We are currently suffering from a series of garage burglaries in the borough. Motorcycles, bicycles and garden machinery are being targeted. In some cases the garages targeted have not been locked and in others the owner has relied on the factory fitted lock on an up and over door.
Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators can assist by forwarding this message to members.
Most standard garage door locks are not ‘security’ locks. Consider fitting an after market device, for example a ‘Garage Defender’ or as a cheaper option fit two shoot bolts to the door ensuring that bolt beds into the frame or concrete base. Secure the bolt with a grade three external padlock
Sheds are more problematic to secure due to their wood construction. Devices are available to provide additional security to the doors, for example ‘Shed Bars’
Most house alarm systems can be configured to provide coverage to garages using ‘wireless’ connections. If this isn’t possible stand alone ‘Shed alarms’ are also available
Consider the use of ground anchors and cables. Using a large cable to link several items together will make them more difficult to steal, padlocking the cable to a ground anchor will provide additional protection.
There are a number of security marking schemes available for cycles ranging from electronic Datatags (similar to pet microchips) to chemical etching
Ensure that you property mark items of value stored in the garage and record serial numbers. There is a free web based service available at www.immobilise.com
When considering whether or not to fit additional security its worth pausing to think about the value of what you are storing in the building. Lawn mowers and good cycles often cost several hundred pounds per item, the total value can soon run into several thousand pounds.
Judging by the number of items being stolen the thief will probably have an outlet or handler – if you have any information around offenders or methods of disposal please contact me. Alternatively you can do this anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where in certain circumstances you may receive a financial reward
If you see something or someone suspicious contact Surrey Police immediately using either 999 or 101, make a note of the time, description and vehicle registration numbers. You will never be criticised for contacting us and remember if you think it’s suspicious it probably is!
Finally these thieves are very probably local and are operating within your community, with your help we can catch and convict them.
What are the obligations of being a member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme?
Check all door and window locking mechanisms comply with the conditions set by the insurance industry.
Stand back from their property and “think thief”: Perimeter and garden/ boundary fences / walls / hedges should deter a would-be intruder. However, tall hedges / shrubs, close to the house, could act as a screen to an intruder. Access to the rear of the property, via side entrances, should be prevented.
Consider installing an infrared-activated light effectively exposes an intruder.
Ensure all outbuildings (garages, sheds etc.) are properly secured and locked at all times.
Where possible, cars should be parked in a garage, rather than left on the drive. If this is not possible, ensure they are suitably secured and alarmed (any or all types). Do not leave valuable on display in the car.
Garden and DIY tools and steps / ladders should be locked safely away and, preferably marked with forensic DNA. Interior and property identification
Valuables should be security marked, preferably using a forensic DNA material, and serial numbers listed – this aids identification if property is recovered by the police. Jewellery and other small items of value should be photographed and listed.
Do not leave keys to the property or car in obvious places to aid a thief.
Added security (e.g. a safe, alarm system or security camera) may be required if there are items of high value. A chain and spy hole should be fitted to the main access door and used. Do not allow access, by a caller, to the property unless satisfied with their credentials and purpose.
Does your property look occupied when you are away?
Watch members should let neighbours know that they are not in residence and leave a number where they may be contacted. Cancel newspapers, milk etc. and ask a neighbour to check the property regularly and be extra vigilant.
Use the Post Office Keep Safe service to prevent mail piling up in your letter box or inside front-door.
Ensure that the property looks occupied. Use automatic timing switches for lights and a radio are a good idea. A neighbour’s car securely parked on the drive would be better than parked on the road.
When and how to contact the police
If, a Watch members suspects or sees a crime is about to be committed or they see a person(s) behaving suspiciously, they should report their suspicions to the police immediately, giving as much information as possible (do your best to identify persons and /or vehicles) call : 101
If they are witnessing a criminal act taking place or require immediate police presence call 999.
Watch members should be as observant as possible from their vantage point but should not put themselves at risk. If they are reluctant to contact the police, they should seek a neighbour’s advice or opinion and / or speak to their Watch Representative – but do so immediately.
If a Watch member has good information concerning criminal activity and wishes to report anonymously – call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.They can also contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team by visiting their web page at http://www.surrey.police.uk. The Surrey Heath Crime Reduction Adviser will offer free and independent crime reduction advice if contacted on 101.
Being a good neighbour and caring about your community
Neighbourhood Watch isn’t only about a member’s personal well-being. Good neighbourliness and caring about the neighbourhood and local community is a caring commitment that all should wish or need to make. Taking on specific responsibility for those less able members of their community and helping to reduce the fear of crime that such residents have is another important responsibility of Neighbourhood Watch membership
What is involved if I agree to be the Watch Representative?
