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SUFFOLK COUNTY — Suffolk County police are joining Anglian Water in a campaign to raise awareness of schemes that criminals have been using to get access to people’s homes.

RAFs Mildenhall, Lakenheath and Feltwell are in Suffolk.

The water company is warning that burglars have been conning their way into people’s homes by claiming to be from the “water board” or that there has been some sort of water emergency, according to a police news release.

“They tend to prey on the older and more vulnerable members of our communities,” said Community Safety Officer David Dyble in the news release. “The number of crimes that involve bogus callers or rogue traders are relatively few in comparison with other types of crime.

“However, the emotional effect on the victim, their relatives, friends and neighbors cannot be underestimated,” he said.

The campaign, called “Always Doubt, Keep Them Out,” is designed to remind people of their rights when it comes to visitors.

“Your home is your castle, and you do not have to let anyone in,” Dyble said. “Even a police officer would require a warrant to gain access to your home without your permission.”

Authorities campaign to keep car electronics safePETERBOROUGH — Cambridgeshire Police have launched a campaign to stop thefts of satellite navigation systems, car stereos and mobile phones from cars as Christmas draws closer.

The campaign, which was launched last week in Peterborough, north of RAFs Alconbury and Molesworth, aims to educate county residents about the possibility of an increase in these types of thefts around the holidays.

“With Christmas just around the corner, people will be giving and receiving satellite navigation systems, car stereos and mobile phones as gifts,” said Shirley Simpson, county volume crime team member, in a police news release.

“It is very easy to see … [these items], especially those in a hands-free holder,” she said. “They are often left in the car without a second thought.”

Police and businesses will be passing out fliers throughout the county in the coming weeks to remind people to place identifying marks on their property.

If properly marked, these items could deter thefts, according to the news release, or aid police in recovering stolen items.

“The laminated leaflets, which act as a reminder to vehicle owners to keep their property safe, can be kept in the car and also double up as an ice scraper, which can be used on the windscreen when the frost hits,” Simpson said.

Police will be handing out the fliers in the Waitrose parking lot in Ely from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

Police now armed with TasersCAMBRIDGE — Cambridgeshire Police are now carrying Tasers — hand-held electrical devices designed to incapacitate a person — during their rounds in the county.

Police demonstrated the Tasers during a recent media event. One was fired at the firing range and another used during a mock incident.

Tasers are used by American police, but have been criticized by human rights groups. Last year, Amnesty International issued a report recommending a nationwide ban on Tasers. Between 2001 and 2004, the report states, 720 people died in the U.S. after being shocked by the instruments.

The instruments fire two metal darts at the end of a wire that latch onto a suspect, delivering 50,000 volts of electricity, hopefully stopping the suspect. They’ve got a range of about 21 feet.

Britain has authorized the use of two models from Taser International, the largest manufacturer of Tasers.

Only officers authorized to carry firearms will be allowed to carry the Tasers.

According to a news release from the British Home Office, police can use the Tasers “as a less lethal alternative for use in situations where a firearms authority has been granted. …”

RAFs Alconbury, Molesworth and Upwood are in Cambridgeshire.

Police forces around U.S. military bases in Suffolk and Gloustershire counties and in the Thames Valley area also use Tasers.

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