Romsey Police Reports




An eye on Woodley, Romsey and surrounding areas with Stuart Thorpe

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Police Messages


April 13th

Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Wonga has confirmed a data breach where up to 250,000 accounts have been compromised. The incident is now being investigated by the police and has been reported to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Wonga has updated their website with further information and confirmed that they are contacting all those affected and are taking steps to protect them, but there are also some things you can do to keep your information secure.
Here’s what you can do to make yourself safer:

If any of your financial details were compromised, notify your bank or card company as soon as possible. Review your financial statements regularly for any unusual activity.
Criminals can use personal data obtained from a data breach to commit identity fraud. Consider using credit reference agencies, such as Experian or Equifax, to regularly monitor your credit file for unusual activity.
Be suspicious of any unsolicited calls, emails or texts, even if it appears to be from a company you know of. Don’t open the attachments or click on links within unsolicited emails, and never disclose any personal or financial details during a cold call.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to us:

5th April

Dear Residents,

Please come and meet me; your local PCSO Gemma CLARK in Romsey at several locations on the following days;

Waitrose - Saturday 8th April 1100-1300hrs
Santander - Monday 10th April 1200-1400hrs
Santander - Wednesday 19th April 1100-1300hrs
Waitrose - Friday 21st April 1430-1600hrs
Waitrose - Wednesday 26th April 1300-1430hrs
Waitrose - Saturday 6th May 1100-1300hrs
Santander - Monday 8th May 1100-1300hrs
Santander - Wednesday 17th May 1100-1300hrs

Hope to see you there

4th April

Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters are sending out a high volume of phishing emails to personal and business email addresses, pretending to come from various email addresses, which have been compromised.
The subject line contains the recipient’s name, and the main body of text is as below:
“Hi, [name]!
I am disturbing you for a very serious reason. Although we are not familiar, but I have significant amount of individual info concerning you. The thing is that, most likely mistakenly, the data of your account has been emailed to me.
For instance, your address is:
[real home address]
I am a law-abiding citizen, so I decided to personal data may have been hacked. I attached the file – [surname].dot that I received, that you could explore what info has become obtainable for scammers. File password is – 2811
Best Wishes,”
The emails include an attachment – a ‘.dot’ file usually titled with the recipient’s name.
This attachment is thought to contain the Banking Trojan Ursniff/Gozi, hidden within an image in the document. The Ursniff Banking Trojan attempts to obtain sensitive data from victims, such as banking credentials and passwords. The data is subsequently used by criminals for monetary gain.

Protect Yourself:

Having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent your device(s) from becoming infected.
Please consider the following actions:
  • Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages: Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication (you can find out how by searching the internet for relevant advice for your email provider).
  • Do not enable macros in downloads; enabling macros will allow Trojan/malware to be installed onto your device.
  • Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It is important that the device you back up to is not connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that as well.
  • If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should contact your bank immediately.
If you have been affected by this or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visit 

26th March

Hampshire Police recommends this useful site is a site that will send emails to the registered person to advise of any bike put up for sale on Gumtree or Ebay which matches specifics entered by the user.i.e the Aggd can enter their bike details and any matching that are put up for sale will be sent to them by email.

It also has a section to check for bike serial numbers ( for those thinking of buying to check if stolen ) and to report stolen bikes also is a site that will send emails to the registered person to advise of any bike put up for sale on Gumtree or Ebay which matches specifics entered by the user.i.e the Aggrieved can enter their bike details and any matching that are put up for sale will be sent to them by email.

It also has a section to check for bike serial numbers ( for those thinking of buying to check if stolen ) and to report stolen bikes also.

Hampshire Police

18th March

Dear Residents,

We have had several reports now of anti-social behaviour in Romsey town; particularly outside MCCOLLS and BARCLAYS bank.
If anti-social behaviour is affecting your quality of life, or making you fear for your safety or the safety of others, please contact the police.
If you don’t report it then the problems will continue.  Don’t think that someone else will report the problem.  We need you to give us the information so we can continue to tackle anti-social behaviour in your area.
We all have the freedom to enjoy open spaces without the fear of harassment or intimidation.
Crime Prevention Advice:
Typical scenarios involve groups of young people gathering and causing some kind of a nuisance, e.g. criminal damage, graffiti, littering, intimidation and drinking.
  • Avoid confrontation
  • Record dates, times and details of the incidents and report to the appropriate authority.
  • If you live in rented accommodation inform the property owner, they may be able to offer additional support and advice.
Please report any further issues to Police via 101, thank you

24th January

Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Payment diversion alert 
Fraudsters are emailing members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer. Once payment is made the victims of the scam soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services.

