It has been quite horrifying to hear so many stories of scams, burglaries and dangerous situations people have found themselves that we feel compelled to share some of them here so that you are aware and can take safety precautions. LoSRA discuss the perceived rise in crime in the area in their piece this month, although statistics seem to suggest otherwise.

There is a fear that many crimes may be unreported as the perception is that the police don’t or can’t do anything. Our advice is ALWAYS report it. When we were plagued with moped riders 18 months ago, consistent reporting brought offences down.

We shared an E-fit at the end of last year of a man wanted in connection with a burglary in Lower Sunbury. It seems he had followed his elderly victim home from Tesco. Arriving at the house, the burglar talked his way into the house, saying he was working on a leak in the adjoining house and could he see if the leak had extended.

He then proceeded to spin a tale, taking advantage of his ‘victim’s age. Thankfully the latter was quick witted enough to talk him out of the house, but not without the burglar making off with a number of irreplaceable items. The method of selecting a ‘victim’ and following them home is not isolated. We have heard of several.

The burglary of another prominent Sunbury resident before Christmas was more severe. She was awoken in her bed by a masked intruder who threatened her, tied her up and stole a large amount of jewellery. Finding that someone has burgled your home is bad enough, but to be there and be assaulted in a place you should feel safe, is awful beyond words. It would appear that the lady in question was specifically targeted as she lived alone and always wore a lot of jewellery.

Be aware of your surroundings and people who may be watching and targeting you. Close the pockets or zips of handbags. Zip your purse of wallet in your pocket if that is where you keep it. And look out for others. If you don’t feel safe, tell someone.

Any good Samaritan would stop and help if there was someone lying in the road, wouldn’t they? Be careful, this is a method in use locally and we have read two reports of very scary experiences. It is a distraction tactic. You get out of the car and someone makes off with it. In one case, a gentleman was severely beaten. The advice if you find yourself in that situation is to drive on a little way, turn around so your headlights are lighting the road.

Stay in your locked car and call the police and IF you leave your car lock it behind you.
Scams are a growing threat online and by phone too. At the moment HMRC or banks are being impersonated frequently. NEVER click on a link on an email unless you are expecting it and NEVER share your account details over the phone.