Thursday, 20 December 2007

My favorite Messiah piece - For unto us a child is born. Sung by my favorite Choir

Unlike many choirs this one does not read the words from a book - the words are know to them.

My favorite Christmas Carol - O Holy Night sung by Il Divo

Empress Councillors as you have never seen them!

A Merry Christmas to all our residents. For the full length film version click below
Who said we were not serious politicians?

Saturday, 15 December 2007

French anti tank platoon (well French Canadian but all the same)

Having spent a little time in a Para anti tank company I found this tres amusing

My beautiful Japanese friend

This is Akiko who lived with us in her student days.
She is dressed in the Kimono of Maiko-san (sister of Geisha!!)


Thursday, 13 December 2007

I can do it - even if B&Q do it!!

Following a resident complaint to me about late night and early morning noise from B & Q, which I got our officers to investigate - I recieved the following today.
Dear Cllr Clifford
I have been dealing with the complaint you forwarded to Environmental Health from Mr XXXXX about the noise from night time works at B&Q. I spoke to the general manager who stopped the night time works and rearranged them to take place during the day time.
I have just heard from Mr XXXXX who told me B&Q are no longer causing him a noise problem. I have therefore closed this case.
Nicholas Jenkins
Principal Pollution Control Officer
Rushmoor Borough Council

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

You do not save Coppers by penny pinching

I just want to go on record as a supporter of the Police in their pay dispute with the Government. Government has a special agreement with our Police that they use independent arbitration when negotiating pay because the Police made an agreement to never strike. Every Home Secretary has therefore always agreeed to the pay rise negotiated with the independent arbitrators. Until this Labour Home Secretary that is. Am I surprised? This Government has not got a good record for looking after front line issues, like equiping troops in Afganistan and Iraq and keeping out religious extremists. If you are on the front line - don't expect support from this Government.

Bigger Green Bottle Bank for Cove Green

Thanks to a resident that called me to complain about green bottles left on the floor outside the bottle banks, I investigated and found that the green bottle bank there is smaller than the others for brown and clear bottles. So we are getting a larger one to replace it. Which is a far better solution than asking my residents in Cove to consume less wine!!

You report it - I will sort it.
Please do not ignore it!!

Rushmoor follows the Clifford Poll

Rushmoor is now running a poll on its web site. It is in the top right of the welcome page.
It is on a very non political topic - recycling Christmas Trees - but good to see a start at last.

I look forward to seeing more polls that listen to residents views on more substantial topics like Council Tax!!

Farnborough Police Statistics:

Here is a recent circulation from our divisional Chief Superintendent - Mr. CHATTERTON

"As we head to the Christmas period, I wanted to highlight the very impressive achievements that you have collectively delivered to date this year.
We have achieved nine OCU performance targets this year (out of a possible fifteen) and we are the best performing OCU so far this year. We are also rapidly improving against other OCUs nationally in our most similar family of OCUs.
Most importantly the majority of targets we are hitting involve crime commission rates ie crime levels and we now have the lowest crime rate per 000 population in the Force.
We have had 3268 less victims than this time last year ( that number keeps on getting better too) and have had 290 less house burglaries than this time last year, a reduction of 29% which is outstanding.
We are achieving our commission targets for vehicle crime, damage and most importantly violence which has seen us reduce by 18% over last year. Remarkable.
We have seen big drops in robbery, and sexual offences which is also really good news.
This has come about thanks to your collective hard work.
Every member of staff has had a part to play in this success and you have all delivered day in day out.
We have worked well with partner agencies and there is no doubt that our relentless focus on Insurgent Drug Dealers has made a huge impact.
The bottom line is that this Christmas our communities across this OCU are significantly safer than the same time last year and that is something you should be proud of. "

Distraction Burglary in Farnborough - did you see anything?

Police in Farnborough are appealing for witnesses to a distraction burglary that took place in Lynchford Road on Thursday, November 29 between 1.50pm and 2.10pm.
A total of £460 was stolen from the home of a 69-year-old woman by two men claiming to be from the water board.
The men told the elderly lady that they were there to inspect her pipes and she let them into her home and showed them to her sink in the kitchen.
The two men then asked her to remove items from her kitchen cupboard and she did so, turning her back on them.
When she turned around the pair had run out of the front door.
Later that day she found two envelopes containing £460 in cash to be missing from her home.
PC Mike Good, of Farnborough police station, said: “This is the latest in a series of distraction burglaries in the Rushmoor area.
“The offenders appear to target the vulnerable in the community.
“I would advise residents not to let anyone into their homes without checking their identification first.”

The first man is described as
Slim build
In his late 20s
Approximately 5ft 5ins
Wearing a grey and black zip jacket and grey trousers.
He spoke with a strange accent.

The second man is described as:
In his late 20s
Approxmately 5ft 5ins

Police officers are offering the following Safer Homes advice to avoid becoming involved in doorstep crime:

• Stop – are you expecting anyone to call on you? Do you know the person at the door? Don’t be misled by what appear to be genuine reasons for calling on you.
• Chain – fit a door chain or spy hole so that you can speak to callers or check who they are without opening the door fully.
• Check – A genuine caller will carry identification and will be happy to wait outside while you check it. Remember to source your own number for the company they are claiming to be from.Burglars can make you believe they are genuine callers. Don't invite them in. If in doubt, keep them out!

Anyone with information about this incident should contact PC Good on 0845 045 45 45, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Pipeline Card Update - fighting higher petrol prices

As you know, petrol is well over a pound a litre across the country so it is vital that we succeed. To do that, we need more members... 500,000 is a great start – but it’s not enough.
Virgin Wines – one of our corporate supporters – has offered a £20 voucher for every member that recommends Pipeline Card to a friend or colleague. You can recommend as many as you like actually – but it’s only one voucher per member. We checked the wines out on your behalf – and they are certainly well up to the standard you would expect from a company like Virgin. They also offer some pretty impressive guarantees.
This is what their Chief Exec Rowan Gormley had to say...
"Virgin Wines supports the work of Pipeline Card. Together, we'll make a difference. So we can all enjoy better value juice in our tanks, and better value juice in our glasses!"
Find out more here... (
Please make sure that we have your correct email address; If it changes you can update it yourself on the website here. (
Please carry on with the recommendations and website links. It’s been a long haul but success is nearer than you think.
That's it for now. Don't forget that you can unsubscribe as a member at any time by sending a blank email to or by clicking here. (
Please don't just reply to this email, if you need to contact us, have a look here. (
Best wishes & have a great Christmas.
Ben Scammell - Pipeline Card Founder
p.s. We have had some problems with our emails lately and - although some of you got our October update twice – many didn’t receive it at all. We won’t risk sending it again but you can find it on the website here. (

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Half a Century

... yes. 50 years ago I brought a lot of pain to my mother - and have not stoppped.

