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Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter 18-7-21

Alert message sent 18/07/2021 09:32:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch

This weekly newsletter is compiled by Maggie Lewis, Area Representative and Administrator for Oxford Neighbourhood Watch. The items are taken from websites, social media, articles, emails and conversations. Contributions will be gratefully received and added, particularly from Watch members and neighbourhood policing teams. 
Please feel free to share this information.
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1) Neighbourhood Watch
2) TVP Police
    Calls to police-high demand -how to help
    Police Appeal - Barton stabbing
    Most Wanted List in Oxford 
3) Hate Crime
4) Scams
    General scam introduction
    Social Engineering
    Pension Scams
5)  New Fake NHS Covid Pass Emails and Texts 
6)  NHS Related Phishing   
7)   Community Safety
      Heatwave (how ro cope)
      Electric Blanket Testing
      E scooter safety

Neighbourhood Watch is not just about crime awareness, it's about supporting communities and tackling issues within them.  
You can make a difference  - looking for Coordinators to start up Watch schemes in their roads  
National Neighbourhood Watch ambition is by 2025 to be:
The authoritative voice on community-based crime prevention. Everyone will be able to access the advice and support they need, either directly or via other organisations of which they are members or supporters.
The most popular gateway for citizens to engage in their locality. We will provide the first step for people to connect with their neighbours for mutual support and offer simple ways for them to build on that first step with other parts of the voluntary and community sector.
A recognised contributor to community health and wellbeing, especially through reduced loneliness and isolation and greater community cohesion

TVP POLICE (from social media)
The emergency 999 system across the entire United Kingdom is currently experiencing a higher than usual demand of callers.
We would like to remind the public to only use 999 in an emergency where a life is in danger or a crime is happening right now.
Using the 999 system appropriately will ensure that emergency calls will be responded to quickly and effectively.
For incidents that are not an emergency, you can report online or call 101.
More detail here:
To report online, please visit this link:

Did you know you can now report non-urgent crime online?
This is not an automated service – it’s quick, more convenient and each report will be handled by the same experienced people who take your calls

An alternative third service for 100% anonymous callers is Crimestoppers call  0800 555 111 or give information anonymously on
Over 10 arrests are made every day following reports to Crimestoppers.

TVP OXFORD (Police appeal)
Appeal for witnesses for Barton stabbing
Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses after a man was stabbed in an incident of grievous bodily harm in Barton, Oxford.
At approximately 11pm last night (14/7) in Henry Taunt Close, near to Fettiplace Road, the victim, who was with his partner, was approached by an unknown man.
The offender attacked the victim, aged 25, with a large bladed weapon, causing significant injuries.
The victim was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, and he remains in hospital.
The victim’s partner was not injured.
The offender is described as a black man, around 19-years-old and approximately 5ft 8ins tall with a slim build.
He had black, curly hair and was wearing a black body-warmer with multiple pockets, black trousers and black gloves.
After the assault, the offender made off in the direction of Fettiplace Road in the direction of Barton Fields.
Detective Inspector James Mather, of Oxford CID, said: “This was a violent assault which has left the victim with serious injuries.
“At present, no arrests have been made, but we have a number of officers in the area and are investigating this offence thoroughly.
“There will be a continued and increased police presence in the area while our investigation continues, and I would like to appeal to anybody who witnessed this incident or who may have CCTV, mobile phone or dash-cam footage of the incident to please contact Thames Valley Police.
“If you live along Fettiplace Road or Barton Fields and have CCTV, then I urge you to please check this and get in touch if it has captured anything that could assist this investigation.
“You can make a report online or call 101, quoting reference number 43210312977.
“Alternatively, for 100% anonymity, you can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
“I appreciate that incidents such as this cause concern in the local community, but we are committed to finding out who carried out this attack and bring them into custody.
“If you have any concerns, then please do not hesitate to speak to any of our officers or staff at the scene.”

