Remenham Parish
Remenham Parish

Thames Valley Police Alerts

Next phase of ProtectYourWorld campaign launched

Building on the success of last year's campaign, this week the force is launching the next phase of the #ProtectYourWorld campaign. This aims to raise awareness about cyber crime, as well as encouraging residents and businesses to take action to protect their online worlds and to make a report if they fall victim.

This includes a new video highlighting the various ways we are all at risk of becoming a victim  of cyber crime every day and giving helpful advice to avoid this happening.

Nottingham Knockers in Wargrave

Nottingham Knockers in Wargrave – have been reported in the area, if you are in a No Cold Calling Zone, you can take the following action:

 

If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours make sure they know not to answer the door to cold callers, sometimes they are not so confident in sending the Nottingham Knockers on their and may feel obliged to buy something.

 

Make a note of:

Time and date of cold call

Company/business name (keep any leaflet or flyer)

If yousee they are using any vehicle, if possible take any vehicle registration details (make, model, colour, any signage displayed)

Details of what is said

Description of individuals

Forward this information and you contact details to Trading Standards at:

tsadvice@westberks.gov.uk

 

Is it illegal to cold call within a NCCZ? 

You have to display your “No Cold Callers” sticker and then cold calling could be deemed a banned practice under Schedule 1 paragraph 25 of the consumer protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

 

If a cold caller becomes aggressive or you feel threatened ring 999

Thames Valley Police 101

West Berks and Wokingham Trading Standards 01635 519930

 

Remember if cold callers don’t get any sales in your area, they are less likely to return

Woodley assaults - message from Chief Inspector Sarah Grahame

You may have seen our appeal yesterday for witnesses following an assault which took place in Sandford Park, Woodley.

 

We are now in the process of carrying out an investigation into another assault which took place in Lysander Close, Woodley, on the same day (13/11).

 

In both incidents the victim was approached from behind. In the first incident the victim was pushed to the ground before the offender fled. In the second, the victim was pushed by a man who then grabbed her arm. She managed to free herself and the man left the scene.

 

We are working to establish if there is a link between these incidents.

 

I appreciate that this may cause some concern in the community and would like to reassure you that our officers will be in the area carrying out enquiries over the coming days.

 

There is no need to do anything differently as a result of these incidents but as always, please do consider your personal safety when out and about.

 

You can read more about this latest appeal on our website.

 

If you have information about either of these incidents, please call 101 quoting the following occurrence numbers:

Sandford Park - 43170338107

Lysander Road - 43170339172

Employment Fraud Alert

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified a number of reports where job seekers are being targeted by fraudsters trying to obtain personal and banking details from them, or requesting money to secure accommodation.

 

Individuals registering with job seeking websites or searching for jobs on The Student Room website are being contacted by bogus recruitment companies/businesses asking them to complete application and interview forms which request personal details and banking details, as well as copies of identity documents.

In some instances the applicant is invited along for interview, either in person or over the phone, to make the process look as legitimate as possible. This is impacting on students and graduates looking for work both in the UK and overseas. Some job seekers, as well as divulging personal details, have paid money to the fraudsters in order to secure a bogus rental property alongside the job offer.

 

How to protect yourself: 
 

  • Check emails and documents from the recruiter for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
  • If visa fees are mentioned, ask the embassy representing the country where you believe you will be working how to obtain a visa and how much it costs. Check that the answers the potential employer or recruiter gave you are the same – if they’re not, it may be a sign of fraud.
  • Carry out thorough research to confirm that the organisation offering you the job actually exists. If it does exist, contact the organisation directly using contact details obtained through your own research or their website to confirm the job offer is genuine.

 

What to do if you’re a victim: 
 

  • If you think your bank details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.
  • Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.
  • Warn the operators of the job website you used that their site is being used by fraudsters.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.ukor by calling 0300 123 2040.

Thames Valley Police launches Firearms Surrender

The surrender runs from today 13/11 until Sunday 26/11 and is part of a national initiative run by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS). It aims to reduce the number of illegally held firearms within our communities.

Each firearm handed into us is one less that could fall into the hands of criminals.

Whether it is an old family heirloom that has been stored away for years, a former military weapon or an unwanted firearm which was previously legally owned - all can be handed in to your local police station, safe in the knowledge that they will be disposed of safely.

We will also accept replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, antique guns, component parts and other ballistic items.

During the fortnight firearms licence holders are also being encouraged to consider the surrender of weapons they no longer have any use for.

Chief Inspector Emma Baillie, Head of Armed Response for the Joint Operations Unit for Hampshire and Thames Valley, said: “This is your chance to safely dispose of any guns or ammunition you no longer want but don’t know what to do with.

