Police Advice: Christmas Safety Tips

In a Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Police Team Communique No.26, they offer these 24 crime prevention tips for Christmas,

Be safe at home

1. Keep your home secure Make sure that you’ve secured all outside doors and windows and, if going out and you have a burglar alarm, make sure it’s set.

2. Store gifts well out of sight until Christmas Day.

3. When going out, user timer switches. To turn switches on when it gets dark – don’t forget bedrooms.

4. If going away. Don’t close your curtains in the daytime, unless a room is clearly a bedroom. Ask a trusted friend to close them for you when it gets dark. They can make your house look occupied in your absence and even park their car in your drive. The best burglary deterrent is to make your house look occupied at all times.

5. Cancel your milk order if you are going away.

6. A plug-in timer for the radio would make it sound as if someone is at home. Tune the radio to a station that has more talking than music.


Be safe when parked at home

7. Don’t leave the engine running.  On cold mornings, never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running to warm it up or defrost the windows. So many cars are stolen this way it has a name – frosting!

8. Use locking wheel nuts on alloys.  Fit locking wheel nuts, as alloy wheels are often a target for car thieves.

9. 10. & 11. Don’t leave car doors or windows open and remember to lock all car doors. Close and lock all doors and secure windows every time you leave the car unattended.

12. Don’t park cars where they’re hidden from view.  If you can’t park in a garage, try and park your car where you can see it from a house window. Do not park it behind high walls or bushes.

13. Use security lights on outside walls.  Thieves don’t like working in the light where they can be detected.

14. Remove your in-car electronic equipment.  These are the most sought-after items in your car. With satnavs remember to remove suction pads, and wipe away any tell-tale marks as thieves will look out for these.

15. Keep fuel caps locked.  You should have a fuel cap which locks.

16. If you have a garage, use it.  Always lock your car and garage or try to park in a well-lit, open place.


Be safe when leaving your car

17. Don’t leave anything on display in your car.  At this time of year make sure any presents are kept well out if view. Even an old coat on the back seat is a temptation for someone to ‘smash and grab’.

18. Do not display personal information in the car.  eg. private mail or documents with your address on it.

19. Don’t keep car registration documents in the car.  Having access to your car registration documents makes it easier to sell on your car illegally.

20. & 21. Take all your belongings with you when you leave the car and shut your glove compartment.  Never leave any of the following on display, as they are all particularly attractive to car thieves: mobile phones; laptop computers; credit and debit cards; cash.

22. Use a steering wheel lock.  Mechanical immobilisers, such as steering-wheel locks, are a good alternative to electronic immobilisers.

23. Security etch windows.  Consider having your car’s registration number, or the last 7 digits of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched onto all glass surfaces – including the headlamps.

24. Don’t leave your keys in the ignition.  When you leave your car, always remove the ignition key and lock all doors. Follow this routine all the time, even when filling up with petrol or just popping into the shop.

Reporting on crime and crime prevention

The villages and towns in Surrey Heath have low rates of crime in comparison to many other parts of the UK. We are not, though, immune from crime, it’s just that’s it’s lower here.

I post the crime bulletins and police alerts because I consider it important to understand where crime occurs in our borough, the nature of the crime, and police advice about minimising crime.

Christmas is one of those times in the year when crime is highest, fairly obvious in that there is an increased level of opportunity for crime.

I wouldn’t want readers to think that reporting on crime is what this blog is about. It just happens that preparations for Christmas and stuff has meant fewer blog posts than normal.

