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This message is dated Thursday 10th January 2019 - Maidenhead

Alert message sent 10/01/2019 15:53:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

This message is dated Thursday 10th January 2019 for Maidenhead.
First can I than Jean Myhill and her team at the University of the Third Age, for inviting me to make a presentation to their members on Tuesday.  It is always a pleasure to present to people who are awake and ready to listen as well as participate and join in with ideas and experiences.  many thanks to all of them, it was aa brilliant afternoon.  As I usually do......... I did over run somewhat ....... but everyone had so many questions, I am sure it was worth it.

If you want me to come and do a Crime Prevention presentation, covering Burglary - as part of our winter Burglary campaign, car crime scams and Frauds - just email me at:  My role is now Community Engagement & Resilience Officer.  Engagement - to come and meet as many of you as possible and Resilience - to train you up, not to be victims of crime.  It is not hard.  The vast majority of our crime is carried out by 'Opportunist Thieves'.  They are looking for us to have made a mistake.  Leaving cars unlocked, a house window open for ventilation.  A house in darkness at night, making it obvious, no-one is home, post piling up behind a glass front door, bins left out at lunchtime on bin day !!!  You get the picture.  If we all do everything we should do to protect ourselves and our property, we will reduce our chances of being a victim.

I use these messages as a means of alerting you to crime trends and practices, keeping you up to date on what offenders are doing today.  Read and bin them, but let the message filter through.

They are also an appeal for witnesses.  Every crime I report, may have been witnessed by someone, but they may not know, what it is they have seen, until they read about in in a message.  The Jigsaw principle.  You may have a tiny piece, which means nothing without the other surrounding pieces.  If anything draws your attention as odd or suspicious, go online to the Thames valley police website and drop us an email.  WE REALLY NEED YOUR EYES AND EARS !

I have to report the discovery of a cannabis factory in Ascot.  It was discovered purely by accident, by a PCSO on patrol.  Over 1,000 plants have been recovered !

