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Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter 5-9-21

Alert message sent 05/09/2021 09:32:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch


Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter 5-9-21
Maggie Lewis - Voluntary Area Representative and Administrator for Oxford Neighbourhood Watch. 

Please share and care.
This weekly newsletter is for reading and/or sharing in entirety or copying and pasting. 
The index is available so you can read all or just the items of interest. Items are collated and taken from surfing the web, social media, articles, emails and conversations. Contributions will be gratefully received.
To find out how you can reduce or prevent crime in your neighbourhood please reply to icon at the end of the newsletter.
If you have any comments/information or want to unsubscribe please reply.

INDEX
Neighbourhood Watch
1) Eligibility
2) Neighbourhood Watch Stall
Thames Valley Police
1) Friendly Football Match
2) Reporting
Crime Prevention
1) Distraction Crimes
2) Public Wi-fi
3) Catalytic Converters
4) Ten Principles of Crime Prevention
Scams
1) Current data for suspicious emails
2) Asda Gift Card scam
3) NHS Covid19 Passport Scam
General Information
1) Medical records
2) Instagram protection
3) Additional funding - for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence
                                  -

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
1)All members of Neighbourhood Watch must be 18 or over.
Some readers think they have signed up to be Neighbourhood Watch members but are only  registered as residents receiving NW information only.  There are more benefits in being a member and you can join by going to your account and joining on your NW link.

2)Neighbourhood Watch Stall (attachment)
Personal contact is better than email so it was lovely to meet PS Kayleigh Livingstone at our Neighbourhood Watch stall at Blackbird Leys Cultural Day. Thank you to Eric and Charles for helping with the stall and also to Cecily and Vicky who came to support us. This was our inaugural event with the gazebo, which was needed as it was very windy. The predicted sunshine stayed away.

THAMES VALLEY POLICE
Thames Valley Police (attachment)
1)TVP v East Timor Community
Oxford Neighbourhood Policing Teams took part in a friendly match against the East Timor Community. It was a fantastic day of engagement and football. They thanked the community for having them and arranging the football match and are looking forward to the match
TVP Oxford 

2)Reporting
A report of burglary at a house was made to us via the online reporting service. Our
priority crime team attended and investigated. The suspect was arrested for nine
different counts as a result of the report!
Remember if a burglary is in progress, you should always call 999. As well as
potentially preventing the crime being completed, someone being hurt and items
being stolen, it is also the very best evidence we can get to prove that someone has
committed the crime.
Once criminals have left the scene, we may still send police officers, PCSOs or a
member of police staff out to investigate the crime, as this is at the very heart of
policing. But, there is no longer a need for us to get there immediately so you should
report online or call us on 101 if you would prefer to speak to one of our experienced
call handlers.
All of the online reports we receive are triaged according to the threat, harm and risk
that they pose to ensure those that require a quicker response are dealt with
accordingly.

CRIME PREVENTION
1)Distraction crimes
Most distraction crimes involve the suspect purporting to be from “The Water Board” or “The Gas Board” and wanting to check your taps or pipes.  They broadly target older residents and rely on people not wanting to appear rude and who will simply let them into their houses without checking they are genuine.
It’s important to remember there are no such organisations such  as The Water Board.  Your utilities will be supplied by private companies such as Thames Water.   Their employees will be uniformed and carry ID.
Tips to keep safe
The message is simple, if in doubt, keep them out.
1. LOCK - keep your front and back doors locked, even when at home
2. STOP - are you expecting anyone ?
3. CHAIN - if you decide to open the door, put the chain on first
4. CHECK - ask for the caller's ID and check it by phone
• Encourage older people to get into the habit of always locking their doors and by using a door chain or spy-hole.
• Telephone a neighbour,  or a nearby friend, and ask them to come along to help check out the caller before you open the door to them.
• Insist on checking the identity of the caller.    If they are genuine, they will not mind waiting or returning later.   Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller as they may be bogus.
• Don't keep large quantities of cash or jewellery at home; put it in the bank or post office where it is safe.
• Remember, it is not rude to refuse letting a stranger into your home !

