Image of Temple Island and the rowing course
Image of Temple Island and the rowing course
Remenham Parish
Remenham Parish

Thames Valley Police Alerts

Keeping vehicles safe

Smart Motorway Safety Advice

Smart motorways are up and running in many places across the country, including parts of the Thames Valley.
What used to be the hard shoulder is now a fourth lane and there are overhead signs above the lanes.
These will display important information such as variable speed limits and lane closures.
It’s important that you