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Image of Temple Island
Remenham Parish
Remenham Parish

Thames Valley Police Alerts

Dispatches - Police and Council Join Forces In Fight Against County Drug Lines

Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council have joined forces to combat county drug lines. Filmed for Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, ‘Britain’s Child Drug Runners’ shows police officers and social services working together in tackling the exploitation of vulnerable children to transport drugs in Oxford, Banbury and the surrounding areas.

The documentary aired last night (Wednesday 13 November) and can be watched on demand here: https://www.channel4.com/programmes/britains-child-drug-runners/on-demand/68368-001

Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Prescott-Mayling said: “County drug lines have a horrifying impact on children, their families and the community around them. We are pleased to be able to bring this to light through our involvement in this documentary.

“This is not an issue that is seen in Oxfordshire alone. County drugs lines affects towns and cities across the Thames Valley area and the UK. By working closely with social services and local organisations, we are determined to ensure that these crimes are stopped and vulnerable children are protected.”

Following the airing of the documentary, Thames Valley Police will be hosting an online Q&A Engage session on the documentary and county drug lines on Thursday 21 November between 6 and 8pm. This will provide an opportunity to ask any questions raised by the documentary, which can be answered by our officers. Please check the Thames Valley Police social media channels in the coming week for further details of how you can get involved. The Engage site is available here: www.tvpengage.co.uk

Leave A Light on and Burglars In the Dark

 Now that the clocks have gone back and darker evenings are closing in, Thames Valley Police has seen an increase in the number of residential burglaries taking place during the late afternoon and early evening across the Wokingham area. Please be vigilant during the late afternoons and early evenings and report any suspicious people and vehicles in the area. Don’t hesitate to contact the Police on 999 if you see or hear a burglary occurring.

Make your home look occupied at all times. In your absence, lights can be switched on and off by plug in timer sockets or light bulbs with built in light sensors. Alternatively, there are an increasing number of WiFi connective smart systems that enable you to control your lights, central heating and more via a smartphone app from anywhere at any time. If your neighbour has a spare car, ask them to park it on your drive to make it appear that someone is home.

Consider installing a video doorbell system and motion activated lighting to deter intruders as they won’t want to be visible to your neighbours or passing traffic.

Leaving your home checklist
Here’s what we recommend you do before you go out:
• close and double lock all your doors and windows, even if you’re only going out for a few minutes
• make sure any valuables are out of sight
• keep handbags away from letterboxes or cat flaps and hide all keys including car keys, as a thief could hook keys or valuables through even a small opening
• never leave car documents or ID in obvious places such as kitchens or hallways
• in the evening, shut the curtains and leave lights on
• if you’re out all day, it’s advisable to use a timer device to automatically turn lights and a radio on at night
• set your burglar alarm
• make sure all gates are locked
• lock your shed or garage and lock your bike inside to a robust fitting bolted to the ground or wall, like a ground anchor
• consider purchasing a home CCTV or video doorbell system
• don't post on social media that you are away from your home

For more advice on how to keep your home safe, visit our website:
www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-your-home-and-belongings/ 

Victims First Launches Video on Relationship Abuse

Victims First, which supports victims of crime and abuse across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, has launched a video to raise awareness of coercive control and emotional abuse in relationships.

The video, ‘Don’t Disappear’ can be viewed here
It highlights the red flags to look out for in a relationship, which can be the warning signs of controlling behaviour and abuse.

Coercive control became a criminal offence in 2015 and involves an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse by a perpetrator that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.

Although many people associate domestic abuse with physical violence, coercive control recognises the damaging impact of other forms of abuse in relationships as well.

‘Don’t Disappear’ follows the story of Jamie and Emma, from the seemingly loving early stages of their relationship, to the development of abusive behaviour.

Although anyone can be a victim of coercive control, ‘Don’t Disappear’ is particularly aimed at younger people who may have less experience of relationships or people who are at the beginning of a relationship, to raise awareness of the red flags which at the time, may be missed or misinterpreted as acceptable behaviour. 

