There is still a need for Neighbourhood Watch

South Bucks District Council and Chiltern District Council are actively promoting new and revitalised Neighbourhood Watch Schemes, especially in areas which have experienced incidents of recent burglary. Neighbourhood Watch is one of the biggest and most successful crime prevention initiatives.

Behind it lies a simple idea: Getting together with your neighbours to take action can cut local crime. Everyone knows that the police are there to fight crime, but they need your help to do an effective job. Neighbourhood Watch is all about an active partnership with the police and other agencies.
Neighbourhood Watch schemes can:

  •  Cut crime and the opportunities for crime
  • Help and reassure those who live in the area, especially those who are vulnerable.
  • Encourage neighbourliness and closer communities.

Create a better place to live, work and play

Neighbourhood Watch is not just about reducing burglary figures – it’s about creating communities who care. It brings local people together and can make a real contribution to improving their lives. The activity of Watch members can foster a new community spirit and a belief in the community’s ability to
tackle problems. At the same time, you feel secure, knowing your neighbours watching out for you and your property.

What can Neighbourhood Watch schemes do?

These are the key steps to targeting and reducing crime and the fear of crime in an area. In consultation with your local police:

  • Get a picture of local crime
  • Conduct a ‘fear of crime’ survey
  • Target crimes you can have a real impact on
  • Identify the opportunities for crime
  • Form an action plan to tackle the problem
  • Block or reduce opportunities for the criminal.

If you are interested about getting involved in Neighbourhood Watch and live in the South Bucks District Council or Chiltern District Council areas then contact:
Community Safety on 01494 586535 or email communitysafety@chiltern.gov.uk
Follow us on twitter for community safety updates and crime prevention advice @csafetycdcsbdc

Defensive planting

The ever-increasing popularity and sophistication of gardening has not
gone unnoticed by the criminal. Garden crime is a reality. According to
police statistics, the most likely items to be stolen are mowers, strimmers,
chain saws, hedge trimmers, garden furniture and plants.

Nature herself provides one of the best solutions to many garden crimes.
With careful thought and planning you can reduce the risk of becoming a
victim of garden crime, whilst at the same time creating an attractive
garden. For instance you can create an impenetrable hedge, which looks
far more attractive than security fencing but is just as effective.

Planting prickly shrubs around vulnerable windows can also serve as a
deterrent to the burglar. By careful planning you can produce a beautiful
garden and reduce the risk of being the next victim of garden crime.

Criminals do not like climbing through prickly plants and hedges. They
know that a small item of ripped clothing or blood can help the police
identify them. For a full list of defensive plants please visit: http://www.chiltern.gov.uk/homesecurity or
http://www.southbucks.gov.uk/homesecurity

You can also contact Chiltern District Council and South Bucks District Council’s Joint Community
Safety team on 01494 586535 and for further crime reduction advice you can visit:
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/ www.chiltern.gov.uk/crimereduction or
www.southbucks.gov.uk/crimereduction or follow us on Twitter @csafetycdcsbdc

 

Village hall closed 15th Feb-4th March

Just a reminder that the hall will be closed from 15th Feb to 4th March for kitchen and bar refurbishment works and redecoration. We’d like to thank our regular hirers for their patience while these works are carried out and look forward to welcoming everyone back once we reopen!

The Safe Place Scheme – Still Helping People in 2018

From the Community Safety Team at Chiltern District Council 

The Safe Place Scheme was launched in Buckinghamshire in 2012, and has built a network of suitable venues, such as local shops and restaurants, where someone can go for help and assistance, providing reassurance to vulnerable people and their carers, or people who find themselves in challenging situations.

What is the Safe Place scheme?

The scheme helps vulnerable people deal with any incident that takes place when they are about in the community e.g. harassment or bullying. Above all, the scheme aims to help vulnerable people lead independent lives and feel safe whilst out in Bucks.

How does the scheme work?

The Safe Place sticker in the window of a business identifies the premises as a safe place.

A vulnerable person may carry a Safe Place contact card that they can show to a business; however you do not have to have a card to seek assistance from those businesses supporting the scheme.

What will businesses be expected to do?

If a vulnerable person seeks help, members of staff would be expected to make a phone call if necessary, provide a temporary safe haven for vulnerable people and also to reassure them and keep them safe until help and support arrives.

Who will use the scheme?

A number of agencies working in the local area will identify vulnerable people who could benefit from the scheme; someone with a physical or learning disability, an illness or severe medical condition or the elderly, although anyone can seek help if they are feeling vulnerable at that point in time.

