Every so often the peace of the village is shattered by someone’s burglar alarm going off. It is often difficult to know what one should do in these circumstances, but here are a few suggestions (that should be exercised with extreme caution):
· If you are a neighbour, find someone to accompany you and walk around the house where the alarm has been activated taking a torch (if dark) and a mobile telephone.
· If you see intruders or signs of a break-in, telephone 999 and report a “crime in progress”.
· Do not attempt to confront any strangers, but make a note of their appearance and of the registration numbers and other details of any vehicles they might be using.
· If some time has elapsed and there is no crime in progress but evidence that a crime has been committed, broken window, marks to doors and windows etc, report your findings to the Police on 0845 408 7000.
If your alarm is attended by the police, you will probably be out and the Police may need to contact someone to unlock the property, switch off the alarm and take responsibility for the building. These are normally referred to as “key holders”.. A key holder needs to be someone on the phone and able to reach your property within twenty minutes of being called.
Footnote: Due to a high percentage of intruder alarm activations that are false, i.e. set off accidentally etc, the Police nationally introduced a policy known as the ACPO Intruder Alarm Policy 1995; this has recently been updated to a 2001 version and Forces throughout the Country are now beginning to adopt. This policy governs the way in which the Police deal with alarm activations. Where activation is an audible only, the police do not respond as a matter of course unless the person reporting is able to identify the premises and state that there is some criminal or unusual activity at the address. Also in relation to remote signalling alarms, there are response penalties which can be imposed, including withdrawal of Police response, where alarms generate more than a set number of false activations in any twelve-month period.
This advice is issued with the approval of Wiltshire Police.
Village Co-ordinator, Sutton Veny Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
101 High Street, Tel: 840403,
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