Archives of Eaton Bray News for the Category/Tag Ringmaster.
Skip navigation

Archived News - Ringmaster

'You Lock Up, We Lock'em Up' - Winter Burglary Reduction Campaign

This article was published in September 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire Police"You Lock Up, We Lock'em Up." That's the message from Bedfordshire Police as the seasonal burglary reduction blitz kicks off early this year to keep offenders on the back foot as the force fights crime and protects the public.

The proactive enforcement, intelligence led and targeted operation will commence on Monday, September 30, and will target known and potential offenders in areas most hit by burglary. Dedicated teams from Local Policing, Crime Reduction, Roads Policing Unit and ANPR and Tasking Units will target key hotspots around the county.

Last year Operation Peak was one of a number of initiatives in Luton which contributed towards the current 31 per cent drop in burglaries in the town when compared to last year.

This year's burglary reduction initiative will remain 'Firm, Fair and Friendly', while using all available resources as well as wide and varying tactics including saturation policing, to make Bedfordshire a hostile environment in which to commit burglaries.

Speaking about the operation, Local Policing Chief Inspector Rob McCaffray, said: "We've run a variation of this targeted and intelligence led operation for a number of years and once again, as the evenings start to draw in, we will be continuing our efforts to fight burglary."

"Burglary is an offence which leaves the victim extremely upset and with a feeling of violation, particularly at a time when people are preparing for Christmas and a time of happiness. I can assure residents across Bedfordshire that we will be doing all that we can to reduce burglary within our communities."

Known offenders will be the key target of the operation and suspects can expect an increase in daily interaction with police officers over the coming months. Known offenders and suspects found to be in particular hotspot areas can also expect an increase in the use of police stop-and-search powers as Bedfordshire Police sends out a clear message that burglary will not be tolerated.

Local Policing Teams will also be distributing prevention advice in areas identified as burglary hotspots as well as executing search warrants where appropriate in order to fight crime and protect the public.

"Officers and PCSOs from across the force and from within the collaborated partnership are working hard to reduce the number of burglaries occurring in the county. We will also increase the opportunities for arresting those responsible – using wide and varying tactics including saturation policing, 'stop and search'  and others policing powers as necessary, making Bedfordshire a hostile environment in which to commit burglaries," added Chief Inspector McCaffray.

If you would like to speak to someone about crime reduction advice please contact your Local Policing Team via the force website at www.bedfordshire.police.uk, visit the force's Facebook page or telephone Bedfordshire Police on 101.

If you have information relating to those committing burglaries contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on the non-emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 2000111.

Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

Source: Ringmaster


More & More 16 Driver Courses

This article was published in April 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterYoung drivers from across Central Bedfordshire will have the opportunity to take courses to improve their driving knowledge and skills as part of an initiative designed to reduce road casualties.

Taking place in May, the MORE 16 and MORE Drive courses offer real-life experience to help young drivers stay safer on the road and are funded by Central Bedfordshire Council in partnership with their Highways Service provider Amey.

Three workshops, covering driving skills, maintenance and safety, will be run by vehicle inspectors and collision investigators from Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service, Three Shires Driving School and the automotive testing and development track facilities at Millbrook in Bedfordshire.

The MORE 16 programme is aimed at 16 year-olds and their parents and gives young people their first taste of driving as well as giving guidance to parents on choosing a driving instructor and how to help their teens when practising. Parents attending even receive a high-speed passenger ride around a track with a Millbrook pro-driver with competition history in motorsport such as rallying or racing.

MORE Drive offers 17 to 24 year-olds, who have already passed their driving test, the chance to drive on a skid pan and experience ABS braking systems, as well as practising emergency stops at speed to demonstrate the distance it takes to stop at varying speeds.

Twenty-year-old Dani Page, who attended the MORE Drive course last year, said: "It was a great way to learn about real dangers on the road and how to deal with these situations when faced by them. I now have a greater knowledge of a wide range of hazards, how to control a car in a skid and in emergencies to what to do in the event of an accident.

"This knowledge was gained from hands on experience with professional drivers and demonstrations from Police collision investigators and the Fire and Rescue Service. It has changed the way I view things and given me an insight in how easily an incident can occur and what I could do to avoid any situation that I may encounter."

Dani was one of more than 170 young people from across Central Bedfordshire who took part in the MORE 16 and MORE Drive courses during the past year.

Councillor Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Sustainable Communities Services, said: "In Central Bedfordshire between 2009 and 2011, 32% of drivers and 43% of passengers killed or seriously injured were aged between 17 and 24. Young drivers are therefore one of our key priorities, and it would be wonderful if as many of our young people as possible could attend."

"I am delighted that demand for the courses last year was so high. The MORE programmes are a great way for our young people to learn new skills and improve their driving ability. We will be running the courses again on the 13 May, with 72 places available."

The courses are free and are allocated on a first come, first served basis. For more information on either the MORE 16 or MORE Drive programmes, or to attend the events in May, email roadsafety@amey.co.uk.

For more details see links to leaflets below 

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


New Equipment For Armed Response Vehicles

This article was published in April 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

ARVA simple but effective idea should save time and money when it's rolled out across the collaborated Armed Policing Unit in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

As well as two or three firearms officers, each Armed Response Vehicle (ARV) currently has to carry a mobile armoury in the cabin which houses the firearms when not in use; and a vast array of equipment in the boot of the car.

Using his experience as a firearms officer and position as the unit's Head of Collaborative Fleet,
Sgt Matt Stein of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Firearms Support Unit has worked with Thames Valley Police, Volvo and an engineering company, Safeguard, to design and produce a new purpose built load carrier for the ARV's.

The load carrier system will have modular storage for all the equipment firearms officers carry and an integral safe for the weapons - all stowed in the boot.

As well as Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, Thames Valley Police and Cambridgeshire Constabulary will also use the new carriers.

Not only is the new design easier to use, it is Volvo approved and fully compliant with health and safety by having the mobile armoury more securely stored in the boot. The modular design can be dismantled and re-built into any vehicles likely to be used by the Armed Policing Unit – saving each of the four participating forces £30,000 over the next ten years.   

The load carrier system will start appearing very soon as it gets built into the high performance diesel Volvo V70 D5's, which will be gradually coming on line to serve as ARV's across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Thames Valley. These forces are part of the Chiltern Transport Consortium who also assisted in the design process.

Although Cambridgeshire are currently using Volvos, the other forces have a variety of petrol vehicles in use as ARVs and the change to diesel is coming to Beds, Herts and TVP to cut both fuel costs and carbon footprint.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Police Deliver on Promise to Drive Down Burglary

This article was published in February 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire PolicePolice in Bedfordshire have honoured their pledge to tackle the crimes that matter most to the public, latest performance figures show.

Last year, Bedfordshire Police Authority ran a number of consultation exercises to gather feedback about the crimes which ranked highest on residents' lists of priorities for the Force.

In one survey, 41 percent of respondents said they wanted police to concentrate on cutting domestic burglaries rates in the county which have a devastating emotional impact on their victims.

In a later questionnaire, a quarter of residents again placed domestic burglary as their top concern, significantly higher than any other single offence. As a result, Bedfordshire Police Authority ensured burglary was listed as a top priority in its Strategic Plan and that action was drawn up to target this type of crime.

And now latest figures show the Authority and Force's efforts to address burglary rates across the county are already bearing fruit. Two fewer burglary offences took place in the county per day between April and December 2011 (from 10.7 per day in 2010 to 8.4 in the first nine months of this year). Meanwhile, police are also detecting a greater number of burglary offences, from 16 percent between April and December 2010 to 20% in the same period last year.

Overall crime also fell at a rate of almost five fewer offences per day, from 119.5 between April and December 2010 to 115.2 in the same period last year. In addition, robbery rates – which also featured high on the public's list of priorities – also saw improvements as well as its detection rate.