Protect yourself
Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact.
For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.
Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.
Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer protection and an avenue for recompense.
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

January 21st

We have received a report that several Hobby Trains have been stolen from an industrial unit in Romsey. Some of the trains are still in the original boxes and are very collectable items. If you think you may have any information regarding these items, or if you have seen similar items for sale recently, please contact me Via 101 or email me
Thank you

January 16th

Have you or anyone you know lost some keys and a wallet in The Hundred, Romsey in the last few days? If so please contact PC 20127 Steven NORRIS at Lyndhurst Police station as these have been handed into police. Please provide some basic identifying features so we can return this property to you.

Kind Regards PCSO Sam Biggs 16144

January 16th

Damage has been caused to a vehicle parked  on  Bridge Road, Romsey. This has been caused between Thursday 12th January at 19:00 and Friday 13th at 09:30. Paint was flicked over the passenger side doors as well as the roof. If you think you may have seen any suspicious activity or know who may be responsible. Please do not hesitate to get in contact either by 101 or contact me direct at  quoting 44170015125

January 6th

A man has been arrested today (Friday, January 6) in connection with two burglaries in Romsey that took place on the night of Thursday, January 5, 2017.

We received a report of a burglary at an address in Woodley Way that took place sometime between 10pm on Thursday, January 5 and 7am on Friday, January 6.

We also received a report of a burglary that took place at an address in Winchester Hill between 1.30am and 1.45am on Friday, January 6.

A 42-year-old man from Romsey has been arrested in connection with these incidents and is currently in police custody.

Officers are conducting extra patrols in the area for reassurance.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting 44170006059/44170005896.

January 6th

Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Action Fraud has received several reports from victims who have been sent convincing looking emails claiming to be from Amazon. The spoofed emails from “” claim recipients have made an order online and mimic an automatic customer email notification.  
The scam email claims recipients have ordered an expensive vintage chandelier. Other reported examples include: Bose stereos, iPhone’s and luxury watches. 
The emails cleverly state that if recipients haven’t authorised the transaction they can click on the help centre link to receive a full refund. The link leads to an authentic-looking website, which asks victims to confirm their name, address, and bank card information.
Amazon says that suspicious e-mails will often contain:
Links to websites that look like, but aren't
Attachments or prompts to install software on your computer.
Typos or grammatical errors.
Forged (or spoofed) e-mail addresses to make it look like the e-mail is coming from
Amazon will never ask for personal information to be supplied by e-mail.
You can read more about identifying suspicious emails claiming to be from Amazon by visiting

January 3, 2017

Were you in the Braishfield Road area of Romsey on the night of Thursday, December 29?
If so, you may have information that could help our burglary investigation.
Between 10pm on December 29 and 8am the following day, the rear door of a house in Woodley Way was forced open.
The offender(s) stole £150 from a handbag before leaving. The victim, a 94-year-old woman, remained asleep throughout the burglary.
Did you notice anything suspicious that night?
We would like anyone with information on what took place to contact us as soon as possible.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Southampton CID on 101

14th December

Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters

The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.  
The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine. 
When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth. Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.
The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake. 
The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks. 

If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card. 
To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit

Dear residents,
Please see the attached link to the November edition of our e-newsletter Our News

Inside this edition you'll find:
•               Advice on how to shop safely on-line this Christmas.
•               Interesting findings from a new report into neighbourliness from our partner the Co-op Insurance.
•               Details of a fantastic competition to win three ERA Wireless Video Door Intercom Systems from our sponsor ERA Home Security
•               News from our members across England and Wales
•               And much more!

Thank you for your continued support of Neighbourhood Watch.

24th November   Burglary  and shed Breaks at Kinver Close

Police are appealing for witnesses to a burglary and two shed breaks which occurred in Kinver Close, Romsey, between Wednesday 23rd November 2016 20:00 and 08:15 Thursday 24th November 2016.
The offenders have gained entry to the property by smashing the porch and window with a breeze block. Both the shed breaks were carried out by removal of the shed doors. It is unknown at this time if any property has been taken.
We are asking for anyone who saw anything or may have CCTV footage in relation to these incidents or any suspicious activity in the area leading up to the incidents to contact Romsey police on 101 quoting the reference number: 44160443259.