How can I get involved?

If you own or manage a business and would like to become a ‘Safe Place’, or if you know of someone who would benefit from the scheme, please contact the Chiltern District Council and South Bucks District Council Community Safety Team on 01494 586535 or email communitysafety@chiltern.gov.uk.

Anyone who would like a card to carry around giving their emergency contact details can contact the Community Safety team on 01494 586535 or email on communitysafety@chiltern.gov.uk

There’s more information about the Safe Place scheme at:
www.chiltern.gov.uk/safeplacescheme and www.southbucks.gov.uk/safeplacescheme

For other Council Areas in Buckinghamshire please use the information below:
Aylesbury Vale – 01296 585000 Wycombe District – 01494 461000
communitysafety@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk community@wycombe.gov.uk

Follow us on twitter for community safety updates and crime prevention advice @csafetycdcsbdc

Community pub night Friday 19th January 6:30-10:30

Banish the winter blues at the first pub night of 2018!

All are welcome for home-cooked winter warming food, a selection of drinks and the opportunity to socialise with friends and neighbours at the Bellingdon & Asheridge Village Hall.
Advance notice that, owing to the major kitchen works and repainting in the hall in February, there will be no pub night next month. The next date is 16th March.

Message from the “Save the Bull” Group

Ahead of Thursday’s planning meeting, our reasons for supporting the plans submitted for the redevelopment of the Bull pub and new nursery are as follows:

The nursery, which had to move from Cholesbury Village Hall, is a proven
success, highly rated by Ofsted, and presently caters for over 100
children in providing nursery and after school activities. All children are
from no more than a 3.5 mile radius and, given the ongoing demand, will be
able to increase numbers of both children and staff. There is a desperate
shortage of such facilities within the county and the management have
tried, unsuccessfully to find an alternative premises within a 5 mile
radius. Since all other nurseries within the area are full, there poses the
problem of accommodating children presently served by our village nursery
should it be forced to close.

Great efforts have been made to ensure that the new building is
environmentally friendly with a very low profile and a planted roof so will
sit quietly in the landscape.

The land on which it is proposed to build is presently ancillary commercial
pub land, is not accessed by public right of way nor can it be readily seen
from any adjacent right of way.

With the planned improvements to the pub, the managers will be able to
deliver children’s meals to the nursery which will not only greatly improve
the service but will provide a great basis for a sustainable business at
the pub.

Whilst as a group, we strongly support the preservation of the green belt,
we believe that a new building of this nature in this location will not
impinge greatly on the visual amenity, nor create any sort of precedent but
will provide two valuable community resources which are demonstrably
supported by the village.

The decision will be made by the full committee and we know that the
committee takes notice of a good show of support. So, if you are able to
attend this planning meeting, we would be delighted to have your support at
the planning meeting to consider the plans to be held THIS Thursday January 11th from 6:30pm at the Council Offices.

On behalf of The Save The Bull Group – Bellingdon savethebull@bellingdon.com

Make property marking your New Year’s resolution

Chiltern and South Bucks Community Safety Partnership is urging people to take a few any valuables or high value gifts they may have received. Many residents be lucky enough to receive gifts such as iPads, consoles and bikes over the Christmas period, all of which are desirable to thieves.

Marking property ensures it can be returned to its rightful owner in the event of it being recovered after a burglary. It also acts as a deterrent to thieves by making the items harder to sell on. Property should be marked on the back or underneath with a postcode and house number using an ultra violet (UV) pen which are available in most DIY stores.

Larger items, such as bicycles or machinery can be security marked using CRE markers or bike marking labels. The bike label should be attached around the bike frame and your postcode and house number should be written on the label. Another way to security mark your property is CRE marking. Using the marker write your postcode and house number on the item and this can be made permanent by coating the markings with CREMARK’s specially formulated protective lacquer, for more information please visit: www.creproducts.co.uk

Using forensic marking products such as SmartWater and Selecta DNA are also a highly effective way to mark property. A liquid solution is applied giving items either a chemical or DNA code depending on the product used, which is unique to the owner. The solution cannot be seen by the naked eye and is incredibly difficult to remove. It glows under ultraviolet light, allowing the police to detect it.

Unfortunately Christmas offers a lot of opportunities for burglars, bikes and electronic items are worth a lot of money to opportunist thieves, but there are some simple steps people can take to reduce their chances of falling victim.

A few minutes spent marking your valuables and registering them on Immobilise.com is time well-spent. You stand a much better chance of getting your item back in the unfortunate event of it being lost or stolen.

