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.

Police warn of credit card scam

scam alertKate Thwaites, the Cambridge Community Safety/Crime Reduction Officer, has issued the following warning about scams via the Constabular’s eCops system:

A fresh warning is being issued over a courier fraud scam which targets the elderly and vulnerable who receive a phone call from fraudsters saying they are from their bank or the police. Several people in the Peterborough area have fallen victim to this scam in the last few days.

Tricksters tell the victim they are calling because there has been suspicious activity on their account and advise them to call the bank from the number on the back of their card. But when they hang up and call their bank or police, the fraudster manages to stay on the line and even though a new number is dialled the victim is still on the phone to the fraudster.

The con artist then gains their trust and asks them to either say or key in their PIN number before telling them their card will be collected and a replacement delivered. A courier calls later that day to collect the card.

You can hear an example of this type of call by watching the following film clip at Herts Police website

http://www.herts.police.uk/hertfordshire_constabulary/latest_news/news_articles/260115_-_1819.aspx <http://www.herts.police.uk/hertfordshire_constabulary/latest_news/news_articles/260115_-_1819.aspx>

Variations of this scam include people being sent to high street stores to purchase expensive items, which are later collected by fraudsters.

For further information regarding the latest scams please visit<http://www.consumberhub.org>

 

Floating bus stops, what do you think?

floatingbusstopHills Road is to benefit from over a million pounds of government funding for a new road layout that aims to improve conditions for pedestrians, bus users and cyclists. There is a plan for segregated cycle lanes in three of the main roads into the city: Hills Road, Trumpington Road and Huntingdon Road.

An innovative feature of the scheme will be ‘floating bus stops’, which have proved successful in Brighton and London. This will avoid the danger of cyclists overtaking buses at stops, but it will be important to make sure it is safe for bus passengers.

The County Council is running a consultation begins next week, with exhibitions and events at various local centres. There has already been one at St John’s Church and there are more at Addenbrooke’s (Friday March 14th, 11.00am-2pm) and the Perse School ( Wednesday March 26th, 6,30-8.30pm).

For full details, see http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/CMSWebsite/Apps/News/Details.aspx?ref=1330

The meeting will also include a presentation from the neighbourhood police and planning applications, including one for flats in Queen Edith’s Way – yes, more flats.

The meeting begins at 7pm, with an Open Forum, at which anyone can ask questions or make statements.

Police elections this Thursday: why I am a semi-floating voter

This Thursday, 15th November 2012, will see Britain’s first ever elections for Police & Crime Commissioners to oversee our police forces. Everyone in England and Wales outside of London will vote for a Police & Crime Commissioner for their county. They will be in charge of Chief Constables, set budgets set policing priorities. Here is a list of the candidates standing for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The Police Commissioners are intended by the Conservatives to provide greater accountability to the communities they serve. I question whether one person is more accountable than the police authorities, which comprised a number of people. Nevertheless, here we have an opportunity to get people thinking seriously about policing matters, including how best to handle offenders and prevent reoffending. (more…)

First police elections next month, just one day to register!

The 15th November 2012 will see Britain’s first ever elections for individuals to be in charge of our police forces. Everyone in England and Wales outside of London will go to the polls to vote for a Police & Crime Commissioner for their county. Chief Constables will answer to the new commissioners, who will set budgets and set policing priorities. Here is a list of the candidates standing for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Tomorrow’s your last chance to apply for a postal vote or register to vote – you can fill in this form. Postal vote applications need to be in by 5 p.m. but you can register to vote up till 11.59 if you like to be up against the wire. Here is a form for that too. You can apply for a proxy vote (somebody else votes on your behalf) up to 7th November.

The Police Commissioners are intended by the Conservatives to provide greater accountability to the communities they serve. I am not convinced that one person is more accountable than the existing police authorities comprising a number of people: nevertheless, it is an opportunity to get people thinking seriously about policing matters, including how best to handle offenders and prevent reoffending.

(more…)

Vehicle thefts in Queen Edith’s

The South Cambridge Neighbourhood police report just one burglary in Queen Edith’s in the past week: burglars broke into a shed in Long Road last Wednesday and used tools to jemmy open a side window leading to the kitchen. Property was stolen, including valuables and a vehicle.

There have been two thefts of motor vehicles in the Cavendish Avenue area.

Domestic burglary is a police priority, as set at the recent South Area meeting on 16th July, and police have spent over 50 hours patrolling in Cherry Hinton and Queen Edith’s to deter burglars, in line with the policing priority.

If you wish to contact the neighbourhood policing team, ring them on the police non-emergency number, 101, or 999 for emergencies. To receive regular updates from the police, sign up for e-cops for their local newsletter covering the south of Cambridge.

If you would like to comment on police priorities, please get in touch with me or any other member of the Focus Team.

Police priorities for South Cambridge

  • The South Area meeting at the Cherry Hinton Village Centre last night set five policing priorities for the coming four months:
  • Anti-social behaviour in Cherry Hinton
  • Mini-moto misuse in Cherry Hinton
  • Dangerous driving and parking outside schools in Queen Edith’s
  1. SpeedParking at Homerton Childrens Centreing in Church End, Cherry Hinton
  2. Domestic burglaries

The police recommended carrying on with the school parking and asked to add another, domestic burglaries. They asked to discharge the three Cherry Hinton objectives.

(more…)

Police Priorities for South Cambridge

The next South Area meeting on 7th November will include a discussion on police priorities. The meeting’s at the Cherry Hinton Village Centre and open to everyone. It starts at 7.30 and we anticipate the policing discussion will begin by 8 p.m. You can view an agenda  for this meeting on the City Council website, as well as the police crime statistics and reports on the last few months.

The police come to the South Area meetings once every two months to put forward priorities for the next period and hear views from the public, including suggestions for new priorities.At the last meeting, we asked them to prioritise mini-moto anti-social behaviour, and it will be interesting to see what the police have to say about that.

One priority I intend to suggest is driving behaviour near schools. I regularly receive complaints about motorists parking on corners, on yellow zigzags, or blocking the road outside schools – creating a very hazardous environment for everyone, especially children.

If you are concerned about a particular type of crime or nuisance, or have something you would like to propose as a priority, come along to the meeting if you can. It starts at 7.30 p.m. and the police priority setting is the first major item after public questions. If you can’t make it, please pass your idea to me or one of the other councillors for Queen Edith’s, Cherry Hinton or Trumpington and we can put it forward on your behalf, with your permission.

The meeting will also be discussing where to put new CAB advice hubs (see previous post). After that it will determine three planning applications:

11/0900/FUL Hills Road Sixth Form College Sports Ground, Sedley Taylor Road (a new pavilion)

11/0873/FUL 12a Drayton Close (annexe to existing residence

11/0202/FUL 31 Beaumont Road (change of use from private dwelling house in multiple occupation)