LiveSOMERSET FLOODS: Thieves target flood victims on the Levels

First published in News
Last updated

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Summary

  • Heating oil stolen from Moorland
  • Fire service quad bikes snatched in Burrowbridge
  • Thefts add to flood victims' misery
  • More rain expected later after a drier start to the day

4:15pm

STORMY conditions could bring damaging gusts of wind of up to 80mph along some southern and western coasts on Tuesday night and Wednesday, the Met Office warns.

A yellow national severe weather warning has been issued for gales and heavy rain, meaning people should be aware that severe weather is expected and should plan ahead for possible travel delays, or the disruption of day to day activities.

Will Lang, Met Office chief meteorologist, said: "We have more Atlantic depressions heading our way this week.

"Heavy rain and gales sweeping in from the west later on Tuesday and for Wednesday brings the risk of further flooding in some areas and possible disruption to transport and power supplies.

"Southern England is also at risk for further heavy rain on Thursday night.

"However, there is some uncertainty about whether this area of low pressure will reach our shores, it may stay to the south of us and we are monitoring how it will develop."

4:12pm

POLICE horses have been patrolling the Somerset Levels again today as part of an increased policing presence in the areas affected by flooding.

Officers say they have been checking on vulnerable premises and "patrolling 24/7 to prevent and detect any crime."

However, Ch Supt Caroline Peters, heading the response to the floods major incident, said: “Contrary to media reports there is NOT a crimewave on the Somerset Levels. 

"We have had two thefts – heating oil from a farm and two fire service quad bikes from a car park overnight on January 31/Feb 1.

“We've had 19 crimes in the 25sq mile area of this part of Somerset since  January 1, which is comparable to previous years – so no crime spikes.

“However we are aware of reports in the community of suspicious people and vehicles being seen in the area, particularly after dark.

"We have also heard rumours of people being out in boats at night, but at this stage we have no information to substantiate that.

“Our message to the community is that we will do all we can to protect you and your property.

"I would ask everyone to be alert, to look out for your neighbours, and to call us at any time if we are needed.

“In the Northmoor area the flood waters have been rising. We have identified 13 properties at risk.

"We have visited all those homes offering help and advice and we have had officers filling sandbags."

Bridgwater Mercury:

Chief Superintendent Caroline Peters

3:51pm

ENVIRONMENT Secretary Owen Paterson has just been speaking in the House of Commons:

 

3:00pm

2:56pm

11:47am

THIS video was shot by a passenger on a train going across the Somerset Levels on Friday.

Email your videos to newsdesk@countygazette.co.uk

10:31am

OTHER measures taken by police include deploying horses on the Levels, and increasing the number of neighbourhood officers and Special Constables in the area. 

A police spokesman said: "It has also been arranged that officers will make regular patrols day and night to provide a high-visibility presence and reassurance to residents.

"We’re asking people across the Levels to be on alert for any suspicious people or vehicles, particularly during the hours of darkness."

Volunteers went door-to-door on parts of the Levels yesterday, checking to see if people are running short on essentials like fuel.

The spokesman added: "As part of our policing co-ordination role as the floods continue, we are looking to help to arrange weekly community meetings, where people can ask the authorities questions and be kept up to date with any developments.

"We’re asking people not to be flood tourists and not to travel to the Somerset Levels if they don’t have a legitimate reason.

"It can hamper the work of the various agencies here, and can actually put people in danger."

Anybody with information about the weekend's thefts, or with concerns about suspicious activity in the area, is asked to call the police non-emergency number, 101.

9:31am

THIEVES have been compounding the misery of Somerset’s flood victims, it has emerged.

Police say around 600 gallons of domestic heating oil were stolen from a farm in Moorland, while two fire service quad bikes were taken from Burrowbridge.

The thefts are believed to have happened overnight from Friday into Saturday.

Last night, the National Police Air Service helicopter flew over the Levels, to serve as a “visible deterrent” to thieves, police said.

A police spokesman said: “It is part of an increased police presence in the area.

"We have more neighbourhood officers on the ground, with Special Constables touring the area as well.

"We have also arranged for officers to make regular patrols of the area day and night to provide a high-visiblity presence and reassurance to residents.”