Surrey Heath Police crime bulletin: December 2017: 2nd update

Surrey Police Community Engagement Volunteer, David Howie, reports on recent thefts, burglaries, and criminal damage in Surrey Heath, in the latest InTheKnow Bulletin for Surrey Heath.
  • Crime no.45170137204 – On 10/12/2017 at 01:59, in Moorlands Road, Camberley. Suspects have forced entry to the property via the front door and connecting side window.  A brick slab appears to have been thrown through the front door’s lower window panel shattering it entirely. (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170138565 – On 13/12/2017 from 14:50 to 16:47, in Obelisk Way, Camberley. Location is a flat above shops.  During hours of daylight two unknown persons have entered address through unlocked front door have made untidy search of 1 bedroom taking envelope containing £150
  • Crime no.45170139243 – On 14/12/2017 from 16:30 to 23:00, in Robin Hill Drive, Camberley. Entry forced through rear patio door and untidy search carried out of whole premises (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170136945 – On 08/12/2017 at 18:50, in Blackwater Valley Road, Camberley. Mercedes C, index WD63ZGS, stolen from car park at Sainsbury’s
  • Crime no.45170136991 – On 09/12/2017 at 10:00, in Bain Avenue, Camberley. Scrap boiler stolen from side of house where it had been left for collection
  • Crime no.45170138122 – On 11/12/2017 from 08:00 to 18:00, in Pembroke Broadway, Camberley. Bicycle lock has been cut and bicycle stolen from bike rack
  • Crime no.45170138332 – On 12/12/2017 at 15:05, in Watchetts Road, Camberley. Theft of parcel from doorstep.
  • Crime no.45170138345 – On 12/12/2017 from 09:30 to 17:00, in Grand Avenue, Camberley. Theft of pedal cycle and lock.
  • Crime no.45170138447 – On 12/12/2017 at 11:00, in High Street, Camberley. Theft from delivery van. (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170139324 – On 14/12/2017 from 16:00 to 21:00, in Avenue Sucy, Camberley. Theft of pedal cycle from communal area
  • Crime no.45170138170 – Between 09/12/2017 from 18:00 to 10/12/2017 at 10:00, in The Hatches, Frimley. During hours of darkness have smashed the rear windows of a Vauxhall Corsa, nothing stolen from the vehicle and no other damage caused.
  • Crime no.47170181664 – On 13/12/2017 at 12:15, in Sidley Recreation Ground, Deepcut Bridge Road, Deepcut. Damage caused inside pavilion.
  • Crime no.45170138384 – On 11/12/2017 at 21:40, in Frimley Baptist Church, Balmoral Drive, Frimley. Have gone to the location and have taken decorations off the tree outside the Frimley Baptist Church. (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170137017 – On 07/12/2017 from 09:00 to 21:30, in Longmeadow, Frimley. Have stolen plastic bags full of scrap copper piping to the value of £200-£300.  Piping was not visible from the street so believes offenders have rummaged through the garden to find them.
  • Crime no.45170137096 – Between 18/11/2017 from 00:00 to 09/12/2017 at 10:09, in Fosters Grove, Windlesham. Garage broken into and 2 pedal cycles and a power drill taken
  • Crime no.45170139140 – On 14/12/2017 at 15:35, in Rosewood Way, West End. Unknown offenders have approached detached house in cul-de-sac and have forced open rear panel of UVPC door causing damage with implement, have broken internal audible alarm and have made an untidy search of two bedrooms. (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170137370 – On 09/12/2017 at 19:00, in Blackthorn Drive, Lightwater. Youths have damaged the front door of property.
  • Crime no.45170139109 – On 13/12/2017 at 21:45, in Vicarage Road, Bagshot. Criminal damage to motor vehicle on driveway during attempted break-in with a crowbar
  • Crime no.45170139018 – Between 12/12/2017 from 16:00 to 14/12/2017 at 14:00, in Albert Road, Bagshot. A white Ford Focus Sport keyed along the passenger side door and wheel arch whilst it was parked on a driveway
  • Crime no.45170139340 – Between 14/12/2017 from 17:00 to 15/12/2017 at 07:40, in London Road, Bagshot. Silver Ford Transit van broken into and items taken (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170139368 – Between 14/12/2017 from 21:30 to 15/12/2017 at 07:30, in Shepherds Chase, Bagshot. Suspect has broken into a white Ford Transit van overnight and stolen tools and sat nav.