ALMOST 20 people on Oxford police's most wanted list have been arrested in a week-long blitz.
The following were arrested in connection with the ‘week of action’:
A 38-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of stalking with fear of violence. He has since been released with no further action.
A 41-year-old man of no fixed abode was arrested on suspicion of robbery. He has been released on bail.
A 31-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of failing to appear at Oxford Magistrates’ Court. He appeared before JPs on July 10.
A 61-year-old man from Didcot was arrested on suspicion of stalking causing serious alarm and distress. He has since been released on bail.
A 33-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of breaching his restraining order. He has been released under investigation.
A 22-year-old woman from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of stalking involving fear of violence. She has since been released under investigation.
A 19-year-old man of no fixed abode was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse related criminal damage. He has since been released under investigation.
A 42-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse. He has since been released on bail.
A 39-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of domestic related common assault. He has since been released with no further action.
A 44-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of breaching his Magistrates’ Court bail conditions. He appeared before Oxford Magistrates’ Court on July 7.
A 54-year-old woman from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of failing to appear at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court. She appeared before the justices on July 6.
A 30-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of possession of criminal property and possession of an offensive weapon. He has since been released with no further action.
A 24-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of stalking causing serious alarm or distress. He has since been released under investigation.
A 35-year-old woman from Oxford and three other men, aged 39, 41 and 49, were arrested for failing to appear before Oxford Magistrates’ Court. They were before the justices on July 6.
Neil McMahon, aged 32, of no fixed abode was arrested and subsequently charged with dangerous driving, fail to stop, failing to provide a specimen of breath, driving without insurance and a licence and possession of class A drugs. He was remanded to appear before court on July 8.

Reported hate crime incidents in Oxford have increased by 40 per cent over the last three years, new data from Thames Valley Police has revealed.
The data shows racist ‘Reported Crime’ incidents in the city have increased from 290 in 2018/19 to 334 in 2020/21, while ‘Non Crime Occurrence incidents have risen from 82 in 2018/19 to 128 in 2020/21.
The increase in both of these incident types resulted in an overall increase of 40.9 per cent in reported racist incidents.
Home Office data, from the year ending March 2020, also revealed a record number of race hate crimes were recorded by police forces in England and Wales in 2019-20.
The rise was partly down to improvements in recording and an awareness of hate crime, the Home Office said.

There has been an increase of scams during the pandemic and I would ask that this information be shared.
I went to a scam webinar run by National Neighbourhood Watch and the host said anyone can be scammed - including her so none of us can be complacent. 
Victims should not feel guilty or embarrassed and not report to Action Fraud - that's what the scammers want. It doesn't matter how small or how large an amount if you have been scammed please report to Action Fraud on 03001232040 or you can report as a victim or on behalf of a victim. 

Social Engineering
Social Engineering underpins most phishing attempts, be it email (Phishing), scam text message (Smishing) or scam phone call (Vishing), whereby the sender or caller will try to get you to divulge sensitive info to use against you and steal your money e.g. an SMS requesting you pay £1.99 to reschedule a delivery. Later, you receive a call purporting to be from your bank stating that you have been a victim of fraud. You have indeed been a victim, and so you believe this call to be genuine because how else would they know?

This is Social Engineering – Basing lies on truth.
So, you do what they say and move your money. During this call, they extract further information from you; once you have been scammed once, you become a much easier target next time.
Regardless of the type of scam or it’s complexities, Social Engineering can be boiled down to;

1. Appealing to your emotions. Make you fear losing money/assets, or trouble with the authorities. They may also play on your desire to be a good citizen by complying with requests.

2. Leveraging urgency. Pressure you to part with your funds sooner rather than later. They may refer to an ‘ongoing investigation’ or ‘threat of arrest’ to try and scare you into acting now.

3. Leveraging authority. Impersonating a person of authority, often police, a senior investigator, HMRC or bank fraud teams, engineered to make you do what they say.

They may leverage a recent calendar event to increase their chance of success. Such as the end of the tax year, changes in TV licensing rules, the census (threatening fines for non-completion), Covid vaccinations, among others.
Don’t let them socially engineer you!

