parcel holding service
  • Any valuable items usually stored in the shed, such as bikes or tools could be stored in the house instead
  • Lock away tools, gardening equipment and ladders
  • Ensure smoke alarms are working correctly before departure
  • Do not put your house address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination
  • Use ‘dusk to dawn’ security lights
  • Visible burglar alarms can make burglars think twice; get specialist advice and consult your insurance company. Both http://www.nsi.org.uk/ & https://ssaib.org/ are independent inspectorate bodies for security systems.

Further security advice can be obtained via https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z


Another phone scam

3 August 2017

You may have read some of this advice before – but people are still falling for the tricksters

Suffolk Police are warning residents about telephone cold calls claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police, and telling the victim that their bank account has been compromised and that as part of the police operation they need to withdraw a substantial amount of cash from their account and it will be collected by courier.

Calls have also been received claiming that the resident’s telephone line is faulty and their broadband service is affected, with a view to extracting a fee to rectify the so-called ‘fault’.

Police are issuing the following advice:

  • Your bank, the police or utility provider will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone – never give these details out.
  • The police or your bank will never call you and ask you to withdraw money from your account to give to a courier or taxi driver, regardless of how convincing they may seem.
  • If you receive such a call leave the landline for at least five minutes to make an outside call. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ring tones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number.
  • Use a friend’s of neighbour’s telephone instead.
  • Friends, family, carers and neighbours are asked to spread the word to ensure everyone is aware of this scam and what they should do.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also report a fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk

Remember to allow your landline to clear for at least five minutes before you call, or ideally use an alternative line.

Further advice can be found at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ , https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/scams/ and https://www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/scams.pdf


Rogue Traders out there!

14 July 2017

Suffolk Trading Standards have released this message:

We have the following rogue trader reports that we would be grateful if you could share with friends, family and colleagues:

  • Individual reported going door to door in Ipswich, dropping off a leaflet asking to buy collectables, then calling back later. If you are considering selling any items, please get them valued by an independent expert so that you are aware of their true value.
  • Individuals calling at properties in Holbrook, Brantham, Ufford and Great Waldringfield, claiming to be “ex-offenders”. Do not deal with them and report them to Suffolk Police on 101.
  • Cold callers in Trimley trying to change your energy suppler & pressurising for bank details.
  • Individuals in a van going door-to-door in Ipswich selling generators.
  • Trader reported going door to door in Mildenhall stating work is needed on the resident’s roof & offering to repair it.

If you are approached at the door by a trader, do not deal with them and instead carry out research on any work you are considering having done, or any product you are considering purchasing.

Please report doorstep callers to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040 506.

Additional message from Police Connect:

Further to the Police Connect / Trading Standards message, we are receiving reports of individuals calling at properties this afternoon, Friday 14th July, in Leavenheath and Hadleigh.  They are doorstep callers who target areas offering small household products for sale often at hugely inflated prices and of dubious quality.  Sometimes called ‘Nottingham Knockers’ these callers may claim to be ex-offenders attempting to mend their ways, however Nottingham Knockers are not part of any recognised rehabilitation scheme. Do not deal with them and report them to Suffolk Police on 101.


Still the scams keep coming!

13 June 2017

Police are reminding residents to be alert for telephone scams after an incident in Ipswich.

On Monday 12th June, an elderly man received a phone call from someone saying they were from the tax office and that the resident owed money. He was then told he would be arrested unless he purchased £500 of iTunes vouchers.  The elderly resident suspected something wasn’t right and reported the incident to police.

Police have also received reports of scam tax emails being sent telling people that they have a tax rebate and to log on to a website with their details.

Fraudsters are contacting the elderly & vulnerable claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs and victims are being told that they have arrest warrants, outstanding debts or unpaid taxes in their name. If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately and report it to police.  HMRC will never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty and will never ask for payment in this way.

Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephones display.