Surrey Heath Police crime bulletin: December 2017: 1st update

Surrey Police Community Engagement Volunteer, David Howie, reports on recent thefts, burglaries, and criminal damage in Surrey Heath, in the latest InTheKnow Bulletin for Surrey Heath.
  • Crime no45170134159 – Between 10/11/2017 from 23:45 to 02/12/2017 at 23:45, in Highland Road, Camberley. Victim has found abusive words marked on her patio
  • Crime no.45170134925 – Between 13/11/2017 from 21:01 to 04/12/2017 at 12:00, in Kings Ride, Camberley. Let air out of two tyres on a Volkswagen Passat parked along the road and side panels of a Skoda scratched.
  • Crime no.45170134928 – Between 13/11/2017 from 21:00 to 04/12/2017 at 12:00, in Kings Ride, Camberley. Scratched the bonnet of a Volkswagen Golf.
  • Crime no.45170134321 – On 02/12/2017 from 12:00 to 13:30, in Park Street, Camberley. Theft of bicycle (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170134385 – Between 28/11/2017 from 07:30 to 02/12/2017 at 14:00, in Grosvenor Mansions, Camberley. Theft of bike and lock
  • Crime no.45170134392 – Between 30/11/2017 from 00:00 to 02/12/2017 at 18:00, in Greenlands Road, Camberley. The victim has had 6 chairs stolen from his porch at his property.
  • Crime no.45170135124 – On 01/12/2017 from 09:30 to 13:30, in St Michael’s Road, Camberley. Theft of pedal cycles (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170135992 – On 06/12/2017 from 10:00 to 18:00, in Pembroke Broadway, Camberley. Theft of pedal cycle and lock
  • Crime no.45170136203 – On 07/12/2017 from 14:15 to 15:05, in Browning Close, Camberley. Three Romanian males arrested and charged for stealing copper cylinder/pipes from the rear of a residential garden (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170135337 – Between 04/12/2017 from 15:00 to 05/12/2017 at 15:51, in Radcliffe Close, Frimley. Suspects have gained forced entry via rear door of property via bottom panel using tool and have conducted untidy search throughout the whole property and stolen foreign currency. (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170135497 – Between 04/12/2017 from 16:00 to 05/12/2017 at 10:00, in Bridge Road, Deepcut. Barn broken into and machinery and tools taken.
  • Crime no.45170134662 – On 02/12/2017 at 21:00, in Milden Gardens, Frimley. While visiting a friend victim had parked her Mini Cooper outside.  On leaving found flour and egg had been thrown onto the bonnet (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170134811 – On 02/12/2017 from 20:00 to 21:00, in Milden Gardens, Frimley. Land Rover had egg and flour thrown over it whilst a party going on inside the house. (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170135753 – On 05/12/2017 from 19:45 to 22:45, in Nursery Close, Frimley Green. Volkswagen Golf parked in road and has returned to find that someone has keyed down the nearside and on the bonnet and a friend’s was done also.
  • Crime no.45170133759 – Between 30/11/2017 from 18:00 to 01/12/2017 at 06:00, in Windsor Way, Frimley. Front and rear index plates have been removed from white Citroen whilst parked on road in residential area
  • Crime no.45170135332 – Between 04/12/2017 from 18:00 to 05/12/2017 at 07:44, in Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut. Theft of dumper truck and tarmac roller.
  • Crime no.45170136355 – On 07/12/2017 from 12:30 to 13:00, in Sandringham Way, Frimley. Allegation that parcels left by a delivery company have been taken from porch.
  • Crime no.45170133599 – Between 21/11/2017 from 00:00 to 28/11/2017 at 13:14, in Westwood Road, Windlesham. Shed break in. Hole cut in the fence behind the structure.  Access via the golf course.  Various garden equipment taken.
  • Crime no.45170135883 – On 06/12/2017 from 08:05 to 17:45, in Turpins Rise, Windlesham. Untidy search and watch and passports taken (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170134240 – On 01/12/2017 from 16:00 to 16:30, in Freemantle Road, Bagshot. Window has been smashed
  • Crime no.45170134473 – On 03/12/2017 at 03:15, in The Orchard, Lightwater. Vehicle alarm has gone off in the early hours of the morning, later in the day discovered that damage had been caused to the vehicle and it appears suspects attempted to force entry to the vehicle.
  • Crime no.45170134892 – On 03/12/2017 at 23:30, in Rosewood Way, West End. Informant heard a noise, got out of bed and saw a group of youths and then one of the youths kicked the rear of his vehicle.  By the time he got his glasses they had gone
  • Crime no.45170135717 – Between 05/12/2017 from 19:00 to 06/12/2017 at 05:30, at Premier Inn, London Road, Bagshot. White Ford Transit broken into and tools stolen (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170134283 – Between 01/12/2017 from 23:00 to 02/12/2017 at 07:00, in Beta Road, Chobham. Spare tyre has been stolen from Land Rover Defender
  • Crime no.45170134401 – On 01/12/2017 from 22:30 to 23:00, in Delta Road, Chobham. Black curved trellis panel stolen from front fence
  • Crime no.45170134504 – On 02/12/2017 from 11:00 to 22:00, in High Street, Bagshot. Front and rear index plates have been removed from a Vauxhall Astra.
  • Crime no.45170135173 – Between 01/10/2017 from 14:03 to 30/11/2017 at 14:04, in Saddlers Court, Windsor Road, Chobham. Jewellery has been taken from home address

