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Online Security Advice

From Neighbourhood to Cyberhood: Over a third of Neighbourhood Watch members are now more concerned about cybercrime than physical crime.

So Neighbourhood Watch has now launched a Cyberhood Watch initiative and has published a number of ‘Layman’s Guides’ to help you to understand some of the terminology. These are:

Keep your Home PC’s Protected with Sophos Free home edition Antivirus : https://www.sophos.com/en-us/lp/sophos-home.aspx   (free for Home use)

Avast (AVG) also offer Free home Antivirus software: https://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download#pc

Other providers may also offer similar products.

Reporting fraud and scams

To report Online fraud or cyber crime please go to:  http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

To report a scam or fraudulent e-mail please forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk 

As of May 2024 more than 181,100 scams have been removed as a result of this reporting!

To report a scam or fraudulent text please forward it to 7726.

Buying and Selling second-hand PC’s, Laptops, Notebooks, Tablets and Phones

If you are buying or selling second-hand devices you need to know how to erase the personal data that is on them (and why it’s important when you’re buying and selling them).

Follow this link to get the latest advice from The National Cyber Security Centre:

Guidance for buying & selling second-hand devices – NCSC.GOV.UK

Home Security

  • Check all door and window locking mechanisms comply with the conditions set by the insurance industry.
  • Stand back from their property and “think thief”: Perimeter and garden/ boundary fences / walls / hedges should deter a would-be intruder. However, tall hedges / shrubs, close to the house, could act as a screen to an intruder. Access to the rear of the property, via side entrances, should be prevented.
  • Consider installing an infrared-activated light effectively exposes an intruder.
  • Ensure all outbuildings (garages, sheds etc.) are properly secured and locked at all times.
  • Where possible, cars should be parked in a garage, rather than left on the drive. If this is not possible, ensure they are suitably secured and alarmed (any or all types). Do not leave valuables on display in the car.
  • Garden and DIY tools and steps / ladders should be locked safely away and, preferably marked with forensic DNA. Interior and property identification
  • Valuables should be security marked, preferably using a forensic DNA material, and serial numbers listed – this aids identification if property is recovered by the police. Jewellery and other small items of value should be photographed and listed.
  • Do not leave keys to the property or car in obvious places to aid a thief.
  • Added security (e.g. a safe, alarm system or security camera) may be required if there are items of high value. A chain and spy hole should be fitted to the main access door and used. Do not allow access, by a caller, to the property unless satisfied with their credentials and purpose.

Going away?

  • See Police leaflet – Making sure that your property is secure whilst on holiday
  • Does your property look occupied when you are away?
  • Watch members should let neighbours know that they are not in residence and leave a number where they may be contacted. Cancel newspapers, milk etc. and ask a neighbour to check the property regularly and be extra vigilant.
  • Use the Post Office Keep Safe service to prevent mail piling up in your letter box or inside front-door.
  • Ensure that the property looks occupied. Use automatic timing switches for lights and a radio are a good idea. A neighbour’s car securely parked on the drive would be better than parked on the road.

Car Security

‘Keyless’ Car Theft

These thefts are where the keys are not required to steal the car as the electronic signal from the keys (even if indoors) can be amplified by the thieves so that the car thinks the key is there and it opens up, ready to be driven away. This only takes a few seconds, can be done silently and the first the owner knows about it is when he/she finds their car missing.

The main targets have been BMWs, Mercedes and Range Rovers but other makes have also been stolen. We are also aware that cars advertised for sale may be more vulnerable as this provides the offender with a location to target and undertaking a test drive provides a further opportunity for them to clone the key. Markers on the Police National Computer are immediately put on the vehicle to help with its identification however the current trend suggests number plates are being changed almost immediately rendering ANPR much less useful. Enquiries are then followed up over the coming days, this may include house to house and CCTV, National ANPR enquiries to assist with analysing vehicles in convoy and a statement from the victim. We know that the manufacturer fitted trackers are being almost immediately disabled.

So, prevention is the best response we can suggest. Placing your keys (including any spares) in a keyless entry theft pouch prevents the signal from getting out and should defeat a key-less car theft attempt. These are widely available and we sell them for £3. Physical security is also suggested for cars like the Disklok Steering Wheel Full Cover or the Stoplock Pro Elite Car Steering Wheel Lock (other makes are available). In some cases installing a bollard at the end of your drive (if you have a drive) to stop the car being removed has also been effective.