24th November   Winchester Hill break in

Police are appealing for witnesses to a burglary which occurred on Winchester Hill, Romsey, on Thursday 24th November 2016 between 00:00 – 06:00.
The offenders have gained entry to the property via an open bedroom window. It is unknown at this time if any property has been taken.
We are asking for anyone who saw anything or may have CCTV footage in relation to this incident or any suspicious activity in the area leading up to this incident to contact Romsey police on 101 quoting the reference number: 44160443260.

22nd November     Burglary that occurred in Wyndham Drive

Romsey police are appealing for witnesses and information to a burglary that occurred in Wyndham Drive, Abbotswood, Romsey on Monday 21st November between 1130 - 2150 hrs.

Persons unknown have gained access to the the rear of the property by smashing the patio doors. The offenders have conducted an untidy search of the property where a large amount of cigarettes, items of jewellery and a red leather holdalls has been stolen.

We are asking should you be offered any cigarettes or tobacco please call 101 quoting reference number 44160440015 or if you have any information or seen anyone or a vehicle acting in a suspicious manner please call Romsey police on 101 or if a crime is taking place please call 999 - thank you

21st November    Witness appeal to burglary on Woodley Lane
Police are appealing for witnesses to a burglary which occurred in Woodley Lane, Romsey, between Wednesday 16th 15:00 and Saturday 19th November 2016 at 12:00.
The offenders have gained entry to the property by smashing the rear patio doors. It is unknown at this time if any property has been taken.
We are asking for anyone who saw anything or may have CCTV footage in relation to this incident or any suspicious activity in the area leading up to this incident to contact Romsey police on 101 quoting the reference number: 44160437060.

11th November    Three Burglaries

A series of burglaries have taken place in Romsey within the last 24hrs.  We are keen to speak to anyone who has any information, or who saw or heard anything suspicious in the Richmond Lane, Ashley Meadows or Woodley Lane areas.

Please call 101 quoting 44160425818 if you have any information.

9th November      Cromwell Arms Break-in

Police are appealing for witnesses to a break in which has Occurred on  9th November 2016 between 04:50 and 05:00 , at The Cromwell Arms in Romsey.
The offenders Gained access to the building via an open door and proceeded to force entry through an alarmed door to the kitchen. The Alarm was sounded and offenders fled the scene. Nothing appears to be taken.

We are asking for anyone who saw anything in relation to this incident or any suspicious activity in the area leading up to this incident to contact Romsey Police on 101 quoting the reference number: 44160422763, thank you

Please Stay Extra Vigilant and anything suspicious do not hesitate to call us using 101 in a non-emergency and 999 in an emergency.

November 9th     Crampmoor Garage incident

A suspicious incident took place in this area on 07/11/2016 at 04:50 – 04:58.
A male was seen to be lurking outside of Crampmoor Garage carrying a bat and a white sheet. When approached by a resident the male made off in a silver Volkswagen Convertible with no lights.
We are appealing for any witnesses or further information.
If you think you may have seen or heard something please get in contact.
We also urge all residents to check CCTV cameras.
*There have been a spate of burglaries in the Romsey area including Sheds and Garages and we urge all residents to remain vigilant.

7th November     The Original Factory Break-in

Police are appealing for witnesses to a break in which has Occurred on  7th November 2016 between 04:45 and 05:00 , at The Original Factory Shop in Romsey.
The offenders Gained access to the Store by Forcing the Main Entrance Open with a Pick Axe. They have then filled a large white Elliotts bag with Perfumes and fled the store on Foot. 

We are asking for anyone who saw anything in relation to this incident or any suspicious activity in the area leading up to this incident to contact Romsey Police on 101 quoting the reference number: 44160420088, thank you

30th October     Fairview Drive break-in

Police are appealing for witnesses to a break-in which has occurred between 22:00 Friday 28th October and Saturday 29th October 2016 09:00 , in Fairview Drive, Romsey.
The offenders Gained access to the Garage via an insecure window.
We are asking for anyone who saw anything in relation to this incident or any suspicious activity in the area leading up to this incident to contact Romsey Police on 101 quoting the reference number: 44160408562, thank you

Open letter from Hampshire's new Chief Constable 

I have always believed effective policing is at the heart of healthy society. That is why Hampshire Constabulary can't afford to just maintain its position as a good police force. It must become a standard bearer for protecting the most vulnerable and reducing offending. And, as your new Chief Constable, I am excited about taking on this challenge.

