MagazineNewsPerspectivesTotnes Town

Stopping the Burglars, keeping safe and anti-social behavior

Devon & Cornwall Police LogoUpdate from Devon & Cornwall Police Inspector Ben Shardlow, who oversees neighbourhood police teams in Totnes:
Well, we’re now officially on the home stretch towards the summer months. How time has flown by – it only felt like yesterday that Storm Jocelyn was upon us, making its rainy presence known.

This month, I’ll be sharing a few updates on antisocial behaviour in Totnes town centre and some exciting news for the neighbourhood police team. I’ll also be covering some useful safety advice, as its important to be mindful of potential risks that go hand-in-hand with the hotter weather.

Addressing antisocial behaviour (ASB)

Tagging and anti-social behavior Image by cottonbro
Image by cottonbro

Recently, we’ve had a few reports of ASB involving a number of young people. Down to the hard work of the neighbourhood police officers, we have been able to identify the boys involved and they have been firmly spoken to and relevant consequences given.
We will continue to keep an eye on known individuals in the town centre and any ASB reports that are made to us. We take these issues very seriously and will be cracking down on those who are intent on disrupting and causing issues in our town.

New Police Sergeant

I’m pleased to share that I’m running an advert for a new Police Sergeant (PS) to join our team of neighbourhood officers. Our neighbourhood police teams play a different role to the patrol teams who respond to 999 calls. We conduct high visibility patrols, engage with the public about their concerns, investigate low level and long-term crime or ASB affecting our communities, and educate and prevent people from being victims of crime.
I look forward to welcoming the new PS into our community in the coming weeks!

Making your car and home unattractive to burglars:

As more of us begin to get out and about to enjoy some of the beautiful areas we’re lucky enough to have on our doorstep, this usually means more time spent travelling; either in vehicles or on public transport. It’s important that if you’re going to be away more often, you make your car and home look unattractive to burglars.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your property, and what’s in it, safe.

  • Always lock your home and vehicle – it’s simple, but effective
  • Make sure all windows are closed and locked
  • Lock your front door if you’re in the garden – thieves can be in and out in moments
  • Secure garages and outbuildings, and don’t forget to store away items like bikes!
  • Don’t leave high value items in view of your windows, both in your vehicle and at home. Store them safely, or take them with you if they’re in your vehicle
  • When leaving your vehicle, make sure to hide coins for the car park, sunglasses, packs of medication or other items – these can earn quick cash are irresistible to the opportunist thief
  • Park in well-lit or busier areas – it can take less than 30 seconds to break into a vehicle. Parking in well-lit areas and busy streets increases the chances of a thief being seen, so they’ll probably steer clear
  • For more information about how to keep your home and vehicle secure, visit the Devon & Cornwall Police website.

Keeping yourself safe in water:

Wild Swimming
Photo by Med Gadon

With many young people and families enjoying the beaches and wild swimming (swimming in a natural pool of water, like a river), it’s essential that you know the basics to keeping yourself safe in water. Here are some safety tips that could help save yours, or another person’s life:

  • If you’re in cold water, fight your instinct to thrash around. Instead lean back, extend your arms and legs and if you need to, gently move your arms and legs to help you float
  • Float until you can control your breathing and only then call for help or swim to safety
  • Always check the tide times before heading out, make it a habit and never go alone and tell someone where you are going
  • The first thing you must do if you see someone in trouble in water is to shout for help – send someone to ring 999. If it will reach, throw the person something that will float – a ball, plastic bottle or lifebuoy towards them. Or, if you’re able to safely, reach towards the person with a long stick, clothes or anything else. Make sure to crouch or lie down to avoid being pulled in
  • Rescuing a drowning person is the last resort and you should do everything possible to avoid getting into a dangerous situation in the first place. If you have to make a rescue attempt think of your own safety first and never put yourself in danger.

If the rescue is too dangerous wait until the emergency services arrive.

More information is available on the D&C website here.

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