The video covers a range of controlling behaviours exhibited from Jamie to Emma including:

  • Jealousy and possessiveness including accusations of flirting and cheating
  • Isolating her from her family and friends
  • Controlling the use of her phone and social media
  • Constantly checking on her whereabouts
  • Sudden outbursts of anger and mood changes, and
  • Love bombing - showering her with excessive affection and attention in order to retain control 

Both men and women can be victims or perpetrators of coercive control which can take place in heterosexual and same-sex relationships.

Other examples of coercive control include, depriving someone of basic needs, monitoring their time and activities, taking control over aspects of their everyday life such as where they can go or who they can see, humiliating, degrading or dehumanising someone, controlling their finances and making threats or intimidating behaviour.

You can view Don’t Disappear at https://youtu.be/d6rt8w5HBWw

Victims First is managed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley and provides support to anyone impacted by any type of crime or abusive.

If you have been affected by coercive control or domestic abuse you can access support through Victims First on 0300 1234 148 or online at www.victims-first.org.uk.

Firearms Licensing - Early Renewal Project

What is the early renewal project and why do we need your help?
 

In 2018, the Thames Valley Police Firearms Licensing Department implemented an early renewal project in order to resolve a long term problem with the administration of firearms licensing applications.

 

In 1995, the term of firearm and shotgun certificates was increased from 3 to 5 years.  This amendment, while of benefit to shooters, resulted in licensing departments experiencing high volumes of renewals over 3 of the 5 years, and this increased demand has remained constant since the change was made.  As a result of this, we have often had difficulty in dealing with the higher volumes of renewals during the peak years. 
 
The aim of our early renewal project is to level off this peak in renewals but we need your help. With your assistance this project will enable us to provide a better level of customer service to all our certificate holders, regardless of where they are in the five year cycle.

 
What can you do to help us?
 

The firearms licensing department will be sending out the next batch of early renewal letters at the beginning of November 2019. If you receive one of these letters it means that your renewal expiry date is due within a high peak demand year. This letter will be inviting you to renew your shot gun or coterminous certificate(s) a year earlier. You will only need to pay a reduced renewal fee of £25.00, however, this fee does not include any charge made to you by your General Practitioner (GP) to check your medical records.
 
For ease of administration the department will send with the early renewal letter an application form, a GP pro forma and a self-addressed envelope. You can pay via BACS, cheque or postal order. BACS instructions are provided in your early renewal pack.

 
Do you, the applicant, need to provide a medical report?
 

Yes. There has been an important change to the Thames Valley Police firearms licensing application process with regards to your medical information.
 
You are now required to provide medical information verified by a GP for all firearm and shotgun applications - this includes renewals. This applies to any application, whether declaring a medical condition or not.  You, the applicant, will be responsible for contacting your GP for this information. The GP pro forma is included in your early renewal pack and once completed by your GP, should be submitted with your application form.

 
Applications received without this information will be returned to the applicant.

 
What happens after we receive your application?

 
Once you have submitted your application form you will receive a text message to confirm receipt (if you have provided a mobile telephone number on your application form).  It is not necessary for you to contact the department to enquire about the progress of your application as it is not subject to any service level agreement as you are still in possession of a valid certificate. Your application will be processed by the firearms licensing team according to monthly demands. A final text message will be sent to you once your application has been completed and posted.
 
Once you receive your new certificates in the post, you must return the old ones to us.

Supermarket Car Park Distraction Thieves

Thames Valley Police have received several reports of shoppers being targeted by “supermarket car park distraction thieves”. These thieves often prey on shoppers who enter supermarkets with a shoulder or handbag. They follow the victim through the store and stay close by as they enter their PIN number at the till. Having obtained the PIN number, two or more of the thieves follow the victim and wait until the victim has loaded their shopping and handbag into their vehicle. They then approach and as one engages the victim in conversation another thief quietly and unnoticed opens a car door and steals the handbag/wallet. Once the victim drives away the thieves often use the stolen bank card and PIN to withdraw cash from a local ATM.

