Here is the link to the latest updates from Neighbourhood Watch for the North Northamptonshire Area.  Click on the email link if you would like these sent directly to you each time an update is received.  

To contact the police call 999 only if a crime is in progress or if life is in danger, or 03000 111 222 for less urgent matters

Link to Crime Update page HERE
Smartwater Click HERE

FROM THE POLICE 8th January 2014

Police are issuing crime prevention advice following 12 reports of a phone scam which took place in the county on Sunday 5 January between 1pm and 7pm.

The scam involves a caller attempting to encourage people to part with bank details, including pin numbers. Police are urging people not to part with this information.

During the scam the offender calls the resident, purporting to be a police officer investigating a fraud on their bank account, a fraud investigator from a bank or other bank official. They then ask for account information, including their card numbers, security number and pin number.

If the resident becomes suspicious, the offender suggests that they call 999 or 101 and ask for confirmation that the person is a police officer.

The victim then calls police, but doesn't realise that the offender has not hung up so goes straight through to them again. In some cases another offender comes on the line and pretends to be working in the police control room and states that they can verify the officer's details.

The caller is then transferred back through to the first offender who obtains all their details.

In some cases the criminals have sent couriers immediately to the victim's property to pick up their cards which are then used fraudulently.

In two other incidents the suspect caller, again pretending to be a police officer, stated that they had the victim's two grandchildren in custody who had been caught using the caller's credit or bank card.

The offenders are deliberately targeting older victims.

For non urgent incidents please report to Action Fraud, the central reporting and recording system for fraud, on 0300 123 2040 or online at:

Security Tips for Domestic Oil Tanks


Theft of heating and diesel oil has been a problem for many years and the police have always noticed an increase in this type of crime whenever the price of crude oil rises. A rise in the price of fuel at the petrol pump inevitably leads to a rise in the cost of heating oil. This makes oil a more attractive proposition for the thief and they are now actively targeting fuel tanks at farms, transport depots and domestic properties. 

The thief may be using the oil for their own central heating or selling it on at a handsome profit. With hand power tools and small mobile pumps available it is easy for a thief to gain entry into your oil tank via either the point for filling or by simply drilling a hole through your tank side and inserting a tube and pumping the oil directly into containers. A one thousand litre tank can be emptied in minutes in this manner making your heating oil a valuable commodity to a thief in his daily 'work'.

It therefore makes good sense to take precautions to protect your oil tank, with the purpose of this information to give the reader a few ideas about what can be done to make life more difficult for the thief. After all, would you leave over £600.00 in cash lying around in your garden? So please, read on.

About the Tank

OFTEC or the "Oil Firing Technical Association for the petroleum industry" for short offers advice and guidance for those who use and store oil at their premises! There are certain rules and regulations that may apply to you and OFTEC will help clarify these for you. They can be reached at or by calling 0845 6585 080. They also produce an "Easy guide to domestic oil storage" which is a very straightforward and useful document.

Where can we put it?

The position of the tank can have a significant effect on how hard a target it is in the eyes of the thief. If the tank is close to the house, with one or more windows capable of giving a view of it, then the thief may consider the chances of being seen too high. If the tank is close to a road, path, drive or alleyway then it will be a far easier target. Hiding the tank behind the garage, shed or some other type of outbuilding is fairly commonplace, but it does give the thief the advantage. Not many oil tanks are works of art so who wants a tank in full view? While it may not be desirable, or legal, to have the tank close to the house some sort of compromise location would be sensible. Of course this will not only be a major consideration when a new tank is to be installed but may be necessary if the tank has been targeted before! They do need to be within a reasonable distance of the road otherwise the oil supply company may not be able to refill it for you.

A good thief will come equipped with a limited range of tools to attack your tank so it's worth spending a little more on good quality locks. Close shackle padlocks are the best as they offer most resistance to the most popular of burglar tools - the bolt cropper! Due to their design, close shackle padlocks have very little of the metal hoop (shackle) exposed and bolt croppers cannot get a good grip. Remember that buying a padlock is like buying a car the more you pay the better the quality you get and the longer it will last. An internet search on 'close shackle padlock' will provide numerous suppliers and products and are also available at DIY and most hardware stores.


Remote electronic oil level gauges are now available which will set off an audible alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full. These gauges can be located in the kitchen or perhaps a utility room to warn of any potential problem. There are several different versions on the market at the moment and cost between £70 and £100. An internet search on 'heating oil tank alarm' will give access to a variety of products and suppliers. External PIR alarms are available in both professional and DIY models. These may be positioned to cover the area where your oil tank is sited and alert you to intruders to that area. Be aware that some systems will be affected by small animals, with the neighbours cat or the passing fox being possible culprits. So please ask questions relating to the sensitivity of your intended purchase. Search for 'external alarms'.

Lights On

Security lights can have a very positive effect and make any property a much harder target for the thief. It's not always necessary to floodlight the area with high power beams, as a more subtle level of lighting may be all that is needed. Low energy "dusk 'till dawn" lights positioned close to the tank should, in most cases, provide sufficient light to illuminate any suspicious activity. This type of light can be both effective and inexpensive. High powered lights can be used but care should be taken not to cause any nuisance to neighbours or road users. All such items are available from DIY stores at very reasonable prices.

