East Area meeting this week: policing report

The next East Area meeting is Thursday 12th July, at the Cherry Trees Day Centre in St Matthew’s Street. It starts with an Open Forum when anybody can ask a question or raise an issue with councillors. Although the area meeting cannot always sort things out on the spot, it can request action from council departments and get balls rolling.

It will include a report from the neighbourhood police on their activities in the last policing period (December to March 2018), including tackling anti-social behaviour on Coleridge Recreation Ground, and promoting and enforcing road safety. If you have issues you would like to bring to police attention, this meeting is a good place to do it. If you cannot attend, let me know if anything you’d like me to raise.

The full agenda is here.

Bogus burglar alarm calls

burglar alarmKate Thwaites, Cambridgeshire Constabulary Community Safety Officer for Cambridge, has sent a warning about bogus burglar alarm sales calls.

Earlier this week we received a reported involving a Home Security company cold calling an elderly resident in Cambridge and trying to sell them an alarm system for their home. The salesperson for the company, based in Nottingham, went on to say they can provide a wireless monitored system and a lifeline alarm whereby their trained first aiders would visit very quickly if the alarm was activated.

If you’re thinking of purchasing an alarm system please be aware that some companies make false claims that they are accredited and are also misleading with their promises regarding response times by Police and medical staff.

When buying an alarm system it is always advisable to get at least 3 quotes, and look for companies that are accredited by N.S.I. (National Security Inspectorate) or S.S.I.A.B. (Security Systems & Alarm Inspection Board) Independent Inspectorates are not-for profit approval bodies who carry out inspection services for the security industry in order to protect customer interests. They are governed by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) the sole accreditation service recognised by the government.

For additional information regarding alarm systems please see the relevant section in the attached Home Security Guide. Dwelling_Security_Survey_leaflet

If you receive any phone calls from alarms companies using high pressure sales techniques please don’t agree to anything immediately. Make sure you know what you’re buying and phone the Police if you’re concerned.

Lamppost levy false alarm

NWSeveral residents involved in Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Cambridge have been warned by police that they will in future have to register signs that they fix to lampposts, and pay £25 for each one, plus surveying costs.

Such charges have not been imposed.

In some areas, you do have to register signs that are fixed to lampposts, in the interests of safety.

But not in Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire County Council has not authorised Balfour Beatty to make charges, and councillors have not approved such charges.

 

UPDATE (18th June 2016)

We have pursued this at the Council and it transpires that an officer gave an instruction to Balfour Beatty when he shouldn’t have done. That has now been countermanded and we have received the following advice:

Thank you for forwarding on the residents’ concerns. We have no current or future plans to charge Neighbourhood Watch Associations for signs which are already in place and I have confirmed this with Balfour Beatty. Neighbourhood Watch Associations are not subject to fees for the installation of new Neighbourhood Watch signs at this time and if we do consider introducing charges in the future, Balfour Beatty and ourselves will notify Neighbourhood Watch Associations as to the requirements of any new installations.

Hopefully this has provided you with reassurance about the situation and I would be grateful if you could forward this information on to any concerned residents that come forward. Neither Balfour Beatty or ourselves have officially issued any information in relation to this but I will contact Neighbourhood Watch leaders to let them know the above.

This doesn’t mean the idea of the charges is dead – the Conservatives on the County Council may seek to get the plan agreed at committee. We in the Liberal Democrat group will be voting against, but any feedback from you would be helpful.