To reduce the risk of becoming a victim, ensure that whenever you use a “Chip and Pin card” that you cover the key pad as you enter the 4 digit number so that no one can see/record it. Make sure your handbag and wallet are secure at all times.
 
If you have any information or would like to report a crime, please visit www.thamesvalley.police.uk or call the police non-emergency number 101.

If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Please encourage your friends, family and neighbours to receive these types of messages by registering at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk

Van Security

Criminals often target vans parked in areas such as hotel, supermarket and retail outlet car parks.
 
Follow these simple steps to help protect your tools:
 
Mark your tools
Take a photo of the serial number or identifying marks
Use a unique tamperproof sticker
Engrave tools with your initials or a memorable word
Use an ultraviolet pen
Remember to mark your batteries, too
 
Register your tools
Register your tools and serial numbers on a national property recording database such as Immobilise.
 
Secure your vehicle
Make sure your vehicle is locked with the windows shut when it’s left unattended. Even if you are popping back and forth to grab tools, criminals only need a moment to empty your van.

Empty your van
Where possible, empty your van of your tools overnight – don’t give criminals the opportunity to empty your van for you.
 
Install a dashcam or CCTV
Consider purchasing a dash cam or CCTV camera to deter criminals from targeting your van. Alarms are also good deterrents if one is not already fitted.
 
Park against a wall
Where possible, park your van overnight in a busy, well-lit area backed against or alongside a wall to make it difficult to gain access to the back of your van.
 
Use extra locks or cages
Consider purchasing dead locks or slam locks to further secure your vehicle. Security cages can also be installed inside your van so that even if someone gains access, they still can’t get to your tools.

Twyford Neighbourhood Policing Team update

NHPT Update October 2019.docx
Microsoft Word document [15.7 KB]

Thefts of Outboard Motors

Warning to boat-owners to be vigilant following thefts of outboard motors in the area.

If you have any information, please report online at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/
or alternatively, contact the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number 101.

If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Death Of Pc Andrew Harper

We've been moved and would like to thank everyone for the condolence messages we have received since the tragic death of PC Andrew Harper.

We will at the right time be passing these to his family.

If you would like to send a message, please email PCAndrewHarperCondolences@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk and for this, please do not use 101 or our online reporting forms. 

Fraudsters Targeting Social Media Influencers

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received intelligence to suggest that fraudsters are contacting social media influencers, based in the UK and abroad, offering them the opportunity to market a bogus product, service or investment opportunity.

Fraudsters will present professional and credible pitches to the social media influencers and try to convince them to feature the opportunity for a fee on their social media profiles in order to entice unsuspecting followers of the influencer to sign up or make a purchase.

Additionally, fraudsters are using the names of well-known public figures, implying that their opportunity or product is endorsed by the figure when it is not.

The public should be aware that any apparent endorsement by celebrities, influencers or personalities does not necessarily mean that an investment, product or service is genuine. The public is urged to exercise a cautious approach to any such offer of investment, product or service with the same caution they would at any other time.

What You Need To Do

  • If you are purchasing goods from a company you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, or ask friends or family for advice before completing a purchase.
  • Professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts do not guarantee that an investment opportunity or product is genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known brands or individuals to make them appear legitimate.
  • Avoid paying for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person or company. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud. Instead, use your credit card or payment services such as PayPal as they offer you greater protection if you become a victim of fraud.

Important Changes To Medical Information - Updated

UPDATED - FAQ’S ON THE NEW MEDICAL PROCESS

Further to the original Text Alert sent on 21/06/2019, which was in relation to the introduction of a pre application medical screening which will come into effect on 01 August 2019. Please use the following link to view the updated FAQ’s.

