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Community Safety News december 2020 EDITION

The Community Safety Newsletter aims to keep residents and partner agencies informed about what the Community Safety Team has recently been involved in across Buckinghamshire.

Coronavirus Information

On Sunday 20th December Buckinghamshire moved into Tier 4, the very highest level of coronavirus restrictions in England. Being in a Tier 4 area means that you cannot leave or be outside of the place you are living unless you have a reasonable excuse. You cannot meet other people indoors, including over the Christmas period, unless you live with them, or they are part of your support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household. These rules will not be relaxed for Christmas for Tier 4: you cannot form a Christmas Bubble in Tier 4. Please see the Governments website for full details on the restrictions.

For further information on the coronavirus, service changes and details on how to access support across Buckinghamshire please visit Buckinghamshire Council's website: Bucks Coronavirus information

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Christmas Home Security

Unfortunately, burglaries usually increase during the winter months, when burglars take advantage of the longer hours of darkness. We would like Buckinghamshire residents to take a few simple precautions to help prevent falling victim to winter burglary:

  • Don't leave your home in darkness! Invest in a timer light switch and vary the time it comes on each day to make it look more natural. It can also be used with a radio or TV to give the impression that someone's home. If you are leaving a light on make sure it's a room that cannot be looked into from the road.
  • Perhaps purchase a fake/simulated TV device which lights up a room like a real TV.
  • Keep valuables out of sight and mark them with your house number and postcode using a UV pen.
  • Register your valuables via Immobilise and keep an inventory list. It's free and takes just a few minutes.
  • If you have jewellery at home, photograph it for insurance purposes and store it in a suitable safe.
  • Lock your doors and windows, if you have a UPVC door make sure you have double locked it by lifting the handle and locking it with the key. Make sure the key is removed from the lock and out of reach.
  • Look out for your neighbours' houses, especially when they're not at home and call 999 immediately if you see anything suspicious. If you want to report something which does not require an immediate response call TVP's non-emergency number 101.
  • If you are not a member of a Neighbourhood Watch Group you can find details of your local group by visiting Our Watch.

Rubbish / Recycling - Your rubbish can give thieves an insight on what you own and what valuable items are in your home. Recycling is of particular interest because they can see whether or not you’ve purchased any big-ticket items. Make sure to break down your boxes. If you leave them intact, it’s easier for thieves to know what to look for when breaking into your home. Let's not tempt burglars by leaving packaging of expensive items purchased on view as an advertisement to thieves of what is inside your home.

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Shopping Safety Tips

Online Shopping

Whether you still have some last minute Christmas shopping to do, or are looking forward to the January sales, we would like to remind residents of how to stay safe online.

  • Ensure shopping websites are authentic by carefully checking the address is spelled correctly.
  • Make sure payment pages are secure.
  • Don't pay for goods by transferring money directly to people or companies that you don’t know.
  • Check that a holiday or any travel you book is genuine by researching it thoroughly.
  • Purchase event, concert tickets etc. from official sources.
  • Keep a look out for unexpected emails and text messages urging you to click on a link or attachment.

If you would like further advice please visit the following useful websites:

In-store Shopping

We may not be venturing out to the shops, but we would still like to remind residents of some simple tips to ensure your purse and bank cards are kept secure at all times. Please have a read of our safety tips below, to help prevent you from becoming a victim of crime.

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Property Marking

After Christmas many homes will be stocked with the latest gadgets, so now is the perfect time to think about security marking such items. It only takes a few minutes to security mark your valuables and get them photographed and registered on a property database such as Immobolise.

Security marking can deter thieves by making the items harder to sell on. It also makes it easier for the Police to return your item in the event of it being lost or stolen.

Items should be marked on the back or underneath with a postcode and house number using an ultra violet pen which are available online. Larger items, such as bikes, scooters or machinery can be permanently marked using an engraver or etching kit.

For smaller items use synthetic DNA, microdot & other chemical marking liquids which can be used to mark just about anything. Quick to apply, each solution is unique to the owner & practically impossible to remove.