If you would like a free UV pen or bike marking label email communitysafety@chiltern.gov.uk (please note pens are limited to one per household and subject to availability).

Follow us on twitter for community safety updates and crime prevention advice @csafetycdcsbdc

Rural crime update

Reports of rural crime in the Thames Valley have increased by five percent between October 2016 and September 2017.

I would like to reassure members of our rural communities of my commitment to investigating reports of rural crime. We rely on information from our local communities and take such reports very seriously. Incidents are robustly investigated by our local policing teams who have dedicated Rural Crime and Wildlife Officers based across the Thames Valley.

We are continuing to work with local residents, businesses and partners to raise awareness of crime prevention techniques while developing problem solving solutions to tackle rural crime.

There are often fewer witnesses to rural crimes and greater opportunities for criminals to target isolated properties and businesses. The impact of these crimes can also be greater, with people feeling more vulnerable due to their remote location.

You can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of rural crime by taking a few simple steps including:
• Keeping the boundaries of your land and property well-maintained and secure
• Fitting strong locks to sheds, garages and outbuildings
• Checking security equipment regularly to ensure it is working properly
• Locking equipment away in a secure building when it’s not in use
• Security marking your tools and equipment

For more crime prevention advice, and to see how to contact our specialist Officers, visit the Rural Crime page on the Thames Valley Police website at: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-your-business/rural-crime/

If you become a victim of rural crime or suspect that a crime has taken place, you should always report it to police by calling the non-emergency number, 101. If an incident is in progress, or there is an immediate threat to life, you should call 999.

Nikki Ross
Assistant Chief Constable – Local Policing

Hall kitchen and bar refit

As reported in the Autumn newsletter, we have been successful in obtaining a grant of nearly £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to put towards the kitchen and bar refurbishment. Since the award of the grant, work has stepped up to enable the project to go ahead. The committee has approved the budget and plans, and has given the project leader – Helen Harding – the go ahead.

Helen has engaged the relevant trades and the hall will be shut for just over two weeks in the spring (15th February to 4th March inclusive). You’ll be able to see the finished kitchen and bar at the March pub night. While the hall is closed, redecoration works will also be carried out to the inside of the hall building.

As you can imagine this is a complex undertaking, involving a number of trades – kitchen fitter, builder, plumber, electrician and decorator to name but a few. Helen is endeavouring to use local, trusted tradespeople – the kitchen fitter, for example, has undertaken similar kitchen renovations at other local village halls. We have visited and/or made contact with several other local halls in preparation.

One of the challenges discovered so far is that the parquet flooring in the hall extends under the kitchen (but not the bar area) and needs to be taken up, damp proofed and back-filled before a new, more hygienic, flooring surface can be laid.

The kitchen and bar area desperately need some TLC and this will be paid for from a combination of Big Lottery and BAVH reserve funds. The committee would like to thank our regular hirers for their patience and understanding during the refit. The refurbishment will hugely improve facilities for existing and future hirers, hopefully securing the future of this valuable community asset.

Christmas parties for young and not so young

On the first weekend of December, the village hall was transformed into a festive wonderland for the benefit of residents at both ends of the age spectrum.

Approx 37 children attended on the Saturday and the ages ranged from 1 – 11. DJ Carl Pearson (Fire and Ice Entertainment) did a fantastic job of keeping them all entertained. Some parents also stayed. They all seemed to enjoy participating, especially in the game of musical bumps. Late afternoon they were treated to a visit by Father Christmas who left them all a small gift.

Some 11 “seniors” attended the three course Christmas lunch on the Sunday. They had a (supposedly!) non competitive quiz over dessert/teas & coffees. This was a picture quiz of villages and buildings around the Chilterns, which caused much comment and friendly rivalry between the three teams. A fun, light hearted way to end the informal lunch.

As always, no events like these can happen without the hard work and dedication of a team of volunteers. Thanks must go to:

  • Christina Field, Natalie Brewer and Alf and Sally Field for organising (and tramping up and down the villages to find out who might be coming – there’s no substitute for face-to-face contact!)
  • St John’s Church for a donation of £100 towards the costs.
  • Jakki Matthews for donation of the voucher for the Christmas tree.
  • Michael Bowden for donating the turkey.
  • Mark Shaw and everyone else who helped out in various roles.

We hope to run the event again next year, on the same weekend, so look out for information in the autumn. Everyone is welcome, no matter how long you have lived in our villages!