On the Beat

Police Reports:

Police attend Community Council meetings when an officer is available and their report is included in the minutes. Essentially Kilmorack is a low crime area and therefore reports of crime are few and far between. However crime is moving into the rural areas and it is important to be aware and report strange vehicles or people in areas they should not be. Heating oil theft, tractors and tools are all targets happy policemanof the modern thief. Vigilance will keep that at bay for our area. Last year we did get hay bales stolen from a local farm. Poaching is a problem in the area both of salmon and deer. If you have concerns phone 101 and inform the local police. After all that is what they are there for!

Non urgent Police contacts

For urgent Police response the phone number is still 999 but for non urgent response dial 101

If I want to contact the police anonymously?
• Contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also visit its website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Foraging for wild foods.

Mushroom picking and collecting wild fruits is an often misunderstood element of the Access Code.

Picking wild berries and mushrooms

Customary picking of wild fungi and berries for your own consumption is not affected by the legislation. Care for the environment by following any agreed guidance on this activity. However, being on or crossing land or water for the purpose of taking away, for commercial purposes or for profit, anything in or on the land or water is excluded from access rights. Anyone collecting wild mushrooms or wild berries for commercial sale without the land owners permission is committing a crime.

Winter Driving

Prepare for the winter by keeping your vehicle well maintained before you take to the road. Reduced daylight hours and the possibility of inclement weather place additional demands on all road users.

Tips and advice on staying safe this winter

  • Take special care that brakes, tyres, lights, batteries, windscreens and wiper blades are in good condition and well maintained.  In addition, washer bottles need to contain an additive to stop the water from freezing.
  • Plan ahead.  Check the forecast, road conditions and consider alternative routes.  Allow extra time for your journey and check your planned route is free from delays.
  • When did you last check your tyres?  Tyres should be checked weekly to ensure they are legal and at the correct pressure (check the vehicle handbook).  The minimum legal tread depth for cars is 1.6mm across the centre ¾ of the breadth of the tread around the entire circumference (1 mm for motorcycles).  They should also be checked for bulges, cuts or tears which will weaken the tyre. Failure to maintain your tyres could lead to a maximum of £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre.
  • Windscreens, wiper blades and windows must be kept clean and free from defects.  Make sure it is properly demisted and clear of snow and ice before you drive.  Low sun can make it difficult to see and a dirty, greasy or damage windscreen can make this worse.
  • All lights including reflectors must be kept clean and clear and be in good working order. This includes registration plate lights. Cyclists must have white front and rear red lights lit at night.  Be seen and be safe.

Change the way you drive

  • When did you last check your tyres?  Tyres should be checked weekly to ensure they are legal and at the correct pressure (check the vehicle handbook).  The minimum legal tread depth for cars is 1.6mm across the centre ¾ of the breadth of the tread around the entire circumference (1 mm for motorcycles).  They should also be checked for bulges, cuts or tears which will weaken the tyre. Failure to maintain your tyres could lead to a maximum of £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre.
  • Windscreens, wiper blades and windows must be kept clean and free from defects.  Make sure it is properly demisted and clear of snow and ice before you drive.  Low sun can make it difficult to see and a dirty, greasy or damage windscreen can make this worse.
  • All lights including reflectors must be kept clean and clear and be in good working order. This includes registration plate lights. Cyclists must have white front and rear red lights lit at night.  Be seen and be safe.
  • Bad weather is often blamed for causing accidents, but the real cause is inappropriate driving for the conditions that exist.
  • In wet weather stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads.  Aquaplaning can be a frightening experience.  This is where a wedge of water builds up between the front tyres and the road surface.  The safest solution is to remove the pressure from the accelerator, allowing the vehicle to lose speed and the tyres to regain their grip.
  • Keep well back from the road user in front in icy or snowy weather.  Stopping distances can be ten times greater. When the roads are icy, drive at slow speed in as high a gear as possible; accelerate and brake very gently
  • High-sided vehicles are most affected by windy weather. Motorcyclists and cyclists can easily be blown off course particularly in open stretches of road exposed to strong crosswinds.
  • When driving in fog use dipped headlights so other drivers can see you.  Fog lights can only be used when visibility is seriously reduced to less than 100 metres but they must be switched off if visibility improves. Be prepared for a bank of fog or drifting patchy fog ahead.  Even if it seems to be clearing, you can suddenly find yourself in thick fog.
  • Avoid driving in icy or snowy conditions unless your journey is essential.  If you do you, we recommend you take an emergency kit of: scraper, de-icer, torch, first aid kit, jump leads, shovel, warm drink and emergency food in case you get stuck or break down.

Extra points to remember

  • Cyclists should have suitable lights on their bicycles and wear reflective and fluorescent clothing and a cycle helmet.
  • Parents of children who do paper rounds during the hours of darkness at this time of year should ensure their children are given this protection.
  • Pedestrians should ensure they wear bright clothing, particularly in rural areas where the street lighting is either non-existent or very limited.

Further information

Doorstep Crime

First let us say that there has been no doorstep reported crime in Kilmorack for about two years so this is something to be aware of rather than worry about. However if strangers come to the door be aware that not everyone is who they claim to be! If they say they are from the Council, phone the Council to check. Don’t use a number they give you, look it up. Even people claiming to be Police Officers may not be. If in doubt phone 101 and ask for assistance. That is what the Police are there for and they would far prefer a false alarm than a criminal getting away. Follow this link to the Booklet “Beat Doorstep Crime”  

 

 

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