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Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) is about you and your neighbours, coming together to have a say in the issues that matter to you in your community.  For local information on this and other community schemes such as Speedwatch, Farm Watch, Horsewatch and Rural Community Watch, please click on the logo above.

Police crime figures for a specific area or postcode can be reviewed at www.police.uk

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Information About Non-Urgent Rural Crime                       March 2017

The Police now has a dedicated text-line for non-urgent information relating to rural crime.  This is 07492-888109.  Members of the public are encouraged to use this number to provide information: for example, about people or vehicles behaving suspiciously in the rural community, and potential stolen goods.  It should not be used to report crime or to call for urgent police assistance.  It is not monitored 24/7.  Alternatively, crime can be reported on the Avon and Somerset Police website.  Or, for a crime that requires immediate police attendance, dial 999.  Information can also be passed on anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.

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Avon & Somerset Police: Restorative Justice                                 August 2016

Restorative Justice is a safe and controlled process that enables victims to meet or communicate with their offender to talk about what happened, the impact, and for those involved to find positive ways to move forward.  This gives the victim a voice, holds offenders to account and encourages them to take responsibility for their actions.  It has proved to be a very useful tool for those crimes that can be dealt with in this way, and colleagues who deal with this are keen to promote its benefits through the community.  It can be used across the range of circumstances from neighbour disputes to serious crimes.  The process is very carefully managed by a specially trained professional team.  More information is available in this flyer, at www.lighthousevictimcare.org, and by contacting the team: restorativejustice@avonandsomerset.pnn.police.uk 

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Beat Officer Report: April 2016                                                           May 2016

Only one (non-recordable) crime was reported for Wraxall & Failand in April, out of a total of 55 incidents for the whole Redwood Beat (which includes Long Ashton, Leigh Woods, Abbotts Leigh, Flax Bourton, Barrow Gurney, Dundrey, Winford and Pill).  Across the beat, there has been an increase in scrap metal thefts, especially lead from roofs: please pay particular attention to your outbuildings.  Our Beat Officer (PC Martin Faithfull) makes a general reminder not to leave valuables on display in your vehicle - and to make sure, before walking away from your car, that the Key Fob has actually locked the car's doors.
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Neighbourhood Watch Update                                                                March 2016

There was a recent break-in at a residential garage on Failand Lane, from which items, including a lawn-mower, strimmer, chain-saw and cement mixer, were stolen.

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Police Crime Report: February 2016                                                        March 2016

Our Beat Officer has provied the police crime report for February 2016, which includes the raid on Failand Post Office, and a reminder about home and outbuilding security as the weather improves.  Further information about home and garden security can be found through the link lower down this page.  Further information about local crime figures, as well as general crime prevention advice, can be found at www.police.uk

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Possible Fradulent Antique Dealer                                                        March 2016

A person has been calling house-to-house asking to purchase antiques.  The police are currently actively looking for the person concerned.  Residents should be cautious about anyone calling at their home for this, or similar, reasons.

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Be Aware in Supermarket Car-Parks                                                    March 2016

There have been a couple of incidents recently of people being approached in supermarket car-parks, usually be a woman, holding a map and asking for directions.  While the driver is distracted, items, such as credit cards and purses, have been stolen from handbags and pockets.  Do take care to ensure that you don't leave valuable items vulnerable when packing shopping bags into your car.  If you are approached, suggest that the enquirer asks for directions in the shop, and report the incident to the police.

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Increase in Vehicle Crimes: Theft of Registration Plates                March 2016

Police have noticed a slight increase in vehicle crime, some of which is related to the theft of registration plates.  The risk of this happening can be reduced by fixing plates with anti-tamper screws, which can be obtained/fitted from your local garage or car-parts shop.  As always, keep vehicles secure at all times, make sure nothing of value is left on display, and always keep your keys safe both in the car and at home.

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Keep Your Garden and Outbuildings Secure                                 March 2016

At this time of year there tends to be an increased number of thefts from sheds, garages, barns, stables etc.   Items stolen recently have included lawn-mowers, ride-on mowers, tools, fuel and bicycles.  Please take a few minutes to check the security of your property and make any necessary maintenance to help prevent you becoming a victim of crime.  Make sure that locks are properly fitted and used, alarms are in good order and are set, tools, machinery and bicycles etc are property-marked and secured.  There are further hints in the "Protecting Your Garden and Outbuildings" leaflet produced by Neighbourhood Watch.

