Christmas Burglary – What a crime!

Was there any time as a child that you went to bed looking at the lovely presents under your Christmas tree, and when you asked, “how many sleeps left before I get to open my presents?” you were told, “Only four”. But alas you woke up the next morning only to learn that you might not be having those gifts after all?

Hopefully the answer is ‘no’. But again, that really was the case recently for a family in the Horley area.

Burglars stole presents worth about £1,000 at Wolverton Gardens, Horley sometime between midnight and 3am on Wednesday, December 21.

Police said the occupants of the home were asleep upstairs at the time.

The Surrey Police are also still searching for a Runnymede man wanted in connection with another burglary which took place earlier in the month at an address in Rutherwyk Road, Chertsey.

The Police subsequently launched a new section on the Force’s website to trace those both wanted and suspected of being involved in various burglary offences across the county. Also, it launched a campaign to help homeowners avoid becoming the victims of burglary.

The campaign includes a short video and radio adverts urging the public to protect their homes and possessions and not to make life easy for burglars by leaving their wrapped presents in view under the Christmas tree.

Christmas 2011 has come and gone and the year 2012 is just around the corner. Hopefully come next December, more people will keep their trees away from easy view and enjoy a happy Christmas with their families.

<>Rhenium Pictures, another great website.

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The Veteran Car Run: 115 years, and still counting

Lovers of the century old tradition once again braced the weather for the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

As the longest running motoring event in the world, the near-60 mile run from Hyde Park to the Madeira Drive in Brighton has continued to attract famous racing drivers and celebrities. And although the only cars allowed to participate in this event are those built before 1905, the turn out of participants has continued to impress organizers. Close to 550 entries were submitted ahead of the 2011 event.

The first run took place on 14 November 1896, in celebration of the Locomotives on Highways Act (1986) which had replaced previous Acts and increased the speed limit of locomotives to 14 mph. Motorists set off from 7am and attempt to arrive at their destination by 4.30pm.

Because of the 20 mph limit now set for all entries, the event which currently takes place on the first Sunday in November sometimes takes its toll on traffic; particularly in some built up areas along its route. Never the less, it is often a joy to watch participants dressed up in late Victorian styles and tackling hills in their vintage cars.

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Car Vandalism Spree in Merstham

Vandals caused some innocent persons unnecessary inconvenience, by causing damage to their parked vehicles last Tuesday(Oct 4, 2011).

Although the incident which took place in the Merstham area is not the first of its kind, many were surprised that the offenders confidently took to a spree in broad day light. The incident took place at about 1.30pm.

Three men who later took off in a dark coloured vehicle are thought to have carried out the punishable acts and the police are now appealing for witnesses.

In total, there were about nine reports of tyres being slashed in the village and its environs.

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Salfords Custody Suite: Police Liason Meeting Begins

The Surrey Police and the Salfords & Sidlow Parish Council have held a liason meeting following the approval of the police’s plan to build a new custody centre in Salfords.

The meeting held on the 24th of August is the first in the series of meetings where the police intend to provide updates on the development of the approved custody suite and where the S & SPC can also raise concerns of residents.

Planning Inspectors had last month overruled a Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s decision to refuse a 30-cell suite on the I.O industrial estate on Salbrook road off the A23 after the application was revised and an appeal lodged by the police.

With permission now granted, the custody centre which will now have 24 cells as against 30 will include interview rooms and will serve all East Surrey, replacing the 12 cell at Reigate Police Station.

Last year’s original application by the police sparked outrage in the village with hundreds of residents expressing fears about crime increase and petitioning against the plan.

The police say they have listened to the local people and will make necessary efforts to work together with them.

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Croydon Mudslide raises questions.

Ideally, the first day of a month would often mean great things to look forward to . However, for travellers commuting to or from Croydon on August 1, it was perhaps the opposite.

The transport situation in the area turned chaotic  after a burst water pipe caused a mudslide on tracks near East Croydon station.

All train lines were blocked between East Croydon and South Croydon causing southbound services to be suspended for hours.

In sweltering conditions huge crowds queued up for replacement buses as well as regular buses which were struggling to cope with the rising number of passengers.

Although transport officials were kind enough to offer drinking water to people, the whole situation seemed rather overwhelming and beyond control. It reminded one of the chaos in October 2010 when the early snow disrupted businesses and school sessions in Surrey. Insufficient grit and shortage of personnel where some of the explanations given at the time.

In this case of the mudslide, it is quite understanding that the situation was unexpected. And yes, efforts were made to restore some train services later that day but were these efforts good enough? Can South East England actually boast of an effective rapid response system?

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Surrey teachers threaten to strike

On Thursday the 30th of June, teachers in Surrey are joining thousands of others in England and Wales in a strike action protesting pension reforms.

A good number of schools in Horley, Salfords, Reigate, Redhill and Merstham are planning to close down for the day because union members are of the opinion that changes to the current scheme will only leave them working longer, paying more and getting less when they retire.

Amongst other things, the coalition government is proposing payments towards pensions to rise; and there are suggestions that the figure could rise from 6.4 to 10 per cent.

Although the majority of teachers are supporting this move, there are those who feel that it is unnecessary. Becky, a teacher and mother who lives in Reigate thinks that the strike will affect academic plans and cause a setback to children’s development.

What about you, what do you think? Is the strike necessary, or, uncalled for?

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FA Cup 5th Round- 9,000 Crawley Fans at Old Trafford

The air was different at Old Trafford last Saturday (19th of February). You could feel the spirit of comradeship and the excitement of thousands of football lovers for some 94 minutes and 11 seconds of play.

However, despite their 1-nil victory, Manchester United were far from being the attention drawers. From the start of the game until the final whistle was blown, the 9,000 fans of the visiting Blue Square Premier side, Crawley cheered their team on and gave Alex Ferguson’s side some testing moments of play; particularly in the second half when both Matthew Tubbs and Richard Brodie had chances to secure a most desired replay.

Crawley boss, Steve Evans who had earlier predicted a 1-0 win for his side said it was a surreal moment, adding that they had gone to ‘the biggest club in the world’.

And if you do feel like giving that a thought, consider the fact that both clubs who happen to share the nickname ‘red devils’ are poles apart in terms of ratings. While Wayne Rooney could earn up to £250,000 a week, a fellow striker at Crawley FC would be content with £1,000.

The opportunity to prove their mettle at Old Trafford has therefore placed Crawley, the first non-league club to reach the 5th round of the FA Cup in 17 years on new scales. A recent visit to the Broadfield stadium in Crawley showed club faithfuls queuing up for regular tickets when in the past, according to a fan, you could just stroll down to watch a match.

John Harris of Crawley town and Martin Thompson of Ifield youth football club, were amongst the thousands of people that made the long journey north in support of Crawley Town FC.

Watch post-match interviews here-

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