FAQ's - Updated

If you have any questions relating to this Alert, please contact the firearms licensing department directly on the following email address firearmslicensing@thamesvalley.pnn.police.ukUPDATED - FAQ’S ON THE NEW MEDICAL PROCESS

Further to the original Text Alert sent on 21/06/2019, which was in relation to the introduction of a pre application medical screening which will come into effect on 01 August 2019. Please use the following link to view the updated FAQ’s.

FAQ's - Updated

If you have any questions relating to this Alert, please contact the firearms licensing department directly on the following email address firearmslicensing@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
 

Drivers Targeted With Fake Fines

Action Fraud have received an increase in reports and intelligence where elderly victims are being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers or traffic wardens. The victims are being approached whilst parked in a car park and are told by the suspect that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for ‘evidence’.

Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN. These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card.

Once the victim inserts their card and are asked for their PIN, the victims are shoulder surfed for their PIN by the suspect. Once victims input their PIN, the card is retained by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank.

What you need to do

  • If you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.
  • Always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, andnever share your PIN with anyone.
  • If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bankimmediately to inform them.

Courier Fraud Alert

Courier Fraud, Bogus Police and Bank Officials Alert
What you need to know

Individuals have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be a police officer or banking official

The suspect will say either: 

  • There has been fraudulent activity at the victim’s bank and the staff at the bank are involved, the victim is then asked to withdraw money to either keep it safe or assist the police with their investigation
  • A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is fraudulent and they require the victim's assistance to help secure evidence by purchasing jewellery or exchange a large amount of currency to hand over to the police
  • The victim's card has been compromised and used to purchase goods by a suspect, the victim is requested to withdraw their money to keep it safe or hand over their bank card to the police
  • Occasionally the victim will be told to dial a non-emergency extension of ‘161’ to receive confirmation of the individual’s bogus identity, the bogus official will advise the victim to lie about the reason for the withdrawal or purchase if challenged by staff, as the staff member is involved in the fraud
  • A courier attends the victim’s home address to collect the goods the same day, often the victim is given a code word for the courier as a way of authentication


What you need to do

Your bank or the police will never:

  • Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password
  • Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping
  • Ask you to transfer money out of your account
  • Send someone to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards to cheque books

The Firearms Amendment Rules 2019

With effect from 10 June 2019 Registered Firearms Dealer (RFDs) applicants will be required to complete a medical declaration and to provide details of their ‘servants’ at each place of business so that relevant background checks can be completed by the police.  Existing RFDs will also be required to provide details of their ‘servants’ when notifying the police of a new place of business.  

RFD applicants who have completed medical declarations as part of their personal firearm or shotgun certificate application will not be required to undergo medical checks a second time unless their medical circumstances have changed since the firearm or shotgun certificate was granted.  In these circumstances, the applicant will only be required to provide details about the certificate. 

The changes to the Firearms Rules come into effect on 10 June – Revised RFD application forms will be available on our website on and after this date.

Please Secure Your Vehicle

To help prevent thefts and to ensure that your car is not an appealing target for a thief, we are asking you to be extra vigilant and consider your vehicle security.
 
Leave thieves keyless and clueless 
Vehicles today are by and large more difficult to steal than ever, unless the thief can access your key or fob to clone them. Best to keep your keys safe, out of view when at home and away from your front door. It’s not uncommon for car keys to be stolen from inside your home by thieves fishing for them with a stick and hook through the letterbox. When not in use, keep your electronic car key in a security pouch to prevent it being scanned by thieves to open and steal your car nearby.

Always lock it
Electronic devices can be used to jam the electronic signal from your key fob to lock your vehicle. Always manually check your vehicle has locked before walking away. If unsure, lock it manually, then scan the immediate area for anyone hanging around. If a potential thief who’s watching feels they’ve been spotted, they’ll probably move off.
 
