The Wycombe District Neighbourhood Watch Association (WDNHWA) have been in touch with some security advice, and an offer to help launch or relaunch local groups. If you are interested, get in touch with your local group or with WDNHWA; their website is at www.neighbourhoodwatchwycombe.org, and you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s their useful security advice:
Street signs and window stickers:
These are free of charge for NHW members, email us if you need more. Burglars are put off by the presence of NHW street signs and No Doorstep Selling Zone street signs on lamp-posts or BT poles. So, if you don’t have them for your scheme, or if yours have been damaged, do get in touch with us and we will supply them free of charge. We can also supply NHW stickers, No Cold Callers stickers, and ‘101’ reminder cards.
New committee members are always welcome and we would be pleased to hear from you, even if you are just interested in helping in your area. We meet to discuss events and activities with the aim of increasing our already flourishing NHW coverage in the area. We are particularly keen to recruit additional Area Co-ordinators within High Wycombe.
Tell the scam man to “scram”:
Pensioners are becoming increasingly easy targets for fraud and are warned to be alert for the “get-rich-quick” con man. The advice comes following a 25% jump in fraud cases over the past year. Accountancy group KPMG revealed that UK courts dealt with the third consecutive annual increase in fraud cases. It said fraudsters were increasingly using positions of authority to prey on “gullible” investors, especially pensioners who were freed from the requirements to buy an annuity and were desperately looking for places to invest.
Your bank will NEVER ask – but a fraudster will:
– Call or email you to ask for your full PIN or any online banking passwords.
– Send someone to your home to collect cash, bank cards, or anything else.
– Ask you to authorise the transfer of funds to a new account or hand over cash.
– Ask you to carry out a “test transaction” online.
– Send an email with a link to a website that asks you to enter your online banking details.
– Ask you to email or text personal or banking information.
– Provide banking services through any mobile apps other than the bank’s official apps.
– Call to advise you to buy diamonds, land, or other commodities.
WDNHWA is keen to develop more local schemes and to help enhance existing ones wherever possible. If you are at least receiving and distributing the Alert crime information messages to your neighbours, that’s fine, but we would urge you to keep in mind these key points re NHW:
– To look out for yourselves and your neighbours.
– To report crimes and importantly, the suspicions of crime to the police and to feel assured that the police do want to hear from you even for suspicions.
– To keep an eye out for anyone in your communtiy who appears o be vulnerable, particulary to those calling door-to-door.
– To take care over anyone in your community who may have a fear of crime. Knowing the true situation may comfort them.
Fortunately, the crime figures for the Wycombe District are showing a constant decline in acquisitive crimes and we are confident that the strong presence of NHW in the district has contributed to this decline. However, we need to keep on being vigilant. Unfortunately, there seems to be an increase in the very many types of cons and scams. Furthermore, so many of these crimes or attempted crimes affect the elderly and infirm and so many of them go unreported. Consequently, WDNHWA wishes to make its presence felt where needed in these areas. We already have NHW schemes based on about 40 different sheltered, retirement or care homes, but more would be welcome. We also wish to emphasise the need to report crimes and attempted crimes.
Reporting fraud, or attempted fraud:
Contact Action Fraud, which is a police body specifically dealing with fraud:
– phone: 0300.123.2040
You can report fraud and attempted fraud via this website.
A couple of unusual tips:
– Pickpockets often hang around near “Beware of Pickpockets” signs and then watch people instinctively tap their pockets to pinpoint their valuables.
– Don’t keep your driving licence with your credit cards. Losing your cards is bad enough without giving the thief your address, full name, and date of birth.
Do visit our website (see above). It contains lots of useful advice and many links to other organisations that are involved in helping to prevent crime or ones that are compatible with our interests. Do also take note of the discount arrangements that are available for NHW members on the page called “Security products for sale”.
Call the police:
The “999” emergency number remains in use nationwide. It is for crimes that are taking place. For all other matters, the phone number for the police is “101” and this also operates nationwide. You don’t need to try to find the phone number of your local police station, just call “101”.