SmartWater sign unveiled in Elsworth village

Smartwater for South Cambridgeshire villages to ward off burglars


OFFICERS in South Cambridgeshire have been working with residents to put security measures in place to tackle burglary.
As part of Operation Oaklands, a police initiative to improve home security and reduce the risk of burglary, officers have been visiting a number of villages in South Cambridgeshire to offer advice and crime prevention products such as SmartWater property marking kits.
Each village will receive a SmartWater branded sign to advertise the fact that residents have protected their property with SmartWater technology and hopefully deter burglars.
Elsworth was the first village to receive their sign. Community representatives, Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators and parish councillors attended the launch event, along with police and SmartWater staff, at 11am on Monday February 9 2015 in the village.
Rachel Carr, Crime Reduction Officer for South Cambridgeshire, said:

“SmartWater is a unique coding system which has been used by police forces for a number of years, to tackle both commercial and domestic burglary. The product has helped Police forces to reduce domestic burglary by as much as 85% in some areas. It consists of non-toxic solution which can be painted onto virtually any surface. Once dry, under normal light it is not detectable, but under ultraviolet (UV) light it glows bright yellow. A huge benefit is that it is extremely difficult to remove and even the smallest of traces can be analysed to prove ownership of a marked item. Similar to DNA profiling, each unique solution can be identified and authenticated – there are millions of combinations available, each formula will be specific to a customer.
 The system includes a number of warning signs that are placed on doors and windows stickers to warn potential thieves that SmartWater is in use. It has proven to be a very effective deterrent to offenders where other forces have run similar projects.”

South Cambs Panel meetings

Cambourne Team Histon Team Did you know that every quarter South Cambs Police hold public panel meetings?

Inspector Jon Hiron will talk about what your police have been doing and you will have the opportunity to ask us questions or tell us about a problem in your area.

From your input, we then decide on what problems the police will prioritise for the next quarter.

We think it is important to understand what matters to our communities so we would love to see you at the meeting, tell us below if you are likely to come.

The Cambourne area meeting will be held at Melbourn Village College at 19:30 on Tuesday 24th February.

The Histon area meeting will be held at Cottenham Village College at 19:00 on Wednesday 25th February.

The Sawston area meeting will be held at Sawston Village College at 19:30 on Thursday 26th February.Sawston Team


South Cambs Police investigate potential exploitation at A14 car wash

Police attended a car wash on the A14 at Swavesy last night (Monday), along with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Health and Safety Executive and South Cambs District Council, as part of a joint investigation into potential exploitation.

Officers have been developing intelligence into potential human trafficking and labour exploitation in South Cambridgeshire.

The operation last night was set up to check on the welfare of people believed to be working and living at the hand car wash site on the A14, westbound in Huntingdon Road.

Officers spoke with people there to establish what their current employment and living conditions were. Each worker was interviewed and given the opportunity to be taken into voluntary protective custody in the form of the National Referral Mechanism.

Three men, aged 73, 29 and 20, have all been arrested on suspicion of labour exploitation. They currently remain in police custody at Huntingdon Police Station for questioning.

Five men and one woman, all of Romanian origin, were spoken to by officers last night and have been taken into voluntary protective custody in the form of the National Referral Mechanism. If you want information on the NRM then your best place to find it is here

Chief Inspector James Sutherland, Area Commander for South Cambridgeshire, said:

“Across the country there is widespread evidence of unscrupulous car-wash owners exploiting vulnerable migrant workers through low pay, human trafficking and dangerous living and working conditions.”

“A member of public has no way of telling if one of these ‘pop up’ car washes is doing this, therefore I would strongly urge the public to only use well established, legitimate car washes and if in doubt then don’t give them your business – a clean car is not worth dirty hands.”

Disqualified after traffic collision on A14

Just before 9am on 20 December 2014 a driver veered off the A14 at Swavesey crashing into a roadside sign.

Police officers arrived at the scene 6 minutes after being called to find a Vauxhall Astra van partially blocking the carriageway and the driver had left the area.