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Recent Local Burglaries                                                                                        October 2015

The local police and Neighbourhood Watch have reported several recent burglaries in Long Ashton, Leigh Woods and Abbots Leigh.  The break-ins have been to sheds and garages, as well as homes, and a variety of items removed.  Residents are reminded to be vigilant at all times, particularly from this weekend when the clocks go back, and ensure that outside buildings are secured.

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Increase in Burglaries across Somerset                                                 updated           Sep15
In the past week (end of August) there has been an increase in burglaries near our area - break-ins of sheds and garages and attempted break-in of houses. Incidents have occurred during both daytime and during darkness hours.Please ensure that properties are kept secure whenever possible. Whether properties are being left for short periods or whilst on holiday, or even if you are going into the garden - always make sure that accessible windows and doors are kept closed and locked.  In addition please be mindful to secure bicycles with good quality chains or security devices even if stored in outbuildings to prevent / deter them from being stolen.  Police will be conducting patrols in your area and any house found to be considered Vulnerable will be sent a letter with Crime Prevention advice; please share any literature with your neighbours.

Another area of concern is that of theft from motor vehicles. Many of these incidents can be prevented by ensuring that vehicles are always kept secure, windows are closed and items of value removed (or at least put out of sight).

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Neighbourhood Watch Alert for ‘Cold Callers’                                                     May 15
The police are aware that calls are increasingly being received by householders regarding a wide variety of matters.

  • Probably the most common are calls relating to the mis-selling of PPI.
  • Another involves householders being called and told that £2000 would be delivered to their door but that to do so a fee would be required in UK cash vouchers.

Please remember that such calls can occur in any area and police advise not having dealings with any unsolicited calls on the phone, Emails or callers at the door. In particular if you receive calls involving Paypoint or obtaining vouchers you should contact Action Fraud or call the police on the numbers above.
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Suspects detained as a result of public support                                                  May 15
At around 6.30pm on 29 April 2015 a member of the public phoned the police to report three suspicious looking males loitering near a property in Abbots Leigh Road. Police attended the scene, a foot chase ensued and three males were detained.  It appears that two sheds at the property had been broken into, tools removed and stacked near to a gate so they could be removed at a later date.
Police offer their gratitude to the member of public who called so promptly when they saw the suspicious activity. This enabled officers to detain the suspects and preventing them from committing further offences.

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Burglary in Weston Road, Failand                                               Apr 15
During the afternoon of 24 April a burglary occurred at a property in Weston Road, Failand. Access was gained into the property by forcing a ground floor window. An alarm was activated when access was gained to an internal hallway and the alarm box was broken off of the wall. Nothing was stolen from the property.
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Seasonal reminder - Updated                                                                                          Dec 14
Most crime is opportunist. Please remember to secure your property and ensure it looks occupied even when you are out. You can use lights on timers and/or radio on a talk channel. If you are going away for any length of time ask a neighbour to move post from behind the front door, open and close curtains etc. Windows should be secure and alarms set.

A special reminder for this time of year is not to leave tempting property in clear view of windows - ensure that you keep presents `under wraps' and out of sight.

Overnight of 11-12 December a burglary occurred at a property in Church Lane, Lower Failand. Access was gained through unlocked patio door.
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General increase in the number of thefts in rural car parks                    Dec 14
There has been a general increase in the number of thefts from motor vehicles recently. Some of these are occurring in shopper car parks, some in residential areas and an increasing number in rural car parks.  Rural car parks are often in beauty spot areas and predominantly used by walkers during daylight hours. Vehicles have generally been left secure and access has been gained by breaking windows. Items left on display in such vehicles has been targeted - such as personal items, satellite navigation accessories and small change left in central consoles.  You are advised to remove temptation by ensuring you do not leave any items on display. No matter how inconsequential you think the item is, it could be too good an opportunity for the would-be criminal.

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Recent Shed Break-ins                                                                                             Nov 14
Gardening equipment has been targeted recently so please ensure your sheds/garages are secured and all equipment is clearly marked and you have a record of all serial numbers.
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Fraud awareness - 'Spot it, Stop it' campaign                                      Nov 14

SPOT IT

Make decisions in your own time

• Obtain at least three written quotes and references before having any work done
• Genuine callers won’t mind coming back in a day or two so that you can make independent checks
• If a caller refuses to leave your doorstep contact the police

Check people are who they say they are

• Check a company is trustworthy by making independent checks, such as calling the National Consumer helpline or Action Fraud
• Check a caller is a genuine employee by calling the company on a number you’ve looked up independently. Don’t use the number they provide on their ID badge
• Telephone fraudsters can stay on the line after you hang up. Wait at least 10 minutes or use a different phoneline to make any other calls   

