Charity Ref. 400/379/98


June 9th 2003

 SPIRE U3A met at the Memorial Hall Harnham on June 9th. Anne Gould opened the meeting and invited members to send in any suggestions or ideas they may have for future activities. She also thanked Peter Read for setting up and running the Website fo all three U3As in Salisbury.

The talk on CRIME PREVENTION was given by Barry Strange and Jamie Lawes. They started by explaining the structure of the Wiltshire Constabulary which is divided into the three areas namely Salisbury, Chippenham and Swindon, with headquarters in Devizies. A call to the police is rooted via Devizies to the appropriate area so their is a rapid response. A new Tri-Centre was opened this month which includes the Police, Ambulance and Fire Brigade so that the three services can respond rapidly to a major incident.

Barry Strange told us his special role in the LITOTES OPERATION. This is set up specifically to deal with the bogus caller in the Salisbury area. 100 offences being committed in this way in Salisbury alone. The bogus caller can claim to be from any of the utilities and can show an identity card which could also be false. Often working in pairs one distracts the householder while the other finds rich pickings. Children are even used in this way, the elderly person going out to find the lost 'ball'! How meny of us really check a card? All sorts of advice was given to combat this type of crime with stickers and leaflets handed out.         For victims of burglary or anyone who need help, carpenters and locksmiths can be sent in the Bobby Vans, set up in 98 to give assistance and advice.

Jamie Lawes then told us of his special role of advising architects and planners to build secure housing, and then went on to describe how a thief works and how we can plan our homes and gardens to discourage a thief. Planting prickly bushes under windows and keeping trees low at the front of our gardens so that entrances can be clearly seen from the pavement.

The talk was most informative and there was not enough time for all our questions to be answered but we all will beware those bogus callers.
The next meeting is on July 12th. when Rob Nicol will talk on 'Exotic Day Trips'


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