A key part of success will remain catching those who prey on the vulnerable, but we can't just respond to victims when they have suffered. We need to be better at preventing offending in the first place. This includes safeguarding the vulnerable, not least those at risk of child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse. None of this can be done by the police acting alone.

The cases we deal with can be complex and the unfortunate truths are that that we tend to deal with people on their most difficult days and much of the sophisticated work that goes on behind the scenes to stop people becoming victims cannot be widely publicised. This means that what my officers, staff and those who volunteer their help do every day is important, but so is why and how. 

If the police are seen to act arrogantly or as if they have a right to do as they wish public confidence becomes damaged and victims are not put first. To be an effective police officer, let alone chief constable, you need to earn the trust and respect of all communities. That is what decades of British policing has been built upon. So everything we do must be rooted in the highest standards of integrity and transparency. You deserve nothing less from us.

Our communities are wonderfully rich, diverse and deserving of brilliant policing. I want ideas, voices, perspectives and experience beyond the traditional spheres. I would like to use this opportunity on day one in my new role to invite all of you to join me, to work with me and to support my staff and officers.

In return we will become even better at protecting you and safeguarding the most vulnerable in society. And, as your Chief Constable, I will work tirelessly to make sure that what we do is as transparent as possible and to explain the difficult decisions when we have to make them.

Together we can keep this one of the safest places to live in the country and stop those who make people's lives a misery.

Best wishes Olivia Pinkney, Chief Constable, Hampshire Constabulary


n 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.  Minicom users should call 01962 875000.

Beware oil thefts

Please be aware of a recent increase in domestic oil thefts. They appear to be happening across the area and usually over night. Large amounts have been stolen indicating the use of a vehicle being involved.

Please ask everyone to check the security of their storage tanks and to remain vigilant for any suspicious persons or vehicles, they may well be driving round during the day looking for potential targets?

Please do call the police if any sightings of suspicious activity/ persons

Beware Vehicle thefts

There is an on-going problem in the last few months of power tools being stolen from vehicles. A lot have been taken over night which can be prevented by removing these items from the vehicles.

Please security mark your tools and make notes of serial numbers etc.

Can we reassure residents we are aware of the increase in thefts and are increasing patrols and looking at other possible measures to help detect/ prevent these on going thefts in the area.

There seems to be quite a few thefts from motor vehicles in and around the Woodley estate.

Beware of Hotel Key Cards

Grab a refrigerator magnet on your way out the door, we all have tons of them!

Always take a small magnet on your vacation , they come in handy at the end of it. This is pretty good info. Never even thought about key cards containing anything other than an access code for the room!

Ever wonder what is on your magnetic key card? Answer: a. Customer's name b. Customer's partial home address c. Hotel room number d. Check-in date and out dates e. Customer's credit card number and expiration date!

When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner.. An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense. Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee reissues the card to the next hotel guest. At that time, the new guest's information is electronically 'overwritten' on the card and the previous guest's information is erased in the overwriting process.

But until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!

The bottom line is: Keep the cards, take them home with you, or destroy them. NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket, and NEVER turn them into the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card (it's illegal) and you'll be sure you are not leaving a lot of valuable personal information on it that could be easily lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader.

For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic information strip!

If you have a small magnet, pass it across the magnetic strip several times. Then try it in the door, it will not work. It erases everything on the card.

Information courtesy of: Metropolitan Police Service.


Where it’s portable keep it safe by taking it, together with the support cradle and suction pads, with you when you leave the car.

Remember to wipe away any suction pad marks left on the windscreen or dashboard as thieves will look out for these.

Don’t leave the equipment in the glove compartment – thieves will usually check there first.

You can also help by following these tips:

• Mark your satellite navigation equipment system with your postcode and house number or your vehicle registration number or another unique number, using special security markers. These are available at local Police Stations.

