NHW in Spain



Wednesday, 14 September 2011 14:36


UV PROPERTY MARKING INITIATIVE In 2009 The Neighbourhood Watch in Spain Association, with the full support of the Guardia Civil and Policia Local, has launched a 'Property Marking Scheme' using UV pens. The pens are used to mark any item of value, when dry the marking is invisible unless put under a UV Lamp.. Guardia Civil and Policia Local units have been issued with UV lamps so that they can scan any stolen property that may be recovered. Property should be marked with the householder’s DNI/NIE number. Householders should make a list of all the property marked with the make and serial number, value and, where relevant, the colour and also where the item is UV marked. To obtain the return of stolen goods you must have filed a ‘denuncia’ with Guardia Civil in Torre de la Horadada when the crime took place. Police will not return any item unless a proper police report, a Denuncia, had previously been filled out. It is a good idea to photograph your valuables and keep the photos in a safe place along with the receipts for these items, the photos may be kept on a digital camera memory card or downloaded onto a memory stick. Should you ever have the misfortune to be robbed, you have a better chance of getting your items back should the police recover them. Pens and forms to list your marked items are available from any NHW Coordinator or from Lead Coordinator Ray Marsh on: 966763258.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 16:21


REPORTING A CRIME: If you see a crime being committed or are a victim of a crime then you MUST report it to the Guardia Civil, who are the only law enforcement agency with the powers to investigate crime. IMMEDIATELY CALL 112, this is very similar to the 999 call in the UK, the operators of the 112 system speak several languages and will pass on your information to the nearest Guardia office, in the Campoverde/Pilar area this is in Torre de la Horadada, they may also inform the your Policia Local. After your 112 call then call the Pilar de la Horadada Policia Local, the staion number is: 965 352 334, and the Campoverde Policia Local Mobile number is 616 024 393, pleasedo this even if you believe the 112 Operator may have informed them. You may be required to make a "Denuncia", this is simply a Police Report of the incident, an aide-memoir is available from the NHW Home Page in several languages including, Spanish, English and German, simply click on Reporting Crime. For minor incidents report them directly to the Policia Local they will not be in the least concerned if it turns out to be a false alarm, The Chief of Police has requested that Campoverde residents should always call the Policia Local if they feel that anything is not quite right. Note; the Policia Local will not divulge your details to anyone else, but if you are at all worried contact your local NHW Coordinator or LEAD COORDINATOR; RAY MARSH on 965 064 360 or POLICE LIASON COORDINATOR; JAMES HERBERT on 659 883 516. UNDER "REPORTING CRIME" on the NHW HOME PAGE you will find other forms to help you report a crime besides the Aide-Memoire for the DENUNCIA or Crime Report.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:56

Identity Theft

IDENTITY THEFT There have been many stories of identity theft both nationally and locally. There are many ways thieves can obtain details of your bank account, credit card details and other personal information in order to withdraw money from your account or make purchases against your credit/bank cards. The two most common methods used to obtain these details are through the Internet or from mail thrown away. To counteract these thieves never reply to any requests for bank or credit card details over the Internet unless you have initiated the transaction and secondly shred all mail before disposing in the waste bin. Both methods have been used frequently here on the Costa Blanca with fake, but credible requests from various banks asking the recipient to confirm their bank details and people have been seen going through waste bins and taking away bags of rubbish. Always remember that NO bank will ask for details of your account, don’t be taken in by this scam, the fake requests are very professional and appear to be on genuine headed web pages. If in doubt telephone your bank, its better to spend a couple of euros than chance loosing hundreds or thousands.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:52

Using Unlicensed Taxis

BY USING AN UNLICENSED TAXI YOU MAY BE ENDANGERING YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY Unlicensed taxis ARE NOT insured to carry fare-paying passengers. If you are injured in an accident you would have no recourse to the driver’s insurance no matter how severe your injuries. The Guardia Civil and Policia Local are mounting a campaign against these taxies, especially at airports. If you are stopped, not only will they fine the driver and possibly confiscate his car, they can impose fines on the passengers. With the ensuing delay you could miss your flight. Licensed taxi drivers pay over €30,000 for their licence and their cars have an ITV test every six months from new. BE SAFE, BE SURE, ONLY USE LICENSED TAXIS
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:51

