March 2008

Newsletter no 74                                          


Dear neighbour.

I am pleased to say that, over the past quarter, reports of crime have remained at traditionally low levels.  


Brunton Park : A house in South Ridge was burgled and a window was broken in Milford gardens. A handbag, accidentally left on a doorstep, was also stolen. Two unlocked vehicles on the Great North Road were entered and a car radio was stolen.


Melton Park: A handbag left on a driveway in Glamis Avenue was stolen and, in the same street, a rubber seal was removed from a works van and tools stolen.


Bogus Workmen:

There have been two incidents reported recently which are a cause for concern and may become more common as the growing season begins. An elderly resident was approached by some men who told her that her neighbour had complained about a tree blocking the neighbour’s light and said it should be cut back. They then conned their way into her back garden in order to try and persuade her to have other trees pruned. Fortunately, when the final price was discussed, she refused to pay and they left.

An elderly resident at Wideopen was targeted and agreed a price of several hundred pounds to prune a tree. The man in question wanted £100.00 deposit. When she said she would have to go to the bank to get the deposit, he took her in his van, got the money then made off, leaving her at the bank. Needless to say, he has not been seen since and the matter is being investigated by the police. Although this incident did not take place on either of our estates, criminals have no boundaries so it is important that everyone is alert to this kind of scam.

Advice: Under no circumstances agree to any work being done by anyone who calls unannounced at your front door. You will have no idea if the price is fair and no comeback if the standard of workmanship is poor.

If anyone calls at your house unannounced and tells you your tree needs pruning or tells you there is a problem with your roof/guttering/ridge tiles etc, please do not feel obliged to let them have a closer look. Equally, do not let them into your house. If you think such work may need to be done, speak to friends and neighbours for recommendations or make contact with established businesses. Then you can get several quotes so that you are in a position to assess what is a fair price for the job.

Bogus Window Cleaner:

I am pleased to inform you that the bogus window cleaner mentioned in the previous newsletter has been charged with four offences of deception. It is suspected that he may be responsible for more and it turns out that he used to do a window cleaning round in the area. If you feel you may have paid him for work that has not been done or you have been charged twice, please contact Etal Lane Police Station.

Bogus Neighbourhood Watch: I have received a call from a resident living on Davenport Drive who has had notes left on his car windscreen by someone who felt that the parking was dangerous. I was rather disappointed to discover that the author of the notes had headed them with the words, ‘Neighbourhood Watch’. I am not in a position to pass comment on the parking issue, but I do take exception to anyone who gives the impression that what they are doing is in my name. If I had an issue with anyone’s parking, I would go and have a nice polite, quiet word with them. In nearly 30 years police service I have found that that invariably does the trick. (Although I suppose the uniform helps!). If they did not respond, then I would have a second word and perhaps explain the consequences for them and also explain that I hoped that I did not have to go down the official route. I would certainly never just leave a note on someone’s vehicle as I believe this would just cause offence. May I suggest that you have the confidence to make polite approaches to a neighbour if you have an issue. They may not realise there is a problem and, hopefully, will be willing to help resolve it.