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Crime: 13 January 2014 


I have had an interesting question in from Jo:
Hi Jeff
I don't understand why the telephone line stays 'live', after you put the receiver down.
Can't BT etc change the system, so that the call is disconnected ?  Then, scammers can't fool people in to believing their line is free?
I am sure lots of us don't understand how, when we put the phone down, the line can still be kept live, by the scammers and bogus callers.
Jo is a long story, based in the mists of time.  It is similar, to why we still have cold water tanks in our lofts - that goes back to the 17th century !  Phone lines staying connected, only goes back to the beginning of the last century.  When telephone lines were initially installed, they were placed in hallways.  Additional extensions were later made available in other rooms, but calls were traditionally answered in the hall – as per Downton Abbey – and then transferred to extensions in other rooms.  The receiver would be replaced in the hallway – to stop people picking it up and listening and then picked up a few minutes later, in the library, for example.  No-one has bothered to change the technology, now that we have extensions in every room – and even wireless phones – but – how many of us still have a phone in the hallway ?
We had a Distraction Burglary in Sunninghill over the weekend – it contained a useful lesson for everyone !
11/1  Saturday 11.30 a.m.  High Street.  Distraction Burglary.  The owner answered the door and a man pushed past her.  Whilst talking to him, another man entered and went upstairs and carried out an untidy search of the bedroom.  They then left having picked up £10 from a coffee table.  Nothing else was taken.  The men are described as:  White, stocky, light medium brown short hair, 5’11’’. Clean shaven, round face, local accent, tidy, about 30 years old.
The message here is very clear.  If your doorbell goes, you must put the chain on, before answering.  We have now had 2 ‘push pasts’.  Using a chain will make this impossible and prevent you becoming a victim in this way.  If you are not expecting anyone and the doorbell goes, look out of a window.  If they don’t look like the right sort, indicate that you will not be answering and walk away.  That way, they know the house is not empty, and if anything happens, you could give a description.
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13/1  Monday 6 a.m.  Bailey Close.  Attempted Burglary.  Offenders put a metal rod and a hand through the letterbox to try and fish the keys out.  This in fact disturbed the owner, who disturbed them and they immediately made off.  NOTHING, PARTICULARLY HOUSE / CAR KEYS, MUST BE LEFT ANYWHERE THEY CAN BE SEEN THROUGH THE LETTERBOX – PARTICULARLY ON HALLWAY TABLES.
11/1 – 12/1  Saturday 7.30 p.m. / Sunday 3 p.m.  Ray Street.  A black Nissan Micra index RV ** SVJ locked and secured, stolen from the road.
8/1 – 10/1  Wednesday / Friday  Ray Lea Close.  Car badly keyed.
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10/1 Friday 12.30 p.m.  Westwood Green, Cookham Rise.  Fraud / Dodgy Builder  - YET ANOTHER
2 men turned up at a house and said they were there to inspect the roof and look in the attic.  THE OWNER LET THEM IN !  They climbed up into the attic and slopped some water out of the water tank over the floor, to make it look like there was a leak.  They then called the owner up to look.  The owner became suspicious, when they said it would cost £5,000 to do the repairs.  They suggested she withdraw the money from a cashpoint, so they could start immediately – they would be back, when she had got the money. 
She says she was explicit and did not agree to have any work done.
As soon as they left, she called the police.  Later they returned, to say they had ordered the materials and needed the money.  She refused to hand over any money and told them to leave.  Whilst this was happening, the owner’s daughter started to phone the police and they left immediately in a silver hatchback.
PLEASE tell everyone you know, how this scam works.  She should of course, not let them in, in the first place.  If the offenders did not look plausible and speak well, she would not have let them in – they are good at what they do !  PLEASE REMEMBER OUR NHW MANTRA:
11/1 – 12/1  Saturday 4 p.m. / Sunday 2 p.m.  Camley Gardens, Pinkneys Green.  Offenders climbed into a garden via side passage, damaging trellis.  Shed left INSECURE entered and searched – 2 bikes stolen.  A red bike and gents Grey / yellow and black bike.
10/1  Friday 1.14 p.m.  Blenheim Road, Pinkneys Green.  The owner and her husband were unloading their weekly shop, going in and out of their house.  They had left the keys in the front door, in case it closed and locked behind them.  The keys were stolen.
10/1  Friday 12 noon.  Farm, Lee Lane, Pinkneys Green.  A van parked up outside a garage whilst they asked about reapirs.  An offender has opened the doors – LEFT INSECURE – Hedge cutters X 2, leaf blower and chain saw stolen.
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10/1 – 11/1  Friday / Saturday  Larchfield Road.  Bike stolen and Skybox damaged.
I don’t know if you can include the below, on your next Neighbourhood Alert ?
It is a free competition for a Light Switch Timer, which is the first automatic light switch timer to easily fit over an existing wall light switch – without the need for any wiring.
It is also, the first timed lighting product to gain the Secured by Design Police Preferred Specification”.  The competition closes at 23:59 on Friday 31 January 2014, after which the winners will be picked at random, by an independent person. The winners will be announced by Friday 7 February 2014.  The winners will receive one Light Switch Timer each as shown on the Switched on Products website.
The link to the competition is:
The competition is free to enter, by either signing up for the newsletter (with your e-mail address only) or doing an anonymous home security survey on the web site. The web site is “The Crime Prevention Web Site” and is the brainchild and run by a colleague who is a retired Police Crime Prevention Officer.  He has a home security survey on his site, which you can enter your details anonymously, answer a series of questions which is provided with several different answers to cover all variables, and on completion will provide you with a detailed report, detailing where your security could be improved.  The site is comprehensive and friendly to use.
Mr Michael Clare
Crime Prevention Design Advisor
Neighbourhood Policing and Partnerships
Thames Valley Police

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