Category Archives: Neighbourhood Bulletins

Neighbourhood Bulletins from the Police Community Beat Officer and Wiltshire Police

Neighbourhood Bulletin – Collingbourne Kingston Burglary

On the afternoon Wednesday 3rd December 2008, a burglary occurred at a dwelling in Collingbourne Kingston.Car keys were located within the house, and as well as other property, the car, a high value 4×4 was stolen off the drive.
The good news is that the vehicle was spotted, and followed by Hampshire to Luton, where 6 people were arrested and are currently in custody.
Although this is a great result, part of my job is to prevent these offences occurring in the first place so I am getting on my soap box again to give you a few tips to prevent yourselves becoming a victim.
Modern cars can only be stolen in one of two ways, with the keys, or towed away. Long gone are the days where you can “hotwire” a car, so thieves have had to adapt their techniques to acquire keys to vehicles they want to steal.

Whilst burglary to obtain car keys is on the increase, very often, no one has to actually break into your house because a recent survey has shown that most people leave their car keys a few feet from their front door on a hall table or wall hook, and most are visible from the letterbox enabling the bad guys (or gals) to simply fish them through the letterbox!

Go and check where you keys and spares are right now…………………………scary isn’t it?

Anyway simple precautions like using a key safe or hiding your spare keys will prevent this opportunist theft. When you are actually driving the car, if you have to stop anywhere and get out, turn off the engine and take the keys with you. It takes a thief seconds to jump in and disappear with your pride and joy,preferably without causing injury to you, and if it gets burnt out or shipped abroad (the latter would have been the fate of the 4×4 above had Hampshire not been on the ball) the insurance will not pay out as you have not taken reasonable care.Remember the recent case of the Porsche driver who left the keys in his car whilst he paid for fuel? Despite taking the case to the ombudsman he lost his appeal and is £70,000 out of pocket! I doubt he would have left that much cash unattended so why should it be different with a car?
If you do have a special or high value car, it may be worthwhile having a tracking device fitted.This will not only reduce your insurance premium, but dramatically improves the chances of recovering the vehicle should it be stolen. There are several systems available, but all rely on a transmitter being hidden in the vehicle, and this is remotely activated when the car is stolen, which sends a signal to suitably equipped police cars, helicopters and ports.

Finally, when you park your vehicle, always ensure valuables like sat navs, lap tops and DVD players are removed as well as things that look like they may contain valuables e.g., I had a lady leave a rucksack in her car which only contained spare nappies, but the thief didn’t know this until he (or she) had broken the car window scattering glass shards over the interior . The resulting inconvenience of waiting for the window to be repaired, cleaning all the glass and drying out the car after the overnight storm far overshadowed the extra journey into the house with the bag.
If anyone has any specific queries re car crime, I am happy to give advice either by email or on the usual numbers. Thanks,

PC Mark Randle 962
CBM Tidworth Rural
hone:0845 4087000 extension 744 817/8

Neighbourhood Bulletin – Frosty Mornings

With the frosty mornings well and truly here I thought it was time to offer some advice regarding preparing your car for the winter especially in light of the tragedy in Slough where a lady was run over by her own car after a thief jumped into it and drove off whilst she was scraping the ice off.

In an ideal world it would be best to garage the car or cover the windscreen the night before, but not all of us have the luxury of a garage or the advanced warning of frost, so assuming the first you know about it is when you get up on the morning there are three options available:-

1) manually scrape the ice with a purpose made scraper or use an old CD case.
2)Use one of the many chemical sprays (less green than the above)
3) Use warm water (not hot as this can crack the glass).The problem with this last method is if it is really cold there can be secondary freezing of the water poured on the vehicle.

Leaving the car running unattended whilst eating your Ready Brek is not an option as not only is it an inefficient way of doing it, but leaves it vulnerable to theft and you will NOT be covered by your insurance if it is stolen.Also if the vehicle is on the Highway, you are liable to a fixed penalty, currently £30, for leaving it. If the car is stolen it places at risk not only other members of the public, but the Police Officers involved in any subsequent pusuits.

A £30 ticket is also available for those impatient people who drive off without fully clearing their windscreen, choosing to view the world through a pillar box like opening, again putting all other road users at risk.
Once underway, avoid harsh or jerky movements of the steering, throttle or clutch, and keep a greater distance between vehicles and reducing speed. If conditions are really bad, only drive if absolutely necessary, having packed a rug, hot flask,fully charged mobile,torch,high visibility jacket and warning triangle, in case of mis-hap hap or breakdown.Stick to the main roads which are normally gritted frequently.

