Tell us about crime before you tell Facebook, say police
POLICE are urging people to report vandal attacks and anti-social behaviour – before posting about them on social media.
Officers say they need to hear about incidents directly after a spate of incidents where homes and cars were damaged, some of which went unreported.
They reached a peak in the week around Halloween and Bonfire Night, with multiple complaints on Facebook pages for Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath residents.
Now people are being urged to do something to stop their villages being "ruined" by the vandals.
Resident Lisa Rigby has been urging people to report incidents to police, to be vigilant and for parents to ask their children where they have been and what they have been doing.
Lisa's mum was one of several people affected by a spate of vandal attacks on October 28, when on various streets in Winterbourne, cars were vandalised, porches were egged, and a front room window was smashed.
Lisa contacted the Voice to highlight the problem, saying: “This disgusting behaviour comes with no understanding of the impact and distress they're causing.
"The innocent, hard-working people now have to pay out for these things to be fixed. Winterbourne is a beautiful village that is sadly being ruined by disrespectful, bored and ill-behaved vandals, something that needs to be stopped.”
Incidents in Frampton and Coalpit Heath highlighted on Facebook included a vandal attack on one of the scarecrows in the village scarecrow trail.
Lisa has been urging other users of local Facebook groups to report what they have seen or suffered to the police.
She said: "Things cannot change if the police are not made aware of it."
Police say that only three of the incidents on October 28 were reported.
A spokesperson said: “There is no trend that could be attributed to Halloween related incidents other than an assault where two 13 year old lads, who I believe had been trick or treating, were assaulted by another group of similar age lads – however they do not wish to pursue a complaint.”
People are being advised to call 999 for an emergency response if a crime is taking place or there is a danger to life, to call 101 to report a crime after it has happened if an emergency response is not needed.
Concerns about anti-social behaviour and graffiti can be raised with South Gloucestershire Council's anti-social behaviour team on 01454 868582 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Winterbourne neighbourhood beat team is holding a surgery open to the public on 10 December 10 from 2-3pm with PC Elizabeth Ball and PCSO Jacqui McCormack at the Greenfield Centre in Park Avenue, Winterbourne .
Anyone with information about the incidents of October 28 should call 101 and quote the crime number D141041686.