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Community Safety News september 2020 EDITION

The Community Safety Newsletter aims to keep residents informed about what the Community Safety Partnership has been involved in across Bucks within the last month.

Hotel Watch

Since becoming a unitary authority back in April we have been working on aligning our community safety projects. One of our recent focuses has been on Hotel Watch. Hotel Watch is a scheme aimed to raise awareness around child exploitation across the hospitality industry and we have decided to broaden the project in order to include other elements of exploitation, such as modern slavery, county lines (drugs exploitation) and adult exploitation.

We have been busy putting together new Hotel Watch packs to help support hotel staff. These packs include a variety of information on how to spot the signs of exploitation, guidance on reporting, resources to help with training and much more.

Over the last few weeks Community Safety Officers and the local Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been visiting hotels to discuss the scheme and provide them with their new Hotel Watch packs. We have a strong membership of hoteliers and proprietors across Buckinghamshire who are all playing their part in keeping a safe environment.

Theft from Vehicle

Leaving valuables on view in your vehicle can attract opportunist thieves. Before leaving your vehicle, please take the time to remove personal belongings out of sight. It might only be an old gym bag to you, but to a thief there is a possibility it could have something valuable inside.

Most vehicle crime can be prevented, so DON’T GIVE CRIMINALS AN EASY RIDE! REMOVE IT OR LOSE IT!

Stop Loan Sharks App

'Stop Loan Sharks' launched a new app on Wednesday 23rd September. The free app offers users advice of what a loan shark is and tell-tale signs to be aware of, including cash loans without paperwork, extortionate interest, use of benefits or bank cards as security and threatening behaviour or violence to get your repayment money.

Frontline professionals, such as social workers, housing officers, debt collectors may also find the app useful as they might meet victims through their line of work. The app highlights how to recognise the signs, how to respond to disclosures and where to refer clients to for specialist support.

'Prevent' Community Roundtable

The first virtual 'Prevent' Community Roundtable was held on 24th September. The Prevent strategy forms one of the four strands of the UK Government's counter-terrorism strategy, known as CONTEST - which aims to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism. According to the 2018 CONTEST Strategy the objectives of Prevent are to:

  • Tackle the causes of radicalisation and respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism.
  • Safeguard and support those most at risk of radicalisation through early intervention, identifying them and offering support.
  • Enable those who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate.

Around 70 members of the community including faith leaders, councillors and youth workers were given the chance to hear from a Home Office representative on the Prevent strategy during the interactive session. Lots of discussion was had on best practice, mentoring for young people and concerns and improvements to Prevent.

To report something suspicious or if you're unsure about someone's behaviour or activities contact the 24-hour Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. All calls and information are treated in the strictest of confidence. Trust your instincts!

Clocks Go Back

With the clocks going back on 25th October our homes will be in darkness early in the afternoon – a gift for opportunist burglars. Unfortunately, burglars see the longer winter nights as an opportunity to increase their criminal activities, so to avoid becoming a victim of burglary we are encouraging residents to look at their home security and take some simple, yet effective steps to protect their homes:

  • Use a timer switch to turn on lights and a radio to give the impression someone is home
  • Keep valuables and other electronic equipment such as laptops out of sight
  • Security mark valuables with a UV pen and register them with Immobilise
  • Double lock UPVC doors or use dead locks on solid doors
  • Keep all spare keys, including car keys, away from the front door and out of sight to avoid them being ‘fished’ through the letter box
  • Keep windows locked with the key and keep it out of sight
  • Don’t leave the packaging boxes from expensive new TVs or game consoles outside by your bin, this will just act as advertising what goodies you have inside your home.

Halloween

COVID-19 will change the way that we celebrate special events with our families and friends this year. Although we can’t hold Halloween parties or events that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a good time. Celebrate Halloween safely and help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

High risk activities not to take part in:

  • Do not go Trick or Treating.
  • Do not go to crowded costume parties held indoors or any party where there are more than six people.
  • Do not substitute your facemask with a Halloween mask as this will not keep you safe.
  • Do not leave self-serve bowls of sweets outside for trick or treaters; we don’t want dozens of hands reaching into the same bowl. Some picky trick or treaters may rifle through the contents to find the best treat. The bowl could harbour infection and you could end up sharing more than just sweets.

Top five low risk activities:

  • Have a pumpkin trail in your street, town or village.
  • Have fun with the children either carving or drawing pumpkins and place them in your window. Neighbouring children can have fun pumpkin spotting. You could give your children prizes for the number of pumpkins they spot.
  • Have a virtual pumpkin carving competition with your friends.
  • Carve your pumpkins at home and share the results via Zoom, Google or Skype.
  • Have fun decorating your house this season. There are lots of templates and crafting ideas online.
  • Have a Halloween scavenger hunt.
  • Give the children a list of Halloween themed things to look for on their walk. Spiders or cobwebs for example. You can also do this in your home and hide some treats instead.
  • Have a Halloween movie night at home.
  • Even for very young children there are some family favourites. Bake some Halloween treats to make it a special occasion.

In preparation for Halloween we have made a downloadable poster which you can display in your window to say that you do not welcome trick or treaters.

Fireworks

Buckinghamshire Council are urging residents to avoid public Bonfire Night celebrations on Thursday 5 November. With rising coronavirus cases in Buckinghamshire and the surrounding areas, the council is asking residents to stay safe by avoiding public Bonfire Night celebrations. This is in line with government guidance around the ‘rule of six’ and minimising social contact.

If you are thinking of having a private Bonfire Night event in your garden, please ensure you follow the latest COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing rules. When purchasing fireworks make sure they are CE marked and are from a licenced distributor. Please be considerate when letting off fireworks and make sure the noise is over by 11pm.

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:

Coronavirus Information

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

Contact Details

If you would like to speak with a Community Safety Officer or you would like further information please visit our Community Safety webpage

Thank you for reading!

Created By
Hayley Casey
Appreciate