Penny Fletcher chairman of Bedfordshire Police Authority's Performance Scrutiny Committee said: "These figures are extremely encouraging and show the public that we have not only listened to them but are also delivering on the actions we outlined in our Strategic Plan. Our communities play a huge role in the way we set our policing agenda and these results show that making the effort to tell us what you think can have a real impact on our operational decisions.

"Both the Police Authority and the Force are constantly striving to improve the service the public receives whether this is in the way we deal with victims of crime or the way we listen to the problems which concern our communities. By closing the gap between public expectations and performance we will hopefully improve satisfaction levels in local policing and ensure confidence continues to grow in the Force.

"Bedfordshire Police has maintained its improved national rank positions in all of its priority detection categories compared to last year which means our communities are not only safer, they are also receiving a better service in the investigation and detection of the crimes which take place in the county. By continuing to place the needs of residents at the heart of our decisions, I am confident we will continue to bring further reductions and service improvements in the future."

Further consultation this year has again identified domestic burglary as an ongoing concern for residents and as such it will feature prominently again in this year's Plan.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Quarterly Crime Update

This article was published in January 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire PoliceQuarterly crime figures published show overall levels in Bedfordshire for the 12 months to September 2011 are below the England and Wales average at 70 crimes per 1000 people compared to 74 crimes per 1000 people in England and Wales.

Results of the British Crime Survey, which have also been made available, show Bedfordshire's victim satisfaction rates are currently showing an improving trend. The latest local data shows an improvement from 79% satisfaction in the 12 months to October 2010 to 82% in the 12 months to October 2011.

Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock said: "We note the recent report comparing figures to September 2011 and these represent an historic snapshot of where the Force was in 2010 and part of 2011 policing years. The Force is working hard to drive down those crimes that most harm communities including burglary, robbery and MSV (Most Serious Violence) as well as bringing to justice those responsible. The figure to the end of December shows our continuing success in reversing previous trends and we remain committed to fighting crime and protecting the public."

The figures show crime levels in Bedfordshire have fallen in a number of crime categories – there has been a 25% reduction in "Sexual Offences", a 9% reduction in "Offences against Vehicles", a 6% reduction in "Criminal Damage" and a 24% reduction in "Other Offences". Bedfordshire currently has the lowest rate of "Sexual Offences" in England and Wales.

There has been a 12% increase in "Violence against the person – without Injury" in Bedfordshire. However, Bedfordshire is still below the England and Wales average for this offence category at 7.3 crimes per 1000 people compared to the England and Wales rate of 7.7 crimes per 1000 people. Bedfordshire is also similar to the England and Wales crime rate for overall "Violence against the person" and for "Violence against the person – with Injury".

Bedfordshire's Domestic Burglary rate was 14.6 crimes per 1000 households compared to an England and Wales average of 11 crimes per 1000 households. This remains a priority for the force and rates for the period April to December 2011 are 19% lower than the period in April to December 2010 and the detection rate for Domestic Burglary has improved from 16% to 21%.

While the quarterly figures published show Bedfordshire had one of the highest Robbery levels in England and Wales in the 12 month period to September 2011 this equates to a Robbery rate of 1.3 crimes per 1000 people. Bedfordshire's robbery level has remained unchanged in comparison to the previous 12 month period compared to a 4% increase in England and Wales. Robbery rates for the period April to December 2011 are 6% lower than the period in April to December 2010 and the detection rate for Robbery has improved from 19% to 23%.

Bedfordshire has a below average rate of recorded drug offences at 2.7 crimes per 1000 population compared to 4.2 crimes per 1000 people in England and Wales.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Driving home the message to young people in Central Bedfordshire

This article was published in January 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterTeenagers can have a bad reputation when it comes to cars - some drive too fast and they haven't got the experience of more mature motorists.

But two new courses aimed at giving young drivers the skills they need before they venture onto the area's roads could change all that.

Supported by Central Bedfordshire Council in partnership with their Highways Contractor Amey, the courses will be running in January and March.

Having already proved popular in the past, the MORE 16 and MORE Drive programmes target young people in Central Bedfordshire , aged between 16 and 24 and offer three workshops on driving skills, maintenance and safety before they start learning to drive.

The workshops are run by vehicle inspectors and collision investigators from Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service, Three Shires Driving School and Bedford's Millbrook proving ground and offer real-life experience from professionals at the top of their field.

The MORE 16 programme, which will be running on Saturday 28 January and Saturday 3 March, is aimed at 16 year-olds and offers them their first taste of driving on a Millbrook track. The course also offers guidance to parents on choosing a driving instructor and how to help their teens when practising. As an incentive for parents to attend, they receive a high-speed passenger ride around a track with a Millbrook pro-driver with competition history in motorsport such as Rallying or Racing.

The MORE Drive programme, which will run on Sunday 29 January and Sunday 4 March, offers 17 to 24 year-olds, who have passed their driving test, the chance to drive on a skid pan and experience ABS braking systems as well as practising emergency stops at speed to demonstrate the distance it takes to stop at varying speeds.

Elliott Viola, who has already taken part in a course, said: "What will stay with me is what not to do while driving - like speeding, drinking alcohol, or being on a mobile phone - and making sure that you are in charge, not someone else trying to influence you."

Councillor Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Sustainable Communities Services, said: "These programmes offer a fantastic opportunity for young people to learn new skills and improve their driving ability.

"I'm delighted that we can offer these opportunities across Central Bedfordshire. Having attended MORE Drive, I have seen how much everyone took away with them and hope we have even more young people attend the future events."

For more information on either the MORE 16 or MORE Drive programmes, or to attend events next year, email roadsafety@amey.co.uk.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Make Sure You Stay Safe This Christmas and New Year

This article was published in December 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterIt's that time of year again…..Christmas parties, office functions and so much food you don't know which way to turn and of course alcohol.

Bedfordshire Police would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy New Year but would also like to take the opportunity to warn party goers about the dangers of excess alcohol.

"Many of us don't really indulge during the year as much as we do during the festive season and the consequences of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can be severe", warns Superintendent Dave Boyle, who is heading this year's Christmas and New Year safety campaign.

"I would like to remind members of the public not only to consider the drink drive laws and driving the day after a night out, but to take extra precautions about their personal safety when they are out enjoying themselves," he added.

Here are some easy safety tips that members of the public can follow to help keep them safe over the festive period:

  • We all like to plan a night out but make sure you also plan how to get home safely.
  • When out with friend's stay with them, stay together and stay safe.
  • Watch what you are drinking – keep an eye on how much and what you are drinking.
  • Always use a reputable taxi service and never get into a taxi which has not been ordered by you or is not displaying the Hackney licence details.
  • And don't forget a good night out deserves remembering, have fun, be safe, hold on to your smile and walk away from any trouble.

Bedfordshire Police will be running Christmas initiatives throughout the festive season in the towns and busy areas throughout the county and together with their partners will crackdown on those being anti social whilst keeping an eye out for anyone who has over indulged and needs help.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Don't Let Jack Frost Assist Car Thieves

This article was published in December 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are urging vehicle owners across the county to think twice about leaving their cars running outside their homes while unattended.

With the weather starting to turn a bit nippier, it is tempting for motorists to start their vehicles to warm them up before heading off on their journey. This means that vehicles are often left unattended which offers easy pickings for opportunist thieves.

This week there have been two incident in the Leighton Buzzard area where motorists have been left car-less after leaving their running vehicles unattended. The first happened at 8am on Monday December 19 when a Vauxhall Astra was stolen from outside a property in Bideford Green, Linslade as the owner cleared frost form the windscreen. About 20 minutes later, a similar incident occurred in North Court, Leighton Buzzard, when a Nissan Qashqai was taken.

Chief Inspector Neill Waring of Bedfordshire Police, said: "I know that it can be very tempting for people to wait in nice, warm houses as their cars defrost but thieves have become wise. You have to ask yourself whether it is really worth the risk of losing your vehicle.

"The last thing that we want is for people to make things easy for criminals - there are plenty of products on the market to prevent frost or remove it quickly but the best way, by far, is to stay with your vehicle while it is being defrosted, and it's free."

