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New Chorleywood PCSO’s

Our new PCSOs are now out and about in the Village, Jessica Hill and Lauren Mayberley (see photo right).

Do stop them for a chat and find out what’s going on in the Village. They are there to help and if you have any concerns they are happy to listen.

Parish Police Updates

Fraudulent Catalogues: Our Life and Biotonic

Herts Police are undertaking investigations with Trading Standards into OUR LIFE and BIOTONIC catalogues, who are based in France/Belgium but are targeting victims in the UK.

The companies behind these catalogues have been targeting elderly victims by sending them a catalogue with a letter saying they are a guaranteed winner of their lottery, and all they have to is order an item from the catalogue in order to receive their winnings. They are told they have “won” around £15,000. The victim purchases an item but does not receive their winnings. The victim then receives weekly catalogues with similar messages inside.

In some cases, the suspect company has contacted the victim to say there has been a problem with the cheque and they have persuaded them to give their bank details, enabling the company to take regular amounts from the victim’s account. They have then sent over-priced and unwanted goods to the victim, with a 28 day returns deadline, but have back-dated the letter so the deadline is almost gone when the victim receives the goods.

We are aware of a number of Hertfordshire based victims, but believe there are many more.

If you, or someone you know, has been receiving OUR LIFE or BIOTONIC catalogues, please alert them that the company is being investigated for fraud, hence it is highly unlikely they will receive any “winnings”.

If you, or someone you know, has been sending money to either of these magazines, please contact the Financial Investigator for this case, Alan Mordey, on 01707 355371.

Help To Protect Yourself

These days, we are always trying to be mindful of protecting ourselves and our property. Here are some ideas that might be of interest to you.

owlprotect.uk is the online shop where you can purchase call blockers, Card Minder wallets, Patlock door locks and other security products. At the same time you will be helping to raise money for charity.The profits from items sold are donated to the County NhW Association and Macmillan Cancer Support.

All products sold in the online shop are Secured by Design, which means each product has gained national Police approval.

Patlock works by securing two patio door handles together with a special device. It is available through the online shop at £42.50 including delivery, which is much cheaper than at some local retailers (e.g. Argos).

CPR Telephone Call Blockers work by having thousands of known nuisance call numbers pre-programmed, so that anyone ringing from those numbers will be automatically blocked. International calls can be blocked as well and so can “unknown numbers” If a caller does get through to you and you don’t wish to speak to them again, you can push the red button and set up a block on that additional number.

All CPR Call Blocker devices purchased through the online shop owlprotect.uk will receive a 20 percent discount. Simply follow the links and use the discount code when you pay CPR directly (Please ignore any “out of stock” message ~ the products are shipped directly by CPR with no delivery charges).

Contactless Credit and Debit card crime was featured recently on BBC 1’s "The One Show" as well as on a BBC 1’s "Rip Off Britain" programme last year. You can buy OWL Card Minder Wallets at £1 each to protect your cards from being fraudulently scanned.

For additional security equipment, visit hbwa.org.uk and download the comprehensive list of products.

101 in Hertfordshire now has a live online web chat facility

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s non-emergency number 101 now has a live web chat facility, which means people reporting non-urgent crimes or those with a police query can contact an operator online.

Force Communications Room Assistant Manager Richard Wilde said: "This new facility could benefit those who, for whatever reason, may not feel comfortable speaking to our 101 operators over the telephone."

"This could be due to a number of reasons – perhaps you are more comfortable communicating online, it is more convenient, perhaps you do not want others in the household to know you’re contacting us, or maybe you are hard of hearing and would find it easier to communicate online."

"Whatever the reason, our new online web chat facility still puts you directly through to a control room operator and is another way that we are making it easier for the public to contact police."

"However, please remember that the 101 number and web chat facility should only be used for non-emergencies. If a crime is in progress or you or others are at risk of harm always dial 999."

To find out more please click here.

