Neighbourhood Watch - Watchword

Watchword is the name given to the automatic messaging-system that is used by Gloucestershire Police to relay information to coordinators of Neighbourhood Watch schemes.

These messages comes to you from the Cirencester Local Policing Team of Gloucestershire Constabulary. Our telephone number for non-emergencies is 101 and calls cost 15p each. Visit the Constabulary website at



22 July 2017 – Message from the Cirencester Local policing team
Career criminal and drug addict from Tetbury is jailed for more than three years after burgling house while owners were on holiday
LIFELONG criminal and drug addict Charles Thomas has been jailed for more than three years for burgling a remote Tetbury house, while the owners were on holiday.
Thomas, 46, who has spent time in prison every year of his life since his teens, begged Gloucester Crown Court not to jail him again and pleaded for help to get off drugs.
When his appeal fell on deaf ears, he warned that he would be back in court again soon after his release as the cycle of offending continues.
Thomas, of Romney Road, Tetbury, admitted breaking into a house in Chavenage Lane, Tetbury, and stealing a television between May 19-29.
Prosecutor Janine Wood said the owners were away in Italy but a neighbour who was looking after their cat discovered a broken window and the £400 TV gone.
Police found Thomas' DNA in the house and he was arrested on June 8.
About £250 worth of damage had been done to the property.
Householder Jennifer Stuart, returned home the day after the raid. She said in a victim impact statement that when she and her husband heard of the raid they were immediately worried that many items of sentimental value from their parents might have been taken.
"I was very angry that someone had been in the property and upset for the young woman who was looking after the cat as I knew she would be very worried.
"It was really horrible to seek broken glass in the sitting room and damage to the wall. I was particularly concerned as my husband was going to be away for a few days and I would be alone in the house."
She said after replacing the TV she started carrying it upstairs every time she went out. It was then a 'huge relief' to hear the defendant had been arrested.
Ms Wood told the court Thomas was a 'third strike burglary' subject to a minimum three year term because of his past burglaries on a criminal record totalling 191 offences.
Emily Evans, defending, said Thomas had been abused as a child while in care and had been using cannabis since he was nine and cocaine from the age of 17.
The burglary had been opportunistic when he was walking past the house at a time when he had just lost a job and was desperate to put food on the table for his family, she said.
"He now feels that his family have given up on him and he is getting to the stage where he is giving up on himself.
"He feels no-one cars enough to listen to his problems and give him the right support to show him how to live a law abiding life.
"He feels this type of life is becoming too much for him and he doesn't want to spend time in every coming year in prison as well. "
Recorder Michael Vere-Hodge QC said the offence and the defendant's record meant it had to be immediate custody and he passed a sentence of 38 months.
As Thomas was being handcuffed in the dock to be taken down to the cells he said: "See you all again in four years time!" 


22 July 2017 – Message from the Cirencester Local policing team
This message comes from PCSO Andrea Shutt
I have received this from a resident from the Cirencester Rural North Community as he feels that it was a really worth while hour spent.... he wants to encourage others
"I've always been fairly 'security conscious' - padlocks on outbuildings, security cameras, signs and Smart Water - but I recently spent an hour with our local PCSO on a Crime Reduction Survey and it taught me that I'm not that smart myself!
A pair of professionally trained eyes sees things you never noticed before, often right in front of your eyes! Little things that just make it that little bit harder for someone to take advantage of you.
If you haven't had a Survey then have one now, for FREE  - and feel a bit more secure."
A local resident of The Coln Valley