Ch Supt Caroline Peters, heading the response to the floods major incident, said: “We are aware of reports in the community of suspicious people and vehicles being seen in the area, particularly after dark.

“We have also heard rumours of people being out in boats at night, but at this stage we have no information to substantiate that.

“Our message to the community is that we will do all we can to protect you and your property.

"I would ask everyone to be alert, to look out for your neighbours, and to call us at any time if we are needed.”

Comments (8)

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10:19am Mon 3 Feb 14

Anonone says...

Nothing surprises me these days. How low can these vermin sink - perhaps beneath the floods. We are just so soft on these petty criminals. If found perhaps the theft of Fire Service Quads could be charge of endangering life
Nothing surprises me these days. How low can these vermin sink - perhaps beneath the floods. We are just so soft on these petty criminals. If found perhaps the theft of Fire Service Quads could be charge of endangering life Anonone
  • Score: 27

1:36pm Mon 3 Feb 14

LookingForLiars says...

If the Police had caught them and it was a first offence, the Police would let them go. Fact
If the Police had caught them and it was a first offence, the Police would let them go. Fact LookingForLiars
  • Score: 1

4:13pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Anonone says...

and what if the farming community caught them........
and what if the farming community caught them........ Anonone
  • Score: 15

4:13pm Mon 3 Feb 14

InsiderintheEA says...

Inside the Environment Agency have been exposing the failings of the Environment Agency for going on a year now: http://www.insidethe
environmentagency.co
.uk/
Inside the Environment Agency have been exposing the failings of the Environment Agency for going on a year now: http://www.insidethe environmentagency.co .uk/ InsiderintheEA
  • Score: 6

4:36pm Mon 3 Feb 14

FreeSpeech? says...

Looters should be shot!
Looters should be shot! FreeSpeech?
  • Score: 15

4:45pm Mon 3 Feb 14

nat_11 says...

FreeSpeech? wrote:
Looters should be shot!
totally agree - bring in the stand your ground law , and shoot the turds when they perpetrate!
[quote][p][bold]FreeSpeech?[/bold] wrote: Looters should be shot![/p][/quote]totally agree - bring in the stand your ground law , and shoot the turds when they perpetrate! nat_11
  • Score: 13

9:07pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Useacarpark.com says...

And what will happen when the government spend £5million on flood defences for the levels.......134 police officers are due to be cut from the current budget, so it will only get worse. I can understand why holland invest in protecting the 27% of land that lies below sea level, as 60% of the population live there. The levels are a complete opposite! They say purchasing a house is the biggest investment in a persons life, so to purchase one on an area that is renowned for flooding is just silly in my eyes. I think it's time that the council looked at compulsory purchasing some of these properties and using some of the land as a dedicated flood plain
And what will happen when the government spend £5million on flood defences for the levels.......134 police officers are due to be cut from the current budget, so it will only get worse. I can understand why holland invest in protecting the 27% of land that lies below sea level, as 60% of the population live there. The levels are a complete opposite! They say purchasing a house is the biggest investment in a persons life, so to purchase one on an area that is renowned for flooding is just silly in my eyes. I think it's time that the council looked at compulsory purchasing some of these properties and using some of the land as a dedicated flood plain Useacarpark.com
  • Score: 2

12:17am Fri 7 Feb 14

Old Phucker says...

Many readers would undoubtedly like to read the next episode of "Mr. Blobby"s Adventures in Western Toyland". A sneak preview of the work, a few years back, suggested that when the ringleaders were arrested, the rest of them would do a runner. What we want to know is, the ringleaders of what, exactly?. Mr. Blobby knows. So do the Squealers - and it is said in Toyland circles they have been squealing for a while.
Many readers would undoubtedly like to read the next episode of "Mr. Blobby"s Adventures in Western Toyland". A sneak preview of the work, a few years back, suggested that when the ringleaders were arrested, the rest of them would do a runner. What we want to know is, the ringleaders of what, exactly?. Mr. Blobby knows. So do the Squealers - and it is said in Toyland circles they have been squealing for a while. Old Phucker
  • Score: -4

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