Get Safe Online Warns of the Dangers of Using Public Wi-Fi

Get Safe Online have this week issued a warning to the UK public to be careful when accessing private data on public Wi-Fi hotspots. The UK now over 300,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots, with more people than ever becoming the target of cyber criminals simply because they don’t know if the networks they’re using are secure. It may sound like a spy thriller, but cyber criminals can hijack public networks to try to steal our money and information – in some cases, even our identity.

Wi-Fi networks are found in public places like cafes, airports, pubs and hotels. If not fully secure, these networks could potentially be hijacked by cyber criminals. In some cases, criminals have set up fake hotspots in public places to fool people into logging onto them.

Our advice is not to use public networks to browse confidential information; log into an account; or make a payment. Doing so on a public network comes with risk – particularly if you don’t know how secure the network is.

Get Safe Online has produced some top tips for staying safe when using Wi-Fi networks:-

  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi in places like cafes and hotels if doing anything confidential online, including logging into online accounts.
  • Being given an access code or being asked for your email doesn’t mean a Wi-Fi connection is secure.
  • Instead of premises’ hotspots, use a mobile broadband dongle that is set to secure, your 3G or 4G data connection – or wait to use a router you know is secure.
  • Consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access your company network.
  • Ensure your home and office wireless networks are secure.
  • It’s OK to use public Wi-Fi hotspots for things you don’t need to log into or aren’t confidential, like checking the news or weather. If possible, use well-known hotspot providers like BT OpenZone or T-Mobile.

Fraud Prevention Update August 2016

To help you to recognise and tackle fraud (sometimes known as "scams"), Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction and Community Safety Department produces a regular update informing you of common and emerging frauds that have affected local residents, together with tips to help you stay safe.

Click here for the August 2016 edition, containing information about: bogus calls about council tax arrears; advice about selling items online; alert about mobile phone upgrades, never let anyone use your bank account to store or move money – money laundering is a crime and vitamin scams.

What to do about fly tipping?

Police often receive reports or enquiries from local residents about fly tipping. Fly tipping is a crime. Here is some advice:

  • DO: If you witness fly-tipping in action, observe from a distance and call 999. If you come across a fly-tip, contact your local council www.hertsdirect.org/flytip. Alternatively call 101 and a referral will be made to the local authority.
  • DON’T IGNORE IT!: Fly-tippers can now be fined up to £50,000 in Magistrate’s Court or unlimited fines in higher courts, as well as community punishment orders or prison sentences of up to five years.
  • DON’T INTERFERE: with the tip unless there is danger of evidence blowing away, in which case contain it.

RECORD AND REPORT THE FOLLOWING DETAILS OF POSSIBLE:

  • The location, date and time you witnessed or came across the fly-tip.
  • If the fly-tip is blocking a right of way.
  • A description of the waste – highlight anything that looks like chemicals or liquid waste.
  • If you saw any vehicles; what type, make, model, colour and registration were they?
  • How many people were involved and a description of them.

Safety Tips for University Students

Safety Tips for University Students pdf

Be A Switched On Parent – Summer Holiday Online Games Advice

Love it or hate it, chances are your child will be online this summer. If you’re like most parents, you’ll have children who play games online, maybe on a tablet, mobile, computer or console.

In most cases, online gaming is a fun and safe pastime … a way for kids to keep entertained and to play and socialise with friends. However, as with many things your kids do online, there’s an element of risk, either from downloading a computer virus, being bullied, or even being taken advantage of by strangers with sexual, abusive, fraudulent or other criminal motives. There’s also the danger of playing games with an inappropriate age rating, running up huge bills on your credit card – if they have access to it – or getting ‘hooked’ to the exclusion of exercise and school work.

Be A Switched On Parent – Summer Holiday Online Games Advice

As parents, it’s impossible to know what your children are doing all of the time, particularly when it comes to online gaming. In the same way you would warn your kids about the risks of riding a bike or crossing a road, it’s important to educate them to online dangers early on so you can feel comfortable knowing they are playing safely and know when to alert someone to anything suspicious.

