Please read and take note of the advice given below from the Neighbourhood Alert Team:
Community Forum – 8 March 6.30 pm Deddington Fire Station.
Home Safety
Personal Safety
Vehicle Crime
Courier Fraud
Cold Callers

Community Forum
Can I encourage you all to attend the next Rural Community Forum at the Deddington fire station at 6.30 pm on the 6 March.
The idea of the forums is so the community can have their say about concerns within the areas that they live and with the police, partner agencies, come up with a plan to try and resolve these issues.

Home Safety
Keep your home safe and secure:
• Keep front and back doors locked, even when you’re at home
• Install a burglar alarm with a visible alarm box
• Keep all valuables and keys out of sight and out of reach of doors
and windows
• Store high value items in a hidden safe
• Mark your belongings and register them for free with Immobilise
• Don’t leave spare keys in obvious places such as under doormats
or plant pots
• Keep items that could be used to break into your property such as
ladders, tools and wheelie bins stored safely away
• Lock side gates to prevent easy access to the rear of the property
• Use pea shingle on driveways or under windows, as it crunches
loudly when stepped on
• Trim overgrown hedges and plants to remove hiding places and
improve surveillance
• Use a timer switch to make your house look occupied, even when it
isn’t
• Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
Burglars often gain access to their victim’s homes through
unsecured doors and windows. Making sure your doors are strong
and secure, and that all windows are fitted with a lock is a simple
way to prevent thieves gaining easy access to your home. You
should ensure any lock fitted is certified by the British Standard
Institute.

Personal Safety
It’s important to take personal safety seriously and a few simpleprecautions can help lower your chances of becoming a victim of crime.
When out and about you should:
• stick to busy, well lit areas, look self confident and walk with purpose
• consider places of safety along your route, such as a friend’s house or shops, where you could seek help if necessary
• keep your purse, wallet, money and valuables out of sight
• keep bags closed, zipped and buckled
• avoid walking and talking on your mobile phone
• wear your bag across your chest, so that it can’t be pulled from your shoulder
• never leave bags unattended</
• carry only the amount of money that you need.
If someone tries to take something from you, let them have it. Don’t put yourself at risk of be hurt by trying to hold on to it. Throw the item on the ground in front of you, run away and shout loudly to draw attention to what is happening.
If you think you’re being followed, cross over the road to see if they follow you. If you’re still worried, don’t wait around. Go into a pub,shop or other busy public place. Call a friend to meet you there and report it to the police.

Vehicle Crime
The best way to protect your belongings is to lock your car whenever you leave it. Other things
you can do include:
• Removing everything from the car • Closing the sunroof along with the windows when you leave
• Not storing things in the boot take them with you
• Taking removable stereos and sat nav equipment with you
• Where you park can make a big difference to the safety of your car and your belongings. Look out for car parks approved by the police. Safer Parking scheme. You can find them by looking for their
Park Mark
• Having a routine to ensure you always take the keys out of the ignition
• Keeping your keys away from doors and windows, and tucked away out of sight. Thieves sometimes break into houses looking for car keys. They can also use wires and hooks to try and drag
your keys through the letterbox
• Storing car ownership information in your home, not your car
• Using secure number plates can make your plates less attractive to thieve
• Have your vehicle’s windows etched with its registration number or the last seven digits of the vehicle identification number. This can put criminals off, as it makes your car more difficult to sell. It also makes it easier for police to get your car back to you if it is stolen.

Courier Fraud
Courier fraudsters phone and trick victims into handing large sums of cash
to a courier that arrives at their home.
Thames Valley Police is calling on friends and family to help tackle the
problem by talking to elderly or vulnerable friends and relatives.
The talk should cover:
• Never deal with cold callers on the phone or in person, no matter how
polite or friendly they are. Saying ‘no thank you’ and shutting the door or
hanging up the phone is not rude
• Your bank, the police or anyone legitimate will never send a courier to your
home to collect your money, your bank cards, and they will never ask for
your pin number. Close the door, lock it, and call 101 to speak to the police
• Keep a mobile phone next to the landline, and if you want to make a phone
call immediately after hanging up the landline, always use the other phone
• If you do hand over your bank details or cards, don’t panic. Call your bank
immediately using another phone, such as a mobile phone, explain what’s
happened and cancel your cards
• Legitimate callers will never try to rush you, scare you, or force you into
anything. If you feel scared or pressured at any point, hang up or shut the
door and tell someone what’s happened
There are many variations of the courier scam, but it usually follows this
method:
• A fraudster will cold call the victim on a landline, often claiming to be from
the victim’s bank, the police, a fraud investigator.
• The fraudster states their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment in
the victim’s account, or that they need the victim’s help in investigating
fraudulent activity at their bank
• In order to reassure the victim that they are genuine, they suggest that the
victim hangs up and rings the bank/police back straight away. However,
they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when the real phone
number is dialled, they are actually still speaking to the fraudster
• Finally, the fraudsters will send a courier to collect cash from the victim’s
home address, or to take the victim to their bank to withdraw the money.

Cold Callers
Offenders, commonly claiming to be from the ‘water board’, target
properties in order to commit distraction burglaries.
If someone knocks claiming to be from the ‘water board’ then there
is every possibility that they are not a genuine caller.
Protect yourself and your property by following this simple safety
advice:
• If you are not sure who is at your door, don’t open it!
• Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are
claiming to be from i.e. gas, electricity, water and police – use the
telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided
independently by your service provider – don’t use any telephone
numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus
• Don’t let them in until you are satisfied
• If in doubt keep them out!
• If you are suspicious call the police on 101
Please note: the ‘Water board’ no longer exists, it is an obsolete
phrase used only by bogus callers.
If you have any information relating to distraction burglaries in your
area or would like to report a crime please contact Thames Valley
Police via the non-emergency number 101.
If you don’t want to speak directly to police you can contact the
independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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