I have had a wonderful life, and ought to stop and list all that I am grateful for, this may take me a few days:

In no particular order....

1. God - I am glad there is a God, and I feel He loves and watches over me, not because I am insecure, but because I have faith that life is a wonderful experience and part of an eternal existance.

2. My girls - this includes daughters who I adore and a wife who has been a very good wife and stuck with me despite all my bad habits and behaviour.

3. Friends - not many but of high quality!

4. Lovely home - warm, comfortable and kept clean and tidy by Linda

5. A great shower

6. Warm bed

7. Pretty good health for my age.

8. Hair

9. Sight

10. Bad hearing - often a blessing

11. A flying machine - that brings me more pleasure than anyone can imagine.


Back to School - special course for Councillors

Dear Councillor Clifford,

Thank you for your application for the pilot Certificate in Local Governance for Councillors. I am very pleased to offer you a place on the programme subject to its formal validation by the university on 12 December. This letter will also be posted to your home address.

From the university’s perspective, there are just two conditions which apply. The first is your confirmation that your term of office runs at least to the end of 2008 and that you will not therefore be required to stand for re-election during the duration of the programme. The second is that you have a reasonable level of computer literacy to enable you to take part in the distance learning activities. These will form part of the assessment for the certificate so meaningful participation will be essential. There will of course be instruction in how to use the facility. Also, the “chat room” type activities are unlikely to require participants to key-in at the same time so that typing speed is not important. However it would be necessary to have reasonable keyboard skills along with the ability to download and print documents, maintain electronic files and use Word and email. For this, regular broadband internet access would be important.

You will be aware that funding for 14 places is being provided by the South East Region Improvement and Efficiency Partnership through South East Employers. I understand that SEE will be making the funding decisions. I would be pleased therefore to have an indication from you as to whether you would accept the offer, subject to funding being available through SEE, and that you meet the two conditions mentioned above. To this end, the letter in the post will have a copy for you to sign and return. If you accept, it will also ask you to confirm that you will not need to stand for re-election during 2008 and that you have the necessary level of computer literacy. Please return the signed copy by Monday 10 December.

To give you some idea of numbers, there could be up to 20 other applicants with a provisional offer such as this seeking the 14 SEE funded places. (It is possible though that not all the 20 will need the SEE funding.)

As to the start date of the pilot course, I am hoping that any conditions which the validation panel impose on 12 December can be addressed by the course team in time for the planned start date of Friday 11 January 2008. It is possible however, that the panel may insist on an additional month to consider any amendments may they require. If this were to be the case, then the programme would commence on Friday 22 February, the date of the planned second module. We would then need to decide, in consultation with participants, where the additional module would best be slotted into the 2008 calendar.

I hope very much that you will be joining this exciting new programme.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Summers

CLGFC Course Director

Monday, 3 December 2007

Support our Troops this Christmas

The following is a letter sent to us all by Cllr. Mark Staplehurst - well done Mark:

We can so easily demonstrate that we are proud and care for our forces out in Afghanistan and Iraq by sending a Christmas parcel. While we will be celebrating the festive season with family and friends in the comfort of our homes, many of our servicemen and women will be living in a tent, in stifling heat and dusty conditions in the desert. They will constantly be on operations, facing danger, fear and the unexpected and will be deprived of any social and family life and Christmas celebration. Many will be in their late teens and probably away from home for the first time, so it is not hard to imagine the joy a parcel will bring, with the realisation that people back home are thinking about them and appreciate their courage, commitment and sacrifice.

Please send a parcel. It is very simple and does not have to be expensive. Please do not send items that would melt – it is extremely hot out there. Here are a few suggestions but you will have your own ideas:

Anything in a tube, vacuum packed or tinned (toffee sauce, condensed milk, salsa dips etc)
Non chocolate biscuits Gingerbread or malt loaf
Flapjacks Cheese straws
Cream cheese (foil packs) Fish paste
Chutneys Chorizo sausages or dried meat
Dried fruit and nuts Mint imperials
Fruit or Dundee cake chewing gum
Haribo, jelly babies etc pick ‘n mix sweets
Vitamin C sachets
They have to drink vast quantities of water, so powder flavourings in a package such as Berocca
Soduko and puzzle games Magazines (Nuts, Zoo FHM etc)

Alcohol & Porn is not permitted!

Please include a Christmas card, with an encouraging message and sign with your Christian name only and do not include an address as we do not want any obligation regarding thank you letters

The easiest method to send a parcel is to use a large padded envelope or empty shoe box etc. It must not exceed 2 kilos. Secure it firmly and write one of the following addresses (the 1st address is to Afghanistan and the 2nd address to Iraq):

A British Soldier (Afganistan)

c/o Capt S Beattie MBE SO3 J I
HQ Task Force Helmand
Lashkar Gar
BFPO 715

A British Soldier (Iraq)
c/o J I Branch
BFPO 641

Take it to a post office – postage is FREE – parcels take about 5 days

Thank you very much
Mark Staplehurst

Cllr Mark Staplehurst
West Heath Ward
Ex Royal Hampshire Regiment

Monday, 19 November 2007

Dealing with the NHS

I am following a friend Simon thru his experience with the NHS. Last week Simon saw the doctor about a bladder issue. Local GP recommended a test. Simon got told to ring back for the result Friday which he did. He was told that there was a problem with the sample and further discussion would be needed with the GP who was busy - so he needed to call back on Monday for a telephone appointment Monday. Simon expressed dismay to the receptionist that he would now be left to worry all weekend about this, so the receptionist tried to find out more information unfortunately to little avail, so a telephone appointment for Monday was made.