When and how to Report Crime

  • If you are witnessing a criminal act taking place or require immediate police presence call 999. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the textphone service 18001 or text on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service (Relay UK).
  • If you suspect or see a crime is about to be committed or see a person(s) behaving suspiciously, you should report your suspicions to the police immediately, giving as much information as possible (do your best to identify persons and /or vehicles) call : 101. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the textphone service on 18001 101.
  • Alternatively you can report non-urgent matters online at https://www.police.uk/pu/contact-the-police/report-a-crime-incident/.
  • You can also report via direct message on Twitter to @SurreyHeathBeat or message @SurreyHeathPolice on Facebook. Both methods go to a call centre which is monitored 24/7.
  • Watch members should be as observant as possible from their vantage point but should not put themselves at risk. If they are reluctant to contact the police, they should seek a neighbour’s advice or opinion and / or speak to their Watch Representative – but do so immediately.
  • If a Watch member suspects or sees a crime is about to be committed or they see a person(s) behaving suspiciously, they should report their suspicions to the police immediately, giving as much information as possible (do your best to identify persons and /or vehicles) call : 101
  • If they are witnessing a criminal act taking place or require immediate police presence call 999.
  • Watch members should be as observant as possible from their vantage point but should not put themselves at risk. If they are reluctant to contact the police, they should seek a neighbour’s advice or opinion and / or speak to their Watch Coordinator – but do so immediately.
  • If a Watch member has good information concerning criminal activity and wishes to report anonymously – call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or report on their website https://crimestoppers-uk.org.
  • They can also contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team by visiting their web page at http://www.surrey.police.uk.
  • The Surrey Heath Crime Reduction Adviser will offer free and independent crime reduction advice if contacted on 101.
  • Video Footage
  • Surrey Police have introduced a new website portal which enables members of the public to upload video footage to them, which shows someone acting suspiciously.  This may be in the form of photos, CCTV, dashcam, or doorbell footage. 
  • Examples of suspicious behaviour could be someone lurking around on your driveway, looking in your car and trying the handles, or conducting occupancy checks prior to a burglary. 
  • They understand that sometimes this type of footage might get uploaded to community groups on social media but sending the footage to them will help them to identify offenders operating in the area and will potentially link individuals to offences which have occurred.  
  • Although realistically they may not be able to identify every person in a piece of footage, especially if they have a face covering, every clip feeds into their understanding of the bigger burglary picture in your area. In the long-term it is hoped that this initiative will help reduce the number of burglary offences and provide reassurance to residents.  
  • You can submit your footage via this link: https://www.surrey.police.uk/suspiciousactivityportal

Garage & Shed Burglaries

We are currently suffering from a series of garage burglaries in the borough. Motorcycles, bicycles and garden machinery are being targeted. In some cases the garages targeted have not been locked and in others the owner has relied on the factory fitted lock on an up and over door.

Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators can assist by forwarding this message to members.


  • Most standard garage door locks are not ‘security’ locks. Consider fitting an after market device, for example a ‘Garage Defender’ or as a cheaper option fit two shoot bolts to the door ensuring that bolt beds into the frame or concrete base. Secure the bolt with a grade three external padlock
  • Sheds are more problematic to secure due to their wood construction. Devices are available to provide additional security to the doors, for example ‘Shed Bars’
  • Most house alarm systems can be configured to provide coverage to garages using ‘wireless’ connections. If this isn’t possible stand alone ‘Shed alarms’ are also available
  • Consider the use of ground anchors and cables. Using a large cable to link several items together will make them more difficult to steal, padlocking the cable to a ground anchor will provide additional protection.
  • There are a number of security marking schemes available for cycles ranging from electronic Datatags (similar to pet microchips) to chemical etching
  • Ensure that you property mark items of value stored in the garage and record serial numbers. There is a free web based service available at www.immobilise.com

When considering whether or not to fit additional security its worth pausing to think about the value of what you are storing in the building. Lawn mowers and good cycles often cost several hundred pounds per item, the total value can soon run into several thousand pounds.


  • Judging by the number of items being stolen the thief will probably have an outlet or handler – if you have any information around offenders or methods of disposal please contact me. Alternatively you can do this anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where in certain circumstances you may receive a financial reward
  • If you see something or someone suspicious contact Surrey Police immediately using either 999 or 101, make a note of the time, description and vehicle registration numbers. You will never be criticised for contacting us and remember if you think it’s suspicious it probably is!

Finally these thieves are very probably local and are operating within your community, with your help we can catch and convict them.

Details of the items I have referred to can be found at www.soldsecure.com or www.securedbydesign.com

Surrey Heath Watches

Find the nearest watch to by looking at  https://www.ourwatch.org.uk

Camberley Area

This Watch Covers the following Areas: St Pauls, Old Dean, Town, St Michaels & Watchetts. The Camberley Area Coordinator is Alan Hitchcock ahitchcock@surreyheathnw.co.uk

Frimley Area

This Watch covers the following areas:  Frimley, Frimley Green, Mytchett, Deepcut, Heatherside, Parkside, Heathside & Cheylesmore. The Frimley Area Coordinator is Jackie Davies jdavies@surreyheathnw.co.uk

The Six Villages

This Watch Covers the following Areas: Lightwater, Bagshot, Bisley, Chobham, West End and Windlesham. The Area Coordinator is Mike Potter  MPotter@surreyheathnw.co.uk


Crime Prevention Trailer/Gazebo

The Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch Support Group had a busy year last year with our Crime Prevention Trailer or Gazebo at a variety of events, during which we took the opportunity to spread the word about home security. The trailer is always very well attended and provides an excellent opportunity to publicise Neighbourhood Watch to a wider audience.

The trailer can be booked to attend local community events such as fun days and fetes. This is a volunteer based service which we do not charge for. We can enhance any event by giving free advice on all matters relating to crime prevention such as home, vehicle and cycle security and free security marking of your attendees property. It is manned by volunteers from your local Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch Support Group and is usually supported by the local Neighbourhood Police team.

The most popular function is the security marking of bicycles and baby buggies which is done free of charge.

The trailer is stocked with leaflets on home security and crime prevention, as well as details of the local Neighbourhood Police Team. In addition it is possible to purchase UV pens for marking property in the home and small UV torches on a key ring to read the markings. There are also personal attack alarms and cycle security locks for sale all with savings we’ve obtained though the power of Neighbourhood Watch.

The Trailer or Gazebo can be booked by contacting Mike Potter on 07985 506 624 or MPotter@surreyheathnw.co.uk.

Come and visit us on the trailer or in the gazebo at your local event!