Bedfordshire PoliceFor more advice about how to secure your vehicles and property, please visit the 'crime info' section of our website.

If you have information relating to these incidents, contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, the non emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011.

Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Bedfordshire Police re-launch Domestic Abuse Prevention Scheme for Christmas

This article was published in December 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThe Christmas period is often a mix of stress, alcohol and family disagreements and while for many people this is as much a part of the festive season as mince pies and roast turkey, for others it is a volatile mix that leads to an increase in domestic abuse. 

Following the success of a pilot scheme in Luton last year, Bedfordshire Police will be running the project once again in the town using offender management techniques that were originally developed in relation to the fight against gun and gang criminality.

The Christmas period is often a mix of stress, alcohol and family disagreements and while for many people this is as much a part of the festive season as mince pies and roast turkey, for others it is a volatile mix that leads to an increase in domestic abuse.

Following the success of a pilot scheme in Luton last year, Bedfordshire Police will be running the project once again in the town using offender management techniques that were originally developed in relation to the fight against gun and gang criminality.

The initiative was designed to prevent domestic abuse offending and reduce the risk to potential victims and it achieved great success over the holiday period. Last year the top ten offenders identified did not commit a single offence over the Christmas period, whether or not it was related to domestic abuse.

Detective Inspector Richard Wall who is leading the scheme this year, believes that the successful results last Christmas and the work involving different teams within the force, is an example of what can be achieved when everyone works toward a single goal. 

"Whilst Christmas is a time of great celebration, unfortunately it is also a period of the year when a significant number of homicides are related to domestic abuse and the risk factors for victims increase, especially where alcohol is involved," DI Wall explained.

"Last year the Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock set out a very clear message that our role as officers and staff of Bedfordshire Police is to continue to 'fight crime and protect the public'. This initiative played an important part in allowing us to achieve that objective and by putting the offender on the back foot we were able to reduce the risk to potential victims and we are hoping for much of the same this year."

He continued: "The scheme means that officers are trying to change the behaviour of domestic abuse offenders. We identify those that present the most serious risk to victims and over the holiday period, officers from our Local Policing Teams will be visiting these people to remind them that although we want them to enjoy a happy and peaceful Christmas, officers will be keeping an eye on them to make sure they don't commit any offences.

"By using this direct and targeted method we believe that if we have manage to cause a single person to think twice and change their behaviour, then we have achieved our aim."

Offenders are selected using a method devised by Strathclyde Police in the Glasgow area that took into account the gravity of offending as well as how often and recently the offences occurred.

As well as members of the Local Policing Teams, officers from the force's Public Protection Unit and Intelligence Teams continue to be key players in the scheme, which if it continues to be a success, will be rolled out throughout the county.

DI Wall added: "We are all aware of the reluctance of some victims to support police activity when we use traditional methods of policing this type of abuse. The pilot study in Glasgow and our own experience last year found that if support is provided to victims they are more likely to assist the police.

"I would reassure anyone who faces domestic abuse or anyone knows someone who is a victim of this type of abuse to contact the police. We can help and if they do not wish to speak to an officer direct we can put them in touch with organisations outside the policing family who can offer advice and practical support."

Bedfordshire PoliceBedfordshire Police works closely with the soLUTiONs partnership and if anyone wants confidential help and advice regarding domestic abuse they can speak to an Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor on 01234 844284 or to the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 08082 000247.

If you have information relating to Domestic Violence, contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, the non emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011. Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.


Perry Mead Eaton Bray - Burglary car taken

This article was published in December 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police ask residents to review their home security and where they keep vehicle keys, after a burglary took place in Perry Mead, off High Street, in Eaton Bray, on Wednesday the 30th of November.

  • The offence took place between 8:00 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
  • The offender has gained access to the garden through a side gate that had been left unlocked.
  • A patio door has been damaged, and a ground floor window has been forced open.
  • An iPod and vehicle keys have been taken.
  • The offender has used the stolen keys, to remove the owner vehicle.
  • The car has since been recovered in Dunstable.

This crime is part of a series where the offenders have used keys stolen from a burglary, to also steal a vehicle.

  • Keep doors double-locked at all times.
  • Avoid leaving property like vehicle keys, handbags, or laptops in hallways, or where they can be seen from outside the house.
  • Remove all keys from the locks and keep them in a safe place and out of view.
  • Keep garden furniture, ladders, and Wheelie bins in a secure garage or shed, or locked up away from the house, where they might be used to climb onto a roof or access a first floor window.
  • Be a good Neighbour.
  • Be aware of sounds like breaking glass.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Force Control Room on 101, and quote crime reference, J D / 4 8 4 6 5 / 2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011

Email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Catalytic Converter Etching Day Postponed

This article was published in November 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire are informing motorists of the postponement of the free catalytic converter etching service which was due to take place at Halfords Autocentre in High Street South, Dunstable this Saturday, 12th November.

Due to other commitments Halfords is unable to host the day this week but will be supporting the initiative on another weekend in the future.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Suspicous Telephone Calls

This article was published in November 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterA number of Ringmaster members have reported to us that they are receiving telephone calls from Security Companies claiming to be working with, or for the Police.

Some Residents have been told that the Chief Constable is specifically involved in these projects.

Other callers have claimed that they are selling products that raise money for the Police or Police Charities.

Bedfordshire Police do not employ any private companies to undertake security checks on peoples homes.

If you have genuine concerns about the security of your home and property, please contact your Local Policing Team, or a Crime Reduction Officer, by call 01234 841212.

Bedfordshire police offers the following advice. Never buy goods or services, as a result of a cold call from a company, over the phone.

If you are interested in a product ask for a number that you call back, when you have had time to think about the offer.

Never disclose personal details over the phone, like bank account numbers, maiden names, or dates of birth. Do not discuss times and days that your home will be empty.

Cold Calling can be reported to Trading Standards on (08454) 04 05 06.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Shed Breaks - Check Your Home Security NOW

This article was published in November 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire residents are being warned to check their sheds and garages are secure after a series of break-ins across the county.

Bicycles and mopeds are on the top of burglars' lists of things to steal, but gardening equipment and other household items are also popular and easy to get at if people continue to leave their outbuildings and gardens insecure.

Neighbourhoods across the county have seen an increase in the number of thefts, which in terms sees crime figures rise dramatically because people are not making sure their sheds, garages and gardens are secure or locked, and property within it secure.

Bedfordshire Police Crime Reduction Officer Lesley Johnson, said: "We would encourage everyone who keeps a bicycle or moped in their garage or shed to not only lock the door but secure the bike as well. In addition to this, don't leave bolt croppers, lopping-shears or other such items lying around, making it easy for burglars to free your property and run off with it in a matter of seconds. We must all have a common sense to security and do our bit to reduce crime."

Many householders do not consider the value of the goods in the shed and therefore look after them accordingly. If your shed only contains a few broken pots and seed trays then closing the door with a bent nail might be adequate. However – if like so many – your shed contains the mower, strimmer, power tools, barbecue and kids' bikes then the old bent nail is woefully inadequate. Thieves are not averse to stealing items, which need a trailer or van either – ride-on lawnmowers and particularly quad bikes are very popular.

However, there are steps to take that will deter most thieves:

  • Check gates and fences – are there any weak spots – a high back wall and a thorny hedge are two great deterrents.
  • Side passage - fit a strong gate.
  • Sheds and garages – buy and USE a good quality lock, padbolt or hasp and staple with padlocks.
  • Consider an inexpensive alarm system.
  • Do you really need a window in the shed or could it be boarded up?
  • Mark your property with postcode. You can buy cheap kits from most DIY stores, which enable you to etch the number on – or simply paint it on. This is more effective than "invisible" marking which can fade. You could share the cost of the kit with neighbours and friends.

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Reduction co-ordinators continue to actively target the problem at the moment but anything that can be done to prevent the problem in the first place is invaluable.

If you have information relating to any burglaries, contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, the non emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011.

Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111,or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Suspicious vehicles

This article was published in November 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen the following vehicles in the Eaton Bray area.