The primary function is to provide the main link between Surrey Police/Neighbourhood Watch Area Coordinator and the members of their Watch. This involves the following tasks:·
Distribute information received by email from these, such as crime updates and security advice, to the Watch members.
Attend the quarterly Watch Representatives meetings on behalf of the Watch or arrange for a deputy/other member to attend.
Collect the bundle of HeathWatch, the Neighbourhood Watch newsletter, at the Watch Representatives meetings and deliver a copy to your Watch members. If nobody is available to attend the meeting, the Watch Representative should make arrangements for the bundle to be collected from the local library.
Advise the Membership Secretary of changes to the Watch registration details e.g. additional members, email address etc.
Assist the police and other agencies by circulating information to and gathering information from Watch members as necessary·
Receive non-urgent information from members to forward to the police or community safety team.·
Feedback concerns from Watch members to the local police at their Panel meetings and, via the Area Coordinator, to the Support Group.
Notify the Area Coordinator and local police if planning to leave the area or stand down from the post. Ideally, they should try to identify a replacement.
Secondary tasks (as time and inclination permits)
Promote Neighbourhood Watch Supply member households with Neighbourhood Watch stickers for doors and windows and other Neighbourhood Watch material. Encourage non-participating households to join the group.
Manage the local scheme by keeping an up-to-date list of scheme members, including their e-mail addresses where available, remembering to respect the confidentiality of the information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1984 and welcome new residents and invite them to join the scheme.
Encourage measures to enhance security through the adoption of crime prevention measures such as security marking their valuable property using, for example, a UV marker pen.
Encourage members to keep their eyes open for unusual occurrences and inform the police quickly of suspicious activity or anti-social behaviour.
Educate members on how to contact the police and Crimestoppers
How do I notify changes to the registration details for my Watch?
Changes in Watch Membership
The Watch representative needs to maintain an up to date list of Members and it is the responsibility of each Member to inform their Watch Representative of changes in membership or contact details etc.
Changes in Watch Representation
The Watch representative is responsible for keeping the Area Coordinator and the Membership Secretary informed of changes in Watch representation.
Should a Watch representative move away from the area or is no longer interested in their role and they do NOT inform the Area Coordinator or Membership Secretary, they put their watch in danger of being closed
How can I make my Watch more effective?
This can be achieved by any or all of the following:
Keep an up to date list of Watch members, including email addresses where available, remembering to keep the data confidential in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1984. A form to record Registered Household members is available for download from this website just for this purpose.
Welcome new members to the Watch and encourage them to register their membership. A registration form for each household is also available to authorised users on the web site.
When a member has registered provide them with Neighbourhood Watch stickers and leaflets.
Disseminate information (either by email or hard copies) to all members of the Watch such as crime updates/reports from Surrey Police, crime reduction literature or Neighbourhood Watch newsletters.
Encourage members of the Watch to adopt crime reduction measures such as security marking their valuable property using a UV marker pen or forensic DNA marking fluid.
Encourage members to keep their eyes open for unusual occurrences and inform the Police quickly of suspicious activity using 101 or 999 as appropriate.
Educate members on the correct use of the 101 and 999 numbers and provide details of the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.
Notify your Area Coordinator if you plan to leave the area or are not able to continue in your role and, if possible identify a replacement. Hand over your list of members and their contact details to your replacement or, if no replacement has been found, to the Area Coordinator.
Feedback concerns from local Watch members to the local Police. This can be achieved directly to the NSO when attending the quarterly local police Panel Meetings.
How do I obtain additional stickers and leaflets?
Additional stickers and leaflets are available, although these may change from time to time. New members will be provided with these on joining. If the Watch representative needs additional stickers they should contact their Area Coordinator for details
If you Did not Find the Question or information you want, try the following pages
What is the involvement of the police in Neighbourhood Watch?
Neighbourhood Watch in Surrey Heath is run by volunteers.
It is not a Police-led organisation.
Surrey Police work in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch volunteers who operate across the Borough in an effort to make their communities safer and stronger.
Surrey Police will respond to any call made via 999 or 101.
Surrey Police has a duty to alert Neighbourhood Watch members of any crime alerts or general crime trends in their neighbourhood. In Surrey Heath, these crime alerts are passed within 24 hours to the Watch Representatives in the area of the crime.
From time to time the Crime Reduction Officer sends out a bulletin on crime trends and what can be done to prevent them happening to you.
How can I keep my neighbours informed about our Watch?
A Watch Representative can keep members informed by circulating the police crime reports and fortnightly crime prevention bulletins to their members for which they have an email contact address.
They are also required to circulate the quarterly newsletter for Surrey Heath HeathWatch. Some Watch Representatives slip a short newsletter details recent events and future activities in their Watch into HeathWatch before they distribute it.