2) Public Wifi
Tips to stay safe online when out and about this summer: 
If your data plan allows, consider bypassing WiFi networks altogether. In addition to the security concerns associated with them, they can also be crowded and slow
If you have a genuine need to connect to a WiFi network, make sure it’s a reliable one that’s password-protected. If you’re unsure, use a WiFi inspector tool to check it’s security before you do anything, or install a VPN to create an encrypted connection
When you're online, whenever you are, however you’ve connected, remember that cybercriminals can be opportunistic people. Don’t let optimism bias take over. The belief that you are less likely to suffer misfortune can lead to risky behaviour and bad decision-making which can sometimes lead to unpleasant results

3) Catalytic Converter Crime Prevention (see attachment)
Selectamark offer a discount to registered NW members
Catalytic converter marking  https://www.selectamark.co.uk/security-marking/cat-marking-kit

4)The Ten Principles of Crime Prevention
1. Target Hardening
Making your property harder for an offender to access.
Upgrading the locks on your doors, windows, sheds and outbuildings
Fitting sash jammers to vulnerable doors and windows
Using secure passwords to prevent criminals hacking your online accounts
 
2. Target Removal
Ensuring that a potential target is out of view.
Not leaving items on view through your windows – i.e. laptops, phones, keys, bags
Putting your vehicle in the garage if you have one and not leaving valuables on display
Being cautious about what you post online as it may be used to identify or locate you offline
 
3. Reducing the Means
Removing items that may help commit an offence.
Not leaving tools and ladders in the garden and clearing up any rubble/bricks
Keeping wheelie bins out of reach, as they may be a climbing aid or help transport items
Making sure that bricks and rubble are cleared up

 4. Reducing the Payoff
Reducing the profit the criminal can make from the offence.
Security marking your property
Marking your property in such a way that others will not want to buy from the thief
Not buying property you believe or suspect to be stolen
 
5. Access Control
Looking at measures that will control access to a location, a person or object.
Locking your doors and windows to both your house and your vehicle
Ensuring that fencing, hedges, walls and other boundary treatments are in a good state of repair
Putting a security system in place at a commercial site (entry barriers, security guards, ID cards)
 
6. Surveillance
Improving surveillance around homes, businesses or public places to deter criminals.
Removing high hedges / fences at the front of your home that allows an offender to work unseen
Consider adding CCTV to a commercial site or public place
Establishing a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in your street
 
7. Environmental Change
Ensuring your property and wider community looks cared for.
Ensuring that graffiti and domestic/commercial waste is cleared up
Reporting issues with fly-tipping or broken street lights to the relevant authority
Working with the police and local authority to close a footpath
 
8. Rule Setting
Changing our habits by setting rules and positioning signage in appropriate locations. 
Introducing a rule that the last person entering / leaving should lock the door and remove the keys
Informing visitors to commercial sites that they must report to reception on arrival
Informing users that a particular site is closed between certain times and should not be accessed
 
9. Increase the Chances of Being Caught
Increasing the likelihood that an offender will be caught to prevent crime occurring.
Making use of dusk to dawn security lighting is in place and in working order
Using good quality CCTV and/or alarm systems, especially on commercial sites and public places
Upgrading security to delay an offender, meaning they have to spend more time to gain access
 
10. Deflecting Offenders
Deterring an offender or deflecting their intention.
Using timer switches to make our homes look occupied if vacant after the hours of darkness
Running youth diversionary schemes with partner agencies
Referring offenders to drug rehabilitation programmes
 
SCAMS
1) Email scams April 2020-July 2021
As of 31st July 2021 the number of reports received stand at more than 6,900,000 with the removal of more than 55,300 scams and 105,000 URLs.

Action Fraud (see attachment)
2) SCAM: Watch out for this Asda gift card scam. We followed the links in the emails and they lead to malicious websites that are designed to steal your personal info.
Report suspicious emails by forwarding them to: report@phishing.gov.uk

3) Public sent phoney texts for NHS COVID-19 Passes
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has been sent evidence of a text scam themed around the NHS COVID pass.
The message, which claims to be an official communication from the National Health Service (NHS), reads: "NHS: We've noticed you haven't applied for your COVID pass, please follow the link to complete registration to avoid fees...". The message then links to a website made to look like a real NHS platform that asks the recipient to provide personal details, supposedly for registration purposes, but which could be used to undertake identity fraud.
This text scam is similar to an email-based scam witnessed in July, which implored members of the public to get their health passports before they went on holiday. That scam also directed recipients to a phoney website that took personal details which could be used to commit fraud.

