Spotlight on Services preview

I’m about to begin a series of posts on yesterday evening’s Spotlight on Services event for residents of Bagshot, Lightwater, and Windlesham.

During the summary of the evening, chief executive of Surrey Heath Borough Council mentioned that Lightwater was rated as the fourth safest place in the country. This information came from an article in the Daily Telegraph, about which I wrote in Lightwater – centre of the known universe.

It did give me the opportunity to photograph members of our Neighbourhood Police team who were at the Spotlight On event, to whom some of the thanks must go to enable Lightwater to get to 4th place nationally in the survey. From left to right they are PCSO Mike Mann, Sgt Melanie Sefton, and PC Deborah Haydon

Neighbourhood policing team

Spotlight on Public Services community engagement event

SpotlightHere’s an opportunity to learn more about the services your local councils, police and health organisations provide for residents of Bagshot, Lightwater, and Windlesham.

The public services attending the Community Engagement Event for Windlesham Parish area residents are Surrey County Council, Surrey Police, Windlesham Parish Council, Surrey Hath Borough Council, and Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group.

The event is on Wednesday, 26 November 2014, starting at 18:30 and concluding at 21:00hrs at St John the Baptist Church, Church Lane, Windlesham, Surrey GU20 6BL

As well as being able to speak to representatives from the various organisations you will also have the opportunity to join discussions groups which will focus on the following topics:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Housing
  • Infrastructure and environment
  • Safer and stronger communities

Places at this event are limited and will be allocated on a first come – first served basis,  so please Register Online Here, and tell us your first and second choice of discussion group to join.

Windlesham Parish Council’s Facebook Page also has details of the event

Police warning: Two BMW’s stolen overnight in West End this week

Mark Saunders, Surrey Police Crime Prevention Design Advisor, writes to inform that,

“On Wednesday 8th October two BMW’s were stolen and two damaged overnight in West End. The two stolen BMW’s went missing even though the owners were sure they were locked and all keys accounted for. The damaged vehicles had their locks on the doors drilled and removed so this was probably an attempt to steal them as well.

The registrations of the stolen vehicles are, S3 USE and YD10 BZL

If you see these vehicles please call us on 101 to report.

If you are a BMW owner please try to secure your vehicle as best as possible:

  • When using remote locking, ensure the car has actually locked by checking a door.
  • Be careful with your keys and who you give them to (e.g. valet parking). There is a risk that they could be cloned.
  • Wherever possible park your car in a locked garage, behind another vehicle in order to block it in and under the cover of CCTV cameras.
  • We recommend servicing your BMW at dealerships capable of providing software updates (e.g. authorised BMW Dealerships) on a regular basis to give the opportunity of further enhancing theft protection against key cloning.

Police warning: garage burglaries in Lightwater, Bisley & Windlesham

Mark Saunders, Surrey Police Crime Prevention Design Advisor, informs me that,

CrimeThe borough experienced a spate of garage burglaries on Monday the 6th of October 2014. The areas that were mainly affected were Lightwater, Windlesham and Bisley.

At one of the offences the offender was disturbed by the occupants and left in a hurry. He was described as a white male, aged mid 20’s with a square face and blond hair. He was seen leaving in a van with a registration of V767 LKM. If you see this vehicle and its occupants acting suspiciously please call us on 101, if you feel that a crime is in progress always call 999. Under no circumstances should you approach this vehicle or its occupants.

With the darker nights approaching now is a good time to review the security of your outbuildings.

Mark Saunders recommends viewing Surrey Police’s advice on Reducing garage, shed and garden crime.

Me, I’m off to buy a padlock for my garden shed as I’ve lost the key to the current one.

UPDATE: Got myself a nice new padlock for our shed, from Duffy’s Budgens in Lightwater, which has a new range of hardware items – including small packs of screws and nails.

Surrey Search and Rescue a voluntary service you’ve likely not heard of

A busy, busy day yesterday. Most of which involved a fascinating tour of the BBC at Broadcasting House in London, more on this later. The evening involved attending an a council External Partnerships Select Committee meeting, which received two presentations, one from Surrey Search and Rescue, and the other from the Environment Agency.

As a nation we’re blessed by people who volunteer, notably in the field of rescue services. The UK’s Lowland Rescue provision combines predominately volunteer-based organisations, such as Mountain Rescue, Cave Rescue, Volunteer Coastguard, the RNLI and others.

I imagine you’ll not have heard on Surrey Search and Rescue. It was only formed in 2010, when neighbouring counties noticed a need for a permanent representation in the county of Surrey. It provides a valuable role assisting Surrey Police in finding missing people using foot-teams and dog-teams, often over large areas of wilderness and without knowing where the casualty is to begin with. Over 2,100 people go missing in Surrey alone.

The service is run entirely by volunteers, none of whom is paid for their time, fuel or expenses. It receives no public funding, and is supported only through donations and grants from industry. Surrey Search and Rescue provided invaluable support in the floods in 2014, such that their work was recognised by the Prime Minister who invited them to No 10 Downing Street. Séamus Kearns, head of operations for Surrey Search and Rescue, gave the presentation to the committee, and before which he allowed committee members to clamber all over the group’s 4×4 rescue vehicle.

It's a 'blue light' service Surrey Search & Rescue vehicle

6 ways to protect your home from burglars when you’re away

logoAn email from Surrey Police provides information on how to protect your home from burglary, especially when you’re away from home, even if it’s just for a short break.  A burglar, who admits to over 70 burglaries in Surrey, tells Surrey Police how he did it.

This time last year the area experienced a large spate or burglaries. At the time a number of arrests were made with one suspect admitting to over 70 burglaries in Surrey. Interviews with this and other burglars have given us an insight into what they look for and how they do it:

1-What did the burglar say?

“The first thing I’d look for were houses where bins were left outside the house in a road where no one else had. This let me know there was a chance that the occupants weren’t home.”

How you should respond:

If you are planning on going away, even for a short period of time, ask a neighbour or relative to bring bins back in. If you do keep bins outside your property make sure they are away from walls or fences preventing easy access to areas out of public view.

2-What did the burglar say?

“If the bins were still out I’d go in for a closer look. Another good sign its empty is being able to see the post building up. A look through the letterbox or glass doors makes this easy.”

How you should respond:

If you are going away ask a neighbour or relative to collect post, putting it out of sight from front doors. If you are away for an extended period of time try contacting the postal service and requesting delivery to an alternative address.

3-What did the burglar say?

“Sometimes people put timers on lights when they go away. If the curtains then stay open the whole night or I notice that the curtains haven’t moved over a few days, it normally suggests that no one is home.”

How you should respond:

Timers are a great crime prevention device however it can be even more effective if used in multiple rooms. Arrange for someone to check your property whilst away. Each time get them to open or close the curtains to suggest people being home.

Continue reading

Barclays Bank in Lightwater is open, though the ATM isn’t

Barclays bank Lightwater ATM outside viewGood to see that Barclays Bank in Lightwater is open for business, after the attempted robbery of their ATM machine.

I’m told by local shopkeepers that the robbers used a modern liquid explosive to attempt to enter the ATM inside the bank branch. I’m happy to repeat Surrey Police’s request for witnesses to the robbery, which occurred in the early hours of Saturday 12th July.

I’ll write more about security issues in general in the next few days. I did spend time working for Chubb & Son’s Lock & Safe Co, learning something about security. Not complicated stuff, just common sense.

Meanwhile, here’s the what the Barclays Bank Lightwater ATM looks like this morning.

Barclays Bank Lightwater ATM inside view