STOP IT

Don’t share your personal information

• Personal information includes: financial details, your full name, date of birth, address and travel plans
• Always destroy documents containing your details after use

Report fraud to 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk (click logo above)

• If you are concerned and the caller is still in the area call 999

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Callers at the Door                                                                                         Oct 14
Please remember not to have dealings with any unsolicited callers whether they are at the door, calling by phone, sending Emails or writing to you. They may be offering to buy or sell items; perhaps offering to provide crime prevention advice, repair guttering or cut trees down; or they may ask to gain access inside the property. Whatever the excuse do not have dealings with them in any form. Remember all suspicious activity or callers should be reported as soon as possible to the police on 101
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Firework celebrations and the Carnival Season.                             Oct 14
The police ask that if you are going out to enjoy or take part these events, you take care to ensure that properties are kept secure and alarms activated where they are fitted. Perhaps also consider leaving lights on timers or a radio on a talk channel to make properties appear as if they are occupied.

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Foiling the phone scammer                                                            Aug 14
Avon & Somerset Police are reminding people to be careful of phone scammers after several reports of bogus callers claiming to be police or security companies.

There have several incidents in North Somerset and South Gloucestershire over the last month where residents received a call on their landline from someone purporting to be from either the police or a security company.

An elderly couple in Clevedon, North Somerset, received a call from a man claiming to be from "The Crime Reduction Unit of the police". He was trying to persuade the couple to buy an alarm for £1.00 that would connect them to the local police and fire service. He also wanted to make an appointment to visit their home. They weren't sure about the man so they hung up and told their neighbour, who alerted police.

In a similar vein, an elderly lady in South Gloucestershire was made aware of a potential scam after a friend received a call. When she then got a phone call herself she was prepared.

She was called by a man who stated he was from a security company wanting to conduct a home survey. She asked for the proposal to be put in writing and for a letter to be sent with some literature to her so she could speak to her son, at which point the man put the phone down.

People are encouraged to take care when they received unsolicited calls from people. Reputable companies or genuine callers will be happy to prove who they are and provide identification. Please spread the word to your relatives, neighbours, colleagues and friends, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable.  If you are unsure of anyone asking you for details, you are advised to be overly cautious. There are some simple but effective measures people can take to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of these scams.

  • If someone claims to be from a company check their details, look at their website and see if they have any testimonials.
  • Call the company, but don't use a number the caller gives you. Look one up on the internet or in a phone directory. Before you make the call, either use a different telephone or wait for a dialling tone to ensure the bogus callers are not still on the line.
  • If the person claims to be from the local police, always ask for their collar number or staff I.D number. Every officer or staff member has one. You can then call 101 to check they are who they say they are.
  • Don't release any personal information including any bank details that could be exploited unless you have confirmed the caller is genuine and reputable and you actually need what is being offered.
  • The police and the banks will never ask you for banking details or PIN numbers on the phone.

If you have information about any crime, phone the police on 101 or you can call anonymously to the independent charity CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111. For general information about Neighbourhood Watch nationally see the www.ourwatch.org.uk website.

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Telephone Scam to Local Businesses                                                                           Aug 14

Fraudsters claiming to be working on a police magazine are trying to con small business owners in Avon and Somerset. Police have had several reports about a telephone scam, which is targeting small business owners. The caller claims to be from an agency working on a magazine for the police and is looking for local businesses to become sponsors.  Small business owners are reporting that the caller asks for £100 for an acknowledgement or advert to be included in the magazine, which allegedly supports policing issues such as keeping young people off the street and substance misuse.  The scam is being investigated by Action Fraud - for further information click the logo at the top of the page.

What to do if you get a cold call

Never agree to something there and then – ask for a telephone number you can call them back on.
Do your research – check online to see if the company exists, read other people’s reviews and see if you can get a better quote elsewhere.
If they say they are working for the police, call 101 to make sure.
If in doubt, report it.

How to report a telephone scam - Report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online reporting form.  If you have the name of the company, report it to Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 03454 04 05 06

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Attempted burglary in Failand                                                      Jul 14
Recently, there was unsuccessful attempt to forcibly enter a property in Woodland Way, Failand. With the warm weather and more windows and doors open, there’s been a spate of walk-in opportunist thefts across Avon & Somerset. You are reminded that it only takes a few seconds for a thief to enter your property and steal your possessions.