Caddington residents are fighting back against crime I moved to Caddington 25 years ago, I got married in the beautiful church and spent many hours walking around Woodside Animal Farm with my son. We grew as a family and I had to move away but Caddington will always have a special place in my heart. In this short article we are going touch on: The problems Caddington are facing What support do the residents have? Tips and advice What’s next for Caddington? As we know, times change… During the time that I lived in Caddington I wasn’t aware of criminal activity, there must have been some but obviously not enough to unsettle the community like it does today. What is happening on the streets and to the homes and businesses withing the village is very sad and disturbing. However… The residents are fighting back against the rapidly growing increase in criminal activity. With a population of approximately 4,000 people, Caddington was once the centre of a thriving brick industry, the ‘Luton Grey’ brick and was referred to in a special book about the history of bricks produced in the 1970’s by Bedfordshire County Council in conjunction with the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. Caddington has a strong foundation on which it grows and it appears it has a community that is getting stronger as they work together to deal with the challenges that they are faced with at the moment. Love it or hate it… Whether you love the concept of social media or not, social media is bringing people together in the Caddington community. Hats off to Facebook groups such as - the Caddington Neighbourhood Watch Association, Caddington Local, The Real Caddington Village and Caddington Rocks. Well done to those residents who have started whatsapp groups and the individuals who have taken it upon themselves to come up with different strategies. If you are a resident of Caddington and you haven’t joined those groups or others that I have will have missed off this list, why not take a look at the groups and see if you would like to contribute in some way - or just keep your finger on the Caddington pulse by being part of a group. The Caddington Neighbourhood Watch Association… The Caddington Neighbourhood Watch Association have encouraged residents to join ‘Streetwatch’. They are responding to the increase in van break-ins and other criminal activity and want help from people to patrol the streets of Caddington. Caddington Neighbourhood Watch is now part of the Caddington Watch Group. Caddington Watch covers the running of Neighbourhood Watch, Street Watch and Speed Watch. Neighbourhood Watch is a scheme supported by the Bedfordshire Police asking members of the public to be the eyes and ears of the police and to call them should they see anything suspicious. Also included with this is tips on safety and security. Speed Watch is a scheme run by Bedfordshire Police which tackles speeding hot spots in Villages and Towns. When a road is highlighted as having regular speeders the Speed Watch Team are dispatched. The Police train up volunteers to man a speed gun to catch speeding vehicles. The vehicles speed is shown on a large electronic sign so the driver is aware of their speed. Details of speeding motorists will be handed to the Police. The registered owner to the vehicle will then receive a letter from the Police pointing out their anti-social driving behaviour and requesting they slow down. Street Watch is a scheme run by Bedfordshire Police using volunteers from the community to patrol Caddington keeping an eye peeled for anything suspicious and also as a visual deterrent should any would be burglars or criminals be passing looking for their next hit. The Police train up the volunteers and issue them with HiViz bibs a notebook and a torch. The only commitment is you have to do 2 hours of Street Watching per month. Also, Street Watchers have to patrol in pairs (minimum). The member then can go online and using a Street Watch calendar can put down the day and time they will patrol. Then when they return from their walk around the village you log back on to the website and fill in a short report should you see anything or not. The best way to describe this scheme is Neighbourhood Watch on foot. If you would like to become involved in any of these schemes please email: Caddingtonnhw@gmail.com http://www.caddington.com/neighbourhood-watch/ Van and car-related crimes… Bedfordshire police have released a top tips list to prevent vehicle crime. Some of the points are very obvious but it’s always good to have a little reminder. Some suggestions might not be appropriate for your situation: Ensure all doors, windows and sunroofs are closed and locked when leaving your vehicle unattended Always take the keys out of the ignition, even if you’re only leaving your car for a moment Don’t leave your keys lying around or visible on a windowsill at home or near a front door, where they could be hooked through the letterbox Never leave valuables in your vehicle and keep any other possessions out of sight. Remove your sat nav and its holder and wipe away any window suction marks as these could indicate a sat nav is stored in your vehicle Don’t leave tools or other working materials in a vehicle