Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders!


It’s National Consumer Week 2014 – Top information from Suffolk Trading Standards about rogue traders, cold calling and doorstep crime

Originally posted on Suffolktradingstandards's Blog:

The theme of National Consumer Week 2014 is Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders. The campaign is launching on 3 November.

The Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders campaign focuses on preventing doorstep crime by encouraging neighbours, family, friends and carers to look out for those most at risk in their communities. Despite vast under-reporting of doorstep crime, latest research shows there could be as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime each year. Doorstep criminals exploit vulnerable citizens by convincing them to pay for shoddy or incomplete repair work, charging extortionate fees for their services, or threatening residents who do not comply.

Signs an unwanted doorstep caller is visiting a neighbour:

  • Traders have been cold calling in the area
  • A builder’s van is parked nearby, particularly one that doesn’t include a company name or contact details
  • Building or maintenance work on your neighbour’s garden or house starts unexpectedly
  • Poor quality work is visible…

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Suffolk Neighbourhood Watch Revitalised

Suffolk Neighbourhood Watch Association (SNWA) is seeking to revitalise NW schemes in Suffolk.SNW

A new SNWA committee has been established and wishes to provide the 1,300 schemes that exist in Suffolk with a service and advice that ensure the NW concept is expanded and makes for a safer society.


On Saturday 1st November SNWA is holding an event at Police Headquarters Martlesham under the banner ‘Improving Neighbourhood Watch in Suffolk’. This event is open to all existing members, coordinators and those wishing to start their own scheme.

SNWA Chairman Gary Gascoyne says “These are exciting times for NW schemes and those seeking to start their own. Suffolk like all police forces is undergoing deep cuts in budgets but is committed to maintaining and promoting our NW schemes as we all realise we have a part to play in keeping our county safe and low in crime. Come along and hear how we are launching a revitalised association and learn how progressive schemes operate sucessfully.”

A new website has been launched and gives details of the November event and registration.

For Further information contact:

Gary Gascoyne, Chairman, Suffolk Neighbourhood Watch Association
07595 343231

Tony Allen, Publicity Officer, Suffolk Neighbourhood Watch Association
07838 872450

Good Neighbours Cut Crime

Burglary Prevention and Home Security

You think it won’t happen to you, but talk to someone who has been burgled and they’ll tell you how violated, angry and scared they felt…and still do. Burglary leaves a lasting impression.

Remember to lock windows and doors when you leave the house, including your garage.  Don’t leave tools and bikes out; thieves are looking for an opportunity.  Do not think burglaries only happen at night.  Daylight burglaries are occurring too.

Burglary Common Factors_Brick Wall

Often crime is committed by opportunist criminals with little or no forethought or planning and in many cases the burglary could have been prevented. It does not take much to deter these types of criminals. The most rudimentary security precautions could make the difference between becoming a victim or not.

Never leave an open invitation

Close it!  Lock it!  Check it! 

This Home Security Booklet will hopefully provide you with some basic guidance and information so that you secure your home and property.

For more Crime Reduction Information about appropriate measures you can take to reduce the risk of becoming a victim, contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team or call them at Suffolk Police on 101.


Suffolk Police’s ‘Close it-Check it-Lock it’ campaign also highlights a few simple precautions you can take to reduce the chance of you becoming a victim of burglary.  There have also been a number of shed and garage burglaries, so here is a link to previous advice about securing these and the property within.

Also check out these ‘YouTube’ films about how to secure your house, deter potential burglars and other security measures:

YouTube Logo

Top ten tips to keep your house secure and deter potential burglars
Further Home security tips
Don’t leave valuables in an unlocked shed, nor ladders or tools that could help a burglar
Lock windows and doors Security
Burglary - Don’t make it childs play

Never leave an open invitation

Close it!  Lock it!  Check it! 

Ipswich Vulnerability Impact Night

A Vulnerability Impact Night is being held on Saturday 27 September 2014 in Ipswich town centre.

The aim of the vulnerability impact night is to bring together a number of different agencies to identify and assist those who are vulnerable during the night time economy period on a Saturday night. The aims of the operation are to reduce the risk of harm to vulnerable people through victimisation, to reduce the risk to vulnerable people caused by alcohol and drugs and improve the public/licensees awareness in spotting someone who is vulnerable due to a number of different factors. We also aim to improve the public confidence and perception of the Police and partners in caring for vulnerable people.

Police Officers and partner agencies will be looking for people who are potentially vulnerable due to their drunkenness, being separated from friends, emotional state, mental ill health or victims of crime and trying to assist them in making sure they are safe for the evening. This will be achieved in a number of different ways such as, having them looked after to sober up, making sure they can get home, getting them medical treatment or any other way depending on the situation.

We wish to raise people’s awareness of the vulnerability factors and potential hazards involved in binge drinking.

Working in partnership to keep the people of Suffolk Safe


Catalytic (CAT) Converter Thefts

Since the beginning of June 2014 there have been 185 catalytic converter thefts from vehicles across Suffolk and Norfolk. Vans and cars with higher ground clearance are being targeted. In the last 4-week period there have been 43 offences across the two counties: 13 in Norfolk and 30 in Suffolk.


Offences are most commonly being committed during the hours of darkness, with weekday overnight periods still being favoured. Reported sights, sounds, disturbances  by witnesses suggest the key time-frame may be between midnight and 4.00 am. Offences continue to occur along or near to the more major transport routes (A12/A14).