Today Simon said that he rang the doctor as required. He needs to see a Urologist. The doctor left in reception for him two pieces of paper. One with a reference and one with a password, to use to make an appointment. Simon picked these up on the way home from work. Impressed at how efficient this all was Simon got straight onto the Internet to make his appointment. It was very impressive - he could choose 1 of 3 places - Frimley, Aldershot or Farnham. There was even a comparison page that awarded stars for the standard of service they had achieved. All were 3 star excellent. But with Frimley being closer he tried to book that one.

But computer said ..... Nooo

He tried to book the other locations.

Computer said ..... Nooooo

He tried extending the calendar to 2009 for an appointment ...

Computer said .... Noooo

No problem he said - I will use the other option - phoning a "real person". Which he proceeded to do. However, real person said that because he had gone on-line to book and was unable to book an appointment the computer had locked him out too. "You need to call back in 30 minutes" he was told politely.

Thirty minutes later Simon rang again. The "real person" tried to book, but he had a problem booking, so took Simon's details and informed him that they would advise Frimley Hospital, and someone from the hospital will ring and make an appointment with him within the next 2 weeks.

Simon rang me this evening and told me what happened, and I asked permission to log Simon's experience of the local NHS. So together we will see how Simon gets on. Good luck Simon.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Time for a Farnborough Civic Society to be formed

It is high time Farnborough had a Civic Society.

We are under huge pressure locally from developers and government policy and it is about time we had a local non political lobby group that kept an eye on developers, the airfield, local and central Government and their agencies. Farnborough has some treasures and a civic society would be the ideal body to scrutinise and protect what we have and what is thrust upon us at times.

It would influence the thinking and actions of people who shape and manage the built environment in a variety of ways. In addition to the practical projects it would carry out, the Farnborough Society would respond to consultation papers issued by central and local government and its agencies. issue position statements that capture the views of local people on a variety of community topics. Take part in focused campaigns, harnessing the lobbying power of Civic Society membership to change policies and attitudes.

Contact me if you wish to join me in setting up the first Farnborough Civic Society.
For more information on Civic Societies visit the Civic Trust web site

Monday, 12 November 2007

My first flying video

My favorite flying pictures ....

I took this picture flying above the Massive Central France with just cord and canvass ... and a reserve!!

... dats me - I can fly mum!! First light above French Vineyards

French flying trip planned for 2008

We are off to BOUFFERE la Vendée, 3 kilometer from the local Flying club 3km and 40km south west of Nantes. The club we will be flying with are Atlantic paramotor

I am really looking forward to it. Below is a great shot taken by one of the local pilots.

ready to go ...

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Act of Remembrance (Or did some of us forget something?)

The church service this year was excellent, as always, with a packed church and fitting service for the occasion. The sermon was profound, reminding us of the price we have paid for freedom over the years. Four thousand deaths a week during the Great War 1914 - 1918, and 1500 deaths a week during World War II. The Garrison Sergeant Major was the man of the moment, stepping in last minute with bagpipes to play a lament in place of the bugler who could not attend due to a family crisis.

A few things disappointed me however. Bearing in mind a Labour Government is responsible for sending troops into Iraq and Afghanistan, it was a shock to me that not one of the six Aldershot Labour Councillor's attended the Service, especially at a time we are sustaining regular casualties in these two locations. Was it too much of an effort? Maybe they simply forgot. Was it too much to expect just one of their councillors to attend this important Service?

The other thing that disappointed me was the march past. In the "Home of the British Army" all that could be mustered for the parade was a Sea Cadet Band from HMS Swiftshore(very good one I might add), our veterans (with a healthy contingent of red berets), a squadron of Air Cadets (very smart), and finally the Garrison Sergeant Major (the only serving soldier in the parade). With so many commitments I can understand why numbers of troops for the parade were limited, but this was ridiculous. It was, however, a shame that there were no scouts, guides or Army cadets.

All I can say is thank goodness for the Garrison Sergeant Major..

Joining soldiers for lunch after the service, reminded me that we must not forget the living either. Every year we remember those that have died, but do we forget those that have served Queen and Country and are now trying to live? What are we as a Council that represents a Garrison Town doing? How can we do more, for those that serve and are prepared to give all?

Well one thing we could do is give ex service personnel extra points on our housing waiting list, we could give them discounts on Council facilities, we could look at a number of ways that this Borough shows its gratitude, not just for those that give their lives, but for those left to live their lives.

Family Roll of Honour

We sometimes forget the cost this Nation paid with the blood of its sons for peace in Europe during two World wars. That tradition continues today with a new generation of young men and women who are prepared to pay the ultimate price in order to bring peace to communities far from our shores. They do not do it in vain. They are making a positive difference in the lives of people, despite the cynical views of some.
Most families do not realise the number of relatives lost in their family in just the first world war. We were reminded in the sermon today that there was, over the period of that war, an average of 4000 deaths a week.
Our Family Roll of Honour
David Pullen: 1813-90 (51st Regiment of Foot) Storming of Rangoon 1847
John Robt Townsend: 1842 - 1932 (Queens Own Gloucester Hussars)
Frank Edwin Powell: 1892 - 1979 (Royal Navy) Served on HMS Victory
Henry Albert Sanders: 1877 - 1953 (Royal Artillery) fought in the Boar War
Charles Hardaker - killed - 22 Aug 1915 (AIF) Gallipoli, Turkey
Patrick McBride - killed - 26 Oct 1915 (DLI) Houplines, France
Francis Trudden - killed - 15 Oct 1916 (DLI) Somme, France
Denis Trudden - lost - 6 April 1917 (SS Powhatan) Atlantic
Arthur Merrell - killed - 12 April 1917 (Gloucester Regiment) Arras, France
George Richards- killed - 2 Aug 1917 (South Wales Borderers) Ypres, Belgium
Charles Penfold- killed - 12 April 1918 (Royal Fusiliers) Hazebrouck, France
George Williams: 1889 - 1965 (North Somerset Yeomanry) Prisoner of War
John J Townsend: 1873 - 1959 (AIF)
William T Jackman: 1882 - 1966 (Royal Fusiliers)
Patrick Clifford - lost - 1st Feb 1943 (HMS Welshman) sunk by U boat 617 in Tripoli Harbour, Libya
Albert G Godwin: 1912-98 (Royal Engineers) captured by Japanese in Hong Kong 1940, survived the sinking of the Lisbon Maru, by an American submarine, and survived the Japanese prison of war camp.
Francis Clifford: 1933 - 2001 (Royal Corps of Transport) served in Malaya and Aden
And I have a few more I need to find more information on to add to this noble list..