Further advice on keeping yourself safe can be found on our Scams page and on the Suffolk Police webpage www.suffolk.police.uk or the Action Fraud webpage www.actionfraud.police.uk


Bicycle thefts

11 June 2017

Police are warning the public that with the increased use of bicycles over summer, the threat of bicycle thefts also increases. In 2016 Suffolk police recorded over 1000 incidents of bicycle theft, many of them by criminals specifically targeting high value bikes.

If you own a bicycle, don’t make yourself an easy victim. Act on the following advice, and you will be less likely to lose your bike this summer:

  • Invest in a good quality lock for your bicycle – D locks are the most effective and a worthwhile investment
  • Use a lock to secure the bike-stand, wheel rim and frame together – making it more difficult for a thief to take
  • Never leave your bike unlocked in a public place – leaving it unattended even for a minute can mean it is gone when you return
  • Find a suitable location to leave and secure your bike – dark alleys, drain-pipes and posts are all best avoided
  • Take a photo of your bicycle and record the make/model and unique serial number (usually found under the frame at the base of the bike).Immobilise
  • Security mark your bike and register it using a third party service such as IMMOBILISE to further protect it.
  • Consider using a low cost electronic bike tagging system such as IMMOBITAG (linked to the IMMOBILISE registration service)
  • Overnight, inside the home is the most secure location to store your bike. Bikes kept in garages and sheds in particular should be properly secured, for example to a suitable secure ground anchor.

Further security information can be obtained on :

Security marking at http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/home-safety/property-marking
Ground anchor systems at http://securityforbikes.com/torc-ground-anchor-certifications.php


Business News: website pages

31 May 2017

Suffolk Constabulary have launched a business news page on their website, replacing their monthly newsletter only sent to subscribers.

County Policing Commander Jennifer Eves said:

I am delighted that we are able to improve our communication with Suffolk’s business community. By having Twitter logoa live service on our website we can update the information making it more timely, relevant and useful. In addition the interactive Twitter account will enable more people to join in a conversation and share issues that are important to them. Do sign up and follow us @SPBusinessNews.


Good weather brings out the thieves…….

19 April 2017

As the days become longer and warmer with the promise Burglary through an open windowof summer, Suffolk Police are reminding residents to protect their homes against opportunistic thieves.  Warmer weather can bring with it offenders on the look-out for lapses in security, such as open doors and windows, particularly when valuables are left on display.  In fact, since January 2016 at least 29% of burglaries in Suffolk have been as a result of an unlocked door or open window.

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith said: “At this time of year, burglars know that many of us will want to open windows and doors to let the fresh air in, even when we’re in the garden. As a result, we tend to see more burglaries in the warmer months as homes are left more insecure.  Thieves typically look for the easy option by looking for gaps in security and are often not afraid to try door locks. I would urge residents to look at their home security through a thief’s eye to prevent them from becoming an easy target. For instance, if you can pull your front door handle down from the inside, so can a burglar.”


Rogue traders

19 April 2017

Suffolk is being targeted by various rogue traders at the moment.  Here are the details so that you can help to warn others.

Since the beginning of the year we have received a large number of complaints from residents who own solar panels, with energy saving companies claiming they have an energy saving device that will save them money, or offering to check their ‘system’ for free.  In the last month, two elderly residents were contacted by such companies, convincing them that they and their properties were at risk.  One victim was told the lid to her water tank was loose, which ran the risk of overflowing onto the electrics in the house, and electrocuting her.  The resident was told they would need to pay the company £7,500 up front in cash, and that work would need to start as soon as possible.  The victim went straight to the bank to withdraw the money, but fortunately the bank staff contacted Suffolk Trading Standards before any money was passed over.

On Tuesday last week we received reports of 5 men in a van going door-to-door offering to clean driveways in and around Felixstowe.

On Wednesday last week, Trading Standards responded to a report, again from vigilant staff at a local bank, advising us that an elderly man from Felixstowe had come in to withdraw £4,000.  This was on top of £2,000 he had withdrawn the day before.  The money was to be paid to traders (three men) who had called at his property offering to undertake guttering work.  They had then indicated that his chimney was loose, and the whole roof needed replacing.  Trading Standards is now investigating.