“Surrender them now and we can dispose of them safely, making sure that they do not fall into the hands of criminals.

“We know that the consequences of firearms or replica firearms falling into the wrong hands can be fatal and can cause real fear within our communities.

“They also have the potential of being used against our own officers who could find themselves confronted with someone wielding a weapon in public.

“While crimes involving firearms in Thames Valley are rare, we know that every firearm poses a potential threat if they are not licensed and stored safely.

“That is why we are offering this opportunity to safely hand in your unwanted firearms.

“The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever. We take all reports of incidents involving firearms extremely seriously and robust action will be taken against anyone who commits a firearms related offence.”

During the two-week campaign, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.

However, this is not an amnesty and if further examination of a surrendered firearm reveals a link to a crime, this will be investigated.

We are asking anyone who is unsure about an item they have to call us on 101 to get advice on what they should do. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Historic ordnance should not be moved or handed in to any stations, if you think you have any items like this, please call us on 101 for advice.

Please see below for a list of which stations will be taking part in the surrender:

 

Station

Opening Times

Abingdon

0800-2200, 7 days per week

Amersham  

1000-1800, Mon-Fri

Aylesbury

0800-2200, 7 days per week

Banbury

0800-2200, 7 days per week

Bicester

1000-1800, Mon-Fri

Bracknell

1000-1800, Mon-Fri

High Wycombe        

0800-2200, 7 days per week

HQ South, Kidlington    

0700-1800, Mon-Fri

Loddon Valley

0800-2200, 7 days per week

Maidenhead

0800-2200, 7 days per week

Milton Keynes         

0800-2200, 7 days per week

Newbury

0800-2200, 7 days per week

Oxford

0800-2200, 7 days per week

Reading

0800-2200, 7 days per week

Slough

0800-2200, 7 days per week

Witney

1000-1800, Mon-Fri

 

Appeal for witnesses following attempted rape in Winnersh

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following an attempted rape which occurred in Winnersh.

The incident took place yesterday (2/11) in the park behind Dunstans Drive at about 5.55pm.

The victim, a woman aged 36, was walking her dog in the park when she was grabbed from behind by a man.

He pulled the victim to the ground and attempted to remove her clothes. However, the victim’s dog became aggressive towards him and he then fled the scene.

The victim was not injured in the incident.

The offender is described as having tanned skin, dark hair and is clean shaven. He may be aged in his thirties and is about 5ft 7ins tall.

He was wearing a black hooded top and black or navy jogging bottoms.

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Matt Stone, of Berkshire Force CID, said: “This was a very distressing and traumatic experience for the victim and she is being supported by specially trained officers at this time.

“I understand that people in the area will be very concerned about this incident, but I would like to reassure them that we have begun a full and thorough investigation.

“A scenewatch is in place at the park, and members of the public may see an increased police presence in the area while an investigation is carried out.

“I would like to hear from anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area at this time.

“If you have any information which you think could help our investigation, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please call the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number on 101, quoting reference 1201 (2/11).”

Vehicle Crime Prevention

Following a number of Theft from Motor Vehicle offences across the area, we would like to offer some vehicle crime prevention advice. 

Vehicle criminals are opportunists, and most vehicle-related crimes can be prevented by taking simple security measures. Always lock your car, wind up the windows and close the sunroof, even if you are only leaving it for a few minutes. You should also double check it is locked before leaving. It only takes a few seconds for your valuables to be stolen from an unlocked car. 

Never leave valuable possessions such as handbags, laptops, phones or sat navs on show inside a vehicle. This makes it much more likely to be targeted by thieves. Even items of little value, such as shopping bags and clothing, may tempt a potential thief to break into the vehicle to see whether they contain anything worth stealing. Keep your possessions out of view, or take them with you. 

For extra security:
Fit a car alarm
Use a steering wheel lock
Get an immobiliser, this stops the engine from starting if the car is being stolen
Always park your car in well-lit areas in full public view 
When stationary in traffic, keep your doors locked and windows up
Take your sat nav with you and wipe away any marks left by the suction pads 
Don't leave items in the glove compartment
If you have a garage, use it

Renewed appeal to trace missing man and his children - Berkshire

Thames Valley Police is renewing its appeal to the public to help trace a man and his two young boys from Arborfield in Berkshire.

Michael John Cole, aged 43, and his two boys, Michael Lee Cole, known as Mikey, aged eight, Harry Cole, aged seven, were reported missing to police on Monday 2 October.

Michael John Cole is a white man of a medium build with short dark hair and when he was last seen had a dark beard.

Michael Lee Cole is a white boy of a medium build with short blond hair and blue eyes.

Harry Cole is a white boy of a large build with short blond hair and blue eyes.

