March already! Clocks are going forward in a few weeks time (1am Sunday 27th), which’ll start bringing those lighter evenings in ready for summer. As we start using our gardens and outdoor space a bit more, take the time to assess for any crime prevention methods you could implement or improve. For example: security lighting, locks & alarms on sheds/garages, and CCTV.
There have recently been a few reports in the Sevenoaks area of distraction type thefts when people are using cash-points. These offenders are claiming to offer advice and help with the machine not functioning properly and are then using distraction methods to access your funds. Do not allow yourself to get distracted. Remain focussed from the start to end of your transaction, and stay vigilant of others around you. If you have any issues such as swallowed or missing cards from using a cash-point, alert your bank immediately who can put the necessary alerts and blocks on your account.
Previously we have had similar reports for parking machines so ensure your vigilance in these locations also.
These PLEVs (Personal Light Electric Vehicles) are ever popular and you’re likely to have seen people using them out in public. However, these are only permitted for use on private land with the owners permission. They are treated as motor vehicles and subject to the same legal requirements, such as driving licence, insurance, number plates, lighting, road tax, crash helmets etc. Without these, e-scooters cannot be used legally on the road. As you are currently unable to insure/tax these, they remain illegal to use on roads, pavements and other public spaces.
We continue to tackle this with riders stopped in the first instance to be given advice & warning around the law. These encounters are dropping and we are seeing less and less of these in the streets.
Sevenoaks Town and St Johns
The town PC and PCSOs continue to work alongside staff and security at all the major stores in deterring theft and following up on crimes committed. Smaller stores in town are also regularly visited to ensure everything is all in order whilst providing crime prevention and reporting advice.
As mentioned at the start with regards to parking machine crime, I refer to a report we received for Sevenoaks Hospital in the car park where the victim was approached by the offender when they were using their card to pay for parking. The machine kept the card and they unfortunately had money removed from their account. It may have been that this individual had managed to gain their pin, and so it is important to remain vigilant of anyone else around you when using these types of machine.
During February, following on from last month, we have received minimal vehicle related reports in this part of Sevenoaks, however it will be beneficial to make you aware of a property that suffered a theft of 2 bicycles from their garage. Along with looking at CCTV cameras and safety lighting & alarms, if you have bikes consider security marking them or adding them to a property register. Marking them can act as a deterrent in itself, and if they are taken and then located this will greatly assist in their return to you. The main property register I mention is ‘IMMOBILISE’ which is the UK national property register. This helps Police identify the owners of recovered property thousands of times every day.
A focus on this part of Sevenoaks remains the train station and the surrounding area. Although this would primarily be covered by British Transport Police and South Eastern, our officers continue to work closely with them to assist in Policing this area and those using the train network. We have excellent links in with station staff and CCTV operators and so are able to quickly and efficiently apprehend any offenders that choose to use the train network as their method of transport into and out of the town.
A vehicle was broken into in this part of Sevenoaks and a purse taken from inside and numerous transactions made on their bank cards. The main advice here is to not leave any valuables in your vehicle unattended, no matter how long you’re away from it. Also ensure your vehicle is locked, again no matter how long you’re away from it. Opportunists may be amongst us awaiting these quick and easy opportunities.
Following on from last month we have received a further report of theft of a parcel. This time from outside someone’s house in the Lake View Road area. As previously mentioned, if you’re not going to be in when your parcel is due, consider requesting delivery to a neighbour or to a safe place such as a storage box if you have one. We are also receiving reports of a road-legal quad bike being ridden dangerously around the Greatness area. Enquiries are ongoing to identify the rider and provide advice around their standard of driving. Any crime offences would be recorded and investigated also. If you have any information to add or any CCTV/Doorbell/Dashcam footage then please contact us on 101.
Seal and Weald
The Seal & Weald area has again received very low reports of crime and antisocial behaviour over the last month. During this time, similarly to reports in the Sevenoaks area last month, a property undergoing development in Weald was subject to a burglary. Fortunately nothing was taken on this occasion. It is important that depending on the level of development, that all valuables are removed by the homeowner whilst not living there, and that builders tools and equipment are removed where able. Ensure the site is kept secure and security lighting is fitted along with CCTV. This would be a good deterrent as well as a source of evidence for any offences.
My Community Voice
Our My Community Voice alerts continue to go out about crime and activity occurring in the area. If you hadn’t heard of it, it’s a messaging service that helps Kent residents, businesses, and community groups to keep in touch with their local policing teams. The service sends updates about your local area directly from the officers themselves.
To find out more and to sign up, head to the website: https://www.mycommunityvoicekent.co.uk/
To see more of what we’re up to on a regular basis, follow us on Twitter – @kentpolice7oaks
Enjoy this month. The next newsletter will be with you in April.
PCSOs Tim and George