Oxhill News

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South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

February 2005


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W I  Report Ė January 2005

Happy New Year to you all.  I hope that it will be a peaceful and enjoyable year for everyone.

Our Vice President, June Wreford opened the meeting and informed us that three of our members, Ann Beeny, Josie Hurst and Angela Gethin were all now out of hospital and on the mend.  They are recovering well and hope to be back at WI in the next few months.  Lyn Hicks, Secretary, then read the minutes of the last meeting.

Our guest was PC Nick Stephens from Stratford Police and his official title is Community Safety Officer (formerly Crime Prevention Officer).  His special subject is distraction burglaries and he informed us that there had been about 25 of these in the locality since October 2004.  He has done a lot of research on this problem and had some very simple solutions to help prevent them occurring.

Do not let ANYONE into your home if you do not know them.  Any unsolicited caller can be a potential burglar.

ALWAYS keep your back door locked during daylight hours.  85% of burglaries are carried out by back door users.   

Have a peephole and a chain fitted to your front door and NEVER open the front door without the chain being in place.  It is not really necessary to put the door chain on when you go to bed because most people put the door lock on or bolts into place, but it is very necessary to use the chain during the day.

ALWAYS interrogate your caller and ask for ID, ask them to post it through the door.  If you are not happy with the ID or do not recognise it, then ring the utilities company involved or the police otherwise to see if there is any one working in the area.  DO NOT take the telephone number from your caller.  They just might be telling fibs!!

Personal alarms put by the front door are also a good prevention, as they make so much noise it would scare off any potential thief.

Always ring and inform the police of any bogus caller you are not happy about, as this is the way that the police can build up a profile of the thief and hopefully catch him before anyone gets hurt.

PC Stephens then changed the subject to handbag theft, especially in supermarkets.  Always hold onto your handbag and if possible, wear over your shoulder   Do not put into the trolley or hanging from the back.  Check your handbags and only take with you what you will need.  Those sentimental items in your handbag do not need to go with you every time you go to the shops, but it will be very painful if they get stolen.  The only things you will really need are a purse hopefully with not too much cash (and with only one credit card if you have one), your keys and a hankie.  Everything else should be cleared out

Finally, PC Stephens wound up the evening by saying that every door should have a lock, every window should have a catch, every external door should have two locks, and that a burglar alarm and nowadays CCT cameras can also be very useful.

He was more than willing to visit anyone in the village that would like to know more about keeping themselves and their property safe.  Call Stratford Police and leave a message for him and he will ring you back.

This was a very informative talk and gave us some useful tips, and also quite a few laughs with his jokey manner.  He also very kindly brought along some personal alarms which he asked to be used as raffle prizes, so some of our ladies now have very noisy personal alarms.  I wonít say which ones!

Our refreshments were provided by Mrs A Evans, Mrs M Swift and Mrs T Matthews.  Thank you very much ladies.

Donít forget that Keep Fit will be in the Village Hall on Thursdays at 10.30am.  All welcome.

J. Batchelor

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Last modified: January 30, 2005