Local Policing Area Commander for Bracknell and Wokingham, Superintendent Shaun Virtue said: “Since we published our first appeal we have had a great amount of calls from the public who have provided significant information but unfortunately at this time we have been unable to locate Michael John Cole and his two sons.

“It has now been confirmed that the last sighting of Michael John and the boys was in Grazeley, Berkshire, on Friday September 8. It is reported that Michael John intended to take a train the following day, Saturday 9 September, from Mortimer railway station towards Shropshire or Wales.

“New information has come into us that Michael John deals in scrap metal so we would ask scrap metal yard owners and staff to be vigilant. If you see Michael John or his children please call police on 999 or if you have any information that is not urgent call 101 and quote the investigation reference number 43170291780.

“As I previously stated, we do not believe Michael John poses any immediate risk to his sons but we do have concerns for the boys’ long-term welfare in terms of access to education and to the National Health Service should it be required in the future.

“Although Michael John is from Aborfield he also has links to other areas in Berkshire such as Wokingham, Bracknell and Reading. He also has links to Basingstoke in Hampshire, Ludlow and Shrewsbury in Shropshire, and Bridgend and Newport in Wales.”

If you have any information relating to this case, please call 101 quoting reference '43170291780', or contact Crimestoppers anonymously.

Phishing - How to protect yourself

Safety tips - keeping your home secure this autumn

As the darker evenings approach, with trick-or-treaters preparing for Halloween, Thames Valley Police are offering tips for a safe and fun Halloween and are reminding residents to take basic home security measure to keep their home safe as the clocks go back on Sunday (29/10).

 Detective Chief Superintendent, Richard List, said: “While Thames Valley generally has low crime rates, a house in darkness indicates that there’s no one at home and it could be an invitation to a burglar. There are a lot of simple measures you can do, which don’t have to be expensive, such as using a timer so that a light automatically comes on while you are out.

 “Making sure your doors and windows are locked is a deterrent for an intruder. Many burglaries are opportunistic crimes, where the offender has identified an open window or insecure door and has easily let themselves into your home.”

 Last year saw a 34% increase in residential burglaries in winter compared to summer (summer months include June 2016, July 2016, August 2016 and winter months include November 2016, December 2016 and January 2017). 

 “Many people only think about home security after they have been burgled. We want to encourage people to review this before they fall victim to crime. Similarly, valuables left on view on car seats provide an ideal opportunity for a smash and grab.”

 Top tips to reduce the chance of your house being targeted: 

  • Invest in a timer light switch and vary the time it comes on each day to make it look more natural. It can also be used with a radio or TV to give the impression that someone’s home
  • Consider installing a fake/simulated TV device which lights up a room like a real TV
  • Keep valuables out of sight and mark them with your house number and postcode using a UV pen, or consider buying a forensic property marking system
  • Register your valuables via immobilise and keep an inventory list. It’s free and takes just a few minutes
  • If you have jewellery at home, photograph it for insurance purpose and consider storing it in a suitable safe
  • Lock your doors and windows, if you have a UPVC door make sure you have double locked it by lifting the handle and locking it with the key. Make sure the key is removed from the lock and out of reach
  • If you’re going away, remember not to post details of your holiday on social networking sites, cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries and if you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set before you leave
  • Look out for your neighbours’ houses, especially when they’re not at home and call the police if you see anything suspicious on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

 Offering tips for a safe and fun Halloween, Detective Chief Superintendent, Richard List continues: “Whether you are a taking part in Halloween celebrations, or not, we want everyone to have a safe and fun evening.

 “If you don’t want trick-or-treaters to knock at your door, you can put up a ‘no tick-or-treaters’ sign and close your curtains. Download a sign from our posters section of the Thames Valley Police website.

 “If you don’t know who is calling at your door, you don’t have to answer it. Look through a spyhole or window before opening the door if you’re unsure, and have a chain in place if you do answer. If you feel threatened in your home, call 999.”

 If your child is going out trick or treating, make sure they: 

  • Go out in a group and are accompanied by an adult
  • Have a route planned and agree on a time they will be home
  • Are respectful of other people’s property
  • Have their mobile phone and a torch
  • Are careful when crossing roads
  • Know not to talk to strangers on the street or accept lifts
  • Know not to go inside anyone’s house

You can also watch our Halloween safety video.

Appeal for information following assaults in Wokingham

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following assaults in Wokingham. The incidents took place on Saturday (21/10) between midnight and 12.30am on Broad Street, near to The Broad Street Tavern.

Two men were seen kicking another man while he was laying on the floor.

There were a number of bystanders, who were unrelated to the offenders, who intervened to try and defuse the situation. When they did this, the two offenders became aggressive and assaulted four of the bystanders.