Manufacturers duty to counter keyless entry vehicle theft

The previous article from Surrey Police on guarding yourself from keyless entry vehicle theft, shows that one technology advance is sometimes cancelled by another.

If vehicle manufacturers want to continue to provide this kind of convenience for vehicle owners with keyless vehicle entry then the should;

  • Counter this form of theft.
  • Manufactures have vehicle recall for safety reasons. Here’s a case for them to solve this problem and issue a vehicle recall notice to retro fit anti-keyless theft devices.
  • Not sure the police advice on storing the keyless fobs in the fridge or microwave is particularly sensible.
  • Follow the advice of Thatcham Research on the topic SEE HERE, in which they recommend,
    • Contact your dealer and talk about the digital features in your car. Have there been any software updates you can take advantage of?
    • Check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off. If it can, and your dealer can also confirm this, then do so overnight.
    • Store your keys away from household entry points. Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough – thieves only need to gain proximity to the key to amplify its signal.
    • Be vigilant. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighbourhood – and report anything unusual to the Police.
    • Review your car security. Consider aftermarket security devices such as Thatcham-approved mechanical locks and trackers, which are proven to deter thieves. A list can be found on the Thatcham Research website, HERE

I visited Unique card Sound & Security in Lightwater – experts in this sort of stuff – they recommended fitting an after-market anti-theft device, such as a Ghost immobiliser.

Police Alert: Prevent keyless entry vehicle theft

Surrey Police Community Engagement Volunteer, David Howie passes on crime prevention advice from Stephen Cake DOCO Western, in the latest InTheKnow Bulletin for Surrey Heath.

Relay car theft of keyless entry cars is gaining popularity in the UK among criminals, this advice is aimed at giving you some guidance on how you can take steps to increase the security of your vehicle.

There has been recent CCTV footage showing a ‘transmitter relay’ attacks targeting vehicle’s keyless entry system by West Midlands Police see http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/how-relay-car-crime-works-13959300   In the footage, one of the men can be seen waving a relay box in front of the property.  The box receives a signal from the key inside and transmits it to the second box next to the car.  The car’s systems are then tricked into thinking that the key is present and so it is unlocked.  The thieves then drive off, with the whole crime taking just one minute.  The vehicle has not been recovered following the theft, which happened in the Elmdon area of Solihull overnight on 24 September.

To offer more protection against this type of theft, owners can use an additional tested and Thatcham-approved steering lock to cover the entire steering wheel.  We also recommend Thatcham-approved tracking solutions fitted to the vehicle.  An example is http://www.halfords.com/motoring/car-accessories/car-security/disklok-steering-lock-silver-large  This is not an endorsement of the retailer or product other than it has the Thatcham approval.  Thatcham Research are experts in vehicle safety technology, vehicle security and crash repair.

