Friday, 20 December 2013

DAYS 47 & 48: Reading University Gamekeepers assist with Operation Outpost in Wokingham

Last Sunday and Monday (15 and 16/12) saw local gamekeepers and farmers patrol with officers around rural Wokingham for a couple of evenings of combating rural crime. 

On the west side of the Wokingham local policing area, seven members of the public patrolled with the officers after attending a briefing at 7.30pm at the Finchampstead Memorial Hall. 
Although there wasn’t much to report on throughout the first evening (due to the pouring rain, most likely), a couple of suspicious vehicles were stopped and checked but all was in order. One man who was stopped, was actually pleased to see the crew out checking vehicles as his father had recently been a victim of theft from his van. 

By 1am, everyone gathered back at the hall for a debrief and overall everyone enjoyed the evening and a few even wanted to continue throughout the night!

Throughout the second evening, the crews received a report from a resident about a suspicious vehicle racing around the lanes at Carter’s Hill in Arborfield. 

A couple of weeks ago, a Thames Valley Alert was sent out to gamekeepers and landowners in the area which allowed the Reading University Gamekeepers to be involved in the operation and provide some important intelligence about what has been happening on their land. 

While patrolling their land, the Reading Uni gamekeepers reported a suspicious vehicle on their private land. It turned out the vehicle in question had been reported previously for poaching and had been causing a nuisance to local landowners. The crew attended and the vehicle was seized.

Other vehicles using all the byways were all stopped and checked. 

Rural specialist officer PCSO Suzie Carr said: “The feedback from the rural community is very positive and as some of them have joined us now for the third time, encouraging. 

“It is seen as a very positive step forward in the fight against rural crime. It is great that everyone is realising the local community have a part to play in assisting police to catch the people that commit these rural crimes.”

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Man arrested and stolen property recovered during West Berkshire warrant

Yesterday morning (17/12) Thames Valley Police executed two warrants in Four Houses Corner.

Police officers from the West Berkshire and the South and Vale local policing areas recovered up to £15,000 worth of stolen property, some of which is believed to have been stolen from a property in Speen just hours before the warrant was executed.

The property recovered included two off-road motorcycles, tools and a jet ski which is believed to have been stolen from a burglary which occurred in Hampshire last week. 

A 27-year-old man from Yately, Hampshire was arrested on suspicion of burglary non-dwelling in connection with these offences and was released on bail until 14 January.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

DAYS 45 AND 46: Cherwell and West Oxfordshire host tack marking weekend

As part of the100 days of action campaign tacking rural crime in Cherwell & West Oxfordshire the team hosted two events over the weekend for members of the public in the local area to get their tack marked.  

On Saturday (14/12) the team attended Countrywide Farmers and marked a total of 14 items and also have details of local farmers who would like their equipment marked in the new year. 

So far the team have 30 saddles lined up to be tack marked in the new year. On Sunday (15/12) the team attended Fernhill Farm in Milcombe for some more tack marking as well as hosting the tack marking event in Bicester. 

Security marking a saddle at Countrywide

Horse tack, trailers and horse boxes are regularly targeted by thieves. Marking tack is something that could help to deter a would-be thief. Thieves are less likely to steal valuable tack that can be traceable to an owner.

If you would like information about marking saddles with a unique transponder, please visit the Datatag website.

Join us on Country Watch to receive rural crime updates and safety messages.

DAY 44: PCSOs continue to visit farms in the West Oxfordshire area and security mark tools and equipment

Friday (13/12) saw the Banbury Rural team head out to a wood yard near Hook Norton and a farm in Clifton who have both been victims of crime within the last 12 months.

As well as offering some general crime prevention advice the officers, armed with a CRE-Mark pen, were able to security mark some valuable tools and equipment to improve security around the premises.
CRE (Crime Reduction Enterprise) products are used to deter thieves and prevent property from being stolen using the overt property marking technique. 

Using CRE-Mark silver marker pens to security code valuable tools and equipment

The CRE-Mark silver marker is used to write your postcode and house number of first two letters of your house name in a clear and obvious place on your property. The marker is permanent, visible to would be thieves and if your property does happen to get stolen, the items are easily traceable back to the rightful owners.

Officers who are visiting farms over the next few weeks are also offering to go through a farm security assessment. The security assessment is for farm owners, managers, employees and land owners to help them improve the security of their premises. 

The security assessment has been put together by Thames Valley Police’s crime prevention and reduction advisors and contains advice on low cost security solutions in a common sense approach.

In the assessment you will find crime prevention advice about:

  • Controlling access to farms
  • Tools
  • Metal theft
  • Agricultural machinery protection
  • Field security
  • Livestock
  • Wildlife crime
  • Out buildings
  • Home security

You can now view and download the farm security assessment from the Thames Valley Police website 

Monday, 16 December 2013

DAY 43: Banbury rural neighbourhood patrol and check scrap metal dealers across Cherwell

Last Thursday (12/12), the 100 days of action team patrolled the Cherwell area looking for scrap metal collectors. It also gave the officers and opportunity to speak with Cherwell District Council and update them on the new legislation and offences surrounding scrap metal.

The new Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 came into force on the 1 December 2013. The act has a number of changes to the existing legislation and these are as follows:
  •  All individuals and businesses must complete an enhanced application process to obtain a scrap metal dealer license. The local authorities have the power to turn down unsuitable applicants. 
  •   Local authorities have a new power whereby they can revoke a license
  • All sellers of metal are required to provide personal identification at the point of sale which should then be recorded by the scrap metal dealer.
  • There are now new powers for the police and local authorities to enter and inspect scrap metal sites.
  • There is now a new central public register, hosted by the Environment Agency, of all individuals and businesses licensed as scrap metal dealers
  • The definition of a scrap metal dealer has been broadened to include motor salvage operators.
  • It is now also an offence to buy metal with cash to travelling metal collectors.
All the scrap metal dealers spoken to by the team last Thursday were all in order and held up to date paperwork and insurance!

Tim Hollamby from Datatag assists with the CESAR marking

PCSO Chris Kidd assists wit the event at PA Turney, Bicester

Throughout the day the team also held a CESAR (Construction Equipment Security and Registration) marking event at PA Turney in Bicester. The CESAR scheme have proved that having CESAR registration markings fitted to farm machinery hugely reduces the risk of having it stolen. Thieves generally don’t like to risk being caught and will more likely go for something unmarked or unprotected!

Other benefits of CESAR marking include:
  • Easily identifiable machinery
  • Swift identification should your machinery get stolen
  • Swift return of stolen machinery to the rightful owner
Thames Valley Police are still offering a 20 per cent discount on CESAR kits to residents living in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

The standard price for the CESAR kit is £149 plus VAT. The Thames Valley Police discount allows residents to have the kit installed for £88 plus VAT.

Find out more about the CESAR scheme on the official website.
To take advantage of this offer, call the Datatag booking line 01784 778 310 and mention Thames Valley Police.