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Petrol Price Protest

I was impressed by a campaign aimed at hurting the biggest oil companies in the UK to get the prices down. It is essentially the following - I have cut out the long explanation which can be hard work reading through!!

Acting together we can make a difference. Please pass this message on. HOLD OUT UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE 69p a LITRE RANGE. It's easy to make this happen. Just buy your petrol at Shell, Asda,Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Jet etc.
i.e. we all boycott BP and Esso

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Should Metropolitan Commissioner go?

I have been uneasy for the clamor to get Sir Ian Blair to resign, until I read an article by my mate Daniel Hannan. clickhere

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Postal Scam Warning

Can you circulate this around especially as Xmas is fast approaching - it has been confirmed by Royal Mail. The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a premium rate number). DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize.

If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call. If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 02072396655 or ICSTIS (the premium rate service regulator) at

Friday, 2 November 2007

Ecstasy Warning from our Drug Action Team

Samples of white powder that have been analysed show that Cocaine pre-mixed with Ecstasy is being sold in Andover Town Centre.

Those using illegal drugs or substances should seek medical assistance if you, or someone you’re with, appear to be suffering from any side effects, out-of-the-ordinary/unusual reactions.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Kids, Vampires and Witches!

Here is my American nephew dressed like a vampire, he may not look too frightening, but he was probably followed round halloween night by a father armed to the teeth!!
And talking of teeth, I will be surprised if any kids these day will have any by the time they are adults, going by the way they scoffed the sugar we fed them all at the door steps last night.
When I grew up we were told never to accept sweets from strangers and never go out when its dark. So who came up with this Halloween idea of sending little people, covered in makeup out at night just as the clocks go back, threatening adults with trouble if they aren't given sweets? We're back to those crazy Americans aren't we?

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

What Grandad got up to in France 1939

I have just found a picture taken of a Hienkel HE111 shot down by my grandfathers anti aircraft battery in St. Asaph, France 1939. He was later transfered to Hong Kong where he was captured by the Japanese, then torpedoed by an American submarine USS Grouper while aboard the prison ship Lisbon Maru in 1942 on its way to Japan. 1,816 prisoners were aboard, and as a direct result of this action 820 were lost. Grandad was a good swimmer and made it to land, but was recaptured and spent the rest of the war as a Japanese prisoner of war. He refused to take any medals - and never spoke of his ordeal. He was a very quiet man, and died suddenly on valentines day dancing with Grandma. A great way to go for Grandad - not so good for Grandma!

British Army strike back?

Wednesday night
at the
Aldershot Military Rugby Stadium
British Army v South African Defence Forces
It's not over 'til the Army say it's over!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Police investigating a burglary in Farnborough have released an e-fit of a man they would like to speak to.
At around 5pm on Tuesday, October 16, a man claiming to be from the water board gained entry to an address in Sand Hill after telling the elderly occupants he needed to check their supply.
While the man engaged the pensioners in conversation, it’s believed a second man entered the flat and stole £1,000.
Officers have now released an e-fit of the bogus caller.
He is described as:
Dark European
Average height
Short dark hair
Spoke in broken English
Wore a dark fleece
PC Christopher Thoday, of Farnborough police station, said: “I would ask anyone who recognises the person in the e-fit to contact us as soon as possible.
“I would also ask anyone with any information about this incident to contact police.”
Hampshire Constabulary offers the following Safer Homes advice to avoid becoming a victim of this sort of crime:
Burglars can fool you into thinking they are genuine callers. Don't be the one who invites them in. If in doubt, keep them out!

  • Stop – are you expecting anyone to call on you? Do you know the person at the door? Don’t be misled by what appear to be genuine reasons for calling on you.

  • Check – A genuine caller will carry identification and will be happy to wait outside while you check it. Remember to source your own number for the company they are claiming to be from, don’t accept a number from the caller.

  • Chain – fit a door chain or spy hole so that you can speak to callers or check who they are without opening the door fully.

If you turn anyone away from your home because they could not provide you with a genuine reason for being there, or you are suspicious of callers in your area, contact the police.
Anyone with any information about this incident can contact PC Thoday at Farnborough police station on 0845 045 45 45 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Rugby World Cup

Well done to South Africa - they were the best team this year.
Our alledged try was not, and correctly disallowed, and we gave away too many penalties.
That said - after an awful start to the tournament England really did well to get to the final.

And when all said and done - our rugby team has done better than our over paid spoilt, ignorant, bad mannered, foul mouthed, England football team ever will.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Definition of Globalisation - sent to me by a resident (thank you)

Question: What is a good example of Globalization?
Answer: Princess Diana's death.

Question: How come?


An English princess with
an Egyptian boyfriend
crashes in a French tunnel,
driving a German car
with a Dutch engine,
driven by a Belgian
who was drunk on Scottish whisky,
followed closely by Italian Paparazzi,
on Japanese motorcycles;
treated by an American doctor,
using Brazilian medicines.
This is sent to you by a Canadian,
using American Bill Gates's technology,
and you're probably reading this on your computer, that uses Taiwanese chips,
and a Korean monitor,
assembled by Bangladeshi workers
in a Singapore plant,
transported by Indian lorry-drivers,
hijacked by Indonesians,
unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen,
and trucked to you by Mexican illegals.....

That, my friends, is Globalization!

