Christmas Greetings

As we approach the festive season it is worth remembering that the villains do not take a break at Christmas. Advice from the Police is applicable all year but especially at this time.

Shopping

  • Make sure your handbag is closed and you carry it close to your side, so a pick-pocket would find it difficult to slide their hand in without you knowing;
  • Never leave a bag unattended in a trolley, even if for a couple of seconds;
  • Try and keep wallets in an inside pocket and out of sight from a potential pick-pocket;
  • Keep your PIN number confidential never disclose your PIN number to anyone including the bank and police;
  • When entering your PIN number at a terminal ensure no one can see you enter it.
  • Try to pay for items on a debit card rather than carrying large amounts of cash. If this is not possible keep cash to a minimum

Dwelling Burglary

  • Don’t leave Christmas presents under the tree in view from a window;
  • Make sure windows and doors are locked every time you leave the house;
  • Avoid leaving tools and ladders lying around that could assist someone to get into your home;
  • When you go out at night make it appear that someone is home. Draw the curtains and leave a light on. Always use a timer switch to put on a lamp or radio.

Vehicle crime

  • Before you leave your car, ensure all windows and doors are closed and locked;
  • Avoid leaving your purchases and presents in your vehicle. If you must, make sure they are not on display. Rather store them in the boot and make sure the car is locked;
  • Always lock your bike. Use a D lock and make the locked bike difficult to manoeuvre by keep any gaps between the lock and bike frame small.

Online shopping

When online shopping ensure you go to official websites and have adequate anti-virus software, especially when purchasing expensive items.

See the advice in the Alert of 22nd November and check the tips at the Safe Online website: www.getsafeonline.org/safechristmasshopping

Christmas Cheer

Operation Scrooge

Andover Police have launched a campaign named Operation Scrooge to deter shoplifters/organised crime groups in the run-up to Christmas. Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team have begun the preventive measures from the switch on of the Christmas lights. There will also be a Crime Prevention stall on Saturday 23rd November in the High Street to remind shoppers how they can protect themselves and their property

Operation Scrooge will see police liaise with retailers, give advice to shoppers and carry out high-visibility patrols in Andover town centre and its retail parks. Their aim is to deter and detect crime, providing reassurance to the public and businesses.

Protect your personal items – Keep them safe, be mindful of your surroundings!

The campaign will continue until 31st December 2019.

Safe Shopping

It is no surprise that the lead-up to Christmas – including Black Friday – is the busiest time of the year for online shopping. But it’s the busiest time for fraudsters too.

So before you start your Christmas Shopping in earnest, please take a few minutes to read the following online tips:

www.getsafeonline.org/safechristmasshopping

Have a Happy and secure Christmas!

David James

 

Landmark Cybercrime Survey

Neighbourhood Watch has today launched a landmark new survey to understand the impact of cybercrime on communities across England and Wales.

Traditionally Neighbourhood Watch has been focused on keeping people safe in the places they live but with the advent of new technology, it’s clear people can be at their most vulnerable when they occupy online spaces.

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre run by the City of London Police, revealed that last year cybercrime victims lost £28m to online criminals. It reports more than 12,000 cases of cybercrime every six months.

With the threat from online criminals only ever increasing, it is essential we understand the impact this type of crime has on members as well as their understanding and perception of cybercrime.

The survey, designed in conjunction with cybersecurity company Avast, takes just 10 minutes to complete and one lucky responder will be in with a chance to win £50 worth of Marks and Spencer vouchers.

The survey can be completed via the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/nw_cybercrime

This news story on our website can be shared with friends, family and neighbours or on your social media profiles: https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/landmark-cybercrime-survey-launched/

Scams Latest: BT and Your Bank

There seems to have been an increase in the old “This is BT, your broadband is going to be cut off” calls, this time the message is recorded. Ignore the call, I wish I had a pound for every time my broadband was going to be cut off in the last twelve months, and it is still working well. If you are really worried contact BT directly.

The following was issued by Hampshire Constabulary:

TV Licence Fraud

SCAM AND FRAUD ALERT

From Hampshire and IOW Neighbourhood Watch

HINWA (http://www.hinwa-nw.org.uk). April 2019.

