SOUTH HANNINGFIELD PARISH DISTRICT
Co-ordinators: Terry Lowing; Peter Huntington
My name is Terry Lowing and I have been the NHW coordinator for South Hanningfield, Ramsden Heath and Downham since 2011. I am supported by Peter Huntington who joined us earlier this year and who is a coordinator for the same areas.
Firstly we would like to apologise for the lack of information and communications for many months. This has been due to the reduction in PCSO’s by Essex Police, which has resulted in a lack of any information being communicated to NHW areas in the Chelmsford area.
We have raised this issue with Chelmsford Police and the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, and over the past few weeks we have started to receive the occasional report on incidents in the Chelmsford area, of which we are part. The reports still need to be improved in terms of regularity and their breakdown by geographical area to improve their usefulness.
Despite the faults with the information we have decided to restart communicating with you again, although it may be somewhat hit and miss in the initial stages until we start to get regular and clearer reports from the Police.
In the meantime we would be happy to receive information from any of our existing NHW members and would welcome anyone who wishes to become a member.
Peter is responsible for communications and maintaining the membership distribution list. He can be contacted by email at mailto:email@example.com
Any suspected incidents should be reported direct to: Essex Police, Tel 101
To find out what is happening in your neighbourhood and all about your local neighbourhood policing team visit http://www.essex.police.uk/my_neighbourhood.aspx and enter your postcode
If you know of neighbours or friends in the village who would like to be on the list or if you have any questions regarding the scheme please contact Terry Lowing or Peter Huntington by email at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelmsford Group of Neighbourhood Watches Autumn / Winter NewsletterChNhW-newnewsletter-Autumn-winter-r2018
The answer can be to go low tech, steering wheel locks and pedal locks take time to overcome.
Have an after sales tracker fitted and don’t put a sign in the window saying you have one!
Park your car front on to the house and preferably at a really awkward angle to reverse from.
Something really simple that makes an unexpected noise – daft as it sounds a few tin cans and a piece of string etc placed where it has to be crossed to gain access to the car. Or if like a lot of folk around here you have one posh car and one less so, block the posh car in with the other one.
Yes it is a pain, but if you make your car a nuisance to move they will move on to the next less protected one with any luck. The fact is that LandRovers in particular are full of very valuable spare parts. A newish Discovery will break to a higher value in parts and much more easy to hide and sell than as a car.
Get pro active and make the village too much of a pain to bother with
KEEP SAFE THIS SUMMER
Many of us will be out and about with our family and friends and, enjoying outdoor activities over the next few months.
Here are a few thoughts and facts to consider:-
● A Fire can destroy a tent in less than 60 seconds.
● In the UK, around 79,000 fires are started on grass and heath land every year (This is an average of 216 every day!)
● On average, 1,400 fires per year occur in caravans.
● Avoid: open fires in the countryside. Always have them in safe, designated areas.
● Never, throw cigarette ends or matches out of car windows. (Such thoughtless actions, are the cause of thousands of fires every year).
● Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands, or anywhere that sunlight shining through glass, can start a fire.
● Remember, Barbecues and excess alcohol do not mix. Always ensure that safety guidelines are followed, and that the Barbecue is under the control of a responsible, sober adult.
Children are naturally curious about barbecues! They want to see what’s going on, how well lit it is, what’s cooking and are always keen to know when it’s going to be ready to eat. They’re drawn to where the cooking is going on, yet that’s the most dangerous place to be. In fact, each year about 1,000 people suffer injuries, such as burns, caused by barbecues.
Ensure children are supervised well at any barbecue. Tell them of the dangers of going close to the barbecue and that the person doing the cooking needs to have plenty of space to cook safely. Running about and playing in the garden may not be practical if the garden is small, and you don’t want to run the risk of a child colliding with the barbecue.
Instead, organising for an adult to play games with children away from the cooking area is beneficial, such as inside the house or in a front garden. Or, if you haven’t got much space, perhaps they can take them out to a park whilst the cooking is in action. This way, they could certainly use up some energy and work up an appetite before they come back and eat!
Setting the Barbecue Up Safely
Firstly, ensure that it is alright to light a barbecue or Fire at your chosen location. (Many open spaces such as Epping Forest are protected by Bylaws which make it illegal to do so).
