David Page

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Shoppers may have noticed extra police activity in Eastwood town centre during the past week or two. This is because shop-thefts invariably increase on the run up to Christmas and this is a recognised police priority.

Thieves will be targeting private households too, trying to snatch expensive presents. So it is up to each one of us to make sure we lock them safely away, especially when we leave our homes unattended. What they are really after, are those desirable, hi-tech, portable items they can whisk away, being gone in a moment: lap-tops: ipads: eReaders: mobile phones: cameras etc.

Darkness is a free boon to the burglar. He likes to do his work unnoticed and to scuttle silently away. An external security light fitted with a heat sensor is simple and inexpensive to install and could give you peace of mind during those long dark hours. We all like to think it can never happen to me.

Vehicle parking outside schools: on the pavement and blocking driveways in and around the town featured large at our November ENwatch meeting and is causing a great deal of anger and distress to Eastwood residents. Motorists are selfishly ignoring the law and putting lives at risk.

Something needs to be done to stop this growing menace. When confronted, guilty motorists (those who aren’t outright aggressive) come out with lame excuses for abandoning their vehicles across driveways: such as: ‘I am only stopping for a minute or two’; ‘I didn’t realise it was a driveway’; ‘Don’t bother contacting the police, they can do nothing, you’d just be wasting their time, and anyway it is not an offence to block a drive!’

ENwatch advises residents not to confront drivers, and risk abuse or the threat of violence, when faced with abandoned vehicles, but to ring 101 and seek police help and advice.

For serious, life-treatening situations, always ring 999.

Our ENWatch website is www.eastwoodneighbourhoodwatch.co.uk Our next meeting will be Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at Eastwood Baptist Church, Percy Street, 7pm. Please come along.