Elderly couple victims of distraction burglars

Police are appealing to anyone who may have seen two men who stole £1,000 from an elderly Farnborough couple.
At about 5pm Tuesday, October 16, an 84-year-old man answered a knock on the door of his flat in Sand Hill, Farnborough. A man, claiming to be a water board employee, said he had been working in the flat above and need to check the water supply to prevent any leaks.
The resident admitted the caller and left the door ajar. In the kitchen, the bogus worker engaged the man and his 85-year-old wife in conversation. Police believe a second man entered the flat and took £1,000 from a wardrobe before leaving. The first caller then left.
The first visitor is described as dark European and of average height. He was slim with short dark hair and spoke broken English. He wore a dark fleece.
The couple, who were saving the cash to pay winter heating bills and to put towards funeral expenses, were left devastated by the theft.
Farnborough PC Christopher Thoday said: “I would appeal to anybody who saw anyone matching the description to contact police with details.
“This sort of crime does not happen very often in Farnborough, but, when it does, the impact on the victim is enormous.
“Anyone who gets a knock on the door from someone claiming to be from a local authority or utility company should always check identification. If they are in any doubt about the person, they should refuse entry and contact the police for advice by ringing 101.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Thoday at Farnborough on 0845 045 45 45 or the anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Brown's Euro Myths exposed - Daniel Hannan MEP

Gordon Brown was every bit as wooden, perfunctory and unconvincing as expected. He trotted out all the standard claims about the Euro-constitution, but his heart wasn’t in it. He knows, and we know, and he knows that we know, that it’s piffle. Look closely and you’ll see the plumes of smoke rising from his pants.
I hate to say “I told you so” but
I told you so. The EU has behaved as it always behaves. There is never a Plan B; Plan A is simply resubmitted over and over again.
Speaking after the text was initialled, Gordon Brown said it was time to lay to rest some of “the Euro-myths”. Yes, let’s, shall we?

Myth 1: We don’t hold referendums in Britain
It’s too late for this one, PM: you conceded the principle of a referendum in your last manifesto. Labour has held 25 referendums since taking office, on issues ranging from the Northen Ireland settlement to local mayors. In any case, it’s a bit rich to cite parliamentary democracy in support of a treaty that vitiates it.

Myth 2: Britain’s independent foreign policy is unaffected
Oh yeah? Then what is the EU’s common foreign policy for? Why do we need a foreign minister, a Euro-diplomatic corps, accredited European embassies? It’s odd, really, how Euro-philes say this and then, in the next breath, tell us that Europe needs a strong, united voice in the world. You can’t have it both ways, boys.

Myth 3: We will still have an independent legal system
Except for the European Public Prosecutor, the pan-European magistracy (“Eurojust”), the federal police force (“Europol”) and the EU criminal code (“corpus juris”).

Myth 4: “Our red lines are intact”
I almost didn’t put that one in, since repeating the charge, even in order to refute it, is playing Labour’s game. Still, since it is the main part of the Broon’s case, I suppose I have to address it. The truth is that all four of the “red lines” are bogus. One of them – over social security – refers to a policy that not even the maddest Euro-fanatics want to control. The other three are defined in such a way that it will always be possible to claim they have been secured. The easiest way to demonstrate this is to note that these are the same as the four “red lines” drawn when the constitution was first proposed. Oh no, hang on: there were five “red lines” in those days. The fifth had to do with preserving Britain’s budget rebate. Whoops.

Myth 5: The Reform Treaty is necessary for enlargement
Hmm. And there was me thinking that enlargement had happened in 2004.

Myth 6: The EU needs these changes in order to work
What do you mean “in order to work”, Gordon? Do you mean that, without this constitution, the crops will lie unharvested in our fields, the wheels in our factories will cease to turn? Of course not. What you mean is that it will be harder for the EU to generate more legislation. But would this be so terrible?

Myth 7: The proper place to scrutinise such legislation is in Parliament
This is one of the most annoying lies of all. Parliament cannot amend European treaties: it must accept or reject them. There is no opportunity for “scrutiny”

Myth 8: There is no alternative
Oh yes there is. The other European leaders keep threatening us with it, and no less an authority than Polly Toybnee now agrees. The alternative is some form of associate status, in between what we now have and the free-trade-only deal that Norway and Switzerland enjoy – albeit tilted more towards the latter than the former. Norway and Switzerland are the freest, most successful and most democratic countries in Europe. They export twice as much per head to the EU from outside as Britain does from inside. And you know what? Their peoples have the highest income in the world, more than twice that of EU citizens. It seems possible to survive out there somehow.

Daniel’s blog on
Labour’s cowardice
Europe’s energy crisis
The BBC strike
The best Republican candidate

Saturday, 13 October 2007

English Rugby - how sweet

I did not want to talk about the rugby earlier, but now is definately the time to talk about it. What a contrast with our over paid, bad behaved and poorly performing England Soccer team. I knew I should have gone with my mate Bill this weekend.
Our English rugby team really have redeemed themselves after an abismal start. They have done a lot of soul searching I am sure and really dug deep and pulled back to where they should be through shere determination, dedication and hard graft.
And how sweet to beat the French in their premier statium on their home ground, the year they host the world cup. I could feel the French supporters screaming in frustration!!
I loved the match - Johnny Wilkinson delievered just when it was needed, and proved what a key player he really is and Jason Robinson has been constantly fantastic. What great roll models for our country they are, again in stark contrast to overpaid, badly behaved spoilt footballers.
Now we again find ourselves in the Rugby World Cup final, will we be playing South Africa or Argentina? I personally hope we get to play South Africa and bury them and the humiliating defeat we suffered against them at the beginning of this tornament.
Well done English Rugby

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Tory Party Conference 2007

There has been much talk about the conference this year, with the impending election our unelected Prime Minister Brown will not call. Our leader David Cameron gave a speech from the heart which comes as a breath of fresh air in these days of carefully spun and read scripted speeches by the other political leaders.
However, for me the speech of the conference belongs to George Osborne - a pure stroke of genius and a speech that teaches us that keeping to some of the central core values of conservatism strikes a cord with the Britain. We must not stray from being the party that cuts and reduces taxation. The brilliance of the Inheritance tax adjustment to £1 million and abolishing stamp duty for most first time buyers - funded by charging non domiciles (foreigners working and benefiting from living here without contributing a penny) is beautiful in its financial simplicity and sense of justice. Red faced Labour ministers desperate to cast aspersions on the calculations by trying to suggest fewer non domiciles than the 150,000 applied by the conservatives has only made their faces more crimson, as it turns out George Osborne took a very cautious figure as the number suggested by some experts was about 200,000. He was also astute enough to suggest the figure charged would be "about" £25,000, which also gives him flexibility.
Somehow I just do not trust Labour Ministers when they try and give us accurate figures for foreign residents. Much like asking a dodgy second hand car salesman for an accurate mileage on one of his cars.
That brings me to other core values we need to remember. Protecting our borders, supporting business, encouraging self reliance, being hard on crime. I hope the shadow front bench will follow the lead of George Osborne and come up with fresh new ideas of modernising these too. I am sure David Davis our Shadow Home Secretary will rise to the challenge and with William Hague our Shadow Foreign Secretary, we are not short of intellect and imagination to come up with the killer punches that will ensure the party does not just benefit from Labours failures but becomes a party that reflects the heart and aspirations of Britain.