To ensure everyone stays safe when you’re barbecuing, the person in charge needs to set up the cooking device correctly, on a clear flat surface, light it properly and take care as they start to cook.
• Before you start, ensure the barbecue is in good working order.
• Find a place to set it up where the ground is flat and way from any sheds, fences, trees or overhanging shrubs.
• Never light a barbecue indoors or in a garage.
• Use charcoal and cover the base of the barbecue – about two inches deep.
• Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lighting your barbecue, as models differ.
• If it’s windy, ensure the wind is blowing away from you when you light the barbecue.
• Keep children away from the barbecue as you light it.
• Don’t wear loose clothing, or anything could dangle onto the flames.
• Don’t use any flammable accelerants, such as paraffin or petrol.
• Light the barbecue at arms length.
• Once the barbecue is lit, keep children away from it.
• Keep a bucket of water close at hand, in case of emergencies.
• Never leave the barbecue unattended and don’t try to move it whilst it’s lit.
• When you’ve finished cooking, don’t try to move the barbecue until it has cooled down completely. Then empty the ashes onto garden soil.
• Don’t put ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin – if they are still even slightly hot, they’ll melt the plastic and cause a fire.
Remember this sobering thought:-
One Tree can make a million matches
One match can destroy a million Trees!
ONE CIGARETTE BUTT CAN DO JUST AS MUCH DAMAGE!
May 3, 2018
Chelmsford Neighbourhood Watch Spring 2018 NewsletterChNhW-newnewsletter-Spring-Summer2018
Keyless car theft: Crime prevention advice from Essex Police
1. Store your keys away from household entry points. Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough – thieves only need to gain proximity to the key to amplify the signal. Faraday Bags can be purchased online and in stores, these will prevent your signal being intercepted and your vehicle stolen.
2. Despite social media or public opinion, DO NOT leave keys in the fridge, microwave or a tin as this may do more damage to the key and is unlikely to be effective.
3. Review your car security. Check for after-market security devices such as steering locks or trackers, which are proven to deter thieves. If your vehicle has a manufacturer’s installed tracker, check with your insurers before you alter it as it may invalidate your insurance.
4. Contact your dealer and talk about the digital features in your car. Have there been any software updates you can take advantage of?
5. If you have a garage, use it!
Automated Action Fraud Tech Support scam calls
ActionFraud, are aware of fraudsters claiming to be from Action Fraud contacting victims using automated phone calls in order to gain remote access to their computers and drain bank accounts.
How does this scam work?
Victims are receiving cold-calls from fraudsters purporting to represent Action Fraud. When the calls are answered, an automated voice asks the responder to “press 1 if you have made a report to Action Fraud.” When the responder presses 1, they are transferred to a fraudster.
Victims are informed that their computers have been hacked, which has led to their online bank account being compromised and funds being withdrawn. One particular victim was told that £40,000 had fraudulently left their account.
Questions that are commonly asked by fraudsters include asking whether the victim’s broadband router is displaying flashing lights, as well as asking for/confirming personal information.
This leads to the fraudster asking for remote access to the victim’s computer, via a remote access tool. Once the fraudster has gained remote access to the machine, they are often also able to access the victim’s online banking – either with permission or without. The fraudsters have used the names, “Officer John Thompson”, “David Jones” and have been using several different telephone numbers, with “02921328585” appearing on multiple occasions.
Victims have later discovered that it was not Action Fraud that had contacted them and accessed their computer and banking systems.
What you need to do: –
• Even if the caller is able to provide you with details such as your full name, don’t give out any personal or financial information during a cold call. Never grant the caller remote access to your computer, never go to a website they give you and never install software as a result of the call.
• Action Fraud does not use an automated machine to speak to victims of fraud. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.
• If you think your bank or personal details have been compromised, or if you believe you have been defrauded, contact your bank immediately.
• Stop all communication with the caller, make a note of their details and report it to us. Every report matters: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
If you think you have downloaded a virus, consider having your computer looked at by a trusted technician in order to determine if malicious software was installed on your machine during the call.
Premium rate ‘Insolvency Service’ phone scam
Members of the public are being warned not to fall for a telephony scam which asks you to make premium-rate calls to the Insolvency Service.
The Insolvency Service is a Government agency that supports people in financial distress, tackling financial wrongdoing and maximising returns to creditors.