They have been linked with offences in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and the Thames Valley area.

A Silver Audi Quattro, registration similar to O U 5 6 Z P P.

A Silver BMW, registration similar to L T 5 6 J N X.

A silver Audi estate, and a dark coloured B M W, are also connected to these offences.

Please report all suspicious activity involving these or similar vehicles by calling 1 0 1, quoting U R N 354 of 1st November 2011.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Ensure That You Have A Great Halloween

This article was published in October 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Halloween NightWith Halloween just around the corner, Bedfordshire Police has launched a series of posters to remind parents, guardians and youngsters to stay safe during the festivities.

The four posters – which can be downloaded from the bottom of this page offer hints and tips to 'Trick or Treaters' as well reminding people that not everyone enjoys Halloween as much as others. There are also posters for shop owners to place in their windows advising that eggs and flour will be sold at their discretion as well as a poster for residents who may not want callers at their door.

Officers have already been to schools around Bedfordshire to hand out posters and it is hoped that the campaign will ensure that all residents enjoy October 31 without causing distress to those who do not want to participate.

Head of Community Safety for the force, Police Inspector Alex House, said: "During Halloween some people, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, can find it very frightening to have large groups unexpectedly calling at their homes asking for treats.

"If possible, parents and guardians should go out trick or treating with their children, sticking to well-lit areas and only knocking on the doors of people they know. Some people may have 'No trick or treat' posters up at their doors and we ask that these are respected.

"We don't want to spoil anyone's fun, we simply want to ensure people have a safe and enjoyable Halloween."

During this time of year, the police take many extra complaints about Halloween-related activities. Some of these are about noise or general "high spirits" – but often the fun has degenerated into serious inconvenience and outright criminal activity.

Activities such as throwing eggs, flour and water bombs at other people or their property are, at the least, frightening for those who are subjected to it and at worst can mean the police investigating crimes such as assault.

Coupled with the onset of Bonfire night, Halloween can also mean extra problems with fireworks being thrown or used irresponsibly. It's worth bearing in mind that letting off fireworks near the road is actually a criminal offence.

To help reduce these types of incidents Bedfordshire Police will have a number of extra patrols in operation across the county to make sure that everyone has a good time whilst staying safe.

Source: Ringmaster, Bedfordshire


Farm Theft - 14 October 2011

This article was published in October 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are asking rural business owners to be vigilant, and to report any suspicious vehicles, or visitors, after a theft took place at a farm in Eaton Bray.

The offence took place between 9:00 a.m. on the 13th and 7:10 a.m. on the 14th of October.

The offender has approached the yard and removed high value machinery.

Property taken was a Head Plate and Truck times for a vehicle at the location.

A witness reported a vehicle that may be linked to this offence.
A White Van, registration similar to B J 5 3 K P J.

Bedfordshire Police aks local residents and businesses to be exta vigilant and review the security of all property that may be visible from the road.

For more information on reducing rural crime visit www.safer-beds.org.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Force Control Room on 1 0 1, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,4,1,9,7,2,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on (0800) 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Dial 101 for Non-Emergency calls to Bedfordshire Police

This article was published in September 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire PoliceBedfordshire Police have launched a new number providing people with a new way to get in touch about non-emergency issues. 101 is now the main number to call Bedfordshire Police when it is less urgent than 999.

As well as making the police more accessible to communities, it is intended that 101 will reduce the number of inappropriate 999 calls.

There will be a single flat charge of 15p per call, regardless of the duration, time of day, mobile or landline.

You should call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response. For example:

  • Stolen cars
  • If you suspect drug dealing/taking
  • To give us information about crime in your area
  • To speak to your Local Policing Team

In an emergency, always call 999 when you need an immediate response, For example:

  • Because a crime is in progress
  • Someone suspected of a crime is nearby
  • When there is danger to life
  • When violence is being used or threatened

101 will not:

  • Change the way in which the police respond to non emergency calls
  • Connect people to a large national call centre
  • Result in calls receiving a lower priority than if 999 had been called for a non emergency issue

101 should not be used to report:

  • Fly tipping
  • Noise pollution
  • Stray dogs

These should initially be reported to Central Bedfordshire Council on 0300 300 8000

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


School Lane Eaton Bray - theft

This article was published in September 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police ask local residents to be vigilant, and to report anything suspicious, after a theft took place from School Lane, in Eaton Bray, on Monday the 12th of September.

The offence took place at 5:45 p.m.

The offender has arrived at the location in a Silver or Grey, Ford Transit Van, with the part registration A J 5 2.

A lock has been cut from the gate.

A large Stainless Steel Sink has been taken.

For more information on reducing crime visit Safer-Beds.org.


If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,3,7,5,6,9,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011

Email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on (0800) 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


How about a Cops v Kids football match?

This article was published in July 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Youth FootballBedfordshire Police's Local Policing Teams (formerly Safer Neighbourhood Teams) have organised a series of Active Surgeries during the summer holidays. In addition to offering help and advice, the teams will be carrying out property marking and offering to secure car number plates.

Sporting activities for youngsters will also be provided!

So, why not come along and see how our Officers fair against youngsters in a game of football?

Wednesday 3rd August, 1.00pm - 4.00pm, Eaton Bray Skate Park (School Lane)

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Parcel Delivery Scam - It's NOT your name on it!

This article was published in July 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police is warning the public to check labels carefully when taking delivery of parcels at their homes...

A new scam has come to notice whereby parcels are being delivered to residences with the labels showing a correct address, but an unknown name. The person receiving the parcel has been asked to sign for it and, in many cases, has done so.

Soon after the delivery, usually the following day, a woman visits the address saying she believes a parcel intended for her has been delivered there by mistake.

The woman takes the parcel and is not seen again.

Within a few days, occupants of the address invariably start to receive paperwork, often including payment demands for the parcel.

The woman is described as being of mixed race, aged in her 20s, large build and approximately 5'5" tall. She has 'significant red hair'.

Sergeant Andy Rivers said, "Even if you are expecting a delivery, make sure the label is correctly addressed to you or a member of your household.

"If you are not expecting a parcel, carefully inspect the label and if there are any discrepancies in the details, you must seriously consider declining the delivery."

If this has happened to you, or you have any information about the scam, please contact Sergeant Rivers on 01234 841212 or text 07786 200011, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously if preferred, on 0800 555111.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Advice from Trading Standards

This article was published in July 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBuckinghamshire Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard against a company called DIRECT RESPONSE SECURITY attempting to sell "free monitored alarm systems".

Salespersons normally cold-call by telephone and advise residents that they have been selected to receive a "free monitored alarm system" and that a representative is in the area and will call on them to discuss the matter further.

The representatives calling at people's homes then make a number of false/misleading claims that there is a problem with crime in the area and convince residents to get a burglar alarm fitted. Once the alarm is installed, the residents are left with a large bill for future monitoring services they have been tricked into signing up to.

Trading standards across the country are reporting complaints of companies scaring consumers into accepting a free burglar alarm which then ties the victim to a contract costing thousands of pounds.

The Trading Standards Institute is urging consumers to say no to companies offering these free appliances, claiming they are working with the police or as part of a Government scheme, or that they are researching for a fire and security alarm system company.

The salesman will typically cold call, keen to make a home visit the same day to discuss the installation of a free or cheap alarm. The companies are reported to use high pressure tactics and to scaremonger about rising crime levels in the area, while some are reported to make misleading claims about the alarms being directly linked to the police or the availability of a hotline to police patrol cars.

What they fail to mention are the fees that residents will have to pay for the monitoring, upkeep and rapid response facilities, which can add up to thousands of pounds.

Some have found themselves tied to a six-year contract agreement costing up to £6,000.

Consumers who sign on the dotted line will have a seven day cooling off period during which they can change their minds.

Trading Standards are urging residents, especially pensioners and their families, to be on their guard and not to buy anything based on a cold-call. If you think you have been a victim of this or a similar scam and would like advice on your rights please call Consumer Direct on 0808 156 2259.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Emergency forum helps locals save water

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterA local resilience forum is helping locals save water after the Environment Agency recently confirmed that parts of Bedfordshire are experiencing drought.

