There have been some disturbing incidents in Medstead and Beech (Medstead Road) in 2010. Tens of thousands of £’s and dozens of Koi Carp have been stolen. The gang are highly organised having determined that the occupants are away and that there is a pond with valuable fish. The Koi are large, up to 24 inches, and therefore quite heavy so there is a good deal of organisation and equipment to lift them out of the pond to be transported away, presumably in broad daylight. They are professionals who plan and have a ready market apparently. The only evidence in one instance was wheel marks in the gravel drive, although there have been examples of pumping out the pond or breaking into it to drain the water. This is a particularly nasty crime that can destroy fish that have been carefully nurtured over many years, as they could be traumatised, and of course it violates homes and gardens.
Beech Neighbourhood Watch liaise closely with the police and other local Neighbourhood Watch schemes and share information about incidents and potential threats. Thefts from gardens and outbuildings seem particularly on the increase. Information about incidents and alerts is most effectively given by the use of email. Please ensure your local Neighbourhood Watch coordinator has your email address so you can benefit from this very effective scheme. If you have any questions, need advice, or wish to know who your coordinator is, please contact Colin Britchford on 88180.
Smartwater: High Tech. security marking for your valuables to protect them from theft. Contact Richard Butt for information on 541232.
Crime Prevention Officer: Always available for advice at Alton Police Station.
The Hampshire Neighbourhood Watch Association have issued the following seasonal and general advice:
- Light timers should be used to give the impression the property is occupied.
- Ensure your neighbours are aware if you are absent.
- Be aware of your more vulnerable neighbours.
- At Christmas do not leave gifts on display near windows or inside cars where thieves may see them.
- Keep alert to any potential problems in your neighbourhood.
- Do not approach criminals or suspicious people. Do not become involved. Call the police and observe from a safe distance and note as much detail until police arrive. Try to note gender, how many, age, hair colouring, height, clothes, weight, footwear, distinctive features and ethnicity.
- If you overhear a conversation or see something suspicious, try to report what was said or done, when, who, where and why
- If you see a suspicious vehicle try to report its registration number, make, model, colour, condition and any other markings.
Contacting the Police
Ring 999 for Emergencies: For an immediate response when a crime is in progress or life in danger. Tell the operator which service you require: Police, Ambulance or Fire Brigade. Give your name, where you are, what has happened and when it happened.
Ring 101 or 0845 045 4545 for Non–Emergency: Explain to the switchboard the reason for your call. They will transfer you to an advisor to take details and explain the action to be taken. You can request for a beat officer to call.
We hope that you find this advice helpful but please remember that our community has always been a relatively safe one. Our individual and collective vigilance can help it remain so.