Thefts Through Windows

THE FISHERMAN We appear to have a fisherman in Campoverde, unfortunately he is not interested in fish but in your valuables. His method is to use a fishing rod through an open window to steal items such as handbags, house or car keys or items of clothing such as shorts or trousers that may contain keys or wallets which then may give him access to your home and car. Never leave these items on view anywhere and remember windows can easily be forced open. REJA DOOR LOCKS Most locks on reja doors can easily be broken off with a pair of pliers. If your lock does not have a protective surround to prevent the protruding lock being gripped by a pair of pliers then please consider fitting one. These metal covers can be spot welded in place or fitted using two self tapping screws whose heads are then smoothed over. The covers can be purchased from any security grill manufacturer for around €1.50 a pair. PATIO DOORS. Patio doors can easily be lifted off their catch with a strong screwdriver and opened. A patio door lock costs around €7 and is easily fitted. A lock is essentially a bolt that is pushed through both doors and so preventing them being opened.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:40

Fire Warning

FIRE KILLS: We live in a very high risk fire area and in the summer and autumn the green areas are tinder dry and present a very high incendiary risk. Fires in pine trees can spread at an alarming rate very quickly endangering both life and property and they are very difficult to extinguish. The four commonest causes of fire in the open are: 1. A carelessly thrown cigarette or match. 2. Broken glass acting as a magnifying glass. 3. Youngsters playing with matches etc. 4. B.B.Qs. Fire prevention action is simple: 1 DO NOT discard cigarettes or matches without first ensuring they are completely extinguished. 2 ALWAYS take bottles, whole or broken, home with you. 3 EDUCATE youngsters about the very serious dangers involved with cigarettes, matches and lighters. 4 BE VERY CAREFUL when using a B.B.Q. NOTE B.B.Qs are only allowed on private property or in specific, designated areas in the countryside. 5 Householders who have wooded gardens should CLEAR AWAY the dead undergrowth and PRUNE off the lower branches of trees, especially pine trees. 6 NEVER attempt to burn garden rubbish. Please Note that anyone found guilty of starting a fire, deliberately or otherwise may find themselves saddled with a very large bill to pay for the fire fighting costs and this often involved the very costly use of helicopters or aircraft to carry water to the fire.
HOW TO AVOID DECEPTION THEFTS, HANDBAG SNATCHES AND PICKPOCKETS . Please try to take the following precautions. 1. Do not take your Passports with you, have them photocopied, reduced and sealed in plastic at a Papaleria for about € 2 or get a Notarised copy made for around €5. 2. If you are not intending to use your bank or credit cards leave them at home. 3. Do not label your keys so that if they are lost or stolen they cannot be traced back to your house. 4. Always carry your handbag to the front and ensure it is always closed. 5. Keep your wallet or purse in a secure pocket, preferably to the front and if possible zipped closed. 6. When paying your bill do not show the amount of money in your purse, wallet or pocket. 7. If you believe you are being watched when using a cash point cancel the transaction and use another machine. 8. Be aware of the deception thieves, if approached by a stranger when on foot or in your car do not respond to them, walk or drive away or lock the car doors and sound your horn. 9. When parking your car do not leave items of value on display and do not openly put them in your boot and ladies do not travel with your handbag on the front seat and do not put your handbag in the front of the car whilst loading shopping into the boot. 10. When using local markets, supermarkets or shopping malls be extra vigilant as this is where most pickpockets and deception thieves operate from. 11. Should you see or be involved in an incident inform Policia Local or telephone 112 immediately. Finally always remember: IF YOU DO NOT NEED IT – DO NOT TAKE IT WITH YOU
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:31

Monthly Meeting

Campoverde NHW Branch hold a monthly meeting at 10:00HRS on the last SATURDAY of each month in the Campoverde Ayuntamiento Office situated in Plaza Florida which is off Avenida del Pino, the main road in Campoverde. No meeting in August and December. Only streets in Campoverde that are overseen by a coordinator display a NHW sign to warn potential wrongdoers that the area is actively watched by its residents. If your street does not have a sign then please consider becoming a coordinator, the amount of time and effort involved is very small, simply attending, if you can, a monthly meeting and distributing the monthly newsletter to your neighbours, this may be done either with a printed or electronic version. Coordinatoers not only help make their streets safer but also help build up a greater feeling of community spirit. For further information contact any NHW coordinator or LEAD COORDINATOR; RAY MARSH on 965 064 360 or POLICE LIASON COORDINATOR; JAMES HERBERT on 659 883 516.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:29