They have been made aware of a scam where members of the public are receiving telephone messages to make unscheduled and unnecessary calls to the Insolvency Service.
Not only are unsuspecting members of the public being asked to make unnecessary calls, but they are being asked to dial a telephone number that although does connect to the Insolvency Service, is not one of their official numbers and is premium-rate that costs a lot of money.
According to the Government agency the scam appears to be instigated by a website based outside of the UK.
They Insolvency Service has given the following advice;
• _If you’re being asked to call the Insolvency Service but you are not going through a bankruptcy or insolvency matter – be careful as it could be a scam phone call.
• _Take a look at the number you’re being asked to call – if it looks like it’s a premium rate number then it might not be legitimate.
• _If you’re still unsure about the number, check the official Insolvency Service website https://www.gov.uk/governm…/organisations/insolvency-service to see if it is one of our numbers.
• _You can also check numbers using a standard search engine as if it is a legitimate number you will be taken to an official website.
Action Fraud reports show £6.7 million lost to holiday booking fraud
• _The City of London Police, ABTA and Get Safe Online join forces to combat holiday fraud.
• _Fraudsters stole £6.7 million from 4,700 unsuspecting holidaymakers and other travellers in 2017.
• _575 people received medical treatment or were at risk of bankruptcy as a result.
A report compiled by Action Fraud, which is run by the City of London Police, reveals the scale of reported crime and exposes the common tactics used by fraudsters.
The average amount lost per person was over £1,500, an increase of 25% year on year. These individual losses are substantial, but this form of fraud also has other severe effects with almost half (2,245) of victims saying that it also had a significant impact on their health or financial wellbeing. Most worryingly of all, 575 people said the impact on them was so severe that they had to receive medical treatment or were at risk of bankruptcy.
In 2017, the most common types of holiday booking fraud reported to Action Fraud related to:
• _Holiday accommodation – fraudsters are making full use of the internet to con holidaymakers by setting up fake websites, hacking into legitimate accounts and posting fake adverts on websites and social media.
• _Airline tickets – where a person believes they are booking a flight and receives a fake ticket or pays for a ticket that never turns up. In 2017, flights to Africa and the Indian sub-continent were particularly targeted.
• _Sports and religious trips – a popular target for fraud due to limited availability of tickets and consequently higher prices.
• _Caravanning – Action Fraud reported a number of people reporting being the victim of fraud relating to mobile home holidays.
Top tips to avoid becoming a victim of travel fraud:
• _Stay safe online: Check the web address is legitimate and has not been altered by slight changes to a domain name – such as going from .co.uk to .org
• _Do your research: Don’t just rely on one review – do a thorough online search to check the company’s credentials. If a company is defrauding people there is a good chance that consumers will post details of their experiences, and warnings about the company.
• _Look for the logo: Check whether the company is a member of a recognised trade body such as ABTA. If you have any doubts, you can verify membership of ABTA online, at www.abta.com.
• _Pay safe: Wherever possible, pay by credit card and be wary about paying directly into a private individual’s bank account.
• _Check documentation: You should study terms and conditions and be very wary of any companies that don’t provide any at all. When booking through a Holiday Club or Timeshare, get the contract thoroughly vetted by a solicitor before signing up.
• _Trust your instincts: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
• _Report it: Victims should contact Action Fraud: – https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by calling 0300 123 20 40
• _Get free expert advice: For further advice on how to stay safe when booking or researching travel online, visit Get Safe Online: –https://www.getsafeonline.org/
FACE BOOK SECURITY – Can You Trust Your Facebook Friends?
You get a message from someone you think you know who wants to become one of your Facebook Friends.
Should be okay, right? Maybe not.
Right now, one of the most common ruses on this site is the so-called Facebook clone scam.
In this trick, crooks target Facebook accounts with weak or no privacy settings.
They set up similar sites that mimic the original, stealing all the info and pictures, and then contact all the victim’s friends with a fake friendship request, trying to fool them into accepting them again.
It’s amazing that some users don’t first check their list of friends when they receive these requests and happily accept the clone as a genuine new friend, whom, they think, they already know.
The crooks then attempt various scams on your gullible friends, such as inviting them to click links to malicious websites, requesting money, and even trying to trick them into an identity theft scam.
If you’re a Facebook user, there are a couple of key steps you can take to avoid this scam.
