Suffolk Police are calling on local communities to help tackle incidents of lead theft from churches.
The advice follows reports of attempted theft in Ipswich and Woodbridge in recent weeks; however there are concerns that some incidents are not being reported which limits the Constabulary’s ability to take action.
Police work in close partnership with churches to help detect and deter crime, and encourage all to consider the installation of lighting, CCTV and/or roof alarms.
Rural churches, in particular, are often targeted due to their isolated locations so members of the public are asked to report any suspicious activity they see. Stealing a large amount of lead takes time and a reasonably large vehicle to transport it, so any early reports will assist police in locating the offenders.
Chief Inspector Stuart Grimsey said: "We are asking local people to take an interest in their local church whilst they are out and about. If you take the dog out for a walk, or go for a stroll, don’t ignore anything that you think looks out of place - report anything you think may be suspicious to the police.
"Communities can act as our eyes and ears, and by pulling together to note suspicious activity, we can deter thieves and help keep these historic buildings safe.”
With the harvest season underway Suffolk Police are warning of the dangers of climbing on straw stacks awaiting collection from fields.
At approximately 3.50pm on Saturday 29th July 2017 youths were seen climbing on a large straw stack on a farm in Hinderclay. The youths also cut the bindings to some of the large bales and the stack collapsed causing significant damage valued at approximately £2,000. The damage can be seen on the attached image.
A police spokesperson warned “The stacks can be in excess of 40 feet high and the bales weigh nearly half a ton each. People are not allowed to run amok on construction sites because it is too dangerous, and the same must apply for farms; they are a workplace with many potential hazards and should not be treated as a playground. The children were trespassing and damaging the bales and if they are injured in a quiet, isolated area, they may not be found for hours. Parents and guardians need to be made aware that they are responsible for their children’s whereabouts.”
There are a number of footpaths around the farm and police are appealing for any walkers that were in the area around this time and noticed any children or youths to call 101 quoting crime reference 37/52004/17
Police in Suffolk will be targeted motorists who drive under the influence of drink or drugs as part of a month-long campaign.
The campaign, which started on Thursday 1 June and lasts until 30 June and will see officers from the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit breathalysing any driver who is stopped due to concerns over the manner of their driving, a vehicle defect or anyone involved in a collision.
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the roads policing unit, said: "This is an offence we target all year round but the summer campaign gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers driving under the influence can have, that a minority of motorists still chose to ignore.
"Drink or drug driving impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower, therefore increasing the chance of being involved in a collision.”
The campaign will involve targeted roadside activities by roads policing officers with support from uniformed colleagues across the county.
During last year’s campaign (2016) 113 motorists were caught drink or drug driving in Suffolk.
Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "As the weather improves and the barbeques are dusted off, I welcome this timely campaign to remind drivers not to drink or take drugs and drive.
"It beggars belief that despite the obvious dangers, too many drivers still take to the road under the influence of drink or drugs.
"All drivers need to understand that drink or drug driving risks lives and the lives of others, it is grossly irresponsible and selfish.
"I hope that slowly but surely the message is getting through, this cavalier attitude to safety is completely unacceptable and I urge drivers to take heed. Sadly too many drivers have still not learnt the lesson – drink driving kills.”
UK THREAT LEVEL
With the tragic events that took place in London over the weekend, Suffolk Constabulary’s Chief Constable has moved to reassure local residents and visitors that although the county remains safe, the approach to policing will be continuously reviewed to help mitigate any potential further threats.
The UK threat levels remain unchanged at SEVERE for police and the UK generally, meaning an attack is highly likely but not imminently expected and officers locally will be conducting increased, highly visible patrols, to provide reassurance and confidence.
Chief Constable Gareth Wilson said: "Our thoughts remain with those affected by the incident in London on Saturday, particularly the families of those killed and all who sustained injuries. Here in Suffolk we continue to keep policing under review in view of national events and, while the county remains safe, we need to come together to show those who would create fear and division that we stand as one against such attacks.
"Extremists present a significant challenge for the police, security and intelligence services and our communities’ support is paramount in helping us deal with this challenge. I would urge everyone to report anything they believe to be suspicious behaviour, and to continue to be alert but not alarmed.
"The threat level and our response are constantly under review. If we feel it necessary to deploy specially trained officers again in the coming weeks we will, while maintaining a police presence in our communities and at key events.
"I would continue to ask the public to remain calm but alert – if you see anything which causes you concern, then call the police immediately. Look out for anything that seems out of place, we would rather investigate concerns which come to nothing, rather than hear an incident could have been prevented.”
Latest guidance on recognising the terrorist threat and remaining vigilant can be accessed via www.nactso.gov.uk
To report any suspicious activity or behaviour call 0800 789 321 or in an emergency dial 999.
This message is being broadcast on behalf of Suffolk Trading Standards
We've had many reports of traders going door to door across the County offering to sell chainsaws and generators. Reports have been received in Ipswich, Stowmarket and Beccles.
Please be especially cautious of any individual who approaches you and offers to sell you something at a incredibly reduced price.
Trust your instincts – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Anyone who is offered goods for sale out the back of a van, by a person who approaches them in the street, or uninvited at the doorstep, should be highly suspicious. Goods sold in this way may be stolen, counterfeit, unsafe or simply overpriced.
Our advice is simply never to deal with traders in this way.
Anyone who is suspicious of goods offered for sale in this way should report the matter to Suffolk police by contacting the number 101, or by calling us via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.