Riverside Landscapes Kevin Harrison - Carpets and Vinyls
Tony Allen

Security Matters - Spelling it Out

Mon 6 Sep 2010

By Tony Allen
SECURITY - SPELLING IT OUT

As this is the 100th edition of this magazine, I thought I would spell out important reminders about basic personal security that have come up in some of these earlier editions.

S for Safety..........

This is precisely what security is all about: feeling safe in your home, in your neighbourhood, in your car, whatever. This is a fundamental thing in a civilised society, and a key factor in our assessment of the quality of life. Just think how the inhabitants of Iraq or Afghanistan must feel about safety. Luckily, Bovey Tracey is relatively free from crime and anti-social behaviour, and that's the way we want to keep it. So let's avoid giving these types the opportunity to get one over on us.

E for Electronic crime..........

No, you don't have a millionaire relative recently deceased in Nigeria whose estate wants to deposit a fortune in your bank account ("please send us your details.....!") and as you never entered it, you can't have won massive amounts in a Spanish or other lottery, which someone is offering to get into your bank account after you've paid them a considerable commission. But there are people who still fall for these scams! Please don't let it be you. And please don't respond to email requests on the computer for your personal bank account details.

C for Conmen..........

You've doubtless seen them on TV. Never succumb to a cold-caller offering to fix your roof or tarmac your drive "with material left over from another job". Certainly never agree to them taking you to your bank to draw money out of a cash machine to enable you to pay them. If in doubt, call a neighbour or a relative straight away if you can. And inform the police as soon as possible after such an incident. Fit a peep-hole in your front door or a door chain if you can, so that you can see who the visitor is before responding or ignoring. Your local Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator can provide a "No Cold Callers" sign to put in your window. These have proven to be very effective, as canvassers and door-to-door salesmen do seem to take note of them.

U for Unlocked doors and vehicles ..........

Wow! These are the invitation cards to a free house (or car) party, where burglars and thieves can help themselves to whatever they want of yours, including the vehicle itself. Now you would think that nobody leaves such doors unlocked or indeed open. But I beg to differ. I've spent quite a lot of time out and about around Bovey Tracey, and I am absolutely horrified by the number of properties and vehicles I've seen, apparently unattended, but with open doors, open windows, and, worst of all, with sets of keys hanging in their locks. Folks, get real! You are just asking for heartache and expense by this irresponsibility. Also lock garden sheds, garages and outhouses, and don't leave items of value on display in parked cars (in town or country).

R for Risk Aware..........

You should always be aware of your personal surroundings if you are visiting somewhere alone (e.g. multi-storey car parks) where there could be those with criminal intent who might have an interest in your belongings. Make sure there is good lighting around you, and keep close to other people. This reduces risk of attack or theft considerably. This may be teaching grandma to suck eggs, but it is still a fact that some forget to stay aware of what is going on around them, and become unfortunate victims. An audible personal alarm is a very effective tool in a lady's handbag against an attack attempt in these situations.

I for Identity Theft..........

Yes, there are nasty people out there trying to get hold of your personal details to be able to con banks and others out of your cash and investments. These search the internet for peoples' details, and even place their own malware (i.e. bad software) on your computers, with the ability to follow your key strokes on the keyboard and track your internet transactions back to your accounts. If you have your own PC, install the latest anti-virus software on it from a reputable supplier. This will recognise such malware and set up firewalls on your computer system to prevent them gaining access to your data. Pleasingly, all the main financial organisations and most online retailers have installed secure payment systems for you to use.

If you don't have a computer (and are breathing a sigh of relief) and even if you do, please remember to shred all your bank statements and bank card transaction slips when you have finished with them, as there are those who trawl dustbins to find this sort of information about you. And never divulge your PIN number to anyone!

T for Trustworthiness..........

This is very important when it comes to having peace of mind about personal security. Who do you leave your house keys with while you are away? Will that person treat your property as though it were their own, and be vigilant about any suspicious activity. Neighbourhood Watch is a very useful vehicle in this respect. Some groups in Bovey go out of their way to check on neighbours' properties when they are away on holiday or in hospital, for example.