The first victim, is described as a man in his late teens to early twenties. He got into a red Peugeot after being assaulted. The man has not been identified and his injuries are unknown.

The second victim, a man in his early forties, sustained an injury to his ear.

The third victim, a man in his late thirties, received bruising to his elbows. He also sustained cuts and grazes to his arms, wrists and palms.

The fourth victim, a man in his late forties, sustained a large amount of bruising under his left eye and a bloody nose.

The fifth victim, a man who is approximately 50 years of age, sustained a bleeding nose and possible cuts to his head. He has not been identified to date and the full extent of his injuries are unknown.

None of the victims we have spoken to required hospital treatment.

The first offender is described as being a white man, in his late teens to early twenties, approximately 5ft 10ins tall with light blonde or brown hair. He has a slim, athletic build and was wearing a white t-shirt.

The second offender is described as being a white man, in his late teens to early twenties, approximately 5ft 10ins tall with black hair that was short on the sides and longer on top. He has a slim build and was wearing a dark coloured Puffa style waist-length jacket.

Investigating officer, PC Ross Kowald based at Loddon Valley police station, said: “I would like to speak to anyone who witnessed these incidents or has any information relating to them.

“We believe that the offenders could have been part of a wider group who were fighting prior to these assaults taking place.

“Members of the public can expect to see extra police patrols in the Broad Street area while our investigation takes place.

Modelling Jobs Advanced Fee Fraud Alert

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed that Fraudsters have been setting up fake adverts on social media (including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and job browsing websites to dupe people into believing they are recruiting for prospective models.

Once victims show interest in the job, the fraudsters contact potential victims on the false promise of a modelling career and subsequently advise the victims to come in for a test shoot.

The fraud can then potentially be carried out in two ways;

Firstly, the fraudsters can pressurise the victims in sending an upfront fee to book a slot for the test shoot. Once they have received the upfront fee, the victim will never hear from the fraudsters again.

The second possible method is that the fraudsters will take the advance fee that the victim sends for a photo shoot and arrange a photo shoot with the victim. After the photo shoot, the fraudsters will contact the victim after a few days and convince them that their shoot was successful and offer them a job as a model. The victim will then be asked to sign a contract and pay another upfront fee, usually to secure the modelling contract.

Fraudsters are also creating fake adverts for supposed modelling opportunities for children which do not exist. Fraudsters will inform parents or guardians that a potential career in modelling awaits their child. This tactic convinces the parent or guardian to sign up their child and send an advance fee.

The suspects will also convince the victim that in order to become a model, they will need to have a portfolio. The fraudsters will recommend a number of packages and stress that if a package is not paid for in advance, the process of becoming a model cannot continue.

Over a two year period (September 2015 – August 2017), an average of 28 reports of advance fee modelling frauds have been received per month by the NFIB. In August 2017, 49 Action Fraud reports of this fraud type were received and may continue to rise. The total loss in August 2017 alone was over £71,000.
 

Tips for staying safe:

  • Carry out your own research prior to paying any type of advance or upfront fee.
     
  • Be wary if you are asked to pay for a portfolio, as many legitimate agencies will cover that cost.
     
  • Don't give your bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out your own research on the relevant agency.
     
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Neighbourhood Watch National Survey

Dear Neighbourhood Watch supporter,

Tackling Domestic Abuse is a national priority for the Home Office, Police, Neighbourhood Watch and Crimestoppers.

Neighbourhood Watch is working with Crimestoppers to raise awareness about domestic abuse and what our supporters and volunteers can do to help prevent and report it. 

We would be grateful if you could spend just 3 minutes completing this survey, the results of which will help us to  signpost people to the right place to report their concerns. Your responses are completely anonymous.  

You can complete the survey by clicking on the link below.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NWN-DV-Survey

Do you have CCTV and Crimestoppers

Why we are asking who has CCTV?

The use of CCTV in private residential properties has seen a significant increase in recent years and cameras in and around the home have become a common site.

 

Sometimes images captured on your CCTV are helpful to crime investigations.

For example, if there has been a burglary in a road we would like to contact anyone with a CCTV within the vicinity and ask if they have any images. This can help to catch the offenders and make your community safer. If you do have CCTV we would like you to register this with Thames Alert so we can contact you if required.

 

What we need you to do:

People registered on our Thames Valley Alert system can ‘tick a box’ which lets us know you have CCTV – we already have your contact details.  You can do this 2 ways:

1.  Use the reply button on this email to tell us you have CCTV and we will do the rest (mark you as having CCTV)

or

2. Log in to your account

Go to Community interests

Go to Other Community Contact

Tick the box which is: CCTV Operators/Owners

Go to save community interests

 CCTV – helping us helping you
 

Crimestoppers Trust is an independent crime-fighting charitable organization in the United Kingdom.