If it's expensive, it's desirable so please get it marked!

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Loan Sharks

We don't want anyone to fall prey to loan sharks during the festive period or at anytime of the year. Loan sharks destroy lives and control their victims with fear and intimidation. If you or someone you know has been a victim of illegal money lending, contact Stop Loan Sharks on 0300 555 2222.

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Safer Buckinghamshire Board

The new community safety partnership for Buckinghamshire is the Safer Buckinghamshire Board. Earlier this year, the Board agreed the strategic community safety priorities for Buckinghamshire:

  • Helping communities to become more resilient
  • Protecting vulnerable adults and children
  • Addressing the impact of drugs, alcohol and poor mental health
  • Tackling domestic violence and abuse
  • Dealing with offending

You can read more about the Board, the 5 priorities and why they were identified in the Safer Buckinghamshire Plan.

At the most recent meeting at the end of October, the Board heard from TalkBack who have completed a study on domestic abuse and learning disability and autism. A task and finish group has been established to deliver the recommendations.

The Board also heard from Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) on the work they are doing in Buckinghamshire: National VRU's were set up by the Home Office in response to serious violence. A key focus for the Council is the implementation of the Governments National Serious Violence Strategy to tackle Serious Violent Crime. To support this strategy the government is advocating a Public Health collaborative approach in partnership with, for example the NHS and local Communities. A key focus of this national strategy is early intervention activities to support and protect young people and implement the recommendations made by the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding and Children's Board serious case review on youth violence. The Council is committed to support the Serious Violence Agenda to reduce violence in the County and keep our local communities safe.

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Community Boards

Community Boards are a new way of bringing the council, groups, organisations and local people together to look at local issues and to find ways of improving them together. As a community-led partnership, Community Boards will:

  • influence how decisions are made and how services are delivered
  • represent the voice of local people
  • capture thoughts, ideas and suggestions
  • bring together key community partners and residents
  • identify local needs and work to produce creative solutions

There will be many ways the boards will work with the community to identify what is important in each area and take action together. Working groups will explore the local priorities, set up local projects and find creative ways to make local changes.

For further information please take a look at the following webpage - Community Boards

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Act Early Website

Counter Terrorism Policing have launched a new safeguarding website Act Early. The website aims to increase awareness with concerned family and friends of where to go for further information and support. The Act Early website also helps to raise awareness and understanding of the signs of radicalisation, increase understanding and confidence of the referral process, and develop trust and confidence in the safeguarding role of the police.

Family and friends know when somethings not right. It can feel scary to think someone close could be heading down a path towards extremism. However, it is family and friends who are best placed to spot concerning behaviour at an early stage and can help the person they care about get the support they may need to move away from extremism.

In addition, a new national Prevent advice helpline is now live. If you are worried about someone call 0800 011 3764, in confidence, to share your concerns with specially trained Prevent officers. The advice line is available every day 9am – 5pm. Calls outside of these hours will be transferred to specialist Counter Terrorism officers. If you’re deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a police non-emergency number is available as a text phone service on 18001 101. Remember in an emergency, please make sure you’re safe and dial 999.

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White Ribbon Day

Wednesday 25th November marked White Ribbon Day, an awareness raising day to prevent men's violence against women.

Statistics show domestic abuse will affect one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime. It's estimated that 1.9m people in the UK suffer some form of domestic abuse and it can happen to anyone; regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age or financial background. Therefore we committed to a whole week of promotion for this campaign sharing local and national support services available for all.

How and where to get help and support

Anyone in immediate danger should call 999. Or if in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999 from your mobile and then press 55. This will transfer the call to the police, who will assist without the caller having to speak.

Cllr Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities & Public Health and Cllr Angela McPherson, Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care supporting White Ribbon Day. 

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Social Media

Don't forget to follow our new social media accounts to keep up to date with key community safety messages and crime reduction tips:

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Contact Details

If you would like further information or advice from the Community Safety Team, please contact us:

Created By
Hayley Casey
Appreciate