This message is dated Wednesday 12th September 2018 for Ascot.
NO CRIME TO REPORT IN THE LAST 48 HOURS IN ASCOT
NO CARS BROKEN INTO
NOTTINGHAM KNOCKERS STILL OUT THERE:
Tuesday, they are in Fox Covert Close SUNNINGHILL 3 45 p.m.
They are very aggressive, when told to go away / get off my drive.
Thanks Dave - Everyone should be aware !
Please remember our NHW Motto:
I AM SORRY, I DO NOT BUY GOODS AND SERVICES AT THE DOOR
I have just had a call from one of our members about a scam call they have received which has really unsettled them.
It came in yesterday morning just after 9 a.m. from a man who said he was David Smith from HMRC. Apparently there were three county court judgments against her, for non-payment of tax in the amount of £2,900 which related to the financial year 2004 / 2005. When asked why she knew nothing about this and why she had received nothing by letter, from either the HMRC or the County court, he explained that they had tried to effect personal service of the paperwork, on the 5th July and 21st August, but no-one was home to accept the papers. He went on that this was really serious, as it related to tax evasion, about amounts, which she had failed to declare to the Inland Revenue. She needed to discharge this amount immediately, or he would send a policeman to her door within the next 10 minutes, to have her arrested and imprisoned. She had three options. One to pay the outstanding amounts immediately, 2 not pay and he would send a policeman to arrest her very shortly and she would go to jail, or three, she could be taken to court, where and the cost would be £68,000. She was very shaken, as he was so convincing, having a reasonable answer to everything she said. She needed a minute to think, wrote down a telephone number and put the phone down. She collected her thoughts and rang back a few minutes later. He answered. She then said she didn’t have the money, he responded that in that case, she would be going to prison for a long time. She then asked, if she should send a cheque to the Inland Revenue. He said no, he worked for a debt collection agency and the money should be transferred to them. He would give her the appropriate account details.
At that moment, it dawned upon her that it was a scam. She put the phone down and phoned her local tax office, who explained there was nothing outstanding, it was all a scam. She then also realised that the phone number she had used was a fake, the scammer had simply not put the phone down, keeping the line open. She is still badly shaken, by the experience.
NEXT: Another one reported to us yesterday from Pinkey’s Road:
The aggrieved was cold called by a builder, who said they could see from the road, she needed roof repairs. They explained that had just finished working for a neighbour, who could recommend them. They gave a verbal quote of £1,000. Her daughter who was with her, advised that she should think about it and get other quotes. The aggrieved said, no, she trusted the men, as she believed she had used them before to cut her hedges and was pleased with their work. She also thought they were polite and friendly. She then arranged for her grandson, to drive her to hr bank to take out the £1,000. When she got to the bank, they questioned the amount she was withdrawing. She explained she was having some work done on her house ad that it was her grandson who had driven her to the bank, not the builders. They then released the money, which she handed to the builders. They then left, ‘to purchase necessary equipment.
Later Monday the 6th September, she phoned the police as they had not turned up to do the work and she was concerned it may have been a scam. While on the phone, they did turn up and she ended the call. The builders explained they hadn’t turned up because their van had broken down and they had to hire a replacement.
They started work. Several times, they didn’t turn up and they said this was because they were having difficulty locating the correct ridge tiles as it was an old property. They added that they would need to buy more ridge tiles, as there was more damage than they first thought.
On the 10/9 they attended again and asked for another £600, as they needed roof sealant. As the aggrieved did not have that amount, they agreed to driver her to her bank. She removed the money and handed it to them. They returned to the house and they began to pack up their ladders etc., as they were not suitable and too big, for the work required and they would have to come back at another time, with shorter ladders.
PCSO Aneta Welnitz, who followed up her call, to ask if all was in order, found it very difficult to convince the aggrieved that she may have been scammed. She understood she may have been foolish to deal with someone who cold called rather than getting several estimates and Aneta felt sure, she understood that it was a scam, but they were so helpful and polite.
A warning to everyone. Please remember our NHW motto:
‘I do not buy goods and services at the door’.
I am happy to come out to any road / group / community association, lunch club that needs some crime prevention / awareness / r-assurance input. If you want me to come and speak to your group - email me at my email at the bottom of this message.
Part two of our Onion Survey advice of you home.
You have stood at the furthest perimeter and looked at your home for vulnerabilities and then moved to the next layer - standing at the front door.