It is a large property which had been rented, for a phenomenal amount each month.  This is characteristic.  The criminals generally choose large houses in nice areas, so that their activities, do not stand out.  They generally rent for a year, paying 6 months rental in cash, in advance.  Renters are usually very eager to accept this deal of cash up front.  If you deal with rental properties, can you please be aware that some deals, are too good to be true ???  For neighbours, there are some signs to look out for.  Nowadays, there is no distinctive smell coming from the property.  Complicated carbon based air scrubbers are used, before any air leaves the building.  To instal these systems, they often, completely destroy the interior of the property.  The damage and repair costs, completely outweigh any benefits, of a cash up front long let !
To fool the electricity companies, who monitor usual use, they connect directly to the grid, stealing the power they need, to light and heat the plants, as well as ventilate any smell.  These connections are often, very dangerous.
As there is so much light in the house - to promote the plant growth, ‘facades’ are often installed, in the windows.  If to prevent the light escaping, the curtains / blinds were drawn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would look suspicious and draw attention to the house.  So, small fake room sets, are built inside the windows.
The heat generated by the amount lighting required, used to be a tell tale signal and we would send over a helicopter, with heat seeking cameras, looking at rooftops.- particularly in the winter after snow / frosts.  Houses used, are now double insulated, to prevent this.  Again, installing this insulation, results in even more damage to the property.
What should neighbours look out for ?
If we have found one factory - there will be others - nice properties, which have been let, but where there isn’t much activity.  The houses are usually large - for the amount of floor space, for plants, but very well appointed, to avoid suspicion.  Generally, the property is filled with plants, leaving a small space in the middle, for the ‘farmer’ to eat and sleep.  Their job, is to feed and water the plants and make sure they grow properly.  Once they are established, he will crop them each fortnight and place the cuttings in a bag outside, for collection on in any garage.  It may well be therefore that black bin liners appear outside, on a day which is not, the bin day !  Or cars arrive regularly to pick up the bags, or disappear into the garage for half an hour and then re-appear !  The ‘farmer’ never leaves the house, or the crop, unprotected.
A lack of rubbish, may also be a sign that the house is not in usual occupation.  A single ‘farmer’ living inside, will have minimal rubbish each week.  Food supplies are dropped off and left outside for the farmer.  Black bags arriving and being dropped off, at odd times.
If you have any suspicions, that a rental property near you, may be being used as a cannabis factory, please let us know, by completing an online referral form - see below.  You may well be wrong, but every piece of intelligence helps.
8/1 - 9/1  Tuesday 6 p.m. / Wednesday 6.50 p.m.  Bell Street.  CAR ENTERED BY UNKNOWN MEANS AND SEARCHED - nothing taken.  Nothing obvious left on display.
8/1 - 9/1  Tuesday 11 p.m. / Wednesday 6 a.m.  Ray Park Lane. 
Someone has ENTERED A CAR BY UNKNOWN MEANS - it was then ransacked.
9/1 - 10/1  Farm, Mill Lane, Cookham.   Container broken into and gardening tools stolen.
6/1 - 9/1  Sunday 10 a.m. / Wednesday 12 noon.  Cookham Bridge, Sutton Road, Cookham.  Boat tied up under Cookham Bridge stolen.  16 foot punt named Kelly.  White on the outside, green on the inside.  Pictures of a horse on both sides.
6/1 - 7/1  Sunday 8 p.m. / Monday 9 a.m.  School, Oaken Grove.  Someone has been onto the roof of the school smashing skylights.
8/1 - 9/1  Tuesday 9 p.m. / Wednesday 7 a.m.  Oldershaw mews.  Gate stolen.
9/1 - 10/1  Wednesday 4 p.m. / Thursday 7 a.m.  Alwyn Road.  Van entered via forced side door - tools stolen.
20/12 - 8/1  Beaumont Close.  Car has been vandalised numerous times, over a period of time. nails have been put in tyres.  In the past the car has been keyed.
7/1 - 9/1  Monday midnight / Wednesday 2 p.m.  Rutland Place.  An unknown offender has drilled through the wheel trim into the wheel.
9/1  Wednesday 4 a.m. / 4.10 a.m.  Badger Close.  Silver Mercedes Vito van stolen from outside a house.  It has since been recovered from a car park in West Drayton.
9/1  Wednesday 4 p.m.  Norden Road.  Person in a car park taking photos of cars with no permits, had left his car parked up with the engine running.  2 men in a van drove up, one got out climbed into his car and drove off.  Silver, VW Golf index KR ** AGU stolen from outside a house.
7/1  Monday 8 a.m. / 4 p.m.  Sturt Green, Holyport.  Attempted burglary.  The owner returned to find the front gate open and the cat flap kicked in.  The offenders were possibly reaching in for keys.  No entry gained and nothing stolen.
7/1  Monday 9 p.m. / 10.20 p.m.  Pub Car Park, High Street, Bray.  Transporter broken via smashed driver’s side window and camera stolen.
9/1 Wednesday 7 p.m. / 7.30 p.m.  The Causeway, Bray.  Car rear windscreen smashed and boot searched - LAPTOP STOLEN.
The 101 number is still functioning properly, but I am afraid it may be slow to answer at the moment - if you are experiencing delays, you can always make contact with us using the online reporting system:

Eyes and ears.....................and brain
‘You can play your part in helping to tackle the terrorist threat facing the UK’.
‘Everyone, from law enforcement, to businesses, to the general public, has a role to play in keeping the UK safe from terrorism and to effectively combat the threat.  Everyone needs to work together.  Our aim, is to encourage people to be more vigilant – ‘if you suspect it, report it’ – please report all suspicious activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321’.
‘For more information follow this link:
If you are not a member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
You can find details of your local schemes, by going online at
‘Our Watch’ using this link:
If no such group exists in your area, consider establishing your
Own group
Message sent by
Jeffrey Pick (Police, Community Engagement & Resilience Officer, Windsor & Maidenhead LPA)

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