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This message is dated Friday 1st October 2021 - Ascot

Alert message sent 01/10/2021 21:43:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

FIRST:  The bank have come up with a new Fraud Hotline – just dial 159


If you think someone is trying to trick you into handing over money or personal details……Stop, hang up and call 159 to speak directly to your bank.

Last year criminal gangs stole over £470m by pretending to be your bank or other service provider.

159 is the memorable, secure number that contacts you directly to your bank if you think you’re being scammed.
  • 159 works in the same way as 101 for the police or 111 for the NHS. It’s the number you can trust to get you through to your bank, every time.
  • 159 will never call you. Only a fraudster will object to you calling 159.
  • When you dial the number, you will be asked to press one for this bank, 2 for that bank – going through them all.  You will then be put through directly to their fraud department.

This is an easy number to ring and remember !

When should I call 159?

Call 159 if:
  • Someone contacts you saying they’re from your bank – even if they are not suspicious
  • You receive a call asking you to transfer money or make a payment – even if it seems genuine
  • You receive a call about a financial matter and it seems suspicious
Remember, 159 will never call you. But you can rely on 159 to get you through to your bank.
Who is behind 159?

159 has been set up by banks and telephone companies who want to fight fraud. It’s a pilot scheme at the moment. The following banks are part of it:
  • Lloyds (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland)
  • NatWest (including Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank)
  • Santander
  • Starling Bank
That covers over 70% of UK primary current account holders.

We want more banks to join us, and we hope they will over the course of the pilot.
Will it definitely work on my telephone?

Almost all major consumer telephone companies are participating, and over 80% of UK mobiles and landlines will be able to use 159 at the outset. We are working to grow this reach to 100% during the pilot.
The telephone companies are:
  • BT, including EE and Plusnet
  • Gamma
  • O2, including giffgaff
  • TalkTalk
  • Three
  • Virgin Media
  • Sky

What happens if 159 doesn’t work, for any reason?
You should contact your bank in the normal way, using the number on your bank card.

How much does it cost to call 159?
Calling 159 will cost the same as a national rate call; usually part of the included minutes in most phone tariffs.
What’s the idea behind the 159 pilot?
159 is a pilot scheme – the idea is to collect evidence to show that calling 159 helps fight fraud. Then we want to make 159 a universal number – available on all phones and for all banks.

NEXT:  we are involved in a large Rural Crime initiative

Definition of Rural Crime:
On 1st April, TVP changed their rural crime definition. Our definition is now more in line with other leading forces in Rural Crime and was developed by practitioners to reflect the diverse nature of rural crime offences. 
  • ‘Offences that relate to farms, agriculture, wildlife, the environment and heritage sites where they are targeted due to their isolation or rural location.’
  • Agricultural crime constitutes any statutory or common-law offence which may be committed against people in agricultural communities, their lands, businesses and property (property includes plant and agricultural machinery and animals such as livestock and horses). Agricultural communities are those who live within a rural area as defined by the Office of National Statistics 2011 Rural Urban Classification to Super Output level and are involved in the agriculture industry.
  • Environmental crime constitutes an illegal act, which directly harms the environment. This element of the strategy will be largely delivered by supporting partner agencies.
  • Heritage crime constitutes any offence, which harms the value of heritage assets and their settings. 
  • Wildlife crime constitutes any unlawful act or omission, which affects any wild creature, plant or habitat
We will reduce the levels of rural crime through disruption and targeted actions
  • We will increase the confidence our rural communities have in RBWM by building meaningful links and explaining what action we are taking
  • We will proactively target those people that are suspected of committing serious organised acquisitive crime
  • We will work collectively in RBWM and with partners to make a sustained improvement for our rural communities
Do you live in a rural community / farm / stable / country estate / rural location.  If so we will support you when you report ‘rural crime’ to us.  We understand many people feel they don’t need to report rural crimes.  If we don’t know about the crimes taking place – we cannot investigate it.

The Berks Rural Crime group has put together a WhatsApp group.  The aim is that people in rural communities, can communicate with each other in real time.  They can share information and for example details of suspicious people / cars driving around / lamping and hare coursing – making others aware – very similar to the concept of Neighbourhood Watch.  Communities working together to look after and support each other.

If you would like to participate in the Rural Crime WhatsApp Group go to:


NEXT:  We have a report from an aggrieved that she is receiving emails from someone in authority at the FBI alleging that she is involved in money laundering and threatening her with prison !  This is a repeat victim who had been the victim of a Romance Scam.  She has not parted with any money and is just deleting the emails !  Exactly the right thing to do !

NEXT:  A thank you for a brilliant evening with the Ascot Rotary Club.  I hope everyone learnt a lot !

If you would like me to come along to your group and talk about local crimes / scams & frauds, just let me know.


I have attached reference numbers to each crime report. If you live in the vicinity of any of the crimes mentioned and have CCTV or a video doorbell, can you please check the footage. If you have any that might be of interest to the police, can you please make contact with us, quoting reference number given.

Alternatively you can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or email -

29/9  Wednesday 7 p.m.  Oakdene.  Burglary.  The owner returned and found their dogs shut in the living room, but didn’t think much of it.  Later when they went to bed, they found the jewellery box on the bed and items missing.  Jewellery had also been stolen from another bedroom.  Unknown point of entry, but a necklace found dropped at the foot of the stairs.  Ref. No: 43210440008



29/9  4.40 a.m.  Brockenhurst Road.  The owner has video doorbell footage of a man climbing over their fence and entered and searched their car.  They then move over and search a neighbours car.  Ref. No:  43210439308


Please consider using our online reporting system but please note this reporting tool is not for use where a crime happening right now, the suspect is still at the scene, or anyone seriously injured or in immediate danger.

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Eyes, ears.....and Brain



Hi, I am Valerie Pike, Chair of Windsor & Ascot NHW Association. The Association was formed in September 2019 and our objective was simply to help residents. In setting up the Association, we asked
How can each of us
·       help to make our community safer?
·       improve its spirit and neighbourliness?
·       help the Police to reduce local crime?
·       make our own home security better?
Starting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your street is easy, and it’s free. Police statistics show that a Neighbourhood Watch scheme significantly reduces the probability of your house being burgled.
Neighbourhood Watch is about neighbourliness and making our communities and homes safer. It’s about being friendly and caring, and watching out for the elderly and vulnerable too.
Members of Neighbourhood Watch are assisted in a number of ways, including  having  free  home  security  surveys  conducted  by  a  local PCSO, to identify any areas in which security can be improved, and to advise  on  optimum  ways  to  safeguard  against  crime  and  improve personal and household security
But most of all Neighbourhood Watch is about helping the Police to keep us safe. They need the support of people who care. If that’s you - join us now!
Please contact us on and we will be delighted to assist.

Message sent by
Jeffrey Pick (Police, Community Engagement & Resilience Officer, Windsor & Maidenhead LPA)

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