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Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

How to prevent theft

It’s never nice to feel vulnerable, and theft is a crime that sadly occurs all too often. Sometimes referred to as ‘Theft from the person,’ this article looks at ways to keep you safe from theft and attempted theft.

Usually involving no physical violence, there are two types of theft most commonly associated with targeting an individual:

  • Snatch theft - Taking a bag cleanly from a shoulder is an example of this. Force may be used, but not against a person.
  • Stealth theft (e.g. pickpocketing) - Where no force is used and the victim is unaware of the incident.

Stealth theft makes up around 70-80% of theft incidents.

Tips to reduce the risk of theft

There are steps you can take to help prevent theft from happening and to help you recover your stolen items.

Here are a few that could be helpful:

Be aware

  • Keep bags fastened and out of view.
  • Only take out what is necessary when going out at night.
  • Avoid listening to music on headphones whilst walking home at night alone. Keep to well-lit, busy areas.
  • Make sure no one is loitering too close when using a cash machine.
  • Avoid distractions when removing your card and cash from the machine.
  • After withdrawing cash, walk away and don’t count your money until it’s safe to do so.

Look after your belongings

  • Mark belongings using a UV pen or other marking system.
  • Never leave your bag, mobile, tablet or laptop unattended in public view, even if you are going to the toilet.
  • Do not keep all your valuables in one place. Instead place items such as wallets and mobile phones in inside pockets.

Protect your mobile

  • Avoid talking on your mobile whilst walking home at night alone and keep to well-lit, busy areas.
  • Be careful when using it outside train and bus stations which are popular venues for theft, often by motorcycle or moped.
  • Keep it hidden from view, not in your back pocket.
  • Make a note of your personal IMEI number (type *#06# on your phone's keypad to get it). If you have the IMEI number you can block your phone being used if it is stolen.
  • Download a phone tracking application.


Content source: Theft - Information pack for partners (July 2013), published by the Home Office.

Crime prevention tips for students

It might surprise you to learn that according to the National Union of Students as many as one in five students fall victim to property crime whilst at college or university.

Thieves know that student residences are full of expensive laptops, mobiles, iPads and bicycles, which all-to-often prove to be rich pickings! In fact, the average break-in costs £900 to repair the damage and replace belongings.  

The majority of burglaries are opportunist – a few simple steps can be enough to make thieves think twice and move on!

  1. When you go out make sure all windows and doors are locked. It might seem obvious but double check!
  2. Check windows for vulnerabilities, make sure they're strong, secure and fitted with locks. If they're not you should speak to the landlord or letting agent. 
  3. Don't advertise your valuables to thieves. Ensure that your laptop, jewellery, cameras, bicycles, and any other expensive items can not be seen from windows.
  4. Register possessions on Immobilise. Having a record of the make, model and serial numbers will help the police identify and return items if stolen, and can make insurance claims much simpler.
  5. Keep your gate shut and bolted at all times. Make sure bins don't make it easy for burglars to climb over walls or fences.
  6. Simulate occupancy with light timers or products like a FakeTV (see offer below). 
  7. Get Insurance. It is tempting to save money but make sure you have insurance and it covers all your kit.
  8. Secure bikes.If you own a bike make sure its locked to an immovable object with a decent lock, preferably out of sight, inside your house! Consider enhancing its Immobilise registration with an ImmobiTag RFID device (learn more).

Dogs in Summer

This summer is usually hot and sunny weather. Summer weather can be changeable and even on cloudy days the heat from the sun is strong. It only takes a short time for a dog to suffer the effects of being left in a car or in any place where a cool spot is not provided. 

Most people are aware of the effects of summer heat in a car where extreme temperatures are quickly reached. Even if a dog has been left in a car with its windows open or has been left in the shade it is still not safe!  Dogs pant to keep cool. In hot stuffy cars dogs can’t cool down - leaving a window open or a sunshield on windscreens won’t keep your car cool enough. The same can apply to a conservatory or other rooms and the garden. 

 Under 20 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog should its body temperature exceed 41°C. When it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes. At 26°c outside it can reach 37°c in just 10 mins! Dogs overheat quickly which means they could be at serious risk in only a short time.

If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, call the Police on 999. If the police are unable to attend, please call the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line 0300 1234 999.
Read more: Dogs in Summer

Dog Theft

Police are warning dog-owners to be extra-vigilant following a rise in the number of thefts reported across the county in recent weeks. Since May, there have been 17 incidents of dogs stolen from homes and kennels in Cambridgeshire, and this reflects a rising trend nationally, linked to an increase in the prices charged for dogs and puppies.

Read more: Dog Theft

Respect The Lead Campaign

The Respect the Lead Campaign has helpful advice on how to approach dogs on leads.




This is the home page of the Meerkats.Why did we choose the Meerkat? The Meerkat belongs to the mongoose family. It is famous for standing upright looking out for eagles and hawks that might attack their community.

Meerkats Logo Small

A Meerkat is always careful.

Meerkats work together to keep themselves safe. When a deadly puff adder attacked a burrow the meerkats helped each other and carried all their babies to safety.

 When they want to be safe, meerkats go to their burrow.

 Like the meerkat you can learn to be watchful and help to keep yourself safe. Meerkats teach us not to let our guard down and work together to keep our community safe from dangers.

We do not live in the wild, but we do have to know about the world around us because sometimes other people, or things we do, can be unsafe. 

The Meerkat pages will help you to find out how you can help yourself and your friends to stay safe.