What our troops have to face - remember when you are out driving next. (I think his language can be excused)

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Outrage over the Red Arrows

I recieved this from my fellow Tory Councillor Alan Ferrier and totally agree with him:

Dear All
Where is the Britishness Brown talked about are we not proud of our achievements anymore the finest display team in the world being told they cannot perform in this country because they may upset foreigners this really hacks me off....
The world-famous Red Arrows have been banned from appearing at the 2012 London Olympics because they are deemed "too British". Organisers of the event say that the Arrows military background might be "offensive" to other countries taking part in the Games. The display team have performed at more than 4000 events worldwide, but the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have deemed the display team "too militaristically British". Red Arrows pilots were said to be "outraged", as they had hoped to put on a truly world class display for the Games, something which had never been seen before. Being axed from a British-based event for being "too British" is an insult - the Arrows are a symbol of Britain. The Red Arrows have been excellent ambassadors for British overseas trade, as they display their British-built Hawk aircraft all over the world. The Arrows performed a short flypast in 2005 when the winning bid was announced, but their flypast at the Games was to have been truly spectacular. It is to be hoped that common sense prevails. If you disagree with this decision, sign the petition on the link below

Cllr Clifford says: I have never heard of any complaints about the Red Arrow presence at the "International" Air Show held here in Farnborough every other year, which is not a military show, but a world stage for aviation business. Why are so many British people in authority so ashamed to "fly the flag". We are unique in the world, and one of the most un patriotic countries I know. I think we should all fly the Union Jack a lot more often, it is a beautiful flag and one that represents "union" and is a standard of the mother of many democracies throughout the world. So I hope we see the Red Arrows and lots of Union Jacks.

Empress Conservatives Meeting

3 October 2007

Last night Empress Conservatives had their regular (every 2 months or there abouts) meeting to discuss the ward and what the councillors are doing and need to do. We met for just an hour and a half 8pm to 9.30pm. Our next meeting is 27th November. The agenda was as follows:

1. Welcome (especially the new faces)

2. Update from last meeting.

3. Report of our successful Garden Party held last month.

4. Finance and membership update.

5. Key issues/events in Farnborough including a review of plans of developments taking place in the Town.

6. Feedback on how we are doing locally and nationally as a party.

7. Appointment of a sub group to select our Councillor candidate for 2008 (5 places)

8. Any other matter you want to raise.

Topics that came up included unhappiness with parking charges in a town centre that needed help not more charges. The good work and progress that has been made with the police - which is down to the good local beat officers we have (Lee and Bev). And a lively discussion on getting the balance right with green issues and other political priorities. The councillors reported on what they were doing, and were given some assignments by the committee to take up with the Council.

We had 7 residents in attendance plus councillors.

If you would like to join the party and join our committee please let me know.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Empress Community Safety Partnership

Tonight we had the first public meeting of the Empress Community Partnership. The two beat officers Lee Jefferes and Bev Woodhead did a presentation showing what had been achieved over the last year.

Held on Tuesday 2 October 2007 at 1900 hours at the offices of Rushmoor Borough Council, Farnborough, Hampshire

1. Welcome and Introduction by Cllr David CLIFFORD and PC Lee Jeffers (Beat Manager).

PC Lee Jeffers advised that he would be updating on issues raised at the first meeting of this Partnership Forum, held on 15 February 2007. He would also welcome notification of any new concerns.

PC Lee Jeffers gave an overview of role of the partnership and listed the current membership.

2. Community concerns raised at meeting on 15 February

These included:
Anti-social behaviour around Cove Green;
Anti-social behaviour around \Farnborough Town Centre;
Cycling offences around Empress Ward.


AIM: To reduce anti-social behaviour and replace with acceptable youth activities


Section 30 Dispersal Order
Since the Notices of this Order had been put up, in the early months between February and June no groups had needed to be dispersed. As the youths started their summer break from school towards the end of July and into August 2007, it was necessary to curb nuisance behaviour by enforcing a total of 28 dispersals in the whole of the dispersal area. As a result of the positive effect it had on the nuisance problem the current Order was renewed up to February 2008,


Increased: Police patrols, alcohol seizures, regular review of reported occurrences.
Repositioning of CCTV camera on Cove Green completed.
Youth activities: A suitable location had been identified on Cove Green for a mini hard standing football arena with youth seating area, as requested by the youth using the recreation ground. The local residents have been spoken too by Cllr Clifford and the response has been in favour of the proposal. The proposal is now back with Rushmoor Borough Council for advancing the planning stages.
Consultation was still required in relation to lighting and whether it was required or not.

Cllr Clifford shared the information that the area originally mooted was between the tennis courts and the allotments but local residents had vehemently opposed this, thus a more acceptable site was located.

Cllr Clifford noted that it was heartening that on at least one occasion, youngsters themselves had reported an incident of drug-taking by individuals in Cove Green area.


AIM: to reduce anti-social behaviour and replace with acceptable youth activities


Section 30 Dispersal Order – similar comments as for Cove Green;
Towards Safer Car Parks – KPI installed “mosquito” sirens in car park staircases (pitch of these sirens means that only 13-18 year olds are likely to hear them), which appears to have reduced nuisance problems in the car park. Longer-term solution agreed to increase lighting, improve CCTV and use reflective paint to internal walls. RBC was engaging with supermarkets in relation to abandoned shopping trolleys and have agreed to take formal actions.
Police patrols had been out in the town during evenings, working towards non-confrontational dialogue
Subsidised activities that occurred over the last 6 months, ten-pin bowling and Wednesday party events had offered youths congregating around the Town Centre, alternative fun activities.
New social venue for local youths almost complete for opening. This was positioned in an area between the Police Station and the Community Centre.