Defensive Planting

This is nature's way of helping to reduce crime. Thieves will not wish to force their way through or over a prickly hedge. The smallest trace of blood or shred of ripped clothing could help the police identify the offender. A variety of shrubbery exists that will help to give this type of protection, but remember it will take time to establish and should be considered as a secondary protection. All good garden centres will be happy to advise on the quickest growing and most suitable plants for use in this area.

Protective Surround

Fences and walls can also make life difficult for the thief. A wooden or metal fence, trellis or wall can give significant protection to the tank but it must be remembered that the oil tanker driver will need access to fill the tank! A metal grill or cage with a lockable access point can further improve security and possibly be the highest level of physical protection you can give to your oil tank. Steel cages are available for other purposes but they have yet to be specific to oil tank design, due to the variants in oil tank sizes. To this end you would require to look for a cage that would completely cover your tank. The cage would need to be able to be bolted/concreted into the ground and consist of a lockable door, to enable entry for filling. An internet search on 'security cages' gives access to retailers providing lockable cages with roof sections. Whilst a surround cage may give ultimate protection it will be one of the most costly outlays for preventing theft from your tank, but the cost of replacing a full oil tank would still be far greater. Remember to use a 'close shackle' padlock to secure your cage access gate.

Add a wire free beam alarm within the cage, which will activate should access be forced and a would-be thief may be scared off prior to getting to attack your oil tank. By placing this type of alarm within a caged area and correctly positioning the beam it would be possible to prevent false activations normally associated with small animals. Look up wire free external alarms.


The use of CCTV as a crime prevention and a crime detection tool has grown massively in recent years. It could play a part in the protection of oil tanks, but before you spend lots of money on equipment make an assessment of your needs. Ask yourself: 

• What do I hope to achieve by using CCTV?- (operational requirement-

• How much am I prepared to spend?

• Is there a reasonable level of light where the cameras will be operating or do I need to think about using cameras with low light capability? (most thefts take place at night).

• What am I going to record the captured images on? - digital recording is best

• How am I going to provide the police with any evidence I may capture?

For those of you thinking along the lines of far greater security there are numerous CCTV options, for which we would suggest obtaining at least 3 quotations from reliable companies.

The objective of making adjustments relating to your heating oil tank is to prevent you from becoming a victim of crime.

Whilst all of these measures will require some financial outlay it may be more pertinent to make the necessary changes now rather than take the chance, become a statistic and still have to pay out for more oil, repair / replacement of your tank or in the extreme case, foot the cost of cleaning up your land where oil has been left to drain after thieves drilled a hole into your tank!

Unfortunately there is no one answer to the theft of domestic heating oil, but rest assured, the more you do to prevent your oil tank from becoming a target, the better chance you have of encouraging the thief to look elsewhere for easier pickings.

Gravel around the tanks may also be a good idea (noise).

I've already listed outdoor/perimeter detection devices below. We recommended Secured by Design approved ones because they have been tested to the right standards. They tend to work of two beams rather than one, reducing false activations.

General advice

1. Make sure the tank is situated away from the main road, but equally good surveillance from the main house and neighbouring houses. This will increase the offender(s) anxiety.  

2. Closed boarded vertical strutted fencing offers the best wooden fence security. Trellis can be used to raise the fence height. Prickly plantation should also be a second option. You also have anti climb paint and prikka strip options.

3. Control switches that control the flow of oil should be turned off and the electricity isolated.

4. Use decent 'Closed Shackle' padlocks. These are harder to bolt crop. For decent police approved locks visit Sold Secure-

5. Lighting should be 'site specific'. If overlooked light up the tank area using 'dusk to dawn lights'. If less overlooked, use PIR lighting that 'draws attention' on a short cycle- say 3-5 seconds. If in the middle of nowhere keep the site completely dark.


Security cages-

Fuel Theft

Due to the increasing cost of road diesel more and more fuel is being stolen from lorries either parked in their yards or whilst drivers are taking their breaks in lorry parks and lay-bys. 

Below are a few tips to help reduce this problem:

• Always park in a well lit well used area

• Try to park with your fuel tank either facing the road so passing traffic make it less of a target

• Locking fuel caps are useful not advised as the thieves tend to puncture the tank when these are used causing even more damage

• There are devices that can be fitted to the filler cap that can activate the vehicles alarm when tampered with

• When parking in a lorry park try to park very close to the next lorry so the fuel tanks are close together making it difficult to get access to them

• Consider CCTV to monitor vulnerable areas where lorries are parked



This is a message from Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Watch Information sent on behalf of Northamptonshire Police Community Connect  15th January 2013:

We are aware of the concerns of some horse owners in East Northamptonshire about ponies being deliberately let out of fields.

We have had a report of criminal damage to a fence post in the Brigstock area in recent weeks and we are aware of three incidents where horses have been found out of their fields, however, there is no evidence to show that someone has let them out deliberately.