The driver, who once found appeared to be drunk was not difficult to identify. He was found about 500 metres from the crash wearing clothing marked with the same company name as marked on the side of the van he had crashed.

Nicholas Wade (32) from Peterborough was arrested for driving whilst unfit through drink but later failed to provide a specimen of breath for analysis at the police station.

Wade appeared at Cambridge Magistrates Court on 06/01/14 where he pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath. His defence explained that he had been drinking the night before and did not consider the level of alcohol left in his system the following morning when he was driving to work. Wade has previous disqualifications for drink driving in 1996 and 2006.

He pleaded guilty and was banned from driving again for 3 years and ordered to pay £145. Wade was also given a community order with a 4 month curfew between 9pm to 5am except on Wednesdays where the curfew is between 10pm and 5am to allow him to attend alcohol addiction rehabilitation.

Caught with drugs leaving party in Swavesey

Jamie Stamp (21) from Chrishall was stopped by police officers in his vehicle leaving a large party on Cow Fen Drove, Swavesey on 9th November 2014.

Stamp tried to conceal illegal drugs in the groin area of his trousers but police at the scene were not fooled. The drugs were found and later identified as psilocin, cannabis resin, MDMA and diazepam.

Stamp was at Cambridge Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to possession of a Class C controlled drug, two counts of possessing a class A controlled drug, and possession of a class B controlled drug with the intent to supply.

He was ordered by the court to pay £578. All the drugs will be destroyed by police.

SouthCambsCops home security guide


Although crime in South Cambs is low, burglary isn’t rare, so thinking “it’s unlikely to happen to me” is the wrong approach. In fact most months it is usually in the top 2 most commonly occurring crimes in South Cambs. Have a look at the crime map to see crime in your area here:




There are a number of simple but effective ways you can reduce the chances of being burgled. Burglars go for easy targets, so make your house a bit more difficult for them.

Here are some tips and recommendations for securing your home:

Burglars don’t usually break in at the front of a house because they are more likely to be seen.

Ideally they want to get to the back of the house. Not being able to get into the back garden could easily be enough for a potential intruder to try another house.

Gate & Fence

• Fit high (6ft) 1.8m side gates with a latch. Having the latch at the top of the gate is a weakness-most burglars know to put their arm over the top to undo the latch so either fit a padlock to it or consider a second bolt further down as well.

• I’ve chased enough burglars over garden fences to know they are well practiced at hopping fences. So if you like gardening, perhaps consider a nice thorny holly bush or adding some trellis to the top of your fence (600mm).  Alternatively, you can also use ‘prickle strips’ to deter a fence hopping burglar. (From personal experience of chasing a burglar over a fence with prickle strips on, I can assure you they really do hurt).


• Secure your shed. It is really common for burglars to break into your shed and then use your own tools to force a door or window of your house. Padlock your shed, don’t leave it open!

• Consider installing a simple, inexpensive, battery operated shed alarm. You can also secure items inside using a ‘shed shackle’ or similar device, see for suppliers.

• Properly code items using a paint pen or etching and register items such as mowers and power tools with  where you can register anything with a serial number and police forces use the system to track stolen property.

Burglar image 1

Simple measures like these can help to deter an intruder before they approach your home.

• Security lights. Yes, these really do work. Read here: This pair burgled several houses in one night but turned tail and ran from a house fitted with a simple motion activated security light.

• Light timers are a good deterrent too. Most people don’t get home from work until well after 5pm, but in the winter it gets dark before 4pm. No lights on are an easy way for burglars to locate an unoccupied house.


• CCTV is not as costly as many people believe and can be an effective tool in preventing a break in and at catching those responsible. If CCTV is what you want, I recommend avoiding the dome type cameras, they’re harder to spot and you want a potential intruder to spot the camera and be frightened away. Go for one that stands out. I particularly like the combination of a security light with a camera near it. When the light activates, an intruders’ natural reaction is to look at it. If they see a camera next to it, they will know you just got a shot of their face….and won’t stick around after that.


