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Rochford District Neighbourhood Watch
Having recently met two of the volunteer members of the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, it is our intention, therefore, to regularly pass on the Neighbourhood Watch newsletter.

Summer 2011 Newsletter
(Return to Neighbourhood Watch Front Page)
THANK YOU – We wish to record our thanks to the ROSCA Trust who have generously agreed to sponsor our newsletters for 2011
Covering the area of Rochford District Council
Best Wishes from the Neighbourhood Watch team:  Mike Hooper, Michael Bubel, Bill Coulson, John Metcalfe, Debbie Agambar, Ruth Tress
Please contact us by using the above number. Our office is staffed from 10.00 am – 12.00 am each weekday. Please 'leave a clear, message on the answer phone at other times and we will get back to you as soon a possible.
S.E. Essex Police and your NHW team thank you for your support

Recent Crime Trends
Since the start of 2011 there have been 26 distraction thefts across the county. There are two different methods being used within this trend. It is not known at present if the two methods are linked:
- Asking for Directions: the victim is distracted by asking directions before either a purse dipping or stealing a mobile phone, Victims are primarily targeted in supermarket multi-storey car parks. Suspects often have a map and may work in pairs.
- Magazine/Paper: involves suspects entering offices, waving magazines or a paper in front of the victim. The paper is placed on the victim's desk, covering a mobile phone. Suspect then picks up the paper with the mobile phone and make off. Other offences involve the victim being distracted in the street or in shops.

Suggested crime prevention advice: Remember always be aware of your surroundings. Don't give thieves the chance to take your valuables. Don't leave your bag, purse, wallet or mobile phone on display to thieves. Stay alert, don't use your mobile phone in crowded areas.

Congratulations, you qualify for our special offer .... Don't fall for a scam!
Some recent attempts reported:
1. “You are due a council tax refund – we need a few personal and bank account details to pay it direct to you.” Councils will never cold call and ask for personal or bank details.
2. “You owe your phone provider £30 – unless this is paid by debit or credit card now, your phone will be cut off.” They then suggest that to prove this, you should hang up and pick up the phone again. There will be no dial tone as they have not broken the connection. Give your card details and they will be able to access your account.
3. “Your PC has a virus which we can remove free of charge.” A program is downloaded onto your PC which will either allow the scammer to access your files, or will demand a large amount of money to remove it.
4. “We will install a burglar alarm free.” You're not told that the monitoring contract costs thousands of pounds and the alarm system is ineffective.
5. “You have won the South African/Canadian/Spanish lottery and to get your prize we just need an administration fee.”  As you hadn't bought a ticket, you can't have won – but the demands for more and more fees will continue.
6. Nottingham Knockers – so called as they were first reported in Nottingham. Usually late teens/early twenties operating in small groups, claiming to be ex-offenders going straight by selling household goods door to door with the approval of the police/probation service or council. The goods are over-priced and poor quality, they are not approved and the sellers take the opportunity to see what you have on show.
7. Electricity meter fraud. There is an electricity prepayment meter scam at the moment with over 230,000 incidents and 127,000 customers affected. Please take care to avoid getting caught out by these criminals. The fraud operates by a criminal having a master key which they use to put 'credit' on your meter and negotiates a fee for doing so. However, energy use continues and debt for that energy accrues, usually unknown to the customer, until the next legal vend. The industry is working to try and raise the awareness of its customers, and all new meters manufactured since April 2011 will no longer respond to a master key. A security review is also being carried out by KPMG.

If you are targeted by any of these scams, please report them to Essex Police on 101
         or Essex Trading Standards on 08454 04 05 06

Cycle thefts and help to a solution
In recent weeks there has been a surge in cycle thefts in the area, with some of the cycles expensive models in the £800 - £1,500 price range. The majority were secured with a chain and lock, but this had been cut. The only similarity in each case was that none had been electronically chipped or even post coded.
Neighbourhood Watch are currently engaged in electronic cycle tagging at district events, but if anyone wishes to individually tag their cycle please contact the NHW office. It only takes about 5 minutes to do and is free.

National NHW News
In the last three months a number of meetings with Towergate Insurance, who are Europe's largest independently owned insurance intermediary, have been held. With over 100 offices in England and Wales, an agreement with them for what will be the first major sponsorship deal has been reached.
They have agreed to provide funding for 500,000 No Cold Callers window stickers, plus suitable arrangements for their distribution, and will sponsor a series of electronic newsletters and their skyscraper banner will appear on our website. In addition they have agreed to provide regular articles for the newsletter, and to provide insurance and risk advice for local groups through their nationwide offices,
Towergate Insurance will also take the opportunity to offer specific insurance deals for Neighbourhood Watch members, and a percentage of the premiums of such policies will be returned to the regional groups to facilitate their work in the regions.

All change for Essex Police
Essex Police is currently undergoing a major change programme in order to save money, Whilst continuing to provide a first class service to the public, positive changes have already begun.
The views of those who live, work or visit Essex are extremely important to Essex Police and Essex Police Authority to enable them to take this programme forward, and would therefore be grateful if you could take a couple of minutes to answer the questions on the public on-line survey. To do this, please go to:
This public survey is open to everyone as they are committed to seeking the views of as many residents of Essex and hope representation will be wide and varied.

Dispersal Order Note
From 11th July, Police initiative 'Dispersal Order' will operate within ¼ mile radius at Hockley. Any individual who refuses to comply with direction given by Police will be liable on summary conviction to a fine and/or term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 months or both. A Policeman may arrest without warrant any individual who fails to comply with a direction to disperse. For more information please contact Essex Police on 101.

Your Newsletter
We try to keep your quarterly newsletter to one sheet of paper for a number of reasons:
- It makes it easier to distribute
- It keeps paper and printing costs down
- It makes it easier to read
We would however appreciate any comments you may have on its content. Do we tell you what you want to know? Would you like a regular update on another subject? Please let us have your thoughts.
Finally — We now have nearly 100 e-mail addresses which allows us to distribute information as we receive it — useful in the case of scams. Do you have an e-mail address but haven't told us? Have you recently changed your e-mail address and forgotten to tell us? Let us know so we can stay in touch

Important Announcement
From 1st July 2011, Essex Police will become one of the first forces to switch to the new, national, police non-emergency telephone number 101. The emergency 999 number remains unchanged and should only be used if you have an emergency situation.

Useful numbers
Trading Standards - Buy with confidence:
Consumer contact: 08454 04 05 06
Trade contact: 0845 603 76 26

Springboard Group - For small household repairs, trustworthy gardeners etc:  01702 545140

Alcoholics  Anonymous - All enquiries are treated in the strictest confidence:  0845 769 7555

Crimestoppers - For general information to police given anonymously: 0800 555111
Non emergency police number: 101

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