It can be a big decision to give information about crime, Crimestoppers guarantee your anonymity.

Crimestoppers operates the 0800 555 111 telephone number, allowing people to call anonymously to pass on information about crime.  No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

 

By phone: 0800 555 111

Give information online: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online

Hidden Harm - Open your eyes to abuse

Three modern slavery crimes are recorded every week across Thames Valley*.
Could you spot the signs?

Today (2/10) we are launching our Hidden Harm campaign, raising awareness of abuse in the heart of our communities. 

Over the next 18 months we will be bringing a number of different abuse-related crimes, which often go undetected or unreported, into the spotlight. The first focus is modern slavery.

The message at the centre of this campaign is simple – Open your eyes to abuse.

It could be happening in your community, so if you suspect it, report it.

What is Modern Slavery?

Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. 
Victims of modern slavery can be any age, gender, nationality or ethnicity. They are tricked or threatened into work and may feel unable to leave through fear or intimidation. 

Spot the signs

Modern slavery could be happening in your community so it’s important you know the signs that could indicate someone is a victim of this crime.

•    How do they look? Scruffy, dirty, malnourished, injured?
•    How are they acting? Anxious, afraid, reluctant to talk?
•    What’s their work situation like? Long hours, unsuitable clothing, wrong equipment?
•    How’s their accommodation? Overcrowded, poorly maintained, curtains always closed?
•    What are their movements like? Never leave the house alone, limited contact with
     friends and family, no access to money or identification?

Report it

We all have a role to play in keeping people safe from harm. If you think someone may be a victim of modern slavery tell someone. You will always be taken seriously.

You can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700 or the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. 

For more information about the campaign please visit our website.

*Figures are a weekly average of recorded crime between 01/10/16 – 31/03/17

Theft of Pedal Cycles

Thanks to information provided to us by members of the public, we have made several arrests in relation to bicycle crime in the area.

On Friday 22 September, two men from Reading, aged 37 and 38 years old, were arrested in connection with theft of pedal cycles and a number of cycles have been seized.
On Wednesday 27 September, a 17-year-old boy from Reading was arrested in connection with theft of pedal cycles and possession with intent to supply drugs. 

Investigations are ongoing in both of these cases.

Bicycles can be some of the easiest vehicles for thieves and vandals to target. You can protect yourself from becoming a victim by following some simple steps:

• Fit a good bike lock
• Lock your bike to something secure, even if only for a few minutes and avoid isolated places - leave your bike where a potential thief can be seen
• Lock up removable parts (e.g. wheels) and take light fittings with you
• Have your bike's frame security-marked or engraved
• Take a clear colour photograph of your bike and make a written record of its colour, make and model along with any unique features
• At home, keep your bike in a secure garage or shed and keep the door locked
• Register your bike with schemes such as Immobilise – visit https://www.immobilise.com/ 

Stolen Number Plates

In the past 2 weeks there have been 8 offences whereby registration plates have been stolen. Whilst these offences are fairly widespread they have predominantly occurred in car parks overnight(pubs/hotels/leisure centre).  To date, only one set of plates have subsequently been used in crime - making off without payment at for petrol at a garage in Spencers Wood.

Stolen number plates may be used to aid secondary crimes such as: theft of fuel from forecourts (bilking); avoidance of congestion charges and parking fines; vehicle cloning; and burglary.
If index plate theft is not reported, victims may receive summonses for unpaid parking and speeding tickets, or may even be questioned by police in connection with more serious crimes.
The following prevention/reduction actions and advice will assist police and partners to reduce the potential risk of crime and prevent members of the public from becoming victims.
Crime prevention advice
•    Park your car in a garage at night or park to prevent access to either front or rear number plate.
•    Park in a safe public car park.
•    If parking on a public road, park in a well-lit spot.
•    Use theft resistant number plates (Secure Plate) which are designed to break apart if they are forcibly removed from a vehicle.
•    Fit security screws. Simple anti-theft devices can be easily fitted with a screwdriver in place of existing screws but cannot be removed using standard tools (use correct security screws appropriate for the pre-existing number plate screw size and application
•    If you notice a car with different number plates on the front and the back or number plate missing, please let police know using the non-emergency number 101.
Further vehicle security advice is available on the Thames Valley Police website.