Window alarms! – My personal favourite. Cheap as chips and super effective. These little devices attach to the inside of a window with adhesive tape and activate an alarm if the window is knocked near deafening the would-be thief. To prove their effectiveness, this guy was foiled by a window alarm: You can turn them on/off from the inside with the flick of a switch and often you can adjust the sensitivity. I’ve got these on my ground floor windows and one on my back door too. They’re my top recommendation.

House alarms are not as expensive as you may think. An off the shelf D.I.Y. system will cost between £150 and £200 (also consider fitting an auto-dialler @ £12 which will contact a list of numbers you have programmed in when the alarm is triggered). Monitored alarms for an average size property will typically be between £700 and £800. If you have high value items or you spend a lot of time away from home on holidays or business, it could be worth the investment. Always obtain at least two/ three quotes if you are purchasing a monitored alarm, or having a company install the system for you. Look for approved installers, see or go to S.S.I.A.B. approved installers to ensure the price and service are fair.


Burglar image 2

A few simple steps

• It is really common to find that a burglar has gained access to a house via a French door or patio door because they haven’t been adequately secured. Turning the key usually locks one door to the other. Make sure the second door is bolted too; small (mortice, or shoot-bolts) should go up and down into the door frame.  Also look for hinge bolts on French doors to help secure the hinges, and prevent jemmy attacks.  Patio doors should also be secured at the top and bottom of the opening section, check your patio door cannot be lifted out of the frame using a tool. Patio door locking bars are available, and window alarms can also be used on these doors too.

• Where do you keep your keys? An opened up wire coat hanger can be used to reach your keys and pull them out through the letterbox. Then the burglar can just let himself in or take your car off your drive. Don’t keep your keys anywhere near the doors or windows, they should be well out of view.  Ideally take them up to bed with you at night.

• Everyone keeps their most valuable possessions, jewellery, expensive watches etc. in their bedroom. That’s why most burglars head straight for the master bedroom and go through the wardrobe and drawers. This sort of thing should be hidden away, especially the sentimental things that cannot be replaced. The loft, cupboard under the stairs, kitchen cabinets, the teapot – be imaginative, where wouldn’t a burglar think to look?

• Sometimes when we arrest a burglar we find plenty of stolen goods. But often we can’t return it to the owner because we can’t tell who it belonged to.  For tools and equipment consider marking them clearly using a paint-pen or indelible marker, anything to mark them out as yours, there are also tamper-proof labels available, or etching kits.

• Register your valuables on: If you’ve got a nice pedal cycle, be sure to register it on the immobilise website and remember to include the frame number. Immobilise is especially useful for recording more unique items such as jewellery or antiques as you can take digital photos and add them to your online record.

• Encourage your friends to join eCops so they know what is going on in their area.

• If you’re interested in getting involved with Neighbourhood Watch, the first thing to do is check whether there’s a group in your area already. You can do this by checking the national Neighbourhood and home Watch website or contacting your area NHW representative by posting a request on the county website

Christmas crime prevention:

  • Tempting gift wrapped presents should not be left on show.
  • Presents should be removed overnight from vehicles. If possible keep them indoors an out of sight.
  • Communities can keep an eye out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours and encourage them follow security precautions.
  • Empty boxes which could advertise Christmas purchases inside the house, should not be left on view outside.
  • Once your gifts are unwrapped, they can be registered for free on the Immobilise database

For more information you might also find the following sites useful:


Operation Oaklands Phase Two – Tackling crime across South Cambs


This week South Cambridgeshire Safer Neighbourhood Team will begin a rolling campaign to reduce domestic burglary and shed burglary throughout the district.

Op Oaklands will concentrate on one village or town each week with uniform staff mobilised in the area. They will focus on crime prevention measures, and provide security advice to residents in order to combat burglary, vehicle crime and theft.
South Cambridgeshire is a large rural community, and crime analysis has shown the area does not follow an identifiable crime pattern, as you might see in an urban area. Therefore crime prevention and intelligence led patrols are key factors to reduce crime levels.
Regular information and updates will be posted via Ecops ( and Neighbourhood Watch messaging ( as well as on our twitter account
Officers will be offering residents Smartwater property coding kits for a reduced price of £10, plus shed and window alarms at cost price.
Please find below a guide with dates when we will be visiting various villages and towns over the coming months. If you need advice on home, shed or vehicle security and don’t live in the villages listed below, please call 101 and to speak to your local PCSO.

