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Royston Rural Watch December 2022

PC 98 Jon Seppings & PCSO 6048 Hannah Moss PCSO 6522 Chris Brabrook

Sgt Jon Vine 1841

Our Non emergency number 101

On the Beat –

Have yourself a merry crime-free Christmas

Royston Rural Neighbourhood Team would like to wish all residents in the county a merry, crime-free Christmas.

During December police are reminding residents not to ‘gift’ opportunities to criminals and keep their homes and valuables secure by following some simple crime prevention tips.

Burglary rates are currently lower than at the same time last year, but there is often an increase in residential burglaries in the run up to Christmas. The areas that have seen a rise this year are Three Rivers, Dacorum and St Albans.

Detective Chief Inspector Luke Whinnett, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Local Policing Command, said: “This is a busy time of year for everyone, especially criminals. They know that homes, sheds and cars are full of gifts and will be on the lookout for opportunities to steal them. Don’t make things easy for them by storing gifts in the shed or garage, or leaving them in cars. If you leave anything valuable on view either at home or in the car, you may be presenting a thief with an opportunity.”

Make sure you keep all your gifts in a secure place – don’t leave them in the shed or garage, or on view near windows or doors.

Lock up when you leave – make sure all windows and doors are securely locked when you leave the house or go up to bed.

Security marking and registering your children’s Christmas gifts will help to keep them safe and make them easier to return if they are lost or stolen.

When out shopping push your purse to the bottom of your bag and zip it securely, wallets should not be carried in back pockets.

Leaving boxes and packaging of expensive items by your bins will alert burglars that your home is full of valuables.

Consider installing a door bell camera, internal camera and/or monitored burglar alarm.

Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting and use timer switches in your home to control internal lights, radios and a simulated TV.

Keep keys and valuables secure and out of sight.

Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. Keep tools and ladders in a locked shed.

Secure bins at night and put garden furniture away for the winter as these can be used by burglars as climbing aids to gain access to upper floor windows.

Ensure your vehicle is locked and remove all valuables as burglars often check to see if doors are left unlocked.

You can report suspicious activity in your area or information online, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat or call the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference

Stolen machinery recovered thanks to police partnership working

Two stolen agricultural vehicles were recovered within the space of 12 hours thanks to partnership working between Hertfordshire Constabulary and neighbouring police forces.

Police were called on the morning of Tuesday 6 December to report two separate thefts of utility vehicles from rural land in Royston overnight.

Officers from the Rural Operational Support Team (ROST) worked alongside the Royston Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) to carry out fast time enquiries.

SNT officers subsequently located one of the vehicles just over the border into Cambridgeshire and liaised colleagues from the local Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) to return it to its owner.

The second vehicle was then located by an eagle-eyed PCSO in Potton, Bedfordshire, and was also returned.

A spokesperson from ROST said: “This is a great example of how partnership working can bring about quick results and I’m pleased we were able to recover and return the vehicles. Investigations are now continuing to establish the circumstances around the thefts.”

John Deer Gator’s and other similar types of agricultural vehicles are a being targeted by thieves locally.

Protect your vehicle this winter

Drivers are being advised to make sure their cars and vans are secure following an increase in thefts from vehicles in the county.

Thefts have increased by around four percent per cent this year, compared to the same period last year, Most incidents are either the theft of items left in vehicles whilst they are unattended or thefts of catalytic converters, which are still being targeted for the precious metals they contain.

Sergeant John Vine, from Royston Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “Thieves continue to target catalytic converters on specific car models such as the pre 2008 Honda Jazz, Toyota Prius (2004 to 2016 inclusive) and Toyota Arius (2012 to 2018 inclusive).

“Leaving valuable items on display in a vehicle will attract the attention of opportunistic thieves, so please remove any items which may encourage a thief, such as bags, boxes, coats or loose change. I would also urge the public to follow our advice, remain vigilant and report suspicious incidents in their neighbourhood, particularly where people are trying to get under cars in public car parks or on public roads. If you see this happening, please call 999 immediately.”

To minimise the chance of becoming a victim we offer the following advice:

Lock your car whenever it is left unattended and keep it in a garage when parked at night if possible.

When using a garage is not possible, park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make theft difficult.

Consider fitting CCTV on your home or driveway, to help deter thieves.

Use PIR or LED security lighting to make your vehicle more visible and this can also act as a deterrent.

If your catalytic converter is bolted on, consider having the bolts welded to make removal difficult.

Fit protective coverings on catalytic converters, such as the Toyota manufactured CATLOC device, (these are made for Toyota Prius made between 2004 and 2009) as these can make it much more difficult for thieves.

Have your catalytic converter etched or forensically marked and put stickers in the windscreen to say this has been done.

Look for car parks with a Secured Car Park sign which have recognised levels of security. If you have a garage at home, ensure you use it and lock it properly.

Noisy gravel on your drive can help deter a would-be thief, as they don't want to alert you to their approach.

Never leave valuable items or tools on display in your vehicle as this may encourage a thief to break in.

For more crime prevention advice, please visit our crime prevention pages.

G4E - Ashwell, Hinxworth, Bygrave, Newnham and Caldecote

Theft of Number plates, Slip End, Ashwell - Between 22nd October and 2nd November offenders have gained access to the property by breaking a fence panel. The offenders have broken a lock to a caravan and have taken items including number plates – 41/89273/22

Theft of Number Plates, Station Road, Ashwell - On 14th November between 11.30 and 18.30 the vehicle was parked on station road. The offender has stolen number plates from the front and rear of a vehicle. 41/92813/22

G4D – Barley, Barkway, Reed, Therfield, Kelshall and Nuthampstead

Outbuilding Burglary, Kelshall – Between 12.00pm on 17th November and 10.30am on the 18th November a barn was targeted outside of Kelshall village. The offenders forced open a door, nothing was taken from within. 41/93674/22

G3C - Sandon, Wallington, Rushden, Clothall and Weston

Outbuilding Burglary, Rushden – Overnight on the 2nd November an garage situated on a farm was targeted by offenders. The offenders have cut the padlock to gain entry, various items were taken including a motorbike which was later recovered in Cambridgeshire. 41/88946/22

Outbuilding Burglary, Sandon – Between 11th November and 14th November a barn was targeted in Sandon. Once inside the offenders removed bags of cement and made of direction unknown. 41/93195/22

Theft, Sandon – At 22.10 on the 16th November a caravan was stolen from a farm in Sandon. The caravan had a tracker and the Police were able to locate the caravan in Bedfordshire. The caravan was recovered by Police. 41/93343/22

Your local Neighbourhood Police Teams website

Useful Links

Royston Rural Neighbourhood Team Tel – 01438 757935

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