On Thursday last week we received reports of Nottingham Knockers calling at doors in the Chantry area of Ipswich.  If they call at your door, please report them to Suffolk Police online or via 101.

Help us keep our communities safe by reporting any suspicious activity.  Please use the following link to pass useful information to Suffolk Police about any incident: https://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something/report-crime  DO NOT USE THIS LINK IN AN EMERGENCY OR IN A SITUATION THAT REQUIRES AN IMMEDIATE POLICE RESPONSE WHEN YOU SHOULD RING 999.  To report information anonymously on any crime, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


Telephone Scam

1 March 2017

Police are warning members of the public to be vigilant after a Suffolk resident was telephoned by scammers last week.

On Thursday 23 February a female resident in Woodbridge received a phone call from an offender claiming to be a police officer from Ipswich Police Station. They were told that somebody was trying to tamper with her bank account and that he needed to put a stop on her account.

The victim was unsure if she had given the caller her bank details, but on checking with her bank no fraudulent activity has taken place on her account

Residents should remember the following:

  • Your bank or the police will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone – never give these details out.
  • If you receive such a call leave the landline for at least five minutes to make an outside call. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ring tones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number.
  • Use a friend or neighbour’s telephone instead.
  • Friends, family, carers and neighbours are asked to spread the word to ensure everyone is aware of this scam and what they should do.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also report a fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk


How to avoid a pensions scam

16  February 2016

A pension scam – when someone tries to con you out of your pension money – will often start by someone contacting you unexpectedly about:

  • an investment or other business opportunity that you’ve not spoken to them about before
  • taking your pension money before you’re 55
  • the ways that you can invest your pension money

If someone contacts you unexpectedly and says they can help you access your pot before the age of 55 it’s likely to be a scam.

You may be offered a tempting way to invest your pension pot, eg investing it in a new hotel being built in an exotic location. Most of these offers are fake but can appear very convincing. Their aim is to get you to cash in your pension pot and transfer the money.

Once you’ve transferred your money into a scam, it’s too late. You could lose all your pension money as well as face tax of up to 55% or huge additional fees.

See Government advice page.


Online Fraud

15 December 2017

Action Fraud has received several reports from victims who have been sent convincing looking emails claiming to be from Amazon. The spoofed emails from service(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)amazon.co.uk claim recipients have made an order online and mimic an automatic customer email notification.

The scam email claims recipients have ordered an expensive vintage chandelier.  Other reported examples include: Bose stereos, iPhone’s and luxury watches.

The emails cleverly state that if recipients haven’t authorised the transaction they can click on the help centre link to receive a full refund.  The link leads to an authentic-looking website, which asks victims to confirm their name, address, and bank card information.

Amazon says that suspicious e-mails will often contain:

  • Links to websites that look like Amazon.co.uk, but aren’t Amazon.co.uk.
  • Attachments or prompts to install software on your computer.
  • Typos or grammatical errors.
  • Forged (or spoofed) e-mail addresses to make it look like the e-mail is coming from Amazon.co.uk.

Amazon will never ask for personal information to be supplied by e-mail.

You can read more about identifying suspicious emails claiming to be from Amazon by visiting https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201489210

To report a fraud or cyber crime, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.   Suffolk Police has some useful notes: Police Online Security Tips

General warning: no reputable company will ever ask for banking details or passwords, by email or by phone.  If in doubt, ring the company (but never the number given in the email or the phone message).

Details of another scam affecting solicitors and the purchase of property may be viewed here (courtesy of the Guardian).


December 7th 2016Suffolk Constabulary

Police are appealing for witnesses and urging communities to be vigilant following a series of break-ins across west Suffolk.  There have been 26 burglaries across Forest Heath, St Edmundsbury, Mid Suffolk and Babergh since 1 December which are similar in nature and detectives are exploring how many of them may be linked.

