Burglars Posing As Police Officers In Hounslow

Don't be fooled by fake uniforms

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Police Sergeant Nathan FANE
Brentford Safer Neighbourhood Team
Brentford Police Station
Half Acre

Office tel: 020 82475974
Mobile tel: 07881723891

In an emergency ALWAYS dial 999
For all NON emergency calls use 0300 123 1212
If you have no mobile signal, 999 will NOT work but 112 will put you straight through to the emergency services.

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Distraction burglars are constantly finding new ways of gaining the confidence of  unsuspecting residents  One of the latest in the Hounslow area are burglars posing as plain clothed police officers.

They will arrive at homes and advise the occupants that they are conducting a search for a ‘suspected burglar’ seen in the area.  While one ‘bogus police officer’ will keep  resident(s) talking, the other ‘bogus police officer’ will ‘search the property for the  ‘suspected burglar’ and while inside the property, steal whatever of value they can find.

If someone visits your home claiming to be a Police Officer, whether in plain clothes or wearing a police uniform always ask to see their Police Warrant Card and look at it carefully.  A genuine police officer in plain clothes or in uniform will always carry a Police Warrant Card and would have no objection to being asked by members of the public to show it.  A criminal impersonating a police officer will make an excuse NOT to show a Police Warrant Card.
A Police Warrant card is a credit card size plastic identity card that clearly displays the officer’s photograph and police 6 digit ‘Pay Number’.  This number is unique to every police officer.  If you are in any way suspicious of someone claiming to be a police officer, please dial 999 and quote the 6 digit ‘Pay Number’ to the Police telephone operator.  The operator will very quickly be able to verify the authenticity of the officer. 

Unfortunately police uniforms can be easily obtained on eBay and could fall into the wrong hands.  As well as a Police Warrant Card, a uniformed Police Officer will carry a second unique number on the shoulders of their uniform jacket and uniform shirt.  This number, in white metal, will have a two letter prefix followed by three or four digit number (completely different from the Pay Number above).   The two letter prefix would stand for, TX-Hounslow Police,  XB-Ealing Police,  
TW-Richmond Police and FH-Fulham and Hammersmith Police.  It would be highly unusual for Police Officers outside the above Metropolitan Police areas to be carrying out investigations in the Brentford area.

Help to make it tougher for burglars
A burglar may reconnoitre an area to get familiar with the territory and note good escape routes before returning at a later date to target a particular property or properties.  Burglars have no sympathy or compassion; they will steal anything that can be sold quickly, easily and without question.  And if a burglar considers the first burglary successful, there is always the possibility that they will return to strike a second time.   Burglars are also known to share information regarding ‘potential targets’ with other burglars. 

An opportunist burglar will simply spot an open door or an open/unlocked window and take a chance and enter.  If seen and approached an opportunist burglar will always have a plausible and well rehearsed excuse as to why they are on someone else’s property.  They may say that they are visiting a friend or a relative, or that they are a gardener or someone doing odd jobs, or that they have just moved into the property and are locked out. 

On Sunday 28th March, one hour is added to the clocks.  With the warmer evenings, there is always the temptation to leave back doors, patio doors and windows open, which is an ‘open’ invitation for burglars to slip into your property quietly and unnoticed.  No matter how inconvenient or stuffy it is, please do not make it easy for burglars; keep doors and windows secure, especially at night. 

Regarding burglary and anti-social behaviour in our area, please be vigilant at all times and dial 999 immediately if you see or hear anything that you feel is wrong; don’t leave it for others to call the police as it could then be too late for the police to take positive action.  Protect not only your own home and property but your neighbours too.  
Try to keep front garden gates shut at all times.  Most garden gates make a sound that’s recognised by the occupants and indeed neighbours.  You will know immediately when someone is entering your property or the property next door and you can be prepared.

Burglary Prevention
If you are concerned about your own property’s security, please contact our Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team based at Brentford Police Station.  They will arrange for a security inspection and undertake any necessary changes. Work will be carried out free of charge for the over 60s, the disabled, single parents and the vulnerable.  Please contact your Neighbourhood Watch Committee Member, or PCSO Alex Hawkins, Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team.  Tel. 078 8172 3891

Kathy Riley (075 0630 9810) is Hounslow Council’s Neighbourhood Community Safety Co-ordinator for Brentford.  Based at Brentford Police Station, Ms. Riley, will work closely with the Metropolitan Police Brentford Safer Neighbourhoods Team to ensure that Hounslow Council play their part in tackling crime and anti social issues that most concern Brentford residents.  For more information please visit www.hounslow.gov.uk/community_safety.

March 4, 2010