Policing and Crime Prevention
The Neighbourhood Constable responsible for the Birch and Layer Neighbourhood is PC Darin (Daz) Patrick (Collar No 71587) who is based at Tiptree Police/Fire Station. His contact details are as follows:
Telephone: 0300-333-4444 ext 432100 / 487654
The Neighbourhood Police Community Support Officer is PCSO John Howard (Collar No 71266).
Information about Neighbourhood Policing can be found in the 'My Neighbourhood' section of the Essex Police website at www.essex.police.uk/my_neighbourhood.aspx.
Contacting the Police
You can use the national police non-emergency 101 telephone number -
• to contact Essex Police about any non-emergency crime issue,
• to contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team,
• to seek crime prevention or personal safety advice,
• to contact your nearest police station,
• to speak to the police about any other non-emergency issue.
(Calls to 101 are not free - there is a fixed charge of 15p for each call.)
The '999' number should only be used to request assistance in cases of genuine emergency requiring an immediate police response.
Tiptree Police Station is now located in the Tiptree Fire Station but the Station is not open to the public.
Crime Prevention Advice
Cold Calls from Alarm Companies
As at November 2014 the police are reporting a rise in the number of unsolicited sales calls, both on the doorstep and by telephone calls, especially to the elderly, to sell alarm systems. These companies quite often make false claims and can be aggressive in their sales pitch.
We are advised to consider the following points:
- No alarm system will be free or very cheap.
Beware of high maintenance fees, monitoring fees or sometimes premium rate telephone numbers are used by the system in the monitoring.
- Commercial monitored alarms systems are monitored by that or another company and if it is a confirmed activation it is that company that notifies the key holder and in some cases the police.
- The police do not recommend or endorse alarm companies.
- The police do recommend that if you are having an alarm fitted that you choose an alarm system that is accredited to SSAIB or NSI.
- The police do not work in conjunction with any security companies.
- Do get more than one quote, preferably three.
- Consider joining the Telephone Preference Service to reduce the number of unsolicited telephone calls - http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/ or 0845 070 0707.
- If it seems too good to be true then it probably is.
If you do received unsolicited calls from security companies contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.
Security advice can always be obtained free from your local Crime Reduction Advisor by ringing 101.
As it comes to the time when you are thinking about topping up your heating oil tank for winter, with the value of fuel it is worth considering its security.
In the more isolated parts of the countryside it is primarily domestic properties that have been targeted by the heating oil thieves, but we have also seen such thefts at farms and other businesses.
There are a number of security devices available that will protect your fuel supplies - details of which can be found via your fuel supplier or local plumber's merchant. Two such systems are "GPRS Fuel-Oil Alarm" from www.compoundsecurity.co.uk and Tank Commander from www.commandersecurities.co.uk , which have "Secured by Design" accreditation; these detect a dramatic drop in fuel and call you on the telephone. There are also systems that will add on to an existing intruder alarm system. Others protect the filler cap and there are of course conventional locks.
Another consideration would be defensive planting around the tank, concealing it and restricting access to it by gates or fencing, and where possible locating the tank under lighting in view of lived-in rooms within the house.
The Illusion of Occupancy
As the nights draw in earlier don't forget to use table lamps on timers. There is a product called "Fake TV" that produces lighting that resembles a television being switched on within a room, see www.immobilise.com You can also record serial numbers of products here free of charge. Consider installing external "Dusk till dawn" lighting and remember to secure those gates: make sure they are closed and locked up correctly.
If you would like any advice regarding security please do not hesitate to contact your local Crime Reduction Advisor by using the 101 non-emergency telephone number.
Naturally we also ask locals to report any unusual activity to police in an emergency on 999 or after the event on 101 or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Anti-Social Behaviour Hotline
Colchester Borough Council and Essex Police have joined forces to provide a direct telephone line for reporting anti-social behaviour. You can now speak to a team of dedicated specialists who can talk through your problems and deal with your call more efficiently by assigning it to the correct agency.
The ASB hotline number is 01206-282731. The line is staffed from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. Callers outside these times should leave a message.
Community Zone Wardens
Zone Teams and their Zone Wardens are employed by Colchester Borough Council to serve the needs of local communities. They work to improve local streets through cleaning, litter picking, emptying litter and dog bins and carrying out street-based maintenance. They provide environmental education, support, advice and enforcement to encouraging positive behaviour change and support local communities as part of consultation work and help coordinate and promote community events.
More information about our Zone Team and the help they can offer, including contact details, is shown on the Contacts page.