Working with police forces countrywide, Get Safe Online (www.getsafeonline.org), the UK’s national internet security awareness initiative, has prepared the some “Top Tips” and simple checklists to help you to keep your kids safe online according to their age group. Please click on to the attached document to find out more.

Crime Prevention Advice for Burglaries

  • Make a habit of checking that ground floor windows and doors are closed and locked when you leave the house or go to bed. Upstairs windows should be locked when the house is unoccupied. PVCU doors must be locked by lifting the handle and using the key to ensure all the security features are in place.
  • Car and house keys should be kept out of sight in a safe place. Don’t leave them on display on window sills, in porches, hallways or kitchens.
  • Secure your rear garden by shutting and locking any gates. Burglars can use garden tools to break in, so make sure you securely lock away any tools after use.
  • Why not be a good neighbour - if they are out, help deter burglars and give their home the lived-in look by putting away their emptied rubbish bins. You can also help by keeping a look out for unusual callers in your neighbourhood, and call the police if you see anyone acting suspiciously. Keep a pen and some paper handy. The car number you jot down may be just what the police need to catch a burglar.

A lot of burglaries are targeting Asian households for Asian Jewellery. Click here for advice leaflet. pdf

Also these are some tips for theft from motor vehicle:

  • It might sound obvious, but make sure you lock the doors and shut the windows and sunroof whenever you leave your vehicle unattended.
  • Remove your Sat Nav and its holder, and wipe away any suction marks as these could suggest to a potential thief that a Sat Nav is stored in your vehicle.
  • Never leave any valuables in your vehicle - not even in the glove-box or boot - and keep ALL other possessions out of sight. Even if you know that there is nothing valuable in your coat pocket or bag left on the back seat, a thief may try their luck.
  • Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have them.
  • Register your stereo, laptop, Sat Nav and any other property on the free online property database www.immobilise.com. It only takes a few minutes and could help police trace your property if it’s lost or stolen.

For further information see herts.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention.

Neighbourhood Watch: Chatroom Now Open

The OWL Live Chatroom is now open to discuss local issues with your neighbourhood officers. Please follow the link below:-

OWL Live Chat

Asian Jewellery Burglaries

There has been an increase in burglaries where households containing Asian gold and jewellery are being targeted by organised gangs. We would like to take this opportunity to remind those who do possess such items to ensure that they are secure at all times.

Please make sure that your home security is up to date. In addition, please make sure you have photographs of all valuable jewellery, as this can prove extremely useful in tracking their whereabouts should they be stolen.

Rogue Trading

Please be aware of rogue traders that offer deals that seem to good to be true. They probably are too good to be true and when it comes to payment the quoted price inflates extortionately. Please see below for some crime prevention advice and what to look out for.

Rogue Trading

Things to be aware of:

  • They often pressurise householders to make quick decisions to have work done, pay in advance for materials or do poor work at highly inflated prices.
  • They will often cold call on vulnerable households and deliberately overcharge for unsatisfactory goods and services. This can include charging for unnecessary work, damaging property deliberately in order to obtain money, leaving work unfinished and intimidating householders.
  • Victims of this practice are often vulnerable or elderly and in the most serious cases, offenders will return to the same victim again and again until their savings are exhausted.

The following advice will help tackling doorstep rogue traders:

  • Close and lock your back door before answering the front door
  • Use a spy hole, chain or window to have a look at the caller before answering the door. If you do not recognise them speak through the closed and locked door.
  • Never buy goods and services from people calling unexpectedly or unannounced at your door.
  • If the caller is selling something or offering work on your house or garden tell them that you are not interested and ask them to leave.
  • If they do not leave tell them you will call the police.
  • Always ask for proof of identity. Take it from the person (through the letterbox) and read it carefully.
  • Phone the company or organisation the caller claims to be from (use the number in the phone book) to confirm their identity.