Pension Scams
More than £2m has reportedly been lost to pension scammers since the start of 2021, with average losses more than doubling from last year, new research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reveals. The data – provided by Action Fraud – shows that the average loss was £50,949 to May 2021, compared with last year’s average of £23,689. Individual losses reported ranged from just under £1,000 to as much as £500,000. The total lost during 2021 could be higher than £2m as many scams ‘often go unreported’, the FCA says. In its latest call to protect the public, the FCA is urging pension savers to ‘flip the context’ if they’re approached online regarding their pension, by imagining receiving the same approach about their pensions online as while having a drink at the pub to make scams easier to spot.
a) A 'free' pension review
If you're being offered a free pension review out of the blue, there's a high chance this is a scam. 
b) 'High' Investment returns
If you're promised 'high' investment returns, this is a clear warning sign. You can't predict stock market movements, so no one should be able to guarantee how your investments will perform in the long-term. 
c) Early cash release promise
You can't release cash from your pension until you're 55 under current rules. If you've been told you can, this is most definitely a scam. 
d) High pressure sale tactics
Scammers may try to pressure you with ‘time-limited offers,’ or even send a courier to your door to wait while you sign documents. 
e) Risky, unregulated investments
Watch out for unusual investments that are unregulated and high risk. These can include mini bonds and contracts for difference. 
Source: Which? analysis of FCA guidance

New Fake NHS Covid Pass Emails and Texts
Scammers are hoping to cash in on any confusion around the end of pandemic restrictions – watch out for these fake emails and texts.
The NHS COVID Pass was recently launched so people can show their COVID vaccine or test status, which might be needed to travel and gain entry to some events.
Vaccine passes are completely free. You can download a digital version using the NHS app, or ask for a physical copy to be posted to you.
But fraudsters have been sending out fake NHS branded emails, falsely inviting people to apply – and pay – for a pass. We’ve also seen fake text messages along the same lines. These texts can be especially convincing as the NHS does contact patients using text messages.

How to deal with NHS-related phishing
The best way to avoid text message scams is to never follow the links in texts that claim to be from organisations or companies
If you get a text purporting to be from the NHS that you’re not sure about, check the details with your GP surgery or NHS service.
Phishing emails should be reported to the National Cyber Security Centre on
Fake texts (smishing) can be forwarded to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keyboard).

Tips for coping in hot weather (NHS Website)
Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
Stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
If going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately, keep your distance in line with social distancing guidelines
Follow coronavirus social distancing guidance and wash your hands regularly
Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
Avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
If you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice
Remember that while coronavirus restrictions are in place, you will need to follow government guidance to use public spaces safely
Public Health England has more tips on how to beat the heat in the Heatwave Plan for England.
If you have concerns about an uncomfortably hot house that's affecting your health or someone else's, get medical advice.
You can also get help from the environmental health office at your local authority. They can inspect a home for hazards to health, including excess heat.

Electric Blankets
”The electric blanket safety check booking line and email will open from 12 July. Call 01865 895999 (option 1), or email:

Electric blanket check
Residents are being encouraged to avoid fire risk spoiling a good night’s sleep by taking advantage of pre-bookable and free electric blanket safety checks from Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards team.
Due to COVID-19, it will not be possible for residents to visit the test venue, but trading standards will collect blankets from each resident’s home, having posted a plastic bag and label in advance.
The electric blanket safety check booking line and email will open from 12 July. Call 01865 895999 (option 1), or email:

E scooter safety
E-scooter operator Voi Technology has launched a safety campaign this week encouraging riders in Oxford to 'Ride Safe, Park Smart' and always wear a helmet.
People will notice bright coral adverts by Voi around the city over the next four weeks as part of a large-scale marketing campaign to encourage riders across the UK to use their e-scooters safely.
The e-scooters which started being trialled in Oxford in February have sparked debate amongst residents about whether they are safe.

The Ride Safe, Park Smart campaign is part of Voi’s commitment to constantly look for opportunities to improve rider safety.
So far, safety features introduced since September 2020 include:
‘Reaction test’ which discourages users from riding under the influence of alcohol
'Beginners mode’ which lets users reduce the e-scooter speed to 10mph until they get used to the scooter
‘Helmet Selfie’ which uses an image-classifier AI that can immediately detect if a user is wearing a helmet with 95 per cent accuracy. Helmet-wearers are rewarded with five loyalty points at the end of their ride, which can go towards discounted rides. 
‘End of the Ride’ photo which requires users to take and submit a photo of their parked e-scooter. Riders who fail to park correctly receive a warning in the first instance, and following that a £25 fine is imposed. Voi has seen a 70 per cent improvement in good parking behaviour since the introduction of the new feature, helping to tackle street clutter. 
In addition to the campaign, Voi will continue to roll out its online and in-person safety events in Oxford giving away free helmets to participants, as part of its ongoing commitment to educating its riders. 

Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (Neighbourhood Watch Network, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford LPA)

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