Criminals are exploiting the vulnerabilities of keyless entry system using pairs of radio transmitters by capturing the signal from the car’s fob.  Keyless entry are those that allow drivers to open and start the vehicle without even touching the fob or even removing it from their pocket.  Keyless entry systems on cars offer convenience to drivers, but can in some situations be exploited by criminals.

Points to consider:

Contact your dealer and talk about the digital features in your car. Have there been any software updates you can take advantage of?

Check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off. If it can, and your dealer can also confirm this, then do so overnight.

Store your keys away from household entry points.  Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough – thieves only need to gain proximity to the key to amplify the signal.  See below for some possible solutions.

Be vigilant.  Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighbourhood – and report anything unusual to the Police.

Consider using a Faraday Cage to block the signal from the key fob.  There are several easy ways to block criminals’ amplified signals.  You can buy a signal-blocking pouch that can hold your keys.  You could consider placing the key fob into the refrigerator or freezer.  The multiple layers of metal should block your key fob’s signal.  Just check with the fob’s manufacturer to make sure freezing/refrigerating your key fob won’t damage it.  If you’re not keen to freeze/refrigerate your key fob, you can do the same thing with your microwave oven, making sure you don’t turn it on.  Since your key fob’s signal is blocked by metal, you can also wrap it up in aluminium foil.  While that’s the easiest solution, it can also leak the signal if you don’t do it right, or you could also make a foil-lined box to put your keys in if you’re in a crafting mood.

Surrey Heath Police crime bulletin: December 2017

Surrey Police Community Engagement Volunteer, David Howie, reports on recent thefts, burglaries, and criminal damage in Surrey Heath, in the latest InTheKnow Bulletin for Surrey Heath.
  • Crime no.45170131276 – Between 23/11/2017 from 17:00 to 24/11/2017 at 11:45, in York Road, Camberley. Theft of black Astra Convertible RK07 WHS (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170131746 – Between 24/11/2017 from 19:30 to 26/11/2017 at 13:30, in Watchetts Drive, Camberley. Ford Transit van has been broken into and tools stolen.
  • Crime no.45170131856 – On 26/11/2017 from 20:15 to 20:45, at Vale Road, Camberley. Criminal damage to vehicle.
  • Crime no. 45170131292 – On 24/11/2017 from 18:00 to 19:00, in London Road, Camberley. Theft of cycle that was locked to a lamp post outside Next store
  • Crime no.45170131351 – on 24/11/2017 at 20:00, in Park Street, Camberley. Theft of cycle. (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170131405 – Between 10/11/2017 from 16:25 to 12/11/2017 at 16:25, in Surrey Avenue Camberley. Bike stolen from side of house (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170131811 – Between 24/11/2017 from 16:10 to 26/11/2017 at 19:00, in Watchetts Lake Close, Camberley. Theft of tools from white Citroen Dispatch van.
  • Crime no.45170131908 – On 26/11/2017 at 20:01, in Princess Way, Camberley. Theft of bike wheel
  • Crime no.45170131598 – Between 4/11/2017 from 22:00 to 25/11/2017 at 09:00, in Gilbert Road, Frimley. White Ford Transit works van has been broken into by unknown means.  No damage caused with quantity of tools stolen from within.
  • Crime no.45170131732 – On 25/11/2017 at 22:00, in Frimley Green Road, Frimley. Vehicle has been stolen from outside home address and later seized by police.
  • Crime no.45170132683 – On 28/11/2017 from 14:50 to 15:30, in Waverley Close, Frimley. Window of Audi A1 vehicle has been smashed (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45170132076 – On 24/11/2017 from 04:00 to 06:23, in Bret Harte Road, Frimley. Theft of pedal cycle (Under investigation).
  • Crime no.45170132736 – On 28/11/2017 from 12:00 to 15:15, in Frimley High Street, Frimley. Bike has been stolen.
  • Crime no.45170132608 – On 28/11/2017 at 11:00, in Heathpark Drive, Windlesham. Neighbour has disturbed a theft in progress of lead from a garage roof attached to a dwelling. Property was unoccupied at the time of the offence. (Under investigation)