Despite recent rain, the county is experiencing one of the driest six month periods across East Anglia, since records began. As a result the Bedford and Luton Local Resilience forum (BBLRF) is urging locals to save water by issuing tips which could saves households thousands of litres of water per year.

The forum, made up of Bedford and Luton councils, The Environment Agency and the bluelight service are asking locals to take simple measures such as not leaving the tap running when brushing this teeth, this alone can save up to six litres of water per minute which arcoss the country is enough to fill over 1,400 Olympic size swimming pools.

For more information on ways to save water and what the drought means for you visit: environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/drought/

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Your Number's Up!

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterRingmaster have recently published three articles from Bedfordshire Police regarding Vehicle Crime.

Vauxhall Wing Mirrors Flying Away in Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire Police are investigating a string of wing mirror thefts across the county. Reports have been received over the last six months of exceptionally high numbers of colour-coded wing mirror casings being stolen from cars.

The predominant targets are Vauxhalls, mostly from Bedford and Luton. In fact, 81 offences have been reported between January and June 1 this year. Fifty three of these thefts were from Vauxhalls, with Mark 4 and 5 Astras being the most commonly stolen type.

"We've noticed a significant upturn in these type of thefts in the last few months," said Det Con Vicky Willett, from the Intelligence Unit. "The mirror casings are not cheap to replace and because they are not marked by the manufacturers, even if we find them it's difficult to trace them back to their rightful owners and prove they are stolen. That means the criminal could get away with the crime and continue stealing."

"We're investigating the spate of thefts but we also really need the public's help. We'd like as many people as possible to write their postcode and house number on the bottom outside edge on the casing. That means we can identify the stolen parts if we arrest those suspected of stealing them," she said.

We have free ultraviolet markers to give away to people to do this and they are available from Greyfriars, Luton, Dunstable and Ampthill police stations. The UV pens can also be used to mark all household property such as electrical items, mobile phones and bikes etc.

If people who would like an indelible marker which is completely unique to their household they can buy Smartwater from Neighbourhood Watch for a £20 fee, call 01234 275165.


Campaign Means 'Number's Up' for Car Criminals

The number is up for thieves who persist in stealing registration plates and other valuables from vehicles.

That is the hard-hitting warning from Bedfordshire Police who next month (July) are launching a new overt and covert campaign aimed at driving offences down – and putting offenders behind bars.

Called the 'Your Number's Up' campaign, it comes in response to figures that show there have been more than 660 thefts from motor vehicles across central and south Bedfordshire since the beginning of the year.

They include nearly 150 "smash and grab" offences where thieves have broken into vehicles to steal valuables like sat navs and lap-tops and nearly 90 where registration plates have been taken.

They are often used to hide the true identity of vehicles used in crime, such as stealing fuel from filling stations where registration plates are routinely filmed.

'Your Number's Up' will be launched the week commencing Monday, July 4 when officers will stage several roadshows across Central and South Bedfordshire under the Car Accessory Protection Scheme (CAPS) banner.

During the roadshows local policing teams will secure motorists' registration plates with tamper-proof screws free of charge and hand out crime prevention advice.

CCTV images of those wanted in connection with forecourt crime will be increasingly hosted on a new section of the Force web site. They will also be forwarded to social media sites and other media.

Police and PCSOs will be stepping up warnings to drivers who leave valuables on show, either by speaking to them face to face or, if that is not possible, by sending letters to their home addresses.

Teams will be paying particular attention to town centre car parks and to local beauty spots, which thieves are known to target during the warmer months.

A new hotline with 24 hour answering machine has been set up, meaning anyone with information about vehicle crime can leave it in the certain knowledge it will be reviewed by a dedicated vehicle squad intelligence officer.

All useful information gained will help with the planning of overt and covert operations, including those that involve the early morning execution of warrants at offenders' homes.

DCI Greg Horford, who is leading the 'Your Number's Up' campaign said: "Tackling vehicle crime is a force priority and we will leave no stone unturned in the hunt for those responsible for it.

"The public can help by taking the appropriate crime prevention measures and by contacting us the moment they have information that could assist police. By working together we can send a clear message to thieves that 'your number's up'."

Anyone with information about vehicle crime can leave a message on the dedicated 'Your Number's Up' hotline on 01582 473241. Alternatively telephone the main switchboard on 01234 841212, text to 07768 20011 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Thank you for your support.


White Seat Leon involved in burglaries

Police are seeking assistance from the public across Aylesbury Vale to look out for a white Seat Leon which is suspected of being involved in 4 burglaries across the Vale and into Hertfordshire. The offences have been committed since the 31st May when the car was stolen from a house in Bierton.

If you see a white Seat Leon in suspicious or unusual circumstances (parked outside neighbours house or on their driveway when they don't use such a car, of if they aren't home etc) then please record the registration and call police immediately informing them you believe the vehicle to be in suspicious circumstances and have been asked to call in with the registration following an appeal on Community Messaging. This will enable police operators to conduct further checks and deploy police officers if this is necessary.

Any information can be passed to the Police via the 24 hour Police Enquiry Centre on 0845 8 505 505 or if you suspect a crime is in progress dial on 999.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Beware of Jewellery Scammers

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are asking local residents to be on their guard after at least five people were victims of theft in Luton and Dunstable in the last two months.

The latest incident took place on Wednesday June 1st between 11.30am and midday in Eldon Road in Luton, when the offender approached a man loading his vehicle on his driveway and placed a gold chain around his neck offering it for sale. He asked them to leave and they removed the victim's real chain, without his knowledge, leaving theirs behind.

The thieves have previously targeted victims in and around Dunstable and Luton. Two thefts occurred in Sainsbury's in Dunstable Road, Luton and Boscombe Road, Dunstable.

Two further thefts occurred in residential roads near to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital usually targeting elderly victims.

Investigating officer, Ruth Melnykowicz said: "On all occasions the offenders have been described as females of eastern European appearance, wearing long skirts and head scarves."

"We would urge people to remain vigilant to people approaching them on the street offering jewellery or other items of value for sale. We would also like to hear from anyone else who believes they may have been a victim of this type of theft."

Anyone with information can contact Ruth Melnykowicz on 01582 394022, Bedfordshire Police on 01234 841212, text 07786 200011, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


Eaton Bray farm theft

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThis is a Countryside Watch message issued by Ringmaster, on behalf of Bedfordshire Police.

Bedfordshire Police ask residents in Eaton Bray and rural business owners to be vigilant, and to report any suspicious vehicles, after a theft took place from a farm in Eaton Bray, on Friday the 27th of May.

The offence took place at 8:15 a.m.

A witness saw a White van arrive at the location.

A gate was forced open and a number of tractor and vehicle engine parts were stolen.

The vehicle was seen leaving the location being driven by a white male in his 30s.

The vehicle is described as a Transit style van, with the part registration V P B.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,2,2,0,9,2,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Let's Talk Together Community Meeting

This article was published in May 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterWe’d like more people from our communities to get involved with the work we do.

It’s only by listening to what our communities tell us that we can work together to make Central Bedfordshire a really great place in which to live, work, learn and travel.

Let’s Talk Together community meetings will give members of the community and local groups the opportunity to discuss their particular issues and concerns with Councillors and representatives from key organisations such as police, health, children/education, community safety, environment, business and volunteering to name but a few.

 

Dunstable, Houghton Regis & Rural Meeting

Thursday 23rd June
Dunstable FIre Station
Brewers Hill Road
Dunstable
LU6 1AA

7:00pm- 9:00pm
Why not come along?


Emergency planning needs to consider pets

This article was published in May 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterLocal families are being urged to remember to include their pets when drawing up plans to respond to unexpected emergencies, such as severe weather, traffic disruption or power failures.

The advice, from emergency response partners within the Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum (BLLRF), is especially important as May half – term holiday approaches.