Cllr Clifford noted that there had been a great improvement in the area; he felt that much of this was thanks to having 2 pro-active beat officers.


AIM: To encourage safe cycling, implement education/training to young cyclists, increase safe cycle routes in Empress Ward and reduce cycle offences.


Two Police Officers and four PCSOs had been trained to tutor cycling proficiency courses and partnership cycling proficiency courses had so far been agreed in principle to be run at 7 Junior Schools in Farnborough.

Information Notices (reminding cyclists as to the meanings of various cycling warning and information signs had been circulated within EWCP and handed out at relevant local venues (including higher education establishments).

Meetings were being held with RBC Highways, input taken from the Public, Police, Councillors, EWCP etc, and a Cycle Plan was currently in progress including ideas for cycle routes. In relation to the short term solution of enforcement, 74 £30 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) had been issued, mainly in Union Street and Prospect Road.
Cycle route along Union Street had been agreed by Hampshire County Council.


(a) Cllr Brian PARKER - KFC extension of business hours / Nuisance / Cycling on pavements along Victoria Road.
Action: Rushmoor licensing officers compiling an objection to KFC extension in relation to complaints received from local residents. Awaiting an update from the application. Cycling on pavements in this area will be looked at by PC 1145 Jeffers and WPC 744 Woodhead under Operation Encouragement as with the current problem at Union Street.
(b) Cllr Mike SMITH - Concerns raised over Cove Green, ‘What if Youth activity creates a problem’?
Action: Cllr Clifford stated it would need to be reviewed if the youth area is not successful.
(c) Mrs HUNT - Rectory Road / Coleford Bridge Road – traffic complaint / Parking Rectory Road.
Action: Cllr Clifford to raise parking issues with Highways at RBC. Traffic matters to be raised by WPC 744 Woodhead with Roads Policing Unit for targeted patrols. (Area may be considered as next community concern?)
(d) Mrs PHELPS - Dukes Court nuisance problem still present / vehicle nuisance / Asda / security of premises issue with main door.
Action: Nuisance problem still under targeted patrols by PC 1145 Jeffers and WPC 744 Woodhead under Operation Jacobsen. Security of main door to be raised with KPI by PC 1145 Jeffers in support of residents. (Area around Dukes Court may be considered as next community issue?)
(e) Mr WICKENS – Debate whether meters are necessary on Prospect Road / Orchard Road and the knock on effect into surrounding roads.
Action: Cllr Clifford to raise this concern with RBC Highways in relation to the knock on effect, especially in Marrowbrook Lane.
(f) Mr WICKENS – Concerns of future potential flood threat.
Action: Mr WICKENS to raise this concern with the Environment Agency.
(g) Mrs JONES - Lighting on car park pay meters at Farnborough Leisure Centre.
Action: PC 1145 Jeffers to raise this concern with Mike Bamber at RBC car parks for immediate repairs
(h) Mrs JONES –Advice sought on the nuisance problems at the entrance to the leisure centre.
Advice: PC 1145 Jeffers stated that the first port of call should be by Town link radio to RBC CCTV so that any problems can be immediately recorded for evidence. If staff feel threatened then they should then call 999.

The date of the next meeting, planned for January 2008, would be notified.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Area Committees for Farnborough

I think it is about time we had Area Committees in Rushmoor. These are committees that bring the Council down to a few wards and ensure all the services and resources of the Council are held to account very locally. I think they could well grow out of, or work along side the Neighbourhood Committees we are setting up with the Police. We could have maybe two in Aldershot and three in Farnborough based on the population sizes. Each could determine and deal with a variety of issues, the most controversial would be planning, and I have sympathy with those that say such a local committee could not determin applications as objectively as a Borough wide Committee, but liciencing, environemental health, highways and other services and issues could all be dealt with effectively by an Area Committee of at least half a dozen Councillors.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Summer in the Church yard

I was looking thru some pictures and found this one. I love it. It is so very English, traditional and peaceful. You can almost smell the fresh cut grass and hear the bells ringing, and an empty bench just waiting for someone to sit on it, relax, contemplate life or remember a loved one that now lays silent and cold close by. Hanky please....
There is no other country in the world this picture could have been taken. My England - I love it. (A completely assimilated grandson of Irish Catholic immigrants from Ulster)

Results of my AWC on-line Poll

The Results for my on-line poll about Alternate Week Bin Collection tied in very closely to the consultants findings. However, my poll was completely free!!

The question put was simple: Is a two week waste bin collection adequate?
Answers and votes were as follows:

1. Yes (I recycle) 58 votes (17.79%)

2. Yes (I do not recycle) 6 votes (1.84%)

3. No (I recycle) 256 votes (78.53%)

4. No (I do not recycle) 3 votes (0.92%)

5. Undecided 3 votes (0.92%)

Total 326 votes (100%)

This is about 1% of the households in Rushmoor - not bad for my first on-line poll. More important than the votes were the invaluable comments left which were quoted by officers and members at the final seminar we had to discuss what was going to happen. These comments were invaluable. So thanks to all those that left them.

Spot the rich guy ....

I just know I am going to get into trouble for this .... but I found it so funny and had to share it.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Farnborough Tornado

And it didn't take off or land at our airfield!! I have recieved the following from our Chief Executive at Rushmoor (Borough Clerk to you older residents)

Dear Councillors,
Mini Tornado
I thought it might be helpful to update you on today's events and the action taken by the relevant agencies, including the Council, in response. Apologies to the Leader and Cllr Mark Staplehurst, Cllr Tucker and any other Councillors actively involved during the incident for repeating what they already know.
Up to 20 houses were damaged in the Rother Road and Northcote Road areas of Farnborough at about 7.15am this morning by what has been described as a mini tornado.
Damage has been caused to chimneys, roof tiles, gutters, garage roofs, which in some cases have been ripped off completely, fences and trees, both in people’s gardens and on the highway.
There are no reports of any injuries.
The fire brigade is making sure the houses affected are made safe and removing damaged chimney stacks and roof tiles. They are also making sure the roofs are weather-proof.
A number of our colleagues have been onsite this morning including John Edwards, Geoff Saker who has been advising on structural safety and Andy Ford who is working with our contractors to remove dangerous branches which are being chipped on site.
The Council’s handyman team and Hampshire County Council’s highways team are also helping to clear debris from the scene.
Katharine in our Contracts Team has arranged for two skips to be delivered to the scene and these should arrive by 1.30pm. One will be placed in Northcote Road and one in Rother Road for residents to dispose of any debris. More skips will be available if needed.
Residents are encouraged to contact their insurance companies as early as possible.
They are also advised to be cautious about using any gas appliances where the flue exits through a damaged chimney stack and if necessary to get the appliances checked before using them.
Our colleagues in Housing were also put on standby to provide advice but it looks likely that all residents will be able to stay in their homes.
Andrew Lloyd Chief Executive Rushmoor Borough Council

