Sedgefield Neighbourhood Watch (NHW)
As Autumn arrives...
Summer is over but we can look forward to winter fun too. Halloween, bonfire night and, as some ‘wag’ recently observed, ‘Christmas will soon be here’. However, Autumn’s arrival means that the days grow shorter and soon the clocks will be changing. This means longer nights, which are attractive to criminals operating under cover of darkness. As the nights close in, here are a few actions you can take to prevent criminals spoiling your winter fun:
- Adjust settings on light timers so lights come on as soon as it is dark outside.
- Ensure external lights keep your property well illuminated.
- Ensure light timers keep your property interior well-lit so that if you are still at work when night falls it looks the property appears occupied.
- Keep blinds tilted however, so that the interior of your house does not become a showcase to prospective burglars.
- Make sure equipment, toys, bikes and other items used during the day are safely and securely stored indoors before it is dark.
- Make sure your car is secure and if possible parked off the street, preferably nose first on a drive, or better still, in a garage.
- Always keep entrance doors, gates, garages & outhouses securely locked.
- Take garden furniture, barbeques, hose pipes and other summer garden items indoors for the winter.
Valuable items such as bikes are targets for theft generally but especially on dark nights. Those without a secure lock are an easy target so make sure you lock it with a good quality secure lock such as a chain and padlock, D-lock or cable lock. Keeping your bike indoors is the most secure solution but if you need to park your bike on the street here are a few tips:
- Avoid Dark Alleys: even if it is locked a thief will have an ideal opportunity to break through the lock.
- Butterfly Racks - avoid parking which only allows you to secure your front wheel to the stand. Even if you do not have quick release wheels, a thief will find it very easy to detach your wheel and make off with the rest of your bike.
- Avoid short posts or even tall posts that a lock can fit over. Your bike will be lifted over the top. Even if there is a sign on top that the lock can’t fit around, remember, a determined thief will unscrew the sign and lift your bike over
- Avoid drainpipes – these are easily shattered or removed.
- City or Town Centres overnight – avoid leaving your bike in these locations even if there is CCTV coverage.
By security marking your bike you will greatly increase the chance of police identifying & returning your bike if it is stolen. It also acts as a visible deterrent to thieves by making the cycle less attractive to steal.
Operation Spoke. Cycle shops in County Durham & Darlington are working with Durham Constabulary with a joint aim to mark and register every cycle in the County. Go along to any cycle shop to have it marked and registered for free, now.
The Bike Register
is used by all Police Forces in the UK to reunite stolen goods with their owners.
Our Beat Team have reported that in August / September the following crimes occurred in Sedgefield:
- Regular shoplifting in Sainsbury’s and Co-op
- Trolley dash in Sainsbury’s (leaving without paying)
- Fuel theft at garages on A689 (leaving without paying)
- Numerous vehicles systematically stripped of parts in the temporary overnight car park at ‘Hardwick Live’.
Investigations are ongoing.
Call 0800 555 111 or visit Crimestoppers-uk.org
. Crimestoppers Trust is a registered charity
Remember, crime isn’t as common as you think… but don’t be a victim.
Please lock up, stay safe and sleep well.
Local Police: Call 101
to report concerns, seek advice or pass on information. Always keep notes and ask for an incident number.
Crime Prevention Officer:
Rona Stocks. firstname.lastname@example.org
Police Community Cohesion Officer:
Faye Callan. 101 Extension 742317. Faye.email@example.com
Confidential email address:
Any information we receive will be developed and acted upon.