Please click here for more information

Phonescam

Residents are being warned of a copycat scam that is occurring across the country. Residents in Rickmansworth and the rest of the county are still being caught out by this scam despite many people being arrested.

Hertfordshire Constabulary has posted a second recording of a mock phone scam (below) in order to raise awareness around the scams and show how convincing they can be.

The latest recording comes following a large number of attempted phone scams being reported across the county. In December 2014 there were almost 70 incidents, with two resulting in people losing large sums of money to fraudsters.

January 2015 has seen over 30 people contacted by fraudsters. In two cases, one in Hatfield and the other in Cheshunt, people were conned out of large sums of money. Residents around the county were targeted, including those living in East Herts, Hemel Hempstead, Welwyn Garden City, Watford, St Albans and Hertsmere. In the second mocked-up call, a common scam is reconstructed where the caller, pretending to be a police officer, asks the victim to withdraw money and send it to them under the pretence that it is needed as part of an investigation into counterfeit bank notes - something the police would never do in any circumstances. The victim is then asked to send the cash to them via a courier.

The police and banks would:

  • NEVER ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone, so do not disclose these to anyone, no matter who they claim to be.
  • NEVER ask you to withdraw money and send it to them via a courier, taxi or by any other means.
  • NEVER ask you to send your bank cards, or any other personal property, to them via courier, taxi or by any other means.

For further information about phone scams and how to avoid becoming a victim, please visit www.herts.police.uk/PhoneScams.

Unexpected telephone call?

Police are urging people to be aware of phone scams, which are operating in the area.

How it works: The offender rings someone, often the elderly, claiming to be a police officer or bank worker investigating fraudulent transactions. They then persuade their victim to part with their personal information, including PIN numbers. Next they ask them to send them their bank cards and/or withdraw money and send it to them via a courier, claiming it’s needed as evidence.

If you receive a call you’re not expecting, you should be suspicious. Please remember the police and banks would:

  • Never ask for your bank account details or PIN number over the phone.
  • Never ask you to withdraw money and send it to them via any means.
  • Never ask you to send your bank cards, or any other personal property, via any means.

If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller then please end the call and contact police via the non-emergency number, 101.

Remember, when reporting a suspicious phone call to police, wait at least five minutes before attempting to make the call, use a mobile, or test the line first by phoning a friend or relative, to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender.

Further information can be found by clicking here.

New Neighbourhood Watch scheme launched in Three Rivers

A new Neighbourhood Watch scheme aimed to protect older people living in Three Rivers has been launched.

‘Senior Watch’ was created in the wake of a large number of scam phone calls made to residents. Officers based in the Oxhey Safer Neighbourhood Team needed to find a way to disseminate essential safety information to their older residents in order to arm them with essential advice to prevent them from falling victim to crime.

The scheme will run similarly to Neighbourhood Watch, where messages and information are shared to members through the ‘Online Watch Link’ portal (OWL). Further information click New Neighbourhood Scheme pdf

Jessica & LaurenChorleywood PCSO’s

Our new PCSOs are now out and about in the Village, Jessica Hill and Lauren Mayberley (see photo right).

Do stop them for a chat and find out what’s going on in the Village. They are there to help and if you have any concerns they are happy to listen.

Steven Jacob

Steven Jacob is the rural officer and covers Croxley Green, Chorleywood and Sarratt. He has close ties with the area having been brought up there.

StevenHe said: “I joined the Constabulary when I was 21 and have now been a PCSO for 11 years, working in the Rickmansworth area for nine years. My main aim this year is to keep anti-social behaviour low in the local area.”

Contact Information

  • Non Emergency Number: 101
  • Rickmansworth Neighbourhood Team Office: 01923 472117
  • Always remember to ring 999 in an emergency.
  • The PCSOs are now on TWITTER, follow @abbotspolice for all Chorleywood news.

What Powers Do PCSO's Have?