What about rogue traders? There are organisations that keep lists of reliable work people, based on personal references built up over time. I like to believe those that advertise in this very publication are in the reliable category. Most if not all will give references to contact to check out the quality and value-for-money of work carried out.

Y for Yourself..........

Ultimately, you have to take your own responsibilities seriously when it comes to your personal security, not just leave it to other people. That is a cop-out that can have serious repercussions. You need to be aware of what you are doing and what and who is around you. If something looks or sounds dodgy, then avoid it, as it probably is. We can all be gullible at times, but there is a lot to be said for using commonsense, and if necessary for getting second opinions. Try not to make yourself a victim if you can by remembering the old adage that it is very unusual to get something for nothing. Always check it out first, and be vigilant at all times.

To close on a positive note, Bovey Tracey is a very safe place to live and work in, and that's the way most of us will strive to keep it. We can all play our part in this, by backing our excellent neighbourhood police team, by being part of a Neighbourhood Watch group, and by looking out for each other. Thank you to everyone that does.



Other columns by Tony Allen

TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” - Tue 9 Nov 2021
TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” GETTING INVOLVED WITH YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL - Mon 2 Aug 2021
TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” BOVEY THANKS VOLUNTEERS & “LIFELINE” SHOPS - Mon 14 Jun 2021
TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” BREATHS OF FRESH AIR ALL AROUND - Tue 7 Jul 2020
TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” COMMUNITY COHESION………………… - Tue 11 Feb 2020
CLIMATE ACTION: WHERE DO YOU START?.......... - Mon 2 Dec 2019
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON IN OUR LOCAL COUNCILS…? - Thu 1 Aug 2019
BOVEY TRACEY ACHIEVES “PLASTIC FREE” STATUS........... - Fri 3 May 2019
IDEAS & SUGGESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE........ - Thu 24 Jan 2019
COMMUNITY MATTERS - “PLASTIC FREE BOVEY”, RARE PRAISE, ELECTIONS - Thu 8 Nov 2018
Young people in the community - Thu 15 May 2014
Moving Bovey Tracey forward - Tue 4 Mar 2014
Is Bovey Tracey too shabby and run down to attract visitors? - Mon 9 Sep 2013
A public consultation should be just that - Mon 11 Mar 2013
Athletes, young people and rural watch - Tue 13 Nov 2012
Bovey Beats Most Of The Summer Weather - Wed 5 Sep 2012
What sort of Town do you want Bovey to be? - Sun 1 Jul 2012
Awards, Traffic, Policing & another Top Shop! - Thu 3 May 2012
GOOD NEWS, SPECULATION, AND MORE GOOD NEWS - Thu 5 Jan 2012
RUBBISH, SPEED, LIGHTS OUT, BADGERS and more! - Mon 7 Nov 2011
Newspapers, Tragedy, Cheques and MORE! - Sun 11 Sep 2011
Community Matters - Mon 11 Jul 2011
Growth of Neighbourhood Watch In Bovey Tracey - Tue 3 May 2011
Which would you rather have: A PC (Police Commissioner) OR Several PCs (Police Constables)? - Thu 10 Mar 2011
Helping Ourselves In Time Of Austerity - Sun 9 Jan 2011
Security in the current Economic Climate - Thu 4 Nov 2010
The Ultimate Deterrent or Not - Tue 6 Jul 2010
NHS Summary Care Records  Will Your Personal Health Information Be Secure? - Mon 3 May 2010
Social Networking - A risk or a good thing? - Sun 28 Feb 2010
Security Matters - Back to Basics! - Thu 3 Dec 2009
Security matters - are you being conned? - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security matters - ID cards and hotel key cards - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security matters - Personal security - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security Matters - Who owns your identity? - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security Matters - Victim of crime - need help? - Wed 4 Nov 2009


Dartmoor Garden Services Griffiths Television - Sales, service and rental