When most of the members are in email contact the flow of communication is more two-way with members informing each other of suspicious incidents or anti-social behaviour or warning of, for example, potentially noisy activities. If many of your members do not have an email address, one solution is to produce a distribution list of names and addresses and circulate the crime report or bulletin to the first address asking them to pass it on to the next address when they have read it. By placing your address at the bottom of the list you will know that the information has been circulated to all members when it is returned to you.
How can I help to promote Neighbourhood Watch in my area?
The interest of members can be sustained through regular communication such as meetings or newsletters.
Members can be supplied with Neighbourhood Watch stickers for doors and windows, incident report cards and other Neighbourhood Watch material.
Non-participating neighbours can be encouraged to join the Watch or at least agree to keep the Watch Representative advised of incidents within the Watch area.
Watch Representatives can offer to assist the Area Coordinator with leaflet dropping in order to help set up new Watches in neighbouring streets.
How much time is involved in being the Watch Representative?
A Watch Representative (and/or their Deputy) needs to commit to attend the quarterly Watch Representative’s meeting and do onward distribute HeathWatch and other mailings from Surrey Police etc. This should take no more than 12 hours per annum.
Other activities, to extend the coverage of their watch and to involve new neighbours will be expected and the time assigned will be at the discretion of the Watch Representative.
The appointment of a Deputy can help share the effort.
What is an Inactive Watch?
A watch will be considered inactive if:
There is no representative from the Watch at the quarterly meetings for two or more consecutive meetings
HeathWatch is not collected (from the quarterly meeting or from the library)
And there is no communication with the Area Coordinator to update him/her on the position.
In such cases, the Area Coordinator will attempt to contact the Watch Representative and their Deputy and if no positive response is received, the Watch will be marked as inactive.
The Area Coordinator will initiate a mail drop to the residents in the Road asking for a Watch representative and if no one is forthcoming, the Watch will be closed. The residents will be informed by another mail drop and the signs removed.
It is the responsibility of the resident to notify their insurance company
What insurance cover is provided for Neighbourhood Watch activities?
Free Third Party Public Liability Insurance (PLI) cover is available for Neighbourhood Watch in England and Wales. The Surrey Neighbourhood Watch Association is registered for PLI and the cover is renewed on an annual basis when a new estimate of the total number of Watches across the whole force is provided. This policy covers all existing and new Surrey Police recognised Neighbourhood Watches in the force and therefore individual watches or Borough/District organisations are not required to apply for a separate policy. A copy of the full policy is available on this website. It should be noted that the free PLI policy applies to third party liability only and therefore if a volunteer is acting on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch they cease to be regarded as a third party and they are not covered under the PLI insurance. If required, alternative employer’s liability or personal accident cover can be purchased as additional cover by individual Watches or associations.
What is an Area Coordinator?
There are three Area Coordinators covering Surrey Heath. They represent all the Watches within their designated Areas, which are based on the police division of the Borough:
Camberley North of the M3 (referred to as Camberley Town),
Camberley South of the M3 (referred to as Frimley)
and the Six Villages (Bagshot, Bisley, Chobham, Lightwater, West End and Windlesham).
The Coordinators are expected to be conscientious and pro-active Watch Representative with a wide knowledge of Neighbourhood Watch and its special place in the crime prevention partnership.
They are members of the Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch Support Group where they are expected to contribute, pro-actively, to the many initiatives organised by the Support Group.
They promote Neighbourhood Watch, seek out potential Watch promoters for new Watches and follow up leads provided by the Safer Neighbourhood Teams in their area.
They try to find new representatives for established Watches that no longer have anyone to represent them.
They may also encourage other Watch Representatives to assist with the expansion of Neighbourhood Watch in their area. Once a potential Watch promoter, has made an enquiry, usually to a neighbourhood police officer or the Crime Reduction Advisor, the Area Coordinator is expected to take on the task and responsibility of briefing the promoter. It would be made quite clear at this briefing that the Area Coordinator is working closely with the police, in partnership, and will support the promoter at all stages up to the formal presentation by the police officer with Neighbourhood Watch responsibility for the area. After the presentation, the Area Coordinator will advise on the formal registration of the Watch and the procedure for obtaining the Neighbourhood Watch street signs
How do I obtain additional stickers and leaflets?
Additional stickers and leaflets are available, although these may change from time to time. New members will be provided with these on joining. If the Watch representative needs additional stickers they should contact their Area Coordinator for details.
Where are the Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch processes formally documented?
Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch has created a web site (www.surreyheathnw.co.uk). The procedures and forms required are available through this web site to authorised users only. This restriction is to ensure consistency of registration and membership and to ensure Surrey Heath is properly supported through a single entity working together with Surrey Police
Dont hesitate to use the Contact Uspage to ask your area coordinator a question.