Finally if you do stop off at the shop for your morning paper, remember to switch off the engine as I can switch off and lock your car far quicker than you can get served, and the walk to the Police Station to collect your keys, I find, is far more educational than a £30 ticket!

Drive Safely,

PC Mark Randle 962
CBM Tidworth Rural
Phone:0845 4087000 extension 744 817/8

Neighbourhood Bulletin – Red Diesel Theft

Overnight 13/14 November 2008 about 1500-2000 litres of red diesel were taken from a storage tank on a farm at Collingbourne Kingston.
Thieves used an angle grinder to cut off the security shroud and drained the tank. From tyre tracks it is possible a 4×4 pickup type vehicle was used.

Please send me any registration numbers of vehicles seen snooping around rural locations because even if we don’t catch them in the act of theft, use of red diesel is illegal to use in road vehicles
so I can dip their fuel and if found using it, I can seize the vehicle then Customs and Excise can not only heavily fine them, but recoup estimated back duty so a triple whammy!

Thank you, Mark

PC Mark Randle 962
CBM Tidworth Rural
Phone:0845 4087000 extension 744 817/8

Neighbourhood Bulletin – Recent Burglaries- Collingbourne Ducis

Recent Burglaries- Collingbourne Ducis

This weekend, there were two burglaries in nearby houses in Collingbourne Ducis, both whilst the owners were away.

The investigations are on going but I think it would be a good idea just to pass on some crime prevention advice and reassurance.
If you are at all worried about leaving your premises when going on holiday, please get in touch with either myself or Claire and we can arrange a free survey of your house and offer crime prevention ideas.
In addition we will also pay attention to your house if you send us a quick email with the times/dates of your absence including contact details of key holders whilst you are away(plus a contact number for yourself whilst away if possible). It must be stressed that these are isolated incidents and our area is one of the safest in the country and just by being vigilant, passing us registration numbers of strange vehicles,or calling in suspicious behaviour or uninvited callers, we can maintain this position. The last burglary in the area back in the summer has been detected and two offenders convicted at court last month.

There have been a couple of reported incident in the Tidworth and Burbage area of Irish males in white vans touting plasma TVs for discount prices.Do not buy them, they do not work!

Remember, if something is too good to true it is!!!!

PC Mark Randle 962
CBM Tidworth Rural
Phone:0845 4087000 extension 744 817/8

Neighbourhood Bulletin – Lottery Scam

Following on from my last bulletin which ended “If something is too good to be true, it is” this also applies if you get a letter telling you you have won some foreign lottery or other especially if you haven’t bought a ticket for such a draw.The alarm bells should also start to ring when you are then asked to send a large sum of money via untraceable Western Union Money gram or similar to cover admin charges,however if you do send money further demands for customs clearance fees/currency transfer costs and as many other upfront fees as they can squeeze out of you until the penny finally drops that you will never receive the vast millions promised. Won’t happen to you? I hope not, but one poor Ducis resident is now out of pocket to the tune of £21,000 with no hope of retrieving a single penny!

So if a letter offering untold wealth plops onto your mat, forward it to me for collation and shredding!!!

PC Mark Randle 962
CBM Tidworth Rural
Phone:0845 4087000 extension 744 817/8

Neighbourhood Bulletin – Theft of Domestic Heating Oil


Wiltshire police have recently seen an increase in the theft of household heating oil from tanks. This type of theft is becoming more desirable due to the increasing global prices of oil, along with easy access to the storage containers which are usually housed in people’s gardens.

Crime Reduction Officer, Claire Rooney from Wiltshire Police said “Many homes, especially those in rural locations throughout Wiltshire are served by this form of heating, and their oil is stored in large tanks in the garden, with the average oil tank costing £1000 to fill, I would urge anyone with an oil tank to take some basis crime prevention measures”

Crime Prevention Measures

  • Ensure the tank is as out of sight as possible, if you are unable to do this camouflage as best you can
  • Conceal exterior pipe work
  • Keep front gates to your property shut and any side gates locked
  • Check your tank regularly and report anything suspicious to your local police as soon as possible
  • A metal cage can be used to protect the tap
  • Install security lighting
  • Ensure that you have adequate insurance cover

Anyone with information is urged to contact Salisbury Police. If you require any further information on Crime Prevention, please contact the Community Affairs Department at Salisbury Police Station 0845 408 7000



Claire Rooney, Community Affairs – Salisbury 01722 435210