Take it with you
Your mobile phone, coins for the car park, sunglasses, packs of medication or other items that can earn quick cash are irresistible to the opportunist thief. Remember, the cost of replacing a window is often much more than that of what’s stolen. And it should go without saying that wallets, handbags, purses and credit cards should never be left in an unattended vehicle. A thief wouldn’t know the bag left on the back seat only contains a gym kit for example. Remove sat navs from your car, including the cradle and wipe the suction mark from the window. A thief will expect to find it hidden in the glove compartment or under the seat. Be mindful of who is watching you if you put valuable items in your boot when leaving your vehicle. 
 
Secure outside items 
Anything left on roof-racks, tailgate racks, holiday top boxes or in tool chests are easily stolen when the vehicle is parked. The use of cable locks, padlocks and self-locking tools chests, which are secured to the vehicle, makes them more secure. Don’t leave things in them if you can avoid it. 
 
Secure your documents
Having a vehicle’s registration and insurance documents could let a thief pretend to be the owner. This means they could sell it on quite easily, so never leave any documents in the vehicle.
 
Be vigilant
Look out for your neighbours when they are not home. If you see anything suspicious report it to the police and inform your neighbour.
 
For further information and advice visit www.thamesvalley.police.uk
Thank you for helping us to keep crime down.

Preventing Vehicle Crime

Is your vehicle attracting thieves?
Don’t let thieves get an easy ride. Here are a couple of rules to help protect your car:

1. Love it? Then lock it
Locking your vehicle, even when filling up or parked on your drive, greatly reduces the possibility of it being targeted by an opportunist thief. Even if you have locked your vehicle, check you haven’t left any windows or the sunroof open.
It is actually illegal to leave your vehicle running unattended while you de-ice it or warm it up in cold weather. If someone takes it while it’s left like this, your insurer won’t pay out because you won’t be covered.

2. Leave thieves keyless and clueless
Vehicles today are by and large more difficult to steal than ever, unless the thief can access your key or fob to clone them. Best to keep your keys safe, out of view when at home, and away from your front door. It’s not uncommon for car keys to be stolen from inside your home by thieves fishing for them with a stick and hook through the letterbox.
When not in use, keep your electronic car key in a security pouch to prevent it being scanned by thieves to open and steal your car nearby.
 
You can find further information and vehicle crime prevention advice on the Thames Valley Police website:-
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/

Tree Surgeon Cold Caller

We have received two reported incidents in the Woodley area of a cold caller claiming to be a tree surgeon. In one incident, the man claimed to be from the council and in the other from Neighbourhood Watch, but this has not been the case.

Remember, any legitimate tradesman calling at your door should not make you feel uneasy. If you feel threatened in any way please call 999.

Please protect yourself from Doorstop Crime and Rogue Traders:
• If you are not sure then please don’t open the door.
• Use a door chain to check who is calling and ask for ID.
• Ask a trusted friend or family member for advice on reputable traders.
• Always report any suspicious activity. You can report it online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk or call 101.

HM Revenue And Customs Alert

What you need to know
Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls, voicemails, text messages or emails to members of the public purporting to be from HMRC.

The fraudsters state that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings such as repossession of belongings to settle the balance but can avoid this by arranging for payment to be made immediately by method such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards.

If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, bailiffs or in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin; deportation.

Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact.

It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature.

What you need to do
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn't mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.

Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.

Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.

Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.

Telephone Fraud

Over the past week, a number of fraud offences have been reported to us. Elderly victims are being contacted by a person claiming to be a Detective from the Metropolitan or Essex Constabularies. They are stating that money has been fraudulently taken out of their account and to protect the remaining funds, they must withdraw large sums of money which will be collected by a courier and kept in a safe place for them.

The line is left open and the victims are encouraged to either call 999 and ask for the detective or to call their bank to clarify that this is not a scam. Because the line is left open, a further fraudster pretends to be the Police Operator or the Bank.