For consumer advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on  0800 144 8848 
Relay UK - if you can't hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 0800 144 8884
Please join Friends Against Scams, a National Trading Standards initiative that protects and prevents people from becoming scam victims by empowering them to take a stand against scams. Website -  https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/

GENERAL INFORMATION
1) Seeing your medical records
 I was recently asked by one of our members if it was possible for them to view their medical records. The answer is yes and some of the most common reasons for wanting to access medical records include understanding a condition, coming to terms with a medical event or preparing to make a complaint.  You have a legal right to see our own records and you do not have to explain why you want to see them.
 However, a request could be refused if a health professional thinks that seeing the record would be seriously harmful to your physical or mental health or if the records also relate to someone else.
 There is no charge and you can view a summary of your GP records online.  You can do this by asking your GP or visiting the surgery website.  If you go to the surgery in person, you will be asked for some form of photo identification and proof of address.  You can also view your GP records using the NHS App. You can also formally request your medical records in writing and you may wish to do this because you do not have or do not want to use online services or that you want hard copies of records.

2) Instagram
Instagram makes new under 16 profiles private by default
Instagram have announced some new changes to how young people’s social media accounts can be managed. These features have been introduced to prevent unwanted followers and messages from strangers. This has been done to help keep children and young people safe online whilst allowing them to continue in experiencing the benefits of social media.
Research from Instagram found that children and young people generally preferred having a more private account, allowing them to socialise with known friends and family, without having to interact with people they don’t know.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING 
Funding from Police and Crime Commissioner
1) Additional £166,000 funding secured for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence
 Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber has awarded an additional £166,937 Ministry of Justice funding to organisations supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
The Ministry of Justice Critical Support Fund encompasses support for domestic abuse and sexual violence community organisations and provision of Independent Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse Advisors (ISVA/IDVA). The fund is aimed at supporting organisations in greatest need across England and Wales. Four organisations in the Thames Valley have been awarded funding.

Funding from Central Government
2)Additional £800,000 to fund youth intervention “teachable moment” programmes in Oxfordshire
 The Government has confirmed that a bid for an additional £800,000 to fund youth intervention programmes in Oxfordshire has been secured by the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit.
 The award was announced this month following the publication of the Government’s “Beating Crime” plan, with £17m allocated to schemes nationally, drawn from the Serious Violence Fund which supports initiatives to tackle knife crime and youth violence.
 The Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit had applied to the “Teachable Moments” grant scheme, which funds intervention initiatives built around the concept of teachable moments; particular points when a young person is more receptive to support to help them to change their behaviours and steer clear of crime. It will be used to create new “Navigator” roles, working across hospitals, police custody and in the wider community, providing support and sign-posting for young people at risk of being involved in violence.
 The VRU will now work with the Safer Oxfordshire Partnership, which coordinates community safety activity across the county of Oxfordshire, to develop more detailed proposals as to how the funding will be used, including inviting local voluntary sector organisations to apply to deliver initiatives, via a VRU-led tendering process.
Teachable moment initiatives use a particular moment such as an admission to hospital, an arrest or being taken into police custody. These moments create a position where a person may be more reflective, considering what has led them to be admitted and can be more open to discussing how they could change their lives to be safer and more positive.
An example of such a scheme already in place is the VRU-funded Hospital Navigator programme, which launched recently at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading and with a further four sites across the region launching in coming months. Hospital Navigators are trained volunteers, working within the Emergency Departments. When a young person is admitted in circumstances linked to risky behaviours, such as violence, drink, drugs or self-harm and mental health problems, their clinician can refer them to speak with a Navigator if they wish, who offers a listening ear and can help discuss the circumstances which led to their admission, offer support such as access to mentoring or signposts them to local services and help with employment and education.
Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (NWN, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford LPA)
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