Leave Santa to deliver gifts this Christmas

In social media polls, 43% of people said they left presents under their tree ahead of Christmas Eve, which sadly can be a temptation for opportunist burglars.

Police are asking people to consider hiding gifts away until Christmas Eve to help prevent burglaries in the run up to Christmas.

Typically, the force sees an increase in burglaries in the winter months, but many of these burglaries are done by chance, and can often be prevented by people taking simple steps to help ensure their home doesn’t become a target.

Between June and August this year, there were 40 reported burglaries in South Cambridgeshire. So far, there has been a 45 per cent increase, with 58 reported burglaries between September to November.

The county’s Acquisitive Crime Teams are working hard to catch offenders and put them before the courts and proactive target offenders before they can commit offences.

Detective Sergeant Justin Parr said: “With the Christmas festivities upon us, it’s so important to ensure your home is protected to the best ability from burglars.

“Many people go away during the festivities, and I would advise against advertising it on social media. Most people have many friends on social media networks and they in turn have friends so people you may not know well could become aware of your plans. I would suggest only telling trusted friends, family, and neighbours if your house will be unoccupied.”

Det Sgt Parr also advised keeping Christmas presents out of sight.

He said: “Avoid putting presents under the tree until Christmas morning. Instead, keep them in closed wardrobes or cupboards, or underneath beds. That way they are not visible from outside.

“If you are discarding packaging for your new gifts, break down any boxes and put them in the bin, not beside it. Burglars target properties where they can see expensive gifts have been opened.”


Other advice includes:

  • Closing blinds or curtains at night to prevent people from looking in. If you are away asking a neighbour to do this for you.
  • Leaving radios or lights on, or on a timer, to make your home appear occupied – or invest in security cameras or doorbells to watch over your property and deter criminals
  • Making sure gifts and shopping bags are not visible in your car
  • If you’re expecting deliveries, making sure they’re put somewhere safe and not left outside your front door
  • Not leaving doors and windows open or unlocked even when you’re in the house


This year, officers have worked hard to secure convictions of tens of burglars caught in the county, with sentences totalling more than 84 years.

Det Sgt Parr added: “The Acquisitive Crime Teams across the county will continue to catch offenders, and we’re pleased to have successfully prosecuted 29 burglars since the beginning of the year. Burglars won’t stop this Christmas, but please help us to help you, and protect your home where you can.

“We hope you do not need us over the festive period but if you do, we will be here”.

Over the month, we will be sharing top tips and advice across our various social media channels. Keep an eye on Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s Facebook page and @CambsCops to follow the campaign.


For more burglary crime prevention advice, visit Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s website.

Christmas Tree Lights!

Reminder that the Christmas Tree Lights will be switched on tomorrow (Saturday) between 4 pm and 6 pm. All welcome!

Elf sightings around Barton

Advent has begun and the village is overrun with elves bringing joy to everyone! Please keep your eyes peeled for these cheeky little creatures – reports are coming in that Christmas elf mischief has been spotted on the following streets:

New Road – 4 elf sightings
Comberton Road – 4 elf sightings
Great Close – 1 elf sighting
Ivy Field – 1 elf sighting
The Six Houses, Comberton Road – 1 elf sighting (visible from the road)
Allens Close – 1 elf sighting
Mailes Close – 1 elf sighting
Holben Close – 1 elf sighting
Kings Grove – 2 elf sightings
Foxcotte Timber and builders’ merchant and diy centre –
The Hoops

The Christmas spirit is contagious so we will update you if elves are discovered in more village locations.  Happy spotting!

Homes for Ukraine

Do you have a spare room that you could offer to a Ukrainian guest?  If so, then please text the 88802 with the word “room” as the District Council would like to hear from you.

This, of course, does not commit you in any way but will enable you to find out more about the scheme.

Teenagers Gathering on Jesus Green


“Sorry to share more depressing news but it’s important to be aware if this. Keep your teens (and your selves) away from Jesus Green on Friday and Saturday evenings… I hope the police act. The following is being shared with various secondary schools: Just in case anyone wasn’t aware on this group, the below details were from a friends school “We have received notification from the Cambridgeshire Police informing us of the tragic news of a fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old at Logan’s Meadow in Cambridge on Saturday afternoon. Additionally, they have specifically asked that we bring to your attention the nature of the ‘social gatherings’ which have been taking place on Jesus Green on Friday and Saturday evenings throughout this term, and which may be ongoing. Police log of concern shared with us Secondary school pupils across the county are meeting on Jesus Green, Cambridge every Friday and Saturday night from 1930 hrs onwards. This is being organised through Snapchat and is being advertised as an event called ‘MOTIVES’ or ‘J GREEN’; the event organisers are not known, and they only circulate the invite to school pupils of different secondary schools through word of mouth and trust – so you have to know someone to get to hear about what is being organised. Pupils have been present from as far afield as Peterborough, St Neots and South Cambs and often includes pupils who attend local private secondary schools as well. Essentially ‘Motives’ is just large groups of secondary school students sitting in groups together, who usually get the bus, cycle or get dropped off at Jesus Green. Pupils either make their own way home or get collected from McDonalds, Rose Crescent at about 2300 hrs. These meetups only started since the beginning of Term (Sept 2022) and are attended by varying volumes of students each week (depending on the weather). Unfortunately, they have rapidly become a haven for drug-taking, underage drinking, sexual assaults, pre-arranged fights, robberies and thefts. Gangs of older local men have started frequenting the area and are encouraging young girls to take drugs in exchange for sexual favours; cocaine, ecstasy and roofies are regularly being offered. There has also been several nasty assaults and knifepoint robberies on Students during these ‘Motives’ events over recent weeks; these were not reported to Police on account of Students worrying that the event will be cancelled or that they will get into trouble themselves.”