Community Navigator Scheme

Please find below a link to attachment information about the Community Navigator Scheme giving basic information about the scheme which is a free service availaable face to face, on the phone and on-line to help you find support with information and advice in your community in the following areas:

  • Get out and about more
  • Improve your general health and well-being
  • Reduce feelings of isolation
  • Meet others who share your experience
  • Learn new skills
  • Find local self-help groups, clubs and befriending agencies
  • Use your own skills or experience to help others
  • Support you to access social care or parenting classes
  • Direct you to support for housing, employment, benefits, debt & legal advice

For further information or to make an appointment you can ring 01344 304404

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Pet - Fraud Alert

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed a rise in the reporting of pets, and in particular puppies and kittens, being advertised for sale via popular online auction websites. The fraudsters will place an advert of the pet for sale, often claiming that the pet is currently held somewhere less accessible or overseas. Upon agreement of a sale, the suspect will usually request an advance payment by money transfer or bank transfer. However, the pet does not materialise and the fraudster will subsequently ask for further advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees and additional transportation costs. Even if further payments are made, the pet will still not materialise as it is likely to not exist.
 

Tips to staying safe when purchasing pets:
 

  • Stay within auction guidelines.
  • Be cautious if the seller initially requests payment via one method, but later claims that due to ‘issues with their account’ they will need to take the payment via an alternative method such as a bank transfer.
  • Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller, for example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated with the number/email address online. 
  • Request details of the courier company being used and consider researching it.
  • Agree a suitable time to meet face-to-face to agree the purchase and to collect the pet. If the seller is reluctant to meet then it could be an indication that the pet does not exist.
  • A genuine seller should be keen to ensure that the pet is going to a caring and loving new home. If the seller does not express any interest in you and the pet’s new home, be wary.
  • If you think the purchase price is too good to be true then it probably is, especially if the pet is advertised as a pure-breed.
  • Do not be afraid to request copies of the pet’s inoculation history, breed paperwork and certification prior to agreeing a sale. If the seller is reluctant or unable to provide this information it could be an indication that either the pet does not exist or the pet has been illegally bred e.g. it originates from a ‘puppy farm’. A ‘puppy farm’ is a commercial dog breeding enterprise where the sole aim is to maximise profit for the least investment. Commercial dog breeders must be registered with their local authority and undergo regular inspections to ensure that the puppies are bred responsibly and are in turn fit and healthy. Illegally farmed puppies will often be kept in inadequate conditions and are more likely to suffer from ailments and illnesses associated with irresponsible breeding.
  • When thinking of buying a pet, consider buying them in person from rescue centres or from reputable breeders.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting  www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Vehicle Online Shopping Fraud

Fraudsters have been advertising vehicles and machinery for sale on various selling platforms online. The victims, after communicating via email with the fraudster, will receive a bogus email which purports to be from an established escrow provider (a third party who will keep the payment until the buying and selling parties are both happy with the deal).

These emails are designed to persuade victims to pay upfront, via bank transfer, before visiting the seller to collect the goods. The emails also claim that the buyer (victim) has a cooling off period to reclaim the payment if they change their mind. This gives victims the false sense of security that their money is being looked after by this trustworthy third party, when in fact it is not and the money has gone straight to the fraudster. 

Protect yourself:

  • When making a large purchase such as a new car or machinery, always meet the seller face to face first and ask to see the goods before transferring any money.
  • If you receive a suspicious email asking for payment, check for spelling, grammar, or any other errors, and check who sent the email. If in doubt, check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller.
  • Contact the third party the fraudsters are purporting to be using to make the transaction. They should be able to confirm whether the email you have received is legitimate or not.
  • False adverts often offer vehicles or machinery for sale well below market value to entice potential victims; always be cautious. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visitingwww.actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Local scam

Police are warning residents of a scam whereby a person makes contact, possibly over the phone advising the victim that they have been overpaid an amount of money into their account and are asked to organise a payment by way of a MoneyGram at the local post office to send the overpayment back. Never pay money to an unknown source. Always check with your Bank/Building Society/Post Office before moving any funds.
 
If you receive any calls of this nature and feel concerned, phone the police.

Little Book of Cyber Scams available now

We have joined up with the Metropolitan Police to produce our own version of the Little Book of Cyber Scams, to give information and advice to you and local businesses.

The 40-page booklet covers a wide range of cyber and cyber-enabled threats, including malware and ransomware, social engineering attacks – where cyber crime is made possible by someone gathering data deceitfully in person, by phone or email – denial of service attacks and data leakage.

It follows the successful ‘Little Book of Big Scams’, now in its third edition, and can be viewed and downloaded via theThames Valley Police website.

While some of the information is targeted at businesses, the advice is relevant to all and we hope you find it useful. 

Ransomware Cyber Attack

Following the ransomware cyber attack on Friday 12 May which affected the NHS and is believed to have affected other organisations globally, the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has issued an alert urging both individuals and businesses to follow protection advice immediately and in the coming days.
 
