Finchampstead and Barkham neighbourhood policing update
May 16, 2008
Crime continues to drop in Finchampstead and Barkham but theft from vehicles is still high, according to a local Police Community Support Officer.
PCSO Tony Smith says despite the general crime drop in the areas last year there were almost 800 vehicle-related crimes, including theft of number plates, committed.
In his latest neighbourhood policing update PCSO Smith explains some of the tricks car thieves use to avoid getting caught and hands out his top tips to stop them.
He also talks about burglaries, anti-social behaviour and why speeding has become a police priority in the two areas.
"Figures continue to show a drop in crime compared to last year," PCSO Smith says.
"There are still burglaries and anti-social behaviour in the area, but now that the full team is in place, we are able to make more patrols and show more of a presence on the streets.
"We have done a bit of research into a couple of crime figures for the past year (1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008).
"You may be aware that theft from motor vehicles dropped significantly last year, but we still suffered 795 of these offences.
"Theft of number plates is included in this category.
"Offenders sometimes steal plates and attached them to another vehicle of a similar make, model and age.
"This could result in them avoiding fines for speeding and parking fines and congestion charges and the bill could be sent to the legitimate owner.
"Criminals don’t want to have their cars recognised by the police.
"They generally don’t have tax or insurance on their cars and will use a stolen number plate so that if an officer performs a check on the car it will come as a legitimate car, your car.
"They could then go on to burgle a house, steal a car, rob someone or any number of other offences.
"To help stop these criminals achieving their goals, and possibly prevent your self going through a lot of stress and hassle we recommend people fit number plates with non returnable screws or fit DVLA approved anti-theft number plates."
He adds: "Speeding is one of the most received complaints we hear from residents, and the issue has been raised as a priority by Finchhampstead and Barkham Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG).
The roads that have raised concerns are: Nine Mile Ride, Barkham Road, and Finchampstead Road.
These roads have received a good police presence with the use of laser speed guns over the past weeks.
The victims of speeding are the residents, however visitors could also be affected."
The Finchampstead and North Crowthorne policing team is made up of PCs Andy Roberts and Tom Thomas and PCSOs Graham Edwards, Tony Smith and Ben Workman.
For information, please call the police on 0845 8 505 505 or visit www.thamesvalley.police.uk.