unoccupied or overnight, as works vehicles such as vans are commonly targeted by criminals Never leave vehicle documents in your car, as this would make it easy for a thief to sell your car or provide a cover story if stopped by the police Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp and remember to set the immobiliser or alarm on your vehicle, if it has them Consider having anti-theft screws fitted to your number plates to prevent them from being stolen and used on another vehicle If advertising your vehicle for sale via an auction style website, ensure its number plates are blocked out in any images you share to avoid others cloning its identity Fit a dual-band tracking device that works on both VHF or UHF frequencies and GPS signals to ensure that one tracking system will still function if criminals use GPS blocking techniques to avoid detection. Vehicles with a tracking device are often promptly recovered When using a sat nav, protect your home by not using your actual home postcode in your sat nav or storing your postcode as ‘home’, to avoid thieves knowing your home address if your vehicle and sat nav are ever stolen Burglary… Bedfordshire police have released a top tips list to prevent burglaries. Again, some of the points are very obvious but it’s always good to have a look at a checklist: Make your house look lived-in - burglars won’t be tempted by a full house. If you’re out during the night, keep your lights on a timer and consider keeping your radio playing so it seems like someone is home Lock up when you leave - make sure all and windows on your house, vehicle and garages or sheds are securely locked at all times. Not only can valuable tools be appealing to burglars, but they can also be used to force entry to a home Keep valuables out of sight - keys, wallets, mobile phones and laptops left in view can entice opportunist thieves. Try to keep them hidden in a safe place or store them out of view of windows Don’t give crooks an easy entry - never leave keys under a doormat or in a flowerpot – it’s the first place a would-be offender would look Look out for neighbours - ask a friend to keep an eye on your house if you go away, and do the same for neighbours Stay alert to suspicious activity on your street Consider joining a watch scheme Security mark your property - security mark high-value belongings such as laptops, tablets, smartphone and games consoles using UV pens. This can help the police to return any items that are stolen to their rightful owners Report incidents - call 101 to report an incident, or 999 if a crime is in progress. You can also give information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or use our online reporting form Complete the home security checklist - take a few minutes to review the security in your home. Most domestic security issues can be improved quickly and cheaply and will put your mind at rest Callers at the door… Here is some advice for those of you that have cold callers knocking at your door: If you don’t know who is at the door ask, ‘Who are you?’, if they don’t reply, don’t open the door If they do give a name, use the door chain if you feel uncomfortable If the caller has a card check the card. Never be afraid to confirm details via a phone call. Most utility services offer a password scheme and a phone number which you can ring to check the identity of callers. Shut the door whilst making the call If in doubt and you feel uneasy just shut your door Ring 101 to contact the police or 999 if it is an emergency Be wary of anyone calling at your door offering to do repairs or gardening. If they claim you need work done, ring a reputable company. Never allow them in your home or garden None of these tips are meant to scare you, most of us know these things anyway but if you have elderly neighbours, friends or family in the village - it would be a good idea to talk through these things with them. There are so many home security innovations now that will help you feel a lot safer. Take a look… What’s new in the Caddington? Four more security cameras have been put up covering the village green, the shops, Manor Road and there are more to come. Important notice… The store manager at the Caddington Co-op has spoken to the local police and they are going to do a meet and greet outside the Co-op on Saturday 20th October’18 between 10 am and 12 pm. This is a chance for the residents of Caddington to meet and raise concerns they may have to the local police. If enough people support it, it could become a regular event which would be really helpful to everyone. Premierlocsksmiths Premier Locksmiths are a family owned business and based in Dunstable. The owner, George O’Leary has been an active member of the community and provides locksmith services to residents in and around Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. George has worked with the police at Popular’s Garden Centre in Toddington on a home security awareness day and is well aware of the challenges that Caddington faces at the moment. You might find our other blog articles useful and do contact George if you would like any home security advice. Call: 07950645409 www.premierlocksmiths.net

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