Ransomware is a form of malicious software (Malware) that enables cyber criminals to remotely lock down files on your computer or mobile device. Criminals will use ransomware to extort money from you (a ransom), before they restore access to your files. There are many ways that ransomware can infect your device, whether it be a link to a malicious website in an unsolicited email, or through a security vulnerability in a piece of software you use. 
 
Key Protect messages for businesses to protect themselves from ransomware:

  • Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
  • Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to a device that isn’t left connected to your network as any malware infection could spread to that too.

 
The National Cyber Security Centre’s technical guidance includes specific software patches to use that will prevent uninfected computers on your network from becoming infected with the “WannaCry” Ransomware: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/ransomware-latest-ncsc-guidance
 
For additional in-depth technical guidance on how to protect your organisation from ransomware, details can be found here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-your-organisation-ransomware
 
Key Protect advice for individuals:

  • Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
  • Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to a device (such as an external hard drive or memory stick) that isn’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.
  • Only install apps from official app stores, such as Google’s Play Store, or Apple’s App Store as they offer better levels of protection than some 3rd party  stores. Jailbreaking, rooting, or disabling any of the default security features of your device will make it more susceptible to malware infections.

 
Phishing/smishing 
Fraudsters may exploit this high profile incident and use it as part of phishing/smishing campaigns. We urge people to be cautious if they receive any unsolicited communications from the NHS. The protect advice for that is the following:

  • An email address can be spoofed. Don’t open attachments or click on the links within any unsolicited emails you receive, and never respond to emails that ask for your personal or financial details. 
  • The sender’s name and number in a text message can be spoofed, so even if the message appears to be from an organisation you know of, you should still exercise caution, particularly if the texts are asking you to click on a link or call a number.

Don’t disclose your personal or financial details during a cold call, and remember that the police and banks will never ring you and ask you to verify your PIN, withdraw your cash, or transfer your money to another “safe” account.
 
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Tourists Targeted by Fake Police Officers

There has been a series of recent incidents reported to Action Fraud where a lone fraudster has approached victims whom they believe to be unfamiliar with the local area. They make an excuse to talk to the victims such as enquiring about directions or offering a recommendation for a good hotel. 
 
After this interaction, several other fraudsters will intervene purporting to be police officers in plain clothes and will sometimes present false identification as proof. The fake officers will then give a reason to examine the victims’ wallet, purse or personal items. They may also examine the first fraudster’s items or try to tell victims that the first fraudster is suspicious in order to gain victim trust and appear more realistic in their guise. 
 
After all the fake police ‘checks’ are finished, victims have then reported being handed back their personal items only to later realise that a quantity of money or valuables were missing. 
 
How to protect yourself:

  • If an individual claims to be a police officer ask for their name and rank, force, and examine any identification presented; this is always good practice but especially important if they are not wearing a uniform.
  • The Police will never ask for your passwords or PIN details. Do not give this information to anyone.
  • The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them or to a ‘safe’ account.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk

Warning - pre-recorded prank calls

There has been a recent rise of prank calls within Thames Valley. 
 The calls are pre-recorded generated responses giving the impression that recipients are actually speaking directly to someone.
 The calls are not all the same. However one of the main scenarios has been described as an angry Scottish man claiming you are stealing his Wi-Fi. 
 Sometimes there is a mobile phone number showing and other times the number is withheld. 
 It appears that these calls are predominantly targeting elderly and young people and can cause alarm and distress to the call taker.  

We urge people to take the following advice: 
 

  • Anyone with particular concerns can contact us on our Police non-emergency number 101. Otherwise ignore the call.
  • You can contact your local phone provider who may be able to put a block on these types of calls.
  • If you are getting calls at night you could put your phone on night mode or switch it off. 

Warning: if you received this e-mail…

If you receive an e-mail entitled ‘paedophile alert in your area’ or ‘sex offender map of your area’ from Neighbourhood Watch do not click on the link as it is fraudulent. 
 
If you receive the e-mail please report it to Action Fraud. 

Reminder: Payment Diversion Alert

Fraudsters are emailing members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer. Once payment is made the victims of the scam soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services.

Protect yourself

  • Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact.
  • For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.
  • Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.
  • Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer protection and an avenue for recompense.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it onlinehttp://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

Fake Bank Letters

Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters. 

The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.  
The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine. 
When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.
The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake. 
The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks. 

If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card. 
To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visithttp://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

Information and advice around nighthawking

What is Nighthawking?
Nighthawking is a term used in the United Kingdom to describe illegal metal detecting on farmland, archaeological sites and other areas of archaeological interest, usually in order to steal coins and other artefacts for their historical and financial value. 
Nighthawking refers to the fact that such illegal activity is often undertaken at night to avoid detection and arrest. Although this is deceiving as it also occurs during the day.