Crime Prevention Advice
Scammers frequently emphasise the need for the victim’s discretion and tell them they cannot speak to friends or family due to it being part of an ongoing investigation, and tell them they cannot even speak to staff at their bank as they are not trustworthy and are being investigated. This is designed to isolate the victim.
To ensure you do not fall prey to this type of scam, BE REASSURED AND REMEMBER that in no circumstances would any bank, or the police ask you to take such actions. These types of request will only come from a fraudster.
Under no circumstances divulge your 4 digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone. 
Thames Valley Police is calling on friends and family to help tackle the problem by talking to elderly or vulnerable friends and relatives, assuring them that:

  • They should never deal with cold callers either on the phone or in person no matter how polite or friendly they seem. Saying “No thank you” and shutting the door or hanging up the phone is not rude.
  • Their bank, the police or anyone legitimate will never send a courier to their home to collect bank cards or cash and they will never ask for their PIN number.
  • Legitimate callers will never try to rush them, scare or force them into anything. If they feel scared or pressured at any point, hang up or shut the door and tell someone what’s happened.

If you receive this type of call, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or via their website. In an emergency dial 999.
Please feel free to circulate this message and advice to friends on social media.
For more information visit the crime prevention section of the Thames Valley Police website:
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/

Extortion Scam

Cyber criminals send victims their own passwords in extortion scam

Cyber criminals are attempting to blackmail unsuspecting victims by claiming to have used the victims' password to install spying malware on the victims' computer. The criminals claim they’ve recorded videos of the victim watching adult material by activating their webcam when they visit these websites. What makes this scam so convincing is that the email usually includes a genuine password the victim has used for one of their online accounts. We believe criminals obtain the passwords from data breaches.

What to do if you get one of these emails?

Don’t reply to the email, or be pressured into paying. The police advise that you do not pay criminals. Try flagging the email as spam/junk if you receive it multiple times. Perform a password reset as soon as possible on any accounts where you’ve used the password mentioned in the email. Always use a strong, separate password for important accounts, such as your email. Where available, enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Always install the latest software and app updates. Install, or enable, anti-virus software on your laptops and computers and keep it updated.

If you receive one of these emails, report it to Action Fraud’s phishing reporting tool. If you have received one of these emails and paid the ransom, report it to your local police force.

How To Keep The Cyber-Criminals Out

Scam Alert - Fake Netflix Emails

We’ve seen an increase in reports about fake Netflix emails claiming that there’s an issue with your account, or that your account has been suspended. The email states that you need to “update” your account details in order to resolve the problem. The link in the emails leads to genuine-looking Netflix phishing websites designed to steal your username and password, as well as payment details.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

For more information on how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk 

Calling 999 Vs 101

In Bracknell and Wokingham we have recently had a couple of 101 calls to report people attempting to break into houses. Whilst it is great to make us aware it is important that if the crime is currently happening you call us on 999 rather than 101.

Please see the guidance below on when to use each number.

In an emergency please telephone 999.

If you are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 18000.

You should use these numbers if:

·         A crime is happening right now.

·         Someone is in immediate danger, or there is a risk of serious damage to property.

·         A suspect for a serious crime is nearby.

·         There is a traffic collision involving injury or danger to other road users.

Non-emergency calls

For all other calls to the police in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland please telephone 101.

Calls cost 15p from mobiles and landlines, regardless of duration. They are free of charge from payphones.

If you are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 18001 101.

You should use these non-emergency numbers to:

·         Report a crime not currently in progress - for example a stolen car, burglary, or damaged property.

·         Give information to the police about crime in your area.

·         Speak to the police about a general enquiry.

·         Contact a specific police officer or member of staff.

Scam Alert - Fake British Gas Emails

We’ve had an increase in reports about fake British Gas emails claiming to offer refunds. The links provided in the emails lead to genuine-looking British Gas phishing websites that are designed to steal the usernames and passwords for British Gas accounts.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

For more information on how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk

Watchout For These Fake Linkedin Emails

We’ve received multiple reports about these fake LinkedIn emails. They claim that your LinkedIn profile has appeared in multiple searches and provide links you can click on to get more details. These links lead to malicious websites designed to steal your personal and financial details.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

Alert - Rise In Fake Amazon Emails

These fake emails are after your Amazon login details!