Redesigining Freelancing Survey

Creative UK and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority launches Redesigning Freelancing – the UK’s largest freelance survey to improve working conditions and drive industry change

Creative UK and the Combined Authority have launched Redesigning Freelancing, a collective initiative shaped by members and partners across the UK creative landscape to empower freelance workers and organisations to drive change and build greater equality into our freelance workforce. The initiative is working in partnership with nine Combined Authorities to reach creative communities across the UK and to understand the challenges that freelancers face locally as well as nationally.

Are you a freelancer or do you employ freelancers? Here’s your chance to have your say in the UK’s largest freelance survey, aiming to improve working conditions and drive industry change.

Please forward on to freelancers within your network.

Complete The Survey

Neighbourhood Watch News

Welcome to our December OUR NEWS – the final newsletter for 2022. Yes, we hear you… it is not December just yet… but we wanted to get this to you in good time.


We know that everyone is under increasing financial pressure at the moment, which is why this edition highlights how to stay more protected this season whilst shopping online.


We are also pleased to bring you a selection of discounts from our corporate partners on a variety of door locks and cyber protection software, along with a 50% discount on Neighbourhood Watch branded tote bags and pin badges – ideal gifts for Coordinators. Please note that we do not want to increase pressure to purchase items but to ease the financial pressure on you.


If you are impacted by the cost of living and need some extra support, be that in financial support, money-saving tips; steps to avoid becoming a victim of crime, or support to help reduce loneliness and isolation, please visit our dedicated cost-of-living support pages on our website. The link is in the newsletter.




Keep safe,


John Hayward-Cripps

Help us reunite haul of stolen jewellery [#57378614]

We’ve recovered a significant amount of jewellery which we suspect has been stolen from homes across Cambridgeshire and beyond.

Earlier this month we uncovered more than 200 items including rings, necklaces, watches, earrings, brooches and cufflinks as part of investigations into burglaries in Cambridgeshire.

We’re keen to reunite these items with their rightful owners. Many of the items will no doubt hold significant sentimental value to their owners.

You can view the full bank of images here. 

if you believe any of the items to be yours, or you know who they might belong to, please contact us online and quote reference 35/NT/19639 (Operation Belair).

Kind Regards

Detective Inspector Juliet Heald

Southern Acquisitive Crime Team

EWR Accessibility Advisory Panel

Dear Local Representatives Group Members,

We want to build a better and inclusive railway that works for everyone. To help us do that, we’re setting up an Accessibility Advisory Panel to help us understand the barriers for disabled passengers and ensure we arrive at inclusive and innovative solutions.

The panel will consist of up to eight people who live in the area between Oxford and Cambridge, representing a broad range of disabled people and impairments. They will meet on a bi-monthly basis, either in person or via Teams/Zoom.

As Local Representatives, we’re asking if you could kindly share this information with your communities. More information about how to apply to the Accessibility Advisory Panel can be found here.

Kind regards,


Caroline Eglinton

Head of Inclusion 

Support for Ukraine: It all starts with a spare room

Support for Ukraine: It all starts with a spare room

A major campaign has been launched to appeal for more hosts in South Cambridgeshire and the city of Cambridge to support families from Ukraine. Anyone who can offer a room is being asked to text ROOM to 88802.

Between the two areas, a total of almost 500 hosts have already been providing housing to guests. However, with the war in Ukraine continuing, and with it not being safe for many families to return, there is an ongoing demand to provide them with a safe place to stay.

Anyone who can offer a spare room and warm welcome is being asked to text ROOM to 88802 so that the councils can support them through the process and match hosts to guests who have already started to settle in the local area.

Read more, and watch video stories from current hosts and guests, at www.scambs.gov.uk/support-for-ukraine-it-all-starts-with-a-spare-room


If I can provide you with any further information about this appeal, please do not hesitate to ask.


Many thanks,




Tom Horn | Senior Communications Officer