Chairman of BLLRF, Assistant Chief Constable Kath Govier from Bedfordshire Police said: “Emergencies, by their nature, occur when we least expect them. The police and other emergency services are always on hand to respond to such situations.

“However, every family should have its own emergency plan so that each member knows what to do when the unexpected strikes. Experience shows that people often put their own lives in danger in an effort to rescue their pets.

“Millions of people throughout the UK are currently celebrating life with their pets and spreading it is important for families to think about how they would care for their pets if their normal routine was disrupted by a serious emergency.”

BLLRF supports the ‘What would you do if...?’ campaign which aims to help everybody living or working within Bedfordshire and Luton to be prepared and consider what they would do if faced with an emergency. Log onto www.whatwouldyoudoif.co.uk.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Burglary in The Rye

This article was published in April 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThis is a Ringmaster Message from Bedfordshire Police.

Please pass the details of this message onto any friends, and neighbours.

Residents in Eatom Bray are asked to be vigilant, and to report any suspicious activity in back gardens, after a burglary took place in The Rye.

The offence took place between the 20th and the 24th of April.

The offender gained access to the rear garden, and forced open the door to a conservatory.

Once inside the offender has tried to force a door into the rest of the house.

This has been unsuccessful.

No entry was gained and no property was taken.

Many Burglaries can be prevented.

Your boundaries are your first line of defence against criminals.

Always secure garden gates, keep fences and wall in good repair and consider defensive planting, or trellis.

Keep garden furniture, ladders, and Wheelie bins in a secure garage or shed, or locked up away from the house, where they might be used to climb onto a roof, access a first floor window or access neighbours garden.

Report any suspicious activity, or vehicles, in the area.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,1,7,2,6,8,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk For more information on reducing burglary related crime visit http://www.safer-beds.org/rmwebportal/rm_desktop/files/Crime%20Reduction%20-%20Buglaries.html

Or call crime stoppers in confidence on (0800) 555111.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Chief Gives Backing to 'Street Watch' Project

This article was published in April 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire Police AuthorityBedfordshire's new Chief Constable has publically thrown his weight behind an initiative that enables residents to organise high visibility civilian patrols in their own neighbourhoods.

Alf Hitchcock, who joined the force at the beginning of this year, has written an internet article that describes Street Watch as having "huge potential" nationally.

In a front page comment on www.street-watch.org.uk Mr Hitchcock says: "It is a great way for the community to work with the police and make Bedfordshire even safer.

"Street Watch is community empowerment in action and its benefits are clear – crime and anti-social behaviour prevention, reassurance and increased community cohesion.

"Street Watch has huge potential nationally and I am proud that the citizens of Bedfordshire have been so keen to form local schemes and lead the way on this."

Mr Hitchcock spoke out as the wheels were put in motion to launch the tenth Street Watch scheme in Bedfordshire since April last year – making it one of the most successful projects in the country.
A public meeting to rally support was held at Shillington Village Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday (March 31), just a week after another successful scheme was launched in Clifton.

Street Watch, which was originally launched in Hampshire and Surrey, involves local people taking it in turns to patrol communities in high visibility vests to provide reassurance and talk to residents.
It is emphasised they are not doing the job of police officers or PCSOs and have no more power than ordinary citizens. Instead the purpose of Street Watch is to prevent crime by increasing visibility, maintaining effective communication and reporting to police and increasing feelings of safety and community spirit.

Each scheme relies on Street Watch finding coordinators and volunteers prepared to give two hours each month and keep the national web site up to date with what they are doing and where. They also have to be vetted at the same level as police volunteers.

Safer Neighbourhood Sergeant Lisa Johnson, who has helped oversee the Bedfordshire project, said: "Street Watch is a classic example of the community and police working in partnership to reduce crime and increase feelings of safety.

"In Marston Moretaine – our first scheme – we saw a 12 per cent decrease in anti-social behaviour and a six per cent decrease in overall crime between May and November 2010. While we cannot positively attribute all this to Street Watch, it is plain the scheme has had an extremely positive impact on the village.

"We would urge anyone interested in setting up a similar scheme in their area to get in touch."
Anyone interested can contact Sgt Johnson direct on 01582 473333, through the main switchboard on 01234 841212 or email lisa.johnson@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


School Lane Eaton Bray - Burglary

This article was published in April 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are asking residents in Eaton Bray with UPVC front doors to keep them double locked at all times, after a burglary took place in School Lane.

The offence took place between 11:00 a.m. on the 1st and 5:20 p.m. on the 3rd of April 2011.

The offender has forced open the UPVC front door, and the house has been searched.

Jewellery has been taken.

Many Burglaries can be prevented:-

  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Remove all keys from the locks and keep them in a safe place and out of view.
  • Avoid leaving property like Handbags, Keys, or laptops in hallways, or where they can be seen from outside the house.
  • Keep garden furniture, ladders, and Wheelie bins in a secure garage or shed, or locked up away from the house, where they might be used to climb onto a roof or access a first floor window.
  • Be a good Neighbour.
  • Be aware of sounds like breaking glass.
  • Report any suspicious activity, or vehicles, in the area.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,1,4,0,9,9,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk Or call crime stoppers in confidence on (0800) 555111.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


The 2011 National Census

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterWe are aware that the census may give potential distraction burglars or rogue traders an opportunity to target vulnerable people in our communities. To help prevent this, please take note of the following information and, if possible, pass it on to family, friends and neighbours:

  • If you have completed and returned your questionnaire promptly (ie before 6 April), you will not be contacted by census field staff.
  • All census staff will carry an ID card with a photo, logo and hologram, which they should automatically show to you. They may ask for name and number of residents, but they will not ask for specific details (like credit card or bank/building society details, etc – never disclose these).
  • If you forget to complete your form, a census collector will call to request that it is completed. Make sure you check their identity and photo to ensure they are valid. Always use a door chain when opening the door. Census staff are not required to enter you house.
  • Our main advice about preventing distraction burglary still applies – if you’re not sure, don’t open the door. Telephone the census helpline on 0300 0201 101 to check the identity of the census collector.
  • If you wish, you can request a pre-arranged appointment with a collector, via the census helpline number.

If you have any reason to suspect a caller is not genuine, call Bedfordshire Police on 01234 841212, giving us as much information as you can.

Thank you for your support

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Stay on Mettle Against Lead Thieves

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Stay on your mettle against lead thieves if you are planning building work this spring.

That is the advice from Bedfordshire Police who say thieves will not hesitate to take advantage of ladders, or any other potential climbing aids, left lying around.

Chief Insp Neill Waring said the price of scrap lead is still high and reminded do-it-yourself enthusiasts and traders to ensure equipment is stored at night and access to any scaffolding is properly restricted.

Ways to protect lead include:

  • Coating it with anti-climb paint. It does not degrade the lead, but will make it very messy and difficult for a thief to remove. The paint is non-drying and marks clothing and skin, often helping the police to identify offenders
  • Forensic marking helps identify stolen metal and enables police to trace it back to the owner. It has resulted in the successful conviction of thieves. Products available include SmartWater, Red Web and SelectaDNA Grease
  • Check your roof regularly. The earlier you report a theft the more chance there is of finding the stolen metal – particularly if it is marked
  • Regularly check the perimeter security of your home or site. Limit access, particularly for vehicles, but maintain the natural surveillance provided by neighbouring premises or routes
  • Consider security lighting, CCTV and roof /drive alarms.
  • If lead or copper is due for replacement, consider modern alternatives that are less attractive for thieves.

Chief Insp Waring said: "Spring is one of those times often earmarked for building work involving the use of ladders, scaffolding and other equipment.

"Most project managers and builders are extremely security minded but with the price of lead so high we would just like to remind everyone, including the DIY enthusiast, about the importance of removing at night, or protecting, anything that could be used as a climbing aid.

"Double-check all materials and tools are securely put away after work, rather than left on site or in the back of a van, and that tools are security marked with a product like SmartWater. Today all prisoners who come into our custody suites are routinely scanned to establish whether they have come into contact with it.