We’ve had an increased number of reports about these fake emails purporting to be from Amazon. The subject line and content of the emails vary, but they all contain links leading to phishing websites designed to steal your Amazon login details.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.​​​​​​​

Watch Out For These Fake Texts About Your Ee Bill

What you need to know about phishing

Importance of Dog Microchipping

Having your dog microchipped can make a lot of difference when looking for and trying to identify a missing dog.

 

Since April 2016 it has been a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped by 8 weeks of age.

 

Each microchip has a unique number that must be registered on a Government approved database along with information about your dog and you as its owner. If your dog is not registered on one of these databases you can be fined.

 

It is important that the information is kept up-to-date so that if your dog does go missing, you can be contacted at the correct phone number or address.

 

Reporting it to the police as soon as possible is also important, including making us aware of the microchip number so we can record this on our database. This will make it easier for us to identify any dogs that are found and check to see if they have been reported as missing or stolen.

 

It is also recommended to record the loss or theft of your dog online using sites dedicated to finding lost and stolen dogs. Often these sites work with police and other organisations, such as local Neighbourhood Watch Groups and Vetinary practices, to try and find them.

 

More information on microchipping your dog can be found on the Governmentwebsite.

 

In 2016, the Dogs Trust recorded that 9,000 stray dogs were reunited with their owners due to having a microchip with up-to-date details.

 

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) also reported that in 2017, 11% of dog owners did not realise that it was a requirement by law to have their dog microchipped and a further 7% had not updated their details when they needed to.

Magazine Advertisement Debt Alert

Victims receive a telephone call from someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgement, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The fraudsters state the debt originates from the victim not paying a magazine advertisement subscription.

 

A variety of magazine names and publishers are being used by the fraudsters, who also commonly use the names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents such “Scott Davis”, “Stephen King” and “Mark Taylor”. These are names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents employed by debt enforcement companies. 
 

The fraudsters request that the debt be repaid by bank transfer. If the victim refuses, they threaten to visit the victim’s home or place of work to recover the debt that is owed.

 

Once the money has been transferred, victims are not provided with receipt details of the payment or contact details. Later when victims make enquiries, they’ll discover that the debt did not exist, and often that no advertisement was placed.

 

This type of fraud is nationwide. Since 2017, there have been 52 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud. From the reports received, there are a range of different businesses and individuals being targeted.

 

Protection Advice:
 

1. Listen to your instinct: just because someone knows your basic details, such as your name and address, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.

 

2. Stay in control: always question cold callers: always contact the companies directly using a known email or phone number.

 

3. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: a legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.

 

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.

 

Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

Online Marketplace Fraud Advice For Sellers

Action Fraud has received several reports indicating that sellers of items on online marketplace websites are falling victim to fraud by bogus buyers. Typically, the bogus buyers contact the seller wanting to purchase the item for sale and advise they will be sending the requested amount via PayPal or other electronic payment method. The seller then receives a fake, but official looking email stating they have been paid more than the asking price and to send the difference back to the buyer’s bank account. In reality, no money has ever been sent to the seller; the bogus buyer has spoofed an email and purported to be an online payment company. All contact is then severed with the seller.

 

It is important to remember that selling anything could make you a target to these fraudsters however the NFIB has identified that those offering sofas, large furniture and homeware are particularly vulnerable.

 

Protection Advice

 

• Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic. Remember criminals can imitate any email address. Stay in control. Always use a trusted payment method online, such as Paypal, and have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for payment like bank transfers.

 

• Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision.  Always verify that you have received payment from the buyer before completing a sale.

 

• Listen to your instincts.  Criminals will try and make unusual behaviour, like overpaying, seem like a genuine mistake.