When I do NHW Start up meetings in our rural areas, as well as ordinary urban streets in the winter and it is dark, it is often difficult to find the right house number. In some of our rural areas, we do not have house numbers, only house names. This makes it doubly difficult. It gives opportunist thieves, the opportunity to walk up and down driveways, with the obvious excuse, if challenged - ‘I am looking for number 10’ / I am looking for Chez Nous’ !
House names and numbers, must be clearly visible - and lit - when it is dark, at your perimeter, not unlit, other than by a dull porch light, on a wall beside the front door, 30 feet from the pavement. Make sure, no-one has an excuse to walk up your driveway, unnecessarily.
NEXT - we will deal with access to the rear, via a garden gate / side gate.
You could easily place a sign on all access points - ‘Beware of the Dog’ ??
Once in the rear garden, if it is dark:
- They should break security light PIR sensors, turning them on. If they go on, do not always assume it is a fox / cat. Always go to a window and look. You may not see anything, but anyone outside, will see you ! That will alert them to the fact that you are aware that there may be someone out there.
- If you have CCTV - check it.
- Our Opportunist thieves cannot ‘go equipped’ with anything. We only have a limited number of opportunist thieves and we generally know who they are. If they are seen and stop checked during the early hours, they will be searched. If they are even carrying a screwdriver, they will be arrested for ‘Going Equipped’. As a result, when they find a potential target, they look for equipment to use on the premises - usually tools from a garden shed. They will try to force garden sheds open - they are usually made of flimsy wood. They will look through any window with a torch to see if there are screwdrivers, garden forks, spades etc. Any of these items can and have be used, to force a rear window / patio doors.
- Some of our opportunist thieves - ‘fence hop’. Once in an easier accessible rear garden, they will fence hop to another. Protect the top of fences with a system such as ‘Prikka Strip’. Plastic spikes. If you have cats that walk along the top of fences, you can place it slightly down one side, where it would still catch fingers, if someone tries to climb over. Its advantage, is that it will not break skin, but will tell a potential offender, that the property is protected. You may nt use broken glass or razor wire. Barbed wire may not be used below 8 feet.
- Sheds in gardens must be protected and secured as offenders will look for them to find tools to use to force entry. If the hinges are secured with screws, these are often removed by the opportunist, so that the door opens against the lock and any padlock and chain. Screws should be replaced, with round headed coach bolts, with nuts on the rear, inside.
- Garden ornaments are also very useful, to throw through patio doors. These should be cemented down.
- There should not be piles of loose rocks / bricks near the house.
- Patio doors and windows, are made of ‘toughened’ glass, for safety reasons, as they are large sheets of glass. Toughened glass, shatters - silently - into tiny pieces, to prevent people being very badly injured with cuts if the glass is broken and cut by large shards. The glass is exactly the same as car windscreens and we all know how easily these shatter, when hit by a small stone. Often a rock from the garden is used to shatter an area beside the lock, the shatter is pushed out and the opportunist reaches through to open the door if a key is left in the lock.
- Often they will throw something through the door and then simply push the shattered glass out of the frame and walk in. As this happens silently, it is very rarely heard, even by close neighbours.
- A wide open access as a result, offers a perfect exit.
- A burglar alarm, is your greatest protection - hence the advice to have a very visible box on the front of your house, including a dummy box.
- Be aware, not all burglaries take place in the dark, though they will increase, as we head towards darker evenings. The CCTV footage I mentioned receiving from one of our members of a man wandering around their garden and trying garage door handles took place at about 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
- Thieves do judge houses by the car on the driveway - or the lack of a car on the driveway with any gate left open.
- Peak times are 8.30 - 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. - 5.30 p.m. when houses are potentially empty. Husbands at work, wives on the school Nursery run. Later of course it is evenings, when again houses are likely to be empty, or the early hours when we are in bed.
- Burglar Alarms. Come in two types. Sounding and monitored. If you live in the centre of a town with neighbours, a sounding alarm is fine. If you live apart from neighbours, or in a rural / remote location, where a sounding alarm may not be heard, or it would take some time for the police to attend, you will need a monitored alarm.
- Newer ‘Sounding’ alarms, do not sound in the street, but inside the house. This is deliberate. The sound, which is very loud in a confined space, makes it almost impossible, to stay inside.