Date and Location
03/12/2014 – 07/12/2014 Elsworth
08/12/2014 – 14/12/2014 Bassingbourn
15/12/2014 – 21/12/2014 Histon & Impington
22/12/2014 – 04/01/2015 Coton
05/01/2015 – 11/01/2015 Melbourn
12/01/2015 – 18/01/2015 West Wratting & Weston Colville
19/01/2015 – 25/01/2015 Willingham & Over
26/01/2015 – 01/02/2015 Papworth Everard
02/02/2015 – 08/02/2015 Bourn
09/02/2015 – 15/02/2015 Duxford
16/02/2015 – 22/02/2015 Linton
23/02/2015 – 01/03/2015 Swavesey
02/03/2015 – 08/03/2015 Great & Little Shelford
09/03/2015 – 15/03/2015 Stapleford
16/03/2015 – 22/03/2015 Harston
23/03/2015 – 29/03/2015 Hauxton

N.B. This table will be updated each month, with new information. The deployment of officers may be changed in certain circumstances according to current policing needs.

Register your local speeding concern.

Speeding is regularly raised as a concern at our local panel meetings and we have encouraged local residents to speak to their Parish Council if they feel there is a particular problem in their village, and to consider setting up a speedwatch made up of volunteers who are trained to carry out speed checks. A number of these schemes are now in existence and they are doing a great job reminding drivers of the need to keep to the speed limit. To support these schemes and address community concerns about speeding we have set up a system whereby anyone can ask for a police speed check by using the link below:

You will be asked to give the location, any particular times when vehicles are regularly speeding and what the speed limit of the road is. We cannot carry out checks on roads where the limit is over 50 miles an hour for officer safety reasons. Once the speed check is carried out we will feed back the results to the relevant Parish Council and if appropriate speedwatch to help identify whether further road safety options should be considered.

Join us at the Sawston panel meeting on the 12th of June in Linton

The Sawston Panel Meeting takes place this Thursday the 12th of June and provides everyone with an opportunity to discuss local issues. Residents and business owners are encouraged to attend and share their crime and disorder concerns, thereby influencing local policing priorities for the next four months. If you can’t attend you are welcome to tweet us your views @southcambscops or email us via the local pages of our main website


The meeting starts at 7:30 pm and is taking place at Linton Heights Junior School, Wheatsheaf Way, Linton. The villages covered by this meeting are Babraham; Balsham; Bartlow; Carlton; Castle Camps; Duxford; Fen Ditton; Fulbourn; Great Abington; Great Shelford; Great Wiblraham; Hildersham; Hinxton; Horningsea and Horseheath.


Download panel document here:Sawston Panel June 2014

Hope to see you at the meeting!

Join us at the Histon Panel Meeting on the 11th of June at Swavesey Village College

The Histon Panel Meeting takes place this Wednesday the 11th of June and provides everyone with an opportunity to discuss local issues. Residents and business owners are encouraged to attend and share their crime and disorder concerns, thereby influencing local policing priorities for the next four months. If you can’t attend you are welcome to tweet us your views @southcambscops or email us via the local pages of our main website


The meeting starts at 7:30 pm and is taking place in the Global Environment Centre at Swavesey Village College. The villages covered by this meeting are Bar Hill; Boxworth; Chittering; Conington; Cottenham; Dry Drayton; Elseworth; Fen Drayton; Girton; Graveley; Histon and Impington; Knapwell; Landbeach; Lolworth; Longstanton; Milton; Oakington and Westwick; Orchard Park; Over; Papworth Everard; Papworth St Agnes; Rampton; Swavesey; Waterbeach; Willingham

Download panel document here:histon-area-update-2014

Hope to see you at the meeting!