How do Nighthawkers operate?
Nighthawkers will enter land with metal detectors and without permission from the farmer or other landowner. Consequently all finds removed by them while trespassing may amount to an offence of theft. The coins and artefacts that they recover are kept in private collections or sold for personal profit. Because they are stolen property, the finders are unlikely to report their finds and valuable historical data is lost for good.

What is the impact of Nighthawking?
Where nighthawkers operate on farmland they often cause damage to crops and seedlings, gates are left open or damaged and livestock is disturbed. Where nighthawking occurs on protected archaeological sites known as Scheduled Monuments, they may commit additional offences contained within the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 namely – damage and using metal detecting equipment without a licence from Historic England. Nighthawkers have a complete disregard for the law and experts warn that we are losing the priceless heritage of our nation, simply to satisfy the greed of a minority group of criminals.

The Legislation
Removal of any object from land without the landowner’s permission may amount to an offence of theft. Travelling to a potential site with metal detecting equipment may amount to an offence of going equipped to steal. It is also an offence to damage a protected archaeological site, known as a Scheduled Monument, or to use metal detecting equipment on a Scheduled Monument without a licence from Historic England or failing to report objects that are potential Treasure.

Are all detectorists the same?
Certainly not. The overwhelming majority of detectorists adhere to The Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting (http://finds.org.uk/getinvolved/guides/codeofpractice) and report their finds to the landowner and the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). They have a love of the outdoors and history and respect farmland. Many previously unknown archaeological sites have been identified through the PAS and it has contributed greatly to our knowledge of the past. Nighthawkers seriously damage the good reputation of responsible metal detectorists. Responsible detectorists are often members of local clubs and the National Council for Metal Detecting and assist police in combating the offences by Nighthawkers and other rural crime.

What should you do if you find Night Hawkers on your land?
Whether day or night, if you find Nighthawkers on your land call the Police on 999, as there is a crime in progress. Do not approach them as this would scare them off or they may become aggressive towards you. Gather information by taking registration numbers of vehicles and descriptions of those involved and pass these details to the Police immediately.

What if I find evidence of Night Hawking?
Evidence of recent Nighthawking is usually discovered during day light hours and is often in the form of holes dug in fields with no obvious explanation. Other types of evidence that may be found are:

  • Footwear marks
  • Vehicle tyre marks
  • Cigarette butts
  • Drinks bottles/cans
  • other discarded items

Call the police on 101 and notify them of the incident. If evidence is left behind advise them of that and ask how they would like you to preserve the evidence.

Be Aware of Emails Claiming "Buyer Protection"

Online shopping websites are being utilised by fraudsters to advertise vehicles for sale which do not exist. After agreeing to purchase the vehicle via email with the fraudsters, buyers then receive emails purporting to be from Amazon Payments and/or Amazon Flexible Payment Service stating that their money will be held in an ‘escrow account’ (a bank account held by a third party, used as a temporary holding account during a transaction between two parties- for a 7 day ‘cooling off’ period). Once happy with the purchase the email indicates the money will be released to the seller, therefore offering ‘buyer protection’. In reality these emails are fraudulent and do not come from Amazon. The bank accounts are controlled by fraudsters.
Protect yourself

Remember that Amazon does not provide an escrow account to purchase items.
Meet the seller ‘face to face’ and view the vehicle before parting with any money.
Be vigilant of emails that purport to be from genuine companies and check the ‘domain’ name of the email address for any inconsistencies.
Check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller.
If the vehicle is below market value consider whether this is an opportunity too good to be true!
If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

HMRC Tax Rebate Scam

Fraudsters are texting members of the public offering a tax rebate. The text message contains a link to a website and requests to provide personal information, such as bank account information, to claim the nonexistent rebate.

Protect Yourself

Don’t click on web links contained in unsolicited texts or emails.
Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication.
Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication.
HMRC will never use texts or emails or tell you about a potential rebate or ask for personal information.
If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration.

River levels webcam

Church Services

Sunday 26 November

1115 sung Holy Communion with hymns (BCP)

 

Sunday 3 December

(Patronal Festival)

11.15am sung Matins (BCP)

 

Sunday 10 December

11.15am sung Holy Communion with hymns (BCP)

 

Sunday 17 December

11.15am said matins (BCP)

4.00pm candlelit service of 9 lessons and carols

followed by mulled wine and mince pies in the Parish Hall

 

Sunday 24 December

Christmas Eve

11.15am said Matins (BCP)

9.00pm candlelit Holy Communion (BCP) with carols

 

Monday 25 December

Christmas Day

11.15am children’s service with Holy Communion and carols (45 minutes)

 

Sunday 31 December

11.15am said Matins (BCP)

 

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October 2017

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30,430 pages viewed

Remenham Footpath Maps

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