Two of the incidents relate to the report of a horse out of its field, which was subsequently struck by a car and died. The third incident involved a number of horses that had got lose and were found a mile from where they were kept. There is no evidence to suggest any of these horses were released on purpose.

Horse owners need to remain vigilant and be aware of any suspicious activity where their horses are kept and if they witness anything suspicious, report it to us as soon as possible.
They also need to make sure they have secure fencing and as many security measures in place as possible to help stop horses escaping and to help prevent any criminal offences being committed.

Anyone who would like to report any suspicious activity can do so on 101, or if a crime is taking place, on 999.


23rd Nov 2012:

This is a message from Northamptonshire Community Connect Information sent on behalf of Northamptonshire Police Community Connect
At the Community Panel Meeting held on the Tuesday 30 October a New Locally Identified priority (LIP) was set for East Northants North SCT.

To address concerns and reduce incidents of burglary in Oundle, Fotheringhay, Nassington and Woodnewton.
Sargeant Phil Holton would like to inform all residents living in the villages mentioned above of the new (LIP) and says: "We have seen a slight increase recently in burglaries in the Oundle area and surrounding villages. "
"We are running an operation over the next few months to help tackle these burglaries, some of these have occurred in the early hours of the morning."
"On a few occasions, properties have been entered through insecure doors and I would appeal to people to ensure that they lock doors and windows before going to bed or leaving the house."
"If you see anything suspicious please contact us on 101 and if you think a crime is in the process of being committed, please ring 999 immediately."
"I would also encourage anyone with information about these burglaries to contact us or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 to speak with someone anonymously."




What is SmartWater?

Smartwater is the ultimate theft deterrent which uses state-of-the-art forensic technology to protect your belongings, precious things, assets and valuables.

Each SmartWater system contains a unique DNA-style forensic code which is simply dabbed into the nooks and crannies of your valuables. Each code is stored on a secure database together the owner's details making them uniquely identifiable.

SmartWater can also be deployed through a hidden spray system which is used to forensically tag intruders.  It is used by many banks, jewellers and other high value more vulnerable businesses.  Companies and organisation with high value assets in the criminal world (e.g. scrap metal and stolen lead) such as BT, Network Rail and the Church use Smartwater.

Once dry it is virtually impossible to remove and any traces will glow under ultra-violet light.

Irrefutably links criminals to the crime scene and property back to its owner. When used by UK police forces as part of their crime prevention initiatives, SmartWater is achieving reductions in burglary of up to 84%.

SmartWater is an Official Police Accredited Organisation.

Proven to reduce crime!

More than just a product; SmartWater is a proven crime deterrent strategy.

Criminals know about SmartWater and they hate it! SmartWater is used by 95% of UK police forces and maintains a perfect 100% conviction rate wherever it has been used as evidence in a court of law.

In short, SmartWater works.  Are you smart enough????

Click to view the smartwater website to get more details

Link here to join the neighbourhood watch village emailing list  
Link to police news:  HERE
This is a message from Northamptonshire Community Connect Information sent on behalf of Northamptonshire Police Community Connect
Message sent by
Community Connect Team C1174 (Police, Admin, Northamptonshire

Crime and policing update for Prebendal ward:

· A catalytic converter was stolen from a vehicle in Runnell Lane, Nassington overnight on Thursday 11 October.

News in brief

Eleven offenders who were arrested in Northampton last year during the time national rioting was taking place, were sentenced last week for a total of 17 years in custody. Read more

Eight people have been arrested in dawn raids across Wolverhampton, Coventry and Northampton Friday 12 October 2012 after over eighty officers from Warwickshire, West Mercia, Northamptonshire and the West Midlands executed warrants aimed at disrupting the activities of suspected drugs producers. Read more

A dedicated operation which targets the theft of metal has been running for a year in Northamptonshire. We have seen a reduction of over 11 per cent of metal thefts in the county compared to the previous 12 months. Read more

Released on behalf of Leicestershire Police - Burglars posing as police officers sentenced - Six men have been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison after posing as police officers and stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from trusting members of the public after investigations carried out by Leicestershire Police officers, supported by colleagues in Nottinghamshire Police and Northamptonshire Police.

Read more

Just a quick update for you regarding burglaries in the Nassington & Fotheringhay areas. We have arrested four men from the Peterborough area on suspicion of burglary in the past few days. These men have since been bailed while a number of further lines of enquiry are pursued. Some property, including 2 stolen vehicles have been recovered. Please can I thank all residents in both villages, and in Woodnewton for their continued vigilance in looking out for their neighbours property.

Information provided by a person in Fotheringhay another in Woodnewton has been very useful to both the investigators and ourselves, so please continue to call in anything suspicious. - use 03000 111 222 or email:

You may have seen patrols on foot in Nassington & Fotheringhay, which I will maintain for the next few weeks.
Report on recent burglaries and crimes HERE
The government has launched an awareness campaign outlining your rights with regard to crime and antisocial behaviour - for a copy of their leaflet, please click here