First, always check requests against your current list of Friends.
Second, hide your list of Friends so no one else can see them or contact them, posing as you. In fact, this is good practice for every Facebook user.
It’s a privacy setting not many people seem to know about, but it’s easy to do. Here’s how:
1. Open your Facebook profile (usually by clicking your profile picture and name in the blue bar at the top of the page).
2.When your profile page opens, click on the “Friends” tab.
3. In the top, right-hand corner, you’ll see an editing icon — looks like a small pencil. Click this.
4. Now you get an option to “Edit Privacy.” Click this.
5. Now you’ll see a couple of options, the first of which is “Who can see your Friends list?”
6. Click the options on the right for a choice ranging from “Public” to “Only me.”
7. There are other options here too but choosing “Only me” ensures no one else, not even your Friends, can see this list.
That way, no one can try to scam your Friends in your name — unless they managed to hijack your account.
We have been informed that some dubious cold calling Tree surgeons/Landscape Gardeners have entered our area having been suspected of committing offences in a neighbouring area. We would advise you to think twice about engaging cold calling traders. If you need a trader for a particular job and do not have a trader by personal recommendation contact Trading Standards “Buy with Confidence Scheme” on 0345 404 0506.
Bogus Police Officers: A group of males have recently been involved in committing distraction burglaries in the Basildon, Brentwood and Thurrock areas, by posing as Police Officers. They have fake but very convincing Essex Police Identity Cards and use these to trick and scam their way into vulnerable people’s homes with the intent to steal cash and valuables.They have to date mainly been concentrating on elderly females, but everyone is at risk.
If anyone calls at your property posing as a police officer please do not let them in without first checking their identity. Please telephone 101 to verify that the person at your door is a bona-fide officer. Best advice is not to open the door to anyone you do not know or are not expecting. A good tip is to open an upstairs window if possible and speak to the caller, asking their details, before opening the door until you are certain who they are. If you mention that you are going to call the police to verify their identity, a valid police officer will be happy to wait whereas it is likely that a bogus caller will disappear quickly. Please try and note a brief description of the person at the door and give this to the police if the caller proves not to be a bona-fide officer. Other types of bogus caller also pretend to be from utility companies or similar organisations. The above advice applies in all cases.
Some general advice is given below:
Representatives from water, gas and electric companies rarely visit without appointments. Genuine callers make appointments in advance and will always be happy to wait while you check their identity. Some utility companies now also operate a password scheme for extra security – please call your provider for details.
Police or bank officials would never visit you or call you by telephone and ask for your bank details or ask you to withdraw large sums of cash. Be wary of strangers who call unexpectedly. Bogus callers succeed because they’re believable – they’re well practised and will have a convincing story and set of excuses ready. Next time the doorbell rings remember – check before you open the door.
Who to call: If you suspect you, or someone you know has been visited by a bogus caller please call the Police as soon as possible – you may well prevent other crimes occurring. In an emergency dial 999, otherwise report incidents to Essex Police on 101. You can also report any crimes or incidents free and anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you have been sold shoddy products or bought overpriced goods at the door you can report this to Consumer Direct on 03454 04 05 06.
There has been a spate of burglaries targeting more rural areas – including: Purleigh, Stock, The Hanningfields, Bickacre, Howe Green, Ramsden Heath and rural Runwell (Brock Hill area) Entry has been gained usually via the rear of the property (smashing glassed doors/windows) and some of those targeted have had alarms. Some house have also had safes which have been attached.These are mainly being committed between 1000 and 1400.
We are increasing visible patrols in these areas and from an investigation point of view, my team has some leads which I cannot share with you now, but rest assured we are doing our best to catch those responsible.
Can I please ask you to do a few things:
Ensure any really valuable or sentimental items of jewellery are safe – whether that means you take them out with you or ensure they are hidden in a very unusual place in your house.
Please be our eyes and ears – the areas concerns are geographically very large. We cannot patrol all of these areas all of the time. If you see suspicious activity, please phone 999 and report exactly what you are seeing – try and get descriptions and vehicle registrations.
Please spread the word – get this message to your neighbours and on local Facebook groups – we want as many people to know about it as possible.
If you have CCTV and are able to review it quickly, it could really help us for you to do that to establish any suspicious activity that has already happened.
Det Insp Rob Kirby