Scammers and garden thieves

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Monthly updates from the various North Dorset police teams. This month’s news comes from Sturminster Newton Town and North Dorset Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team

There are simple things we can all do in the perennial battle against scammers and opportunistic garden thieves, says PCSO Mandy Robinson

Be aware that scams are always changing – but there are still some old ones going around, and they are all after the same thing – your money!
Please be on your guard. We have received reports recently of scam calls from the 01258 dialling code – do remember this does not necessarily mean that it is a local caller. Scammers can spoof the area code to encourage you to answer.
Our general rule of thumb is that if you don’t know who is calling then don’t pick up!
You can protect yourself and your elderly or vulnerable relatives from becoming victims of scam callers by contacting the call provider and asking about call guardian or call blocker.
You can also purchase phones with an integrated call blocker with answering service included at a reasonable cost.
Hang up on fraudsters and NEVER give out personal or bank details.

One day’s neighbourhood patrol: Stour Provost, Stour Row, Fifehead Magdalen, Marnhull, West Stour, Kington Magna, Fifehead St Quintin, Woolland, Stoke Wake, Park Gate and Hazelbury Bryan – ending with a beautiful winter sunset!

Crime prevention
Imagine going to your garden shed or outbuilding, finding it has been broken into and your garden tools and petrol mower have been stolen. There are some simple steps you can take to protect your property:
Ensure that high-value power tools and equipment are tagged with a security marker. Do also photograph them and make a note of serial numbers – a simple job with a smart phone.
Secure valuable items to a strong anchor point using security cables/chains and robust padlocks – if you have nowhere else to store valuable equipment other than your shed, consider fitting a shed alarm, reinforce the hinges as well as locks and fit metal grills over the windows.
Check your insurance cover too – does it include the contents of your shed/outbuilding?
Protect vulnerable areas of your garden by growing prickly plants, like berberis or pyracantha, close to boundary walls, fences and oil tanks.

Primary school traffic
The team has been in contact with the head of a local primary school after reports of vehicles speeding and parking in an unsocial manner during school drop-offs and pick-ups.
During school run times, traffic can be hectic around all schools. If you drive to pick up your child, please be aware of your surroundings, drive slowly and park safely, with consideration.

Remember to continue to report
any concerns online at www.dorset.police.uk/Contact-Us
Always use 999 in an emergency.

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