Friday, 28 October 2011

As clocks go back, do your bit to protect against burglars

It is that time of year, when darker nights are fast approaching and West Midlands Police are encouraging residents to think about home security.

The clocks will be going back by an hour on Saturday night (29 October), and officers are asking residents to act now to help secure their home.

Simple tips include:
  • Using a timer switch for lights. These are inexpensive and mean homes are not left in darkness to alert burglars to an empty property.
  • Using door and window locks, even when someone is at home.
  • Cancelling newspapers and milk if the property is left unoccupied for a few days.
  • Keeping your shed and garage locked - your tools could be used to break into your home.
  • Neighbourhood Watch is an effective way to keep your home and community safer. You can find details of how to join or set up a scheme from the partnerships officer at your local station.
Sergeant Andy Gregory said: "Many people will now be returning home from work in the dark and often forget to leave a light on, making it obvious to a potential burglar that the property is probably unoccupied. Homeowners should consider investing in time switches, windows should always closed and locked and, where available, house alarms set.

"Traditionally the number of burglary offences rises in the winter and we want residents to think about how they can help themselves by taking a few simple measures."

For further advice about keeping your property secure, see the force's website:

The burglary initiative comes at a time when West Midlands Police is showing a large reduction in house burglary. Over the last six months there have been 2,300 fewer victims of house break-ins (down 24 per cent) compared to the same period last year.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Frosty Morning Car thefts

With the winter fast approaching and the inevitable drop in temperature, Police are issuing a warning to all car owners who start their car on a frosty morning and then go back indoors, even for a moment - Please Don't!

You leave yourselves open to the vehicle being stolen, opportunist thieves wander round looking for cars to steal. The easiest option for them is to steal a car with the keys and they know that in frosty weather, there will always be a car engine running somewhere while the car defrosts and the driver is inside the house. 

This not only causes you inconvenience but information from the AA states 'Most car insurance policies will not cover theft of your car if it has been left unlocked with the keys in the ignition.'

Leaving your car engine running while you go back indoors for any reason is a huge risk but incredibly last year a surprising number of people did it in Solihull and a number of cars were stolen as a result. There were 129 cars were stolen this way in the West Midlands with over 10 cars being stolen in Solihull whilst defrosting during last Winter.

In addition if you leave your car running on a road without proper supervision you actually commit an offence for which you could be fined or issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Our advice is that wherever possible, you store your car in a garage. If you do not have a garage, cover the windscreen with a purpose made cover, newspaper or cardboard to keep the frost off. Use a scraper or de-icer, or pour hot (not boiling) water on the windscreen.

Local Police officers will be conducting additional patrols in residential areas during cold weather, help us to frustrate would be car thieves and don't leave your car running.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Beware of Postal Scam

Please be aware of the following Postal Scam;

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a 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 been billed £315 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655.

For more information, see the Crime Stoppers website:     
Crimestoppers - 0800 555 111