- Both ‘Sounding’ and ‘monitored’ alarms need two pieces of evidence, to guarantee a police response. 1. That the alarm is sounding and 2 a supporting piece of evidence that it is currently, a crime in progress. A noise inside / torchlight / a shadow at a window.
- Even if the alarm is monitored, the same rule applies. The monitoring company, will receive an alert on their screens that an external sensor has been triggered. They will then wait to call the police, until an internal sensor, is also triggered.
- All modern alarms are now pet sensitive. In the past they were not and people did not set them, to allow their pets, free range of the house at night. Opportunist thieves, would therefore look for evidence of a pet - a dog / cat flap, a pet toy in the garden etc. If they saw evidence of a pet, they would smash a window and reach inside, to see if the alarm had been set. If it was, they made off immediately, if now, they would proceed. The alarms now measure the body weight of whatever triggered the alarm. It also measures the space above and below the animal if it jumps to human height.
- Modern alarms are really simple to operate. They no longer have complicated zones and appropriate PIN codes. They are still zoned, but are fobbed, on and off. If you go upstairs to bed, the ground floor zone must be set at night. I hear at meetings, that alarms cannot be set, because there are children in the house, who may wander around at night. They must be taught that for security purposes, this is not possible.
- You never go into your or a neighbour’s house, if the alarm is sounding. You must never put yourself at risk. Call us, give us as much information as possible, and wait for us to attend.
- What do you do if you are at home, in bed and your ground floor alarm is triggered and sounds ? Again, you do not put yourself at risk by going to investigate. Put on the lights, turn up a radio, put a chair against the door make as much noise as possible, to alert the intruder that you are aware of their presence and phone the police. Again, you do not go downstairs to investigate and put yourself at risk. You could shout that you are releasing a vicious dog, so anyone there, should leave immediately ! When this happens, offenders always leave and we have not had a case of them staying.
- Whenever you go out, the alarm must be set, and both locks on your front door, double locked !
The NEXT instalment, peeling back the onion - ‘Once inside’ will be in Friday’s message.
ASCOT & SOUTH ASCOT:
I am afraid the PEC are slow to answer at the moment - hence my recommendation that you let us know using the online reporting system:
We have had Nottingham Knockers right across the Borough - the young unemployed lads and now girls, going door to door, selling household products. When they call, can everyone please respond, using the same words:
‘I AM SORRY, I DO NOT BUY GOODS AND SERVICES AT THE DOOR’
Then firmly, but politely, close and lock the door.
Please do not feel sorry for them. If they say they have just come out of prison and are making their way back into society, you will know instantly they do not have the required permit to sell door to door - A ‘Pedlars Certificate’. The only items that can be sold door to door, without a Pedlars Certificate are books and food.
Pedlars Certificates are only issued to those of ‘Good Character’ and a police check is carried out before one is issued. If someone has been to prison, they will never be issued a Certificate. It looks like this and you should ask to see it, if that makes you more comfortable to reject them:
As they cannot obtain one of these, they usually produce a ‘Hawkers Identification’. There is no such thing and they simply produce something, to fool you:
We do not recommend any conversation with the Knockers as they are trained to obtain information from you.
If they say they tried the house next door but there was no reply - you are NOT to respond to be helpful - ‘Oh no, they are away on holiday in the Caribbean for the next month’ !
We have been trained to be helpful and answer questions when asked.
DON’T DO IT
The BT / Windows scam is still alive and well:
Just received a call from India saying they work for BT claiming that my BT account had been compromised and that they need to send a new router etc.
They then ask if you can go onto your computer screen etc.. As soon as I heard that, I said the line was bad and that I would ring them back. No....they will ring me back !
In the meantime I contacted BT online. They confirmed it was a scam and said they would blacklist the call...the number was 02567151879. The scam rang back and I told them that the BT fraud department was dealing with it!
To block a number, after the call simply press 1572. The number will never get through again !
Eyes and Ears..........and Brain.
‘You can play your part in helping to tackle the terrorist threat facing the UK’.
‘Everyone, from law enforcement, to businesses, to the general public, has a role to play in keeping the UK safe from terrorism and to effectively combat the threat. Everyone needs to work together. Our aim, is to encourage people to be more vigilant – ‘if you suspect it, report it’ – please report all suspicious activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321’.
‘For more information follow this link: https://act.campaign.gov.uk/