Issue 43 – Summer 2012
THANK YOU – We wish to record our thanks to the Rosca Trust who have generously agreed to sponsor this copy of our newsletter.
Covering the area of Rochford District Council
Including: Ashingdon, Barling Magna & Sutton, Canewdon, Rawreth, Great Wakering, Hockley, Foulness, Hullbridge, Pagelsham, Hawkwell, Rayleigh, Rochford & Stambridge
S.E Essex Police and your Neighbourhood Watch team: Mike Hooper, Michael Bubel, Bill Coulson,
John Metcalfe, Debbie Agambar & Jen Logue would like to thank you for your continuing support.
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
1. Jewellery thefts from the elderly
Essex Police are currently identifying a crime trend that involves older people being targeted using a deception. The suspect distracts the older person by placing fake jewellery (necklaces, bracelets and rings) on them in order to then steal their own genuine visible gold jewellery. For instance this is done by the person placing a fake necklace around the older persons’ neck and then later removing it along with their genuine gold necklace. It is only later that the person realises that their jewellery has been stolen.
This message is to raise awareness of this tactic, keep all jewellery covered when in public areas and be mindful of strangers approaching offering jewellery for sale.
2. Pickpockets on Underground, Rail & Bus travel
The British Transport Police want us to be more aware of the activity of pickpockets around London Underground, but this also applies to other forms of travel. Their mission statement is; “Project Spiderweb is a multi agency collaboration to reduce Theft of Personal Property on all modes of transport in London. This far reaching project involves the British Transport Police, the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London, working in partnership.” The advice when travelling in and around London on public transport is to carry your bag in front of you and keep all zips and fasteners closed. Keep wallets, mobile phones and mp3 players in a secure inside pocket. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times especially when leaving bags in the luggage areas of trains, tubes and buses. More information and examples of ‘Tricks of the Pickpockets’ can be found by visiting www.btp.police.uk/pickpockets.
3. Unscrupulous Burglar Alarm Companies
As well as some very good burglar alarm installers, providing a professional service at a reasonable price, there are those companies who pray on people’s fear, especially the vulnerable and elderly, selling products at extortionate prices. They use telephone cold calling and offer free surveys and even free alarms, but with this offer, comes a large unwarranted bill. Reports suggest that some of them say they are with Essex Police or are in some way working with the Police or Home Office. Trying to prosecute these companies is difficult as they deny using such tactics and there is no evidence. You can always refuse any offer they make, and legitimate companies won’t mind this.
4. Email Scams about Bank Accounts
Phishing is the name given to the practice of sending emails at random, which claim to come from a reputable company such as your bank. The emails attempt to trick people into disclosing sensitive information at a bogus website ‘phishing site’ operated by fraudsters. These emails usually claim that it is necessary to "update" or "verify" your customer account information and they urge you to click on a link in the email which takes you to a phishing site.
Sometimes the email won’t contain a link; instead the recipient is asked to provide information on a form attached to the email. Any information entered on the phishing site or form will be used by the criminals for their own fraudulent purposes.
The key thing is to be suspicious of all unsolicited or unexpected emails you receive, even if they appear to originate from a trusted source. Although your bank may contact you by email, they will never ask you to reconfirm your login or security password information by clicking on a link in an email and visiting a website. Stop to think about how your bank normally communicates with you and never disclose your password in full or personal information. Look at how the email comes across; does it address you in vague terms, such as “Dear Sir or Madam”? Does it ask for personal information, such as your online banking login details? Does it ask you to click on a link in the email or download an attachment? Does it come from an organisation you don’t normally deal with? Does it contain odd ‘sp3lling’, have poor grammar or use ‘CaPiTals’ in strange places (phishing emails do this in an attempt to avoid spam filter software). If the answer is yes to more than one of these questions, the chances are that you’ve received a phishing email. Delete the email! If you are unsure always check with your bank first. For more information from the payments council visit http://www.banksafeonline.org.uk/
5. Your Views
We welcome suggestions from all members on what you want to see in these newsletters. Please let us know if there is a particular subject you want included.
6. Scrap Dealers
Many of you may have noticed an increase in the activity of Scrap Dealers in your area. With the high value of metal there are more and more ‘dealers’ operating. Scrap Dealers need to be registered so if you have any concerns regarding a scrap metal van operating in your area please make a note of the registration plate and inform the police. This would NOT be a 999 call but a 101 call or 0800 555111 to Crimestoppers if you wish to remain anonymous.
7. Crimestoppers Telephone 0800 555 111
If you have information about a crime or possible crime you can ring the above number (calls from landlines and most mobiles are free). You will not be asked for your name – nobody will know you called. You won’t need to speak to the police, give a statement or go to court. Crimestoppers (an independently registered charity) gather information which is passed to the police if it is considered appropriate to act on. Rewards have sometimes been made for information and if you are interested they will give you a unique code so you can claim your cash if your information leads to an arrest and charge. You can see more at their website – www.crimestoppers-uk.org
8. Policing and crime commissioners: who is running in Essex?
The first elections for PPCs will take place on the 15th November 2012. You will be interested to know who has declared an interest in standing for election in various police force areas. PCCs will have an important role in delivering local policing and listening to the local community through individual and organisational representatives including NHW we hope. For more information go to
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