Category Archives: Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch Advice

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 publicitywdnhwa@hotmail.co.uk. 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.

WDNHWA Committee:
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
http://www.actionfraud.police.uk
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.

WDNHWA website:
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”.

Helping people with memory loss. “Neighbourhood Return” pilots in Buckinghamshire

Neighbourhood Return, the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network project which uses community volunteers to search for people with memory problems who have gone missing, has just received funding from Thames Valley Police to expand its pilot area to include Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

They are contacting us to ask if you would please consider volunteering to help search for people with memory problems who have gone missing.  All you need is a mobile phone, the ability to text, and to be 18 or over.   They would not expect you to get called upon very frequently to assist.

If you agree to assist,  the project’s call centre will contact you if someone with dementia goes missing in your local area to see if you are available to help look for them.  If you are, they will text you the details of the person you are looking for and give you instructions on where to search.  If you are contacted, you can always text back ‘no’ if you are not in the area, or are not available.  You can also join or leave the search at any point by contacting the call centre.  Searches never last longer than two-and-a-half hours, after which time Thames Valley Police take over.

Your help would be greatly appreciated even if you work full time – you may do shift work or be prepared to search after work or on days off.  To ensure the success of the project they need as many people as possible to opt in, so that they can be sure there are enough people to search.  Please do consider opting in to the Neighbourhood Return project and helping to support carers of people with dementia in our area and don’t forget to spread the word amongst friends and neighbours in our locality too.  You can join the scheme directly through the Neighbourhood Return website: www.ourturn.org.uk

 

Festive Police ‘Have Your Say’

The next ‘Have Your Say’ Neighbourhood Police Officers’ surgery will be at Sir William Ramsey School, Rose Avenue, Hazlemere from 10am to 2pm on Saturday 10th December 2011. The Hazlemere Neighbourhood Policing Team invite you to drop in for coffee and mince pies and to discuss any concerns you may have regarding local policing. Trading Standards and Neighbourhood Watch will also be there.

Attempted robbery at Co-op in Walter’s Ash

Two men entered the Co-op store in Main Road, Walter’s Ash, at about 9.45pm on 31 October, threatened staff with a knife and forced them to open the till and hand over money.

The men then assaulted the manager of the shop when they were told that there was no money in the shop, punching him in the face, before leaving the shop.

The men were seen getting into a white vehicle and left the scene in the direction of Lacey Green. The men were both white and were wearing grey tops and black bottoms.

Anyone with information should contact Thames Valley Police via the 24-hour enquiry line on 0845 8 505 505. Alternatively, you can contact the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111

‘Unpaid Phone Bill’ Scam

Apparently some Neighbourhood Watch groups are circulating details about a scam where someone claiming to be from BT calls and threatens to cut you off if you do not settle an unpaid bill there and then by giving them your credit card details. The details are in this document. It’s a real scam apparently, and it’s your credit card details that they’re after. BT have information about it on their website and it is covered by internet ‘scam-buster’ sites such as Hoax Slayer. Be vigilant!