TV Licence Billing, Renewal or Refund Fraud

Since September 2018 there have been large numbers of reports of fake emails purporting to be from TV Licensing. Scams involve emails claiming that either a refund is due or there is a problem with billing or with the account. The links in the emails lead to phishing websites designed to steal personal and financial information.

They will use headlines such as ‘correct your licensing information’, ‘billing information updates’ and ‘renew now’ to trick people into clicking on the link within the email.

These emails are sophisticated and convincing. They can catch out anyone – even the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk admitted to being out caught by this scam earlier this year.

How to keep safe from this type of fraud

1. Always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for personal or financial information in case it is a scam.

2. Never automatically click on links in an unexpected email or text.

3. If in doubt, check with the organisation by phone or email using contact details from your records – do not use contact details given by the fraudsters

4. Do not be rushed into action. If in doubt, delete the email. A genuine organisation will always find a different way to contact you.

If you’ve fallen victim – what next?

5. Stop further payments – contact your bank or cancel your credit card. (Monitor your statements regularly for any unusual activity.)

6. Report this has happened – contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at actionfraud.police.uk.

More

For more advice on signs to look for and how to avoid being a victim of this type of fraud go to the Action Fraud website: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/action-fraud-warns-against-fake-tv-licensing-emails-as-over-2500-reports-are-made-in-two-months-alone

 

Is Your Number Up?

South Central Ambulance Trust have issued the following:

Lives are at risk because emergency crews cannot see house numbers and property names easily. As illness and injuries can occur at any time, we ask you to ensure your house name or number is clearly visible from the road by day and night, so that, when you need us most, we can find you quickly and easily.

The three following steps would assist us greatly:

  • Check your house name or number is visible from the road
  • Make sure that there are no trees or bushes obstructing the sign
  • Switch on, when possible, an outside light.

It is essential that when the emergency services are called we can find the address as quickly and as easily as possible. We encourage all members of the public to ensure that their house name or number is as visible as possible at all times.

Our crews have the assistance of sat-navs and, of course, local knowledge. However, when visiting an address for the first time, not being able to see a name or number clearly from the roadside could result in delays for emergency services reaching people.

Some addresses can be very difficult to find, particularly in rural areas. Every second wasted because paramedics can’t find the right house has a profound effect on the outcome, so we’re encouraging everyone to spend a few minutes doing something about it.

We recommend making sure:

  • that numbers or house names are at least three inches in height and 4ft above the ground
  • if the property is more that 75ft from the roadway, that the number is displayed on a post-box/gate or similar no further that 25ft from the edge of the street.

It can be frustrating and time-consuming for visitors and delivery people to identify addresses but, in emergency situations, it could literally be the difference between life and death.

Please help us to help you!

Operation Scrooge

Operation Scrooge – Campaign Launched To Target Shoplifting in Andover

Officers from Andover’s Neighbourhood Policing Team will be out in force to deter shoplifters in the run-up to Christmas.

Operation Scrooge will see officers liaise with retailers, give advice to shoppers and carry out high-visibility patrols in Andover town centre and its retail parks.

The operation starts on Saturday 24th November, when members of the team will put on a crime prevention stall in the High Street between 10am and 2pm, to remind shoppers of the steps they can take to protect themselves and their property.

The campaign is due to finish on Monday 31st December.

Sergeant Mike Thorne, of Andover’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “As Christmas approaches, more and more people will be out and about in our town’s shops and banks.

Andover is a safe place to live and work but it is not immune to people who wish to take advantage of shoppers and businesses at this time of year.

The aim of our operation is to deter and detect crime and to provide reassurance to the public and businesses.

We will continue to use tactics that have proved successful in previous years to make sure those who commit crime in the town centre are dealt with robustly.”

Advice

We would like to take this opportunity to remind people of the steps they can take to protect their property when shopping:

  • Never leave a bag unattended in a trolley, even for a couple of seconds;
  • Make sure your handbag is closed;
  • Try to keep wallets in an inside pocket and out of sight from a potential pickpocket;
  • Keep your PIN number confidential;
  • If possible try to pay for all items on a debit or credit card, rather than carry large amounts of cash;
  • Ensure all windows and doors are closed and locked before leaving your car.