• Making a note of the make, model and serial number of the equipment and keeping the note somewhere safe – not in the car. Consider recording this information on one of the commercially available asset registers.

• Don’t leave anything on view in your car. Thieves are opportunists and it only takes them moments to break into your car.

• Lock all doors and windows, not forgetting the sunroof, when leaving your car.

• Never leave the keys in the ignition when the car is unattended, even while you’re paying for petrol.

Don’t lose your satellite navigation equipment to thieves.


Fraud Alert

Credit and Debit Card Fraud Card fraud includes the use of stolen cards to make direct purchases and the use of compromised card details to buy items over the phone or via the Internet, in ‘Card Not Present’ or CNP fraud. Protecting your card details is important. Do not write your PIN number down or disclose it to other people. Dispose of statements or slips which contain your card details securely by shredding with a cross cut (confetti) shredder. Do not let others see your PIN number, cover your hand when entering it in any machine. Check your statements regularly, including low value transactions. Notify your card company immediately if you suspect fraud. Use a CREDIT card in preference to a DEBIT card, especially if you are not sure about the location at which you are using the card.

Debit cards are linked to your bank account and fraud can result in you becoming overdrawn and not able to withdraw cash. Credit Card companies are very good at spotting unusual transaction patterns. Cash Machines - ATM (Automated Teller Machine) Be aware that cash machines (ATM’s) may have been modified in order to: Copy or ‘Skim’ card details and PIN numbers using hidden cameras. Trap the card in the machine. After the cardholder leaves, the criminal removes the device, along with the card. Be mindful of people behind you at cash machines: They may be ‘Shoulder surfing’ for your PIN Number. Attempt to steal the card using distraction techniques or pick pocketing. Talk you into re-entering the PIN while the criminal watches. If you suspect a device has been placed on an ATM do not attempt to move it. The suspects may be nearby and use violence if their device is likely to be interfered with. Call the police or contact the bank, if it is open, immediately.


Help us to help you prevent burglary Hampshire is cracking down on burglary. We understand that it can be financially costly and emotionally devastating for victims and their families. However, by taking just a few simple measures you can dramatically reduce the chances of it happening to you. Most burglaries tend to be opportunistic rather than planned. So if your home does not look secure, seems unlived in, or provides unobserved access, it could be at risk. Understanding what burglars look for when choosing their target will help you identify weak spots in your home's security. Our 10 Top Tips: Mark or etch your property with your postcode, house or flat number or the first three letters of your house name. Register items with a serial number at:  Do not leave your car keys or ID documents near doors, letterbox or windows. Always check who’s at the door and don’t open it if you feel anxious. Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes. Keep your valuables out of sight. Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home. Install a visible burglar alarm. Always keep sheds and outbuildings locked. Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks at a time. How does a burglar's mind work? Burglary, on the whole, is an opportunist crime. A burglar will select his target because it offers him the best opportunity to carry out his crime undetected and with the fewest number of obstacles in his way. A building that presents itself as unoccupied and insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one which is properly secured: Side gates open Accessible windows open Ladders left out, allowing access to otherwise inaccessible windows Garden tools available to force entry Untrimmed hedges or high fences preventing natural surveillance Each of these makes access to the building far simpler and is an indication to the prospective burglar that it's worth a second look. Residents of multi occupancy dwellings or flats should be mindful not to grant entry to people via an entry phone system, if they do not know them, and to be cautious of people seeking to 'tailgate' them into buildings. The question is, are the occupants in? Milk bottles or parcels on the doorstep Newspapers and mail in the letter box Unlit houses after dark All windows shut in very hot weather These are signs telling the burglar that he is unlikely to be disturbed in the course of his work. Naturally, circumstances may arise when such situations may be unavoidable. If we can take measures that tell the burglar that this building is too difficult or too risky a target, he will hopefully move on.

TO STOP A BURGLAR YOU NEED TO THINK LIKE ONE. To a burglar, a stuffed letter box is a dead giveaway when you’re not at home. Ask a neighbour to remove your post while you are away. Are you leaving a thief the key to your house? Never leave a spare key concealed anywhere near the front door - burglars know all the hiding places Prevent letterbox burglaries by storing keys away from the front door Do not label your house keys in case you lose them and they fall into the wrong hands. Remove temptation Where possible, try to keep valuables out of sight from windows. Make it look as though your house is occupied Install timers which switch lights or radios on and off automatically. Have a neighbour or friend pop round to clear your letter box or doorstep. Encourage a neighbour to park on your drive. If going out after dark, draw the curtains, leave some lights on and a radio playing.