How are the catalytic converters removed ?

  1. A pipe cutter, or similar, tool is used to cut the CAT from the pipe. Mitsubishi L200s, Shoguns & Warriors; Ford Rangers and Toyota Hilux & Hiaces  remain the most common targets  with Peugeot 406s becoming more prevalent. Offences are most commonly occurring in residential locations.
  2. The quarterlight window is removed and/or smashed to gain access to the bonnet release. The exhaust system is then accessed, unbolted and then is either taken, in its entirety, or discarded after the CAT has been cut free. This is almost exclusively targeted Mercedes Sprinter vans. Most were parked at business premises or compounds, in Suffolk.
  3. The exhaust is unbolted. Bolts or screws have been left on the ground on a number of occasions. Sometimes the whole exhaust has been removed, then the Cat Converter cut out and sometimes fairings or other items have been reportedly unbolted to allow better access and only the CAT has been taken.

How do I protect my vehicle?

  • Park your vehicle in a locked and secure garage/compound at all times
  • The use of alarms, lighting and CCTV should be considered to deter thieves
  • If this isn’t possible park in a well-lit, public area
  • Vehicles can be parked in such a way as to make access to the catalytic converter difficult, or parallel with another vehicle if you own one
  • Look out for people ‘working’ under vehicles as they may not be the owners or lease holders, even if they have fluorescent jackets on
  • Mark your catalytic converter by etching your vehicle registration onto the metal shell, or by using a Secured By Design (SBD) approved forensic marking solution which is a heat-resistant paint. This makes it easier for police to trace the converter back to your vehicle should it ever be stolen, and links offenders to a crime
  • Consider fitting additional security on your vehicle(s) by installing an SBD approved converter security product, such as a clamp
  • Please visit the SBD website for more information on police approved security products

Catalytic Converter marking sessions

Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) are running catalytic converter marking sessions across the county in partnership with local garages. If you would like more information about your local SNT and events in your area this is available on-line or you can call the Suffolk Police non emergency number 101.

If you see or hear anything suspicious please contact Suffolk Police on 101.

In an emergency always dial 999.





Drinking is not a Crime. Rape is.

To coincide with Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner’s priority for September 2014.  Suffolk Constabulary wants to raise the profile of serious sexual offences with a Time to Stop poster campaign which focuses on offenders and their behaviour and impact.

Rape Time to Stop

Alcohol is often involved in cases of rape, and is one of the most commonly cited factors in attempts to explain or excuse it. However, although alcohol consumption is something in which anyone over 18 is free to indulge, in the public discourse around rape and sexual assault, its significance is something that plays out very differently for women than it does for men. Alcohol is seen both as something that greatly increases the vulnerability of women not only to rape, but also, perversely, to accusations of blame for that rape. Although it is men who perpetrate rape, it is women who are urged to modify their behaviour by abstaining or drinking less, and thus accommodate the danger posed by predatory men.

Alcohol is used by men who rape both as a means of incapacitating the women they assault, and also as an excuse for their own behaviour. It is deeply ingrained in our culture that this is the natural order of things – that women are prey and therefore obliged to behave in a way that can prevent or avoid harassment and assault.  The result of this is that behaviour which genuinely is problematic (to the extent that it is criminal) – the willingness of so many men to target and exploit women who are drunk, or use alcohol as an excuse for assaulting them – is never challenged or even addressed.

Suffolk Police investigates every single report of rape.  Responsibility for rape will always lie with the rapist.

Working in partnership to keep the people of Suffolk safe

September is Fleet Safety Month

This is a campaign led by ‘Brake‘, the road safety charity.

Brake Logo




Are you a Fleet Company or Fleet Driver?

At least a third of road deaths and a quarter of serious injuries are the result of crashes involving someone driving for work – whether it’s a company car driver, a professional driver of a commercial vehicle, or someone driving their own vehicle on company business.

In all these situations, the employer has a duty of care to do what they can to ensure the driver and their vehicle are safe. However, while some companies have comprehensive policies and practices to safeguard company drivers and other road users, many more are failing on their duty of care responsibilities, sometimes with horrendous consequences.

 What needs to be done?

Organisations with employees who drive for work can help make our roads safer by putting in place comprehensive policies and procedures to manage and reduce the risks their staff face and pose to others. This includes policies to prevent dangerous driving behaviour, such as banning all use of phones at the wheel, and requiring regular rest breaks.

Employers should provide driver assessments, training and education on safe driving, and monitor any incidents that involve their staff to address problem issues. They should use the safest possible vehicles, rigorously maintained, and fitted with the latest safety features, such as telematics to monitor speeds, and the latest devices on trucks to eliminate blind-spots. Brake encourage companies to minimise risk by making fewer at-work journeys by road, using teleconferencing or trains to get to meetings.

Brake believes companies should be required by law to report any fatal or injury collisions involving their vehicles to the Health and Safety Executive – as they are already required to do for other safety matters that cause far fewer casualties – and should face prosecution and stiff penalties if poor safety management is found to be at fault.  We also need greater investment in roads policing, and rigorous enforcement of truck and bus safety rules.

For more information about this campaign, check out the Brake website.  This and other road safety campaigns will be highlighted during this year’s Road Safety Week (17-23 November).