 

Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

 

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.

Assistance for vulnerable missing people - Herbert Protocol

A new tool to help find missing people with dementia was launched earlier this week in partnership with search and rescue teams across the Thames Valley.

The Herbert Protocol is a form to record key information about a person with dementia. This should be completed by carers or family members in case they go missing. 

Memory problems are one of a number of symptoms that people with dementia may experience, this can lead to feelings of confusion, fear and vulnerability and consequently can result in a person going missing.

Adopting the Herbert Protocol will help to ensure that the police and partner agencies, including the volunteer search and rescue teams, have the best possible information should someone with dementia go missing and a search needs to be conducted to find them.

It will help avoid any unnecessary delays as the right information is immediately available. The form may include if the person is on medication, favourite places they like to visit or key people they know.

Det Supt Nick John, Head of Protecting Vulnerable People, said: “The Herbert Protocol seeks to reduce the harm suffered by people living with dementia who go ‘missing’ by ensuring that the information needed is readily available to help inform the risk assessment and the search by the police and partner agencies, including the volunteer search and rescue teams.  I would strongly urge carers, whether family members, private carers, or care home staff, to adopt the protocol by completing the Herbert Protocol form in advance.”

Download the form and find out more information about the Herbert Protocol.

Fake Government Grants Fraud Alert

Individuals and businesses are being warned to watch out for cold calls and online contact from fraudsters who are offering victims the opportunity to apply for Government grants for an advance fee.

 

To make the grants look legitimate fraudsters have set up bogus companies and convincing looking websites that claim to be operating on behalf of the UK Government.

 

Fraudsters cold call businesses and individuals offering the grant and if they’re interested direct them to fill out an online application form with their personal information.

Once the fraudsters have that information they’ll contact back victims and congratulate them on being accepted onto the grant programme.   
 

Pre-paid credit cards

 

Applicants are then asked to provide identification and are instructed to get a pre-paid credit card to deposit their own contribution to the fake Government grant scheme. Fraudsters will then contact victims on the phone or are emailed and asked for the details of their pre-paid credit card and copies of statements to in order for them to add the grant funds.

 

Of course the grant funds are never given by the fraudsters and the money that’s been loaded by the victim onto the card is stolen.

 

If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and report it to us. We’ve already taken down one website fraudsters have been using to commit this fraud and are working with Companies House to combat this issue.

 

How to protect yourself:

 

Be wary of unsolicited callers implying that you can apply for grants. You should never have to pay to receive a government grant, and they definitely won’t instruct you to obtain a pre-paid credit card. The government should have all the information they need if a genuine grant application was submitted, therefore any requests for personal or banking information either over the phone or online should be refused.

 

What to do if you’re a victim: 
 

  • If you think your bank or personal 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.
  • 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. 
     

The information contained within this alert is based on information from gathered by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).  The purpose of this alert is to increase awareness of this type of fraud. The alert is aimed at members of the public, local police forces, businesses and governmental agencies.

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.

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. 

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.

River levels webcam

Church Services

SERVICES IN NOVEMBER 2019

 

Sunday 15 December

11.15am said Matins with hymns (BCP)

4.00pm Candlelit service of 9 lessons and carols

followed by mince pies and mulled wine in the parish hall

 

Sunday 22 December

11.15am said Holy Communion with hymns (BCP)

 

Tuesday 24 December – Christmas Eve

9.00pm first service of Christmas –

 Holy Communion (BCP) with carols

 

Wednesday 25 December – Christmas Day

11.15am Children’s service

 Holy Communion with carols (45 minutes)

 

Website Statistics

Nov 2019

1,977 unique visitors

5,703 pages viewed

 

Total for 2018

12,954 unique visitors 

48,218 pages viewed

 

Total for 2017

11,363 unique visitors 

35,942 pages viewed

 

Total for 2016 

10,546 unique visitors

30,430 pages viewed

Remenham Footpath Maps

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