Friday, 21 September 2007

Top Ten Tory Policies

On the Stand Up Speak Up website you can vote on which recommendations from the Policy Review Groups you think should go into our manifesto.
The 10 proposals which have received the most votes so far are:

Fixing our Broken Society:
1. Make the benefits system a 'something for something' system (86%)
2. Support in the tax and benefits system for married couples (78%)

Globalisation and Global Poverty:
3. We should stop turning a blind eye to corruption and start speaking out (73%)
4. The EU should unilaterally remove its own barriers to imports for the world’s poorest countries (72%)

5.Agreeing a European strategy towards Russia (85%)
6. Establishing a National Security Council (80%)

Freeing Britain to Compete:
7. Abolishing Inheritance Tax (80%)
8. Creating a Lifetime Savings Account (79%)

Public Services:
9. Reintroducing GP responsibility for out-of-hours care (51%)
10. Giving heads the absolute right to exclude (51%)

Would these be your top 10? Have your say at Stand Up Speak Up - and don’t forget we’ll be discussing all the recommendations at the Party Conference in a little over a week.

Visit Stand Up Speak Up and help shape our election manifesto
Visit the Conference 2007 website

Thursday, 20 September 2007

National Insurance Contributions

I am not sure how many of you are aware of this but ...

If you have paid your 'stamp' for your National Insurance contributions for 30 years you qualify for a full State Pension. And need contribute no more.

I know it is only about £10 a month but £10 is £10.

If you think it is worth checking out for yourselves the number to ring is: 0845 3000168

(Don't thank me for this useful piece of information, thank Claire a local resident)

Empress Ward Borough Council Candidate Selection



A Selection Committee will meet at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday, 18th October 2007 at “Wellington House”, 40 Avenue Road, Farnborough, Hants., to interview and select a candidate to stand in the May 2008 elections for the Empress Ward of Rushmoor Borough Council.

Applicants wishing to be considered should send their names, addresses, telephone numbers and a C.V. to the Empress Branch Deputy Chairman, Cllr David Clifford, “Wellington House”, 40 Avenue Road, Farnborough, Hants., GU14 7BL, by Monday, 15th October 2007. Those selected for interview will be informed, by telephone, of the time they should attend.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007


... I think in as a Rugby lover I have been very good and wise not to mention it lately!!!

Invest in a Isa

I have and highly recommend it.
For further details go to

You can also find some other useful financial information.

WARNING: Never invest in a some Isa's unless you are prepared to loose them.

My biggest issue is that once I have invested I keep wanting to check on how my investment is doing. Motley Fool is a great website for all financial issues from loans to investments.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Out with the speed cops

Sgt Plews armed and dangerous

This morning I was asked to accompany the police on a speeding education exercise. The idea was to give speeders a ticket, but offer them the option to attend a 15 minute rolling presentation on the dangers of speeding at Farnborough Fire Station. At the completion of the presentation they could hand in their tickets issued at the road side and no prosecution would take place. However, if they did not attend before 2pm or were speeding excessively they would be prosecuted.

BUS STOP - one of the first vehicles to be caught was the number one bus! Sgt Plews held up the Stagecoach and was not buying a ticket but issuing one.

Shame the driver did not take a closer look at the rear end of his bus before he drove today

... more drivers speeding in North Camp

Road safety awareness in exchange for fixed penalty notices

What do you think?

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

I need to hear your voice

... we can make a difference

Rushmoor Burglaries highest in area

Officers from the North and East Operational Command Unit are urging residents to keep their homes secure.
The advice is being issued based on statistics which show a rise in burglaries at insecure premises at this time of year.
There were 90 burglaries at insecure homes in the North and East OCU between 1 September 2006 and 31 December 2006. The statistics are broken down into districts as follows:

Basingstoke and Deane - 23
East Hampshire - 24
Hart - 17
Rushmoor - 26

Acting Chief Superintendent Mark Chatterton, North and East OCU deputy commander, said: “We are issuing this advice based on statistics which show a trend in burglaries at this time of year. By issuing this advice at this time we hope to educate residents on how to secure their homes and reduce the number of offences being committed this year.
“There are a number of simple precautions residents can take to reduce the chance of becoming a victim of burglary.
“Look at your house from a burglar’s point of view. Are there any open or unlocked windows or doors? How would you get into your house if you were locked out?
“It is important to remember that burglaries in North East Hampshire remain rare, and these kinds of offences are very easy to prevent. Burglars are often opportunistic and if they see an easy target, they will take their chance. Take simple precautions to protect your property and make it difficult for burglars to operate in our communities.”
Hampshire Constabulary offers the following advice as part of its Safer Homes initiative:

• Make sure you secure all your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even if you are ‘just popping out’.
• If you are in the garden or upstairs, make sure your downstairs doors are locked
• Fit window locks – easily visible locks may deter some thieves because it forces them to break the glass, which could attract attention. Remember to remove window keys and keep them out of sight in a safe place.
• Keep valuable items out of view – if you have electrical equipment worth hundreds of pounds, don’t keep it by the window where passers-by can see it.
• Never leave a key under a doormat, on a string through the letterbox or in a place which can be reached through a letter box – it’s the first place any burglar will look.
• Make sure tools and ladders are kept in a secure place – burglars will happily use your own garden equipment to break into your home.
• If you’ve taken extra security precautions, make it clear – if you have an alarm, make sure the box can be clearly seen; if you take part in Neighbourhood Watch, display a sticker in your window and, if you have a dog, put up a warning sign.

If anyone would like more advice on how to secure their property they should contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team on 0845 045 45 45.