Home Security

HOME SECURITY Most burglars are opportunistic thieves; they do not leave home planning to raid a certain house, but are on the lookout for any easy target. By taking note of the following common sense advice you can make it more difficult for the burglar and so reduce the chance of your home being selected. ALARMS If five out of six houses have an alarm fitted then the one without is most likely to be targeted. An external siren is an obvious deterrent but make sure it is positioned high enough to prevent it being smashed with, say, a baseball bat. Always remember to set the alarm whenever you leave the house, even if it is only to visit a neighbour two houses away and if your alarm has zones, set the unused zones when retiring to bed at night. DOORS AND WINDOWS Keep all doors and windows shut and locked at night and when the house is unoccupied, this includes garage doors, pet flaps and windows and doors accessible via an upstairs patio or veranda. Patio doors are an especially weak point, so fit locks of the simple bolt type that go through one door frame and into the next, this prevents them being lifted from their track and opened. Make sure all your locks are strong and sturdy, especially ground floor entrances. If you must leave windows open at night make sure that there are no keys, handbags or other valuables in sight that may be fished out using a rod and hook. Many people have lost their cars this way or had burglars walk in whilst they slept. BLINDS Most blinds are for keeping the house cool in summer and have very little security benefit so always leave some at least partially open with the curtains drawn. This gives the appearance that the house is occupied. GARDENS We all like our privacy but remember if you cannot see out of your garden no-one can see in and a thief could break into your home without the danger of being seen by a neighbour. On long absences from your home make sure your neighbours know and arrange for someone to keep the garden tidy – again giving the appearance that the property is occupied. LIGHTING Indoor. Use timers on table lamps so that they switch on at dusk and off late at night. When away leave a hall or passage lamp on so that it can be see through a window. Outdoors. Lamps by your entrance gate and on the wall of your house can be replaced with low wattage bulbs with a daylight sensor so that they come on at dusk and go off at dawn. Apart from giving the impression the house is occupied it helps getting the key into the lock when returning home in darkness. HOUSEKEYS Never, ever hide spare keys under a mat or in a flowerpot, thieves know all the hiding places. Instead give a spare set of keys to a neighbour who can periodically check your house when you are away. MAILBOXES AND FLYERS If you are one of the lucky ones with a mail delivery to your house ask a neighbour to ensure the mailbox does not become overfull. An overfull mailbox indicates that the house is unoccupied and makes it easier for anyone to steal mail. At the same time ask your neighbours to remove the many flyers that are constantly being wedged into gates. TELEPHONE If you use a personal message on an answer phone do not indicate that you are away in the UK or on holiday. Use words to give the impression that you are currently unable to take the call will get back to the caller as soon as possible. AT HOME There have been instances where opportunistic thieves walking past a house with its gates unlocked, front door open and the householders occupied elsewhere have, in broad daylight, walked in, picked up a handbag, lap top or wallet and walked out without anyone seeing or hearing a thing. When in the garden, sitting on the patio and especially when using the pool, keep all your windows and doors locked unless they are in full view ALL the time. Lastly do not get paranoid over burglary – the incidence of this crime in Spain is still much less then it is in the UK.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:27

General Advice

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH GENERAL ADVICE With the economic turn down many Black Economy workers will have no jobs and with no financial support from the Government some may turn to crime to feed themselves and their families. This advice is to help insure you do not become a victim of petty crime. Pickpockets At this time of year open air markets and supermarkets become very busy and are a happy hunting ground for expert pickpockets. 1. Most importantly remember IF YOU DO NOT NEED IT DO NOT TAKE IT WITH YOU. This includes excess cash, credit and bank cards and passports. 2. MEN, ALWAYS carry your wallet in a front pocket which preferably should be fastened with a button or zip. 3. LADIES if you must use a handbag carry it to the front, ALWAYS keep it zipped shut, NEVER leave it is a shopping trolley. 4. Cash Safety 1. DO NOT take out more cash than you are likely to need. 2. If you do require a large amount of cash DO NOT make it obvious, for example by opening your purse or wallet with the notes in sight. Cash Dispensers 1. Distraction Thefts. Beware of strangers approaching you and asking your advice or pointing out a low value note on the floor. 2. Ensure you are not overlooked when entering your PIN numbers. 3. MOST IMPORTANTLY, if you feel uneasy cancel the transaction and go elsewhere. Car Safety Make sure you: 1. Put all shopping in your car boot, do not leave it on view on car seats. 2. When unloading, lock your car between each load, do not leave the boot open. 3. If approached when in your car immediately operate the central locking and either, move off or speak through a partially open window, if you are worried sound your horn. 4. Ladies, do not drive with your handbag on the front passenger seat, conceal it elsewhere. Home Security 1. Ensure your alarm is working and ALWAYS set it when leaving your home. 2. Keep your windows and doors locked at night and when the house is unoccupied. 3. Keep your garden and your community gates locked. 4. If going out for the evening leave one or two downstairs lights on that can be seen from outside the property and consider fitting a timer switch to a lamp. Despite the sensationalistic reporting by some TV programmes and newspapers you are much LESS likely to be a victim of crime here in Spain than in most other European counties, especially the UK. Remember most thieves are opportunist, they are always on the look out for easy pickings, following these simple rules will make their life more difficult and you and your home safer.

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