To a burglar, a dark doorway is an opportunity to hide. Fit a security light over your front door to deter burglars. If you are away for extended periods Cancel the delivery of milk and newspapers Disconnect the telephone answering machine, or re-word your greeting message to give the impression that you are only temporarily unable to answer. Enlist the help of a neighbour, friend or relative to keep a regular eye on your property and keep the front door clear of deliveries. If you are prepared to leave a key with a willing neighbour/relative, ask for curtains to be drawn and lights to be put on at night. If snow is on the ground a few footprints will make the house appear inhabited. Check your insurance policy. Some insurance policies for contents don't cover you if you are away for more than 30 days. Set your burglar alarm. If you do not have an alarm, consider investing a few pounds in a dummy alarm box. It may well deter the opportunist thief.



·Ensure access to roofs is restricted, for example using splayed guards around rainwater downpipes to prevent climbing. Ensure trees and signs are not within close proximity to the building. If recommending anti-climb measures, ensure you advice signage must be put up (Occupiers Liability Act 1984). · Maximise surveillance by neighbouring properties. · Keep wheelie bins locked up or in rear gardens, as these can often be used to transport the metal and used to assist climbing. · Ensure ladders are locked away or chained up. · Consider using alternatives to lead and copper where possible. · Ensure perimeter security is sufficient.


How safe is your oil tank?

With the ever rising price of heating oil, storage tanks have become a favoured target for thieves. Worst of all the price of replacing the stolen oil can just be the beginning of the cost…

With winter approaching many of us are increasingly using our central heating. If you are a householder or business with an above ground oil storage tank which fuels your heating, the Environment Agency would like you to consider how well protected your oil tank is from theft or vandalism.

Each year the Environment Agency is contacted by homeowners about leaking heating oil tanks. Worryingly this can be caused during the theft of the oil itself as the tank or pipe work is often damaged. If thieves have taken all the oil they can, or are disturbed during the theft, anything left in the tank will usually be left draining to the ground potentially leading to serious pollution.

Cleaning up oil spills is difficult, especially if it enters groundwater, and can be very expensive – easily costing thousands of pounds. It is against the law to cause pollution so you’ll have to take action to clean up any serious spill or leak even where it has been caused by theft or vandalism. Some insurance policies will cover these costs – but often they do not so it is far better to prevent pollution at the outset.

Spilt oil can pollute your local streams, rivers and (if it soaks through the soil and rock) groundwater supplies. In the South East of England we rely heavily on groundwater to supply our drinking water so we must protect it from pollution. Oil is toxic, harmful to plants and animals and is a threat to their habitats.

The oil in your tank is valuable; to help prevent its theft you should consider the following security measures:

Use locks and/or lockable valves – un-secured taps and valves will make oil theft much easier. Remember to ensure that the key/combination is available for refilling, better still, be present for the delivery so that you can see if the correct amount is dispensed without overfilling.

Screening the tank – use plants, shrubs or fencing to make the tank less visible. Ensure that there is still room to access all of the way around the tank so that you can check for signs of leaks or damage. About 2 feet or 600mm should be sufficient to maintain access.

Re-locate your tank – if you need a new tank, or are thinking about moving your existing tank, consider how you can make it less obvious. Can you move it away from the roadside or to the back garden? Remember, the tank must still be positioned to minimise the risk of pollution and not near to watercourses, loose-fitting manhole covers, wells or boreholes.

Check your tank regularly – look for signs of tampering with the tank which could be signs of attempted theft – you may still be vulnerable to theft on another occasion. Also, when checking your tank, look for any signs of corrosion, bulging or staining which indicate it has, or is likely, to leak. However, leaks are not always easy to see – especially if they occur from underground pipework leading into your property, so keep a check on your oil consumption.

If the worst happens and you have a leak or spill:

• Contact your oil supplier for advice and help in removing the remaining oil

• Call our Environment Agency Incident Hotline 0800 80 70 60 (24 hours)

• You may also wish to check your insurance policy to see if it covers your oil tank and any spillages.

For more information on how to look after your oil storage tank and avoid pollution please visit the oil bank line website at: