Todwick Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter
Firstly welcome to all the villagers and our two new co-ordinators who have signed up to the Todwick Neighbourhood Watch since our last newsletter in August 2007. We hope that you find the information in these newsletters helpful. If you have any issues that you would like to raise or have circulate in subsequent newsletters, please contact Norman Anderson.
Get Switched On
Now that the clocks have gone back an hour and it gets dark earlier, what about lights in the house if you are out? Plug in timer switches, which normally costs about £5 each, are available from the Rotherham Community & Safety Centre, 29 Howard Street, Rotherham for only £3.40 each. If you cannot get there in person, but you would still like some, please contact Norman Anderson (chair) who will organise them for you. Useful for bringing on a lamp or switching radio sets on and off in the house at a pre-set time. Use it in the room you would normally occupy if you were at home. The timers are NOT recommended for use with televisions because they can get hot. You can change the switching on and off times to take account of the time of the year. If you are leaving lights on for extended periods, please consider using low energy bulbs, which will help to cut down your electricity bill and help the environment.
Distraction burglaries & bogus callers
Over the last 3 months, we have been alerted to distraction burglaries & bogus callers in the Rotherham area. The reasons given for wanting to enter people's homes seem, at times, realistic and believable! The following are some of the attempts in our area, over the last 3 months:
- A lady noticed her husband talking to an unknown man in their back garden. The man claimed he was from the council investigating water contamination. He said he wanted to test the drains and gained access to the house and was never out of sight of the householders. However, after he had left, two purses had been opened and money taken.
- One incident involved a caller who said he had come to give a quotation for decorating work. He was not expected.
- In another incident, an unknown man called at a house asking for a large denomination bank note to be changed. He gave the excuse that he was working for a neighbour who had no low value bank notes. After gaining access, the note was exchanged for smaller denomination notes taken from a cupboard in the kitchen. The transaction took place in the kitchen and at this point the home-owner was then distracted. When the caller had gone, money was found to be missing from an envelope that had been kept in a cupboard in the kitchen.
- One caller, aged about 35, said there had been a gas explosion and this had contaminated the water supply. He said he wanted to check the householder's domestic water supply.
- In another incident 3 men called and said there had been a burst water pipe and wanted to check the property. All these incidents happened in the Rotherham area but...
...IN TODWICK, in early October, we hear that at least 2 men with clip boards approached residents and asked to look at their gas meters. They gave the reason that all gas meters, currently having steel pipes were to be changed to plastic pipes. One caller was challenged and asked for his works telephone number. He became aggressive and quickly left the premises. Independent telephone checks with British Gas and Transco revealed that no-one working for either organisation or their contractors was scheduled to be in Todwick. For this type of work, residents will be given prior written notice. The Police have been informed on 01142 202020 and an incident number obtained.
This method of approaching properties and householders is known to the authorities and can be used by criminals as "the opportunity to assess your property" it is often many weeks before follow up may occur. If you have been visited by men as described above, with clips boards recently be vigilant; check your security procedures:
- Be careful if asked about your routine at home, genuine work will be arranged by prior written appointment.
- Be aware of anyone who you do not know or are not expecting calling at your home.
- If workmen are not expected they should show you identification, don't accept it is genuine, for your own peace of mind; telephone the company to confirm their identity. If they are genuine, they will not mind.
- If in doubt, keep them out!
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat!
So starts the old children's rhyme. It is not only the goose that is getting fat! The opportunist thief is out there waiting to get fat, at your expense! The Christmas tree is sparkling, decorations festooned around, and all the presents piled under the tree. An open invitation to the burglar to have a free Christmas bonanza!
We can all make it more difficult by adopting a few sensible precautions. Keep things out of sight draw curtain or close blinds! Remember to lock the door after you have come in. When you leave the house, it is wise to lock up, even if you are only in the garden for a few minutes. Keep the house keys and car keys well away from the house doors, especially at night. After shopping don't leave bags or boxes on display in the car. When you have bought presents, put them in the boot! Lock the car and set the alarm and take them out of the car when you get home.
Make sure you and your loved ones have the "Merry Christmas - not Burglar Bill!"
Don't lose your sparkle!
Bonfire night, the traditional time when we celebrate the activities of Guy Fawkes, certainly can go with a bang! Sadly though, many people are injured mainly because they do not follow very basic safety advice. So, to keep you and your family safe, here are 10 top tips:
- Keep fireworks in a closed box.
- Carefully follow the instructions on each firework
- Light each firework at arms length preferably using a suitable taper
- Stand well back
- Never go back to a lit firework
- Never put fireworks in your pocket
- Never throw fireworks
- Light sparklers one at a time and it is recommended that gloves be worn
- Never give sparklers to children under 5 years of age
- Keep pets indoors.
Have a great night... But please be safe.
Please BE AWARE, especially as Christmas is fast approaching - The Trading Standards Office is making people aware of the following scam, it has been confirmed by Royal Mail. 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 (an expensive 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 started being billed at the rate of £1.50 per minute.
If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 0207 239 6655 or ICSTIS (the premium rate service regulator).
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
We still have carbon monoxide alarms for sale at the special price of £18 each. If you already have one, is yours still in date? If you would like a new one, please contact Norman Anderson.
Village Crime Issues
During the period 1st August to 10th October 2007, there were 10 recorded crimes in the village. These included 2 burglaries where property was stolen including a plasma TV, 2 further burglaries where damage was done to a building, 2 thefts from motor vehicles & 2 thefts of metal. One further incident involved the use of foul language in a public place and finally one case of harassment. The Police tell us that for the same period in 2006, there were 23 recorded offences in Todwick.
We hope you have enjoyed our latest newsletter and found the articles of interest. If your friends or neighbours are not a member of the scheme, please pass on this newsletter when you have read it. If they want to be part of the scheme - and it is still free of charge - ask them to contact us.