These crimes have typically taken place in rural locations, between the early afternoon and evening, at properties where the occupants have not been at home, and involved the offenders forcing entry. The items that are mainly being stolen are cash, jewellery and electrical items.  As the majority of the burglaries in this series involve houses being entered by force rather than because of insecurities, police are urging members of the public to be their eyes and ears and ‘See it, Hear it, Report it’.

Detective Inspector Andrew Smethurst, Western Area CID, said:

“We are appealing for local communities to be on the look-out for any suspicious behaviour in their villages and neighbourhoods and not to disregard persons or vehicles that appear unusual or out of place.  This could include a suspicious vehicle outside your neighbour’s house or hearing the sound of glass smashing nearby.

Note down the car registration number or description of any suspicious persons you may have seen and report it to us if you believe it to be unusual. These criminals may present themselves as genuine callers, so if their behaviour seems odd then let us know.”

Anyone with any information about these crimes, or who believes they may have witnessed any suspicious activity in their local community, is asked to contact Western Area CID on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The burglaries have taken place in the following locations: Badwell Ash; Bardwell; Barking; Bradfield St Clare; Brandon (x2); Bury St Edmunds; Clare (x3); Culford; Fornham All Saints; Forward Green; Great Cornard; Hundon; Kedington; Lavenham (x2); Long Melford; Mildenhall; Moulton; Needham Market (x2); Nowton; Pakenham; and Ringshall.

By following a few simple steps, you can reduce the chances of becoming a victim of burglary.

Lock

  • Lock all doors and remove the keys before leaving the house.  This limits the amount of escape routes available to burglars.
  • Keep front doors locked even when you are at home and especially if you are in the back garden.
  • Close all windows fully before you leave the house, lock downstairs windows and remove the keys.
  • Use window limiters to allow air in instead of keeping windows fully open, even when you’re at home.
  • Install window locks on upstairs windows that can be easily accessed by a flat roof.
  • Lock back gates using a sturdy lock such as a closed shackle padlock to no less than CEN 3-4 security grade or 5 lever lock.

Light

  • Leave low-energy lights on timers around the house and keep a radio on to make it seem as though someone is home.
  • ‘Dusk-to-dawn’ sensored security lighting is a cheap, low cost way of making sure the front of your home or shed/outbuilding is well-lit.
  • Burglars often prefer to work in the dark to avoid detection.  Stop burglars from hiding in your driveway and paths by installing an ambient security light that will not disturb neighbours.
  • Visible burglar alarms can make burglars think twice; get specialist advice and consult your insurance company.
  • Hedging and shrubs to the front of your property should be pruned to no higher than 1m and trim trees up from the ground to 2m.  This will allow a clear line of sight across your property and will stop the garden being used as a hiding place.

Hide 

  • Keep your valuables, jewellery, cash, passport and deeds to your property in a safe.
  • Never leave spare keys in an open place.  Hide away to prevent them being stolen.
  • Keep dustbins and wheelie-bins away from fencing/gates as these can be used by thieves to climb into windows or used to escape.
  • Make sure valuables are property marked.  Take photographs and keep a note of any serial numbers.
  • Don’t leave equipment and tools lying around that can be used by burglars to break into your home, such as hammers, shovels or gardening tools. Keep ladders locked away and out of sight.

For further crime prevention advice please visit the Suffolk Constabulary webpage www.suffolk.police.uk or contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101.


November 25th 2016

Police are investigating a series of house burglaries that have occurred during hours of darkness over the past 3 days in Great Cornard, Lavenham and Clare.

Properties have been entered either through insecure side or rear property windows or by forcing doors and windows, sometimes by using garden implements found on the property.  Untidy searches have then been made and jewellery appears to be a main target.

Residents are advised to ensure all doors and windows are kept locked, and to use timer switches to turn on lights and radios when you are out to give the impression that your home is occupied.  A house in complete darkness in the early evening is an invitation to a burglar.

Further advice:

  • Fit secure locks to all doors and fit a door chain or bar – and use them.
  • Fit and use visible window locks, including rear or side windows and those above a low roof.
  • Fit ‘dusk to dawn’ lighting covering the front and rear of your property
  • Fit/lock gates at the sides of your house to restrict access to the rear of your property
  • Lock away ladders and garden implements
  • Visible burglar alarms make burglars think twice – get specialist advice and consult your insurance company.

Please be particularly alert to strangers loitering in residential streets.  If in doubt, or if you suspect a crime may be in progress, always dial 999.  If you have any information that you think may assist police in relation to these crimes – please call 101.


November 16th 2016

With Christmas less than six weeks away, Suffolk Police are reminding shoppers to ensure their personal security remains a priority following a noticeable increase in thefts.

The advice comes after reports of a 21% increase in thefts from the person, in particular of mobile phones, wallets and purses, between 1 January and 30 September this year compared with the year before.

Thieves have been targeting major shopping areas, including Felixstowe, Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket, with repeat offences reported around the Cornhill, Tavern Street and Great Coleman Street areas of Ipswich.

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith said: “Personal theft is primarily an opportunist crime, and one which many people are unaware has occurred until later. At this time of year people often carry more money, and with many of us using our mobile phones to store personal data for online shopping, banking and social media, these can prove an attractive combination for thieves.

“A variety of tactics and distractions are used to relieve you of your personal items; dipping into a bag – often underneath a cover of a jacket or newspaper, bumping into you, distracting you so your focus is not on your property, or actively cutting the straps from your bag.

“Having your phone, wallet or purse stolen can have immediate consequences. Don’t give thieves that opportunity; by taking a few simple steps you can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this type of crime.

Preventing personal theft

  • Carry wallets in an inside pocket, where possible, but never in your back pocket.
  • Zip up hand and shoulder bags, and carry with the fasteners against your body to prevent a thief from dipping into it.
  • Keep straps short and bags tucked under your arm, or in front of you.
  • Don’t display jewellery.
  • Don’t show your money — keep it safely in your pocket.
  • Never leave your bags or other valuables unattended.
  • Ensure any bags placed on the on the floor are in front of you so that any movement of the bag will be noticeable.

Safeguard your mobile phone

  • Stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you when using your phone in public.
  • If you’re not making a call, keep your phone hidden away in one of your front pockets or inside a bag.
  • Always use your phone’s security code or PIN
  • Keep a record of your unique reference number (IMEI). To get this, dial *#06#, which allows you to block it from being used if it is stolen.
  • Download a tracking application, which could help trace your device if it’s stolen.
  • Use an ultra violet property marker to write your post code and house number on valuable possessions.
  • Insure your possessions and keep the insurance details handy.

Officers will be stepping up patrols in town centres in the lead up to the festive season, however if you notice anyone acting suspiciously, contact Suffolk Police on 101.


September 28th 2016

Residents are being encouraged to be on the lookout for doorstep rogue traders who may offer garden maintenance services, such as lawn cutting and hedge trimming, and then deliberately overcharge for the work.

Elderly and vulnerable people are typically being targeted and police are reminding residents to:

  • never agree to buy goods from, or have work done, by someone that calls unannounced at their door, or approaches them on the street
  • always get a written quotation for any work to be undertaken
  • ensure the business is reputable by checking local media publications and the internet

Residents seeking reputable companies can access The Suffolk Trader Scheme which promotes the use of Checkatrade’s directory of local tradesmen who have been verified by Suffolk Trading Standards and are committed to treating their customers fairly.

If you suspect a crime is in progress always dial 999.  If you would like to speak to someone about rogue traders, please contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) on 101, or Suffolk Trading Standards.

Advice is often received as a message from Police Connect alert servicePoliceConnect, a free messaging service connecting you to the very latest policing news for your area via e-mail, text or phone.

 

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