"Bedfordshire Police are doing all they can to deter lead theft and residents can help by keeping an eye on building sites and contacting us if they see anything suspicious."

For further information and crime prevention advice, contact Bedfordshire Police Crime Reduction Officers on 01234 841212 or email saferhomes@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk.

For information about theft contact police, in confidence on01234 841212, text to 07786 200011 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Volunteer Custody Visitors Needed

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police Authority is currently recruiting Independent Custody Visitors.

Independent Custody Visitors check on the standards in which people are held in custody, enhancing the accountability and transparency of police among the communities they serve. Visitors play a vital role in raising standards in custody and the fair treatment of detainees.

Volunteers from all walks of life and sections of the community are invited to join Bedfordshire Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.

Applications for this recruitment are required by Thursday 7th April 2011.

Applicants must be able to attend induction training on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2011.

To find out more or apply for an application pack please:

Telephone: Pat Brown at Bedfordshire Police Authority on 01234 842067

Email:  pat.brown@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

For more details please visit the Police Authority web site using the link below. 

Thank you for your support

 


Force Backs 'Burglar Buster' Campaign

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are throwing their weight behind a national initiative aimed at helping to protect the elderly from distraction burglars.

From today Safer Neighbourhood Officers are starting to deliver hundreds of posters to shops, post offices, doctors' surgeries, libraries and other locations as part of a national campaign called Operation Liberal.

There are four posters in the campaign that feature the slogan "Not Sure? Don't Open the Door" and pictures of pensioners who have become "Burglar Busters" by following key crime prevention advice.

For example, when two men claiming to be from the "Water Board" called at Jean's home, she called police because she knew "Water Boards" no longer exist. The men are now behind bars. When two men posing as police officers called at Harbans’ house, he kept the door closed while he called local police to check their identity. It turned out they were bogus.

Quick-witted Mary saw a suspicious couple calling next door claiming to have lost a ball in the garden. Mary noted the couple’s vehicle details and called police, who confirmed they were distraction burglars.

And John's quick call to police helped stop a bogus caller pretending to be an energy supplier. John had signed up to the Priority Service Register password scheme and the caller did not know his password. John rightly refused to open his door.

Central Bedfordshire Police Crime Reduction Officer, PC John Shiels, said: "This area is not suffering a major problem with distraction burglars at the moment and we are determined to keep it that way. For that reason we are delighted to back this initiative and the 'Not Sure? Don't Open the Door Message'".

"Our advice to pensioners is to use a spy hole and door chain and insist on seeing identification. If you are any doubt about a caller do not let them in and call police.

Anyone with information about distraction burglary can contact police, in confidence, on 01234 841212; Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

For crime reduction advice email saferhomes@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Overpaid bank / credit charges scam

This article was published in February 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

A local resident has reported receiving a telephone call from an Asian sounding male, claiming that the resident was owed £2165 in overpaid bank / credit charges. They told the resident to attend their local Post Office in order that a money order could be sent for £125 administration fee.

The resident was asked to phone a telephone number whilst at the Post Office and details of where the admin fee was to be paid would be given.

The male stated that as soon as the fee was paid the Post Office would be able to pay the £2165 immediately (and if they couldn't then the caller would personally drive to the residents address and drop off a cheque or deposit the money in their bank account).

Please be on your guard and ensure that any elderly or vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours know how to deal with any unwanted / unsolicited phone calls. Never divulge personal information / bank details to anyone on the phone and do not make immediate money transfers to unknown companies.

Further information about scams and consumer information can be obtained from Consumer Direct at www.consumerdirect.gov.uk or by calling them on 08454 040506

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Burglary in Harling Road

This article was published in February 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterA theft took place in Harling Road, in Eaton Bray, between 8:45 p.m. on the 8th and 9:00 a.m. on the 9th of February.

The offender has gained access to a fuel tank in the grounds.

The fuel pipe has been broken and a large amount of heating oil has been taken.

Bedfordshire Police ask local residents to be vigilant, and to report anything suspicious immediately.

For more information on reducing crime visit Safer Bedfordshire.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,6,0,7,9,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Or call Crime stoppers in confidence on (0800)555111.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Volunteer for Nominated Neighbour Scheme!

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterPolice in Central Bedfordshire are looking for people to act as a 'Nominated Neighbour' for elderly or vulnerable people living near to them.

The scheme encourages elderly people not to open the door or talk to unfamiliar callers, but to keep the chain on and show them a bright yellow card.

The card instructs the caller to go to a Nominated Neighbour, who will then check their identity and return with them and supervise the visit.

The initiative is just one of many crime prevention initiatives police are spearheading as part of Operation Vision to drive down burglary.

Chief Inspector Neill Waring said: "People who are particularly vulnerable, may not have the confidence to deal robustly with callers. The public can help by keeping an eye on their elderly neighbours or by signing up to our Nominated Neighbour Scheme to help deal with unwanted or unexpected callers. Often members are relatives, friends, Neighbourhood Watch supporters or others with an interest in making their communities a safer place. Families can constantly help by reminding elderly relatives of the importance of using spy holes and door chains and never letting unfamiliar people through the door without ID - even if they claim to have a legitimate reason such as being a water board official or police officer."

Anyone who would like to become a Nominated Neighbour can contact their local crime reduction officer on 01582 471212 or email saferhomes@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

Anyone with information about a crime should call the main switchboard on 01234 841212 or Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Burglaries in Greenways and Wallace Drive

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterA Burglary took place in Greenways, in Eaton Bray, on Thursday the 13th of January, between 4:30 and 4:40 p.m.

The offender has gained access to the side of the house, entering through a door that had been left unlocked. A purse was taken from the kitchen. The owner was in the house at the time and saw a shadow in the hallway. The owner has called out, causing 3 males to run from the house. The purse has since been found near to the house.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,1,7,8,0,/2011.


A Burglary took place in Wallace Drive, on Thursday the 20th of January, between 5:00 and 5:10 a.m.

The offender has forced open the front door. A handbag has has been taken.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,2,7,5,1,/2011.


Other ways to get in touch

  • Text your message to (07786) 200011
  • Email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk Or call crime stoppers in confidence on (0800) 555111.

Many Burglaries can be prevented

  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Remove all keys from the locks and keep them in a safe place and out of view.
  • Avoid leaving property like Handbags, Keys, or laptops in hallways, or where they can be seen from outside the house.
  • Keep garden furniture, ladders, and Wheelie bins in a secure garage or shed, or locked up away from the house, where they might be used to climb onto a roof or access a first floor window.
  • Be a good Neighbour.
  • Be aware of sounds like breaking glass.
  • Report any suspicious activity, or vehicles, in the area.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Thames Valley Police - Community Messaging

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterWatch members are continuing to report cold calls from a company, telling them that their computer is at risk, asking them to turn it on immediately, so that the caller can 'fix' the problem for them, for a fee.

Trading standard's advice is:-

  • Do not deal with cold callers.
  • Never give personal information over the telephone to cold callers.
  • Never give passwords or credit cards and bank details over the telephone to unknown callers.

A resident had two calls yesterday from a security company, claiming to be doing a NHW survey and offering security systems for £1. When the resident identified themself as being a NHW co-ordinator the caller quickly made their excuses and terminated the call.

Any alarm or security systems at such a low cost may well have a heavy monthly monitoring fee and large cancellation costs.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


17 Years Imprisonment for South Beds Burglars

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterFour men who committed a series of burglaries between August 2009 and January 2010 across South Bedfordshire were sentenced at Luton Crown Court yesterday (January 13).

To read more please see the Bedfordshire Police court report.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Theft of Vehicle License Plates

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThe registration plates were removed from a vehicle in Moor End, in Eaton Bray, between 11:30 p.m. on the 10th and 9:30 a.m. on the 11th of January.

The vehicle was a Silver, 51 registered, BMW.

No attempt was made to enter the vehicle.

Vehicle owners are encouraged to improve the security of registration plates by 1 of the following methods:

  • Replacing the plates with Anti Tamper plates.
  • Replacing the existing screws with non return screws.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,1,4,2,2,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Burglary in The Nurseries, Eaton Bray

This article was published in December 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterA Burglary took place in The Nurseries, in Eaton Bray, on Wednesday the 29th of December, between 1:00 and 6:40 p.m.

The offender has forced open the UPVC front door.

A search took place.

It is not yet known what property has been taken.

Many Burglaries can be prevented:-

  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Remove all keys from the locks and keep them in a safe place and out of view.
  • Avoid leaving property like Handbags, Keys, or laptops in hallways, or where they can be seen from outside the house.
  • Keep garden furniture, ladders, and Wheelie bins in a secure garage or shed, or locked up away from the house, where they might be used to climb onto a roof or access a first floor window.
  • Be a good Neighbour.
  • Be aware of sounds like breaking glass.
  • Report any suspicious activity, or vehicles, in the area.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,5,3,6,9,6,/2010.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011.

or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk Or call crime stoppers in confidence on (0800) 555111. Contact Ringmaster on (01234) 275288 or email Ringmaster@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Garage and Shed Warning

This article was published in December 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are urging residents to be on their guard following an upturn in garage, garden shed and out building break-ins.

Thieves often target outbuildings and the problem is due to residents not considering the value of the equipment stored in them. Lawnmowers, power tools and even quad bikes are targeted and not cheap to replace. Residents also need to be aware that their tools will be used against them. Burglars will take advantage of unlocked sheds or garages and use tools to break into their homes.

Leaving items such as ladders and tools in the garden also act as an invitation to opportunist thief who may use them to gain access to your home.

Crime Reduction Officer, PC John Shiels, said: “The risk of becoming a victim of theft remains low, by taking a few simple steps to you can deter offenders. Having an unsecure shed or garage, could mean the difference between your property being broken into or not. “Residents need to review their security, ensure side gates are locked, boundaries are in good order and shed and garages are secure. It is also a good idea to join Neighbourhood Watch, since it provides advice on all aspects of household, personal and vehicle security.”

Here are some tips to help keep the contents of your shed and garage safe:

  • Don't leave your ladders or tools in your garden as a thief will use them to gain access to your home.
  • Buy and remember to USE good quality locks, padbolts or hasp and staple with padlocks for garages and sheds.
  • Make sure any side passages are fitted with strong gates which are fitted with secure bolts and padlocks.
  • Check gates and fences for weak spots. A high back garden wall and a thorny hedge are two great deterrents.
  • Do you need a window in a shed or could you board it up?
  • Marking your property with your postcode is a cheap and easy way to make sure your property is returned to you should it be stolen.
  • Alternatively paint your details on the equipment - this is more effective than invisible marking which can fade and could act as a deterrent.

Anyone with information on theft or burglary can contact police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Postal Scam Warning

This article was published in December 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThere have been reports nationally of tricksters placing cards through doors suggesting they were unable to deliver parcels and asking householders to contact a telephone number.

However, unknown to householders, they were being asked to make a premium rate call in a scam believed to originate in Belize.

Crime Reduction Officer Lara Curtayne said: "Any card put through a door should be queried if it is asking the householder to ring a number. The vast majority of legitimate delivery companies leave a card saying they will deliver again, or put a collection address."

Anyone with doubts about a delivery company should contact their local Trading Standards Department.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Fire Station Open Day Dunstable

This article was published in August 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterDunstable Community Fire Station Open Day on Sunday 19th September 2010, between 2:00pm and 4:00pm.

Children, parents and grandparents can get a close look at fantastic fire engines, talk to firefighters and get some tips which could save their lives in the future.

Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service Chief Paul Fuller says: "Our fire stations belong to the local community and we want people to come along and get to know their local firefighters.

"These Open Days are a great opportunity to learn more about how we as an organisation serve the public and for the public in turn to give us some vital feedback about what more we can do to help them.

"We now call these our COMMUNITY fire stations because we want organisations and groups to make use of the meeting rooms when they are not occupied by our own staff. So come along and have a great FREE day out."

A vital FREE service offered by the local fire service is Home Fire Safety Checks which can include the fitting of free smoke alarms. To book a visit contact (0800) 0435042.

For full addresses of fire stations go to www.bedsfire.com.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Beware Distraction Burglars

This article was published in August 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are warning elderly people to be on the look out for a pair of distraction burglars after three similar incidents in Dunstable, Barton-Le-Clay and Bedford.

On 31 July at around 11am in Chiltern Road, Dunstable, two offenders knocked on the door of the victim, an elderly blind man, and told him that a large tree in his garden needed cutting down. They asked him to go into the garden with them so they could describe the problems it is causing. While at the bottom of the garden one of the offenders has searched the house. The two men have then left saying they would return on another day to do the work. The victim has then discovered that cash, cheque book and documents had been stolen.

On 3 August at around 11am in Granville Street, Bedford, two men told the elderly victim that they would replace his loose guttering at the rear of his property. The victim has allowed the men into his house and shown them around. The men have left saying they will return in half an hour. When they have gone the victim has discovered money has been taken. In this case one of the men is described between 20-30 years old with fair hair, wearing light coloured sleeveless top and light coloured trousers.

On the 7 August around 11am Dunstall Road, Barton Le Clay offenders have attended the property and the victim has let the offenders in who have offered to cut the hedges. They have engaged the victim in conversation, and have removed money. The offenders have left in a small grey car. One offender was described as male; around 5 foot 7 inches tall, white, around 35 years old, fat, and had a local accent.

PC Ron Callender, investigating, said: “People should be wary of people calling at their homes offered to do work for them at low prices. They should not let strangers into their homes or leave them unattended. If anyone has any information about these burglaries or has suffered a similar theft they can contact me or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Follow this advice to protect yourself against distraction burglaries:

  • Always ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them in - if you are worried, ask them to wait outside while you close the door and call their company.
  • If someone keeps you talking on the doorstep, be aware of any movement or activity in the rest of the house - before you answer the door, you should check all back doors, patio doors and windows are close and preferably locked.
  • Mark all your valuables with your house number and postcode - contact your Crime Reduction Team for more information.
  • Never keep a large amount of money in the house - keep in the bank or post office.
  • Don't keep your chequebook and cards in the same place - a thief could use the card to forge your signature on cheques.
  • Don't fall for anything that sounds too good to be true - a free holiday, cash prizes, cures for arthritis or cancer, or low-risk high-return investment schemes.
  • Don't buy goods or services from doorstep callers and NEVER let them into your home.

If you have any information about these crimes or other suspicious incidents or crimes, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Chiltern/Northfields Ward Forum meeting

This article was published in June 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThis is an invitation to attend the Ward Forum for the Chiltern and Northfields safer neighbourhood team.

The meeting will take place at the Dunstable Community Fire Station, on Thursday 24th June, at 6.00 p.m.

Please come along and meet the Partners that are working to improve your area.

The keys priorities for the area will be set at this meeting.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Op Meteor Continues Clamp Down on Riders

This article was published in June 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterPolice continue to clamp down on dangerous and anti social riders. The operation to target the illegal use of off road bikes and nuisance vehicles will continue throughout the summer.

Members of the Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been out and about clamping down on nuisance motorcycles.

Officers recently carried out another Operation Meteor initiative and found themselves issuing 8 section 59 notices, a fixed penalty notice for driving elsewhere than on a road and seizing an off road bike.

Police warn that Operation Meteor will continue in Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Sundon, Barton, Caddington, Totternhoe, Leighton Buzzard ... together with other areas of Bedfordshire, to ensure those off road bikers who upset local residents and put themselves, families, walkers and horse riders at risk by using local footpaths and bridleways are stopped.

Safer Neighbourhood Sergeant, Darren Turney, said: “Members of the community can help by continuing to report any incidents they witness to the police.

“We will continue to use all resources at our disposal to apprehend people involved in this type of anti-social behaviour. If people are going to break the law, we will take action. People who continue to use their bikes illegally will see it seized and possibly destroyed.”

Anyone who knows who the offenders are can contact police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text 07786 200011.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire