Todwick Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter
Issue 2 - February 2007
Firstly, welcome to all the villagers who have signed up to the Todwick Neighbourhood Watch since the last newsletter in November 2006. We hope you find the information in our newsletters of help. If you have any issues that you would like to raise or have circulated in subsequent newsletters, please contact Norman Anderson.
Antisocial Behaviour... Egg Throwing
Over the past few weeks the village has been subjected to an increase in egg throwing at windows of houses. This is causing unnecessary mess, expense and in several cases causing distress to the victims. It has got to the stage of being more than a childish prank. If you are a victim and / or know the names of the culprits, please contact South Yorkshire Police on 01142 202020. Because of the volume of complaints, the Police are actively making enquiries within the neighbourhood.
Burglaries continue to blight the lives of some of our residents. Dene Tinker, a Police Scene of Crime Assessor said, "We need to dispel the myth that burglars are people who spends time casing houses before they break in. More often than not they are opportunists looking for a weakness in security." Dene then follows on that a house in darkness is a weakness, as this tells the offender that no one is at home.
His advice is to consider fitting dusk to dawn security lighting and automatic time switches on indoor lights. Ensure gates are locked and all outdoor tools are also locked away. Secure the windows especially those where access could be easy. Keep all keys and valuables out of sight. Property mark valuables with your postcode and house number. We also recommend that you consider keeping a note of any serial numbers, a photograph and a description of your valuables to help identify items if they are stolen.
Beware Of Computer Fraud... Phishing
There is a growing number of phishing / scam e-mails purporting to come from "High Street" banks and building societies. These will direct you a web site that looks like the real thing and ask you for your security details. Under no circumstances should you disclose your personal or security details in this way. Best advice is delete the e-mail without opening it.
...And the Money Mules
Activity has recently been seen where you may receive an e-mail purporting to come from someone who has access to several million (usually) US dollars held in the account of a deceased person. The e-mail asks you to help by sending your banking details and you will receive a percentage of the proceeds. Please do not be tempted to respond.
Some of these scams involve the proceeds of fraud and you could become inadvertently involved in money laundering. Many of the scams have no money and all the fraudsters want are your bank and personal details which can then be used for fraud against you.
If you think you have been the target of fraud or you are concerned that your bank details are no longer secure, immediately telephone your bank or building society. Most have 24 hour service and will willingly help to put your mind at rest. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS KEEP YOUR ANTI VIRUS, FIREWALL AND ANTI-SPYWARE UP TO DATE.
Keep your young children safe with "Think Bubble"
I have a few packs of a government Home Office kit called "Think Bubble" which is designed for showing to children aged 4 to 7. It contains a video, audio cassette and classroom notes. The kit focuses on child safety with 4 short stories to help younger children think about keeping safe. If any parent, guardian or teacher in the village would like a free pack please contact Norman Anderson.
Free Fire Safety Check
This FREE check is carried out by the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service with advice given on all aspects of fire safety within the home and where required a free smoke alarm fitted. There are also smoke alarms for the deaf or hard of hearing. Should you wish to have one of these checks, please contact the Fire Service on 0114 253 2314.
Anti-Social Behaviour - Vehicles
As reported in the last newsletter, Todwick suffers from some inconsiderate driving of motor vehicles. If you experience any examples of unnecessary engine revving, inappropriate speed, late braking, loud stereos in cars, please make a note of the vehicle registration number, the location, time and date and any other relevant details that could identify the driver / passenger(s). Telephone the Police on 01142 20 20 20 with details
Also unregistered motorcycles and mini motorbikes have recently been seen in the village, some being ridden and others pushed. Often protective headgear is not worn. These practices are dangerous and illegal. The Police require as much information as possible about who is using the bikes, where they are being stored and if possible descriptions of the riders. Please leave a message on the Nuisance Bike Hotline 01709 832444.
Over the past few months there have been several distraction burglaries in the area. Usually 2 people come to the door saying they are officials from say the water, gas, electric company or the local council. Often they will tell a story about wanting to do a check in your home. Often they will seem to be "nice people". Whilst one keeps the householder occupied, the other searches the house for cash and valuables. The best advice we can give is:
- ALWAYS USE YOUR DOOR CHAIN WHEN ANSWERING THE DOOR.
- ALL GENUINE OFFICIALS CARRY IDENTIFICATION AND THEY WILL LET YOU KNOW IN ADVANCE THAT THEY ARE CALLING (except meter readers).
- IF THEY ARE GENUINE THEY WILL BE HAPPY FOR YOU TO CHECK THEIR IDENTITY BY TELEPHONE. ALWAYS LOCK THE DOOR BEFORE WALKING AWAY TO THE TELEPHONE.
- IF YOU DO CHECK, PLEASE USE THE TELEPHONE NUMBER FROM YOUR PHONE DIRECTORY. IF THEY ARE BOGUS, THE PHONE NUMBER ON THEIR I/D CARDS WILL BE BOGUS!
If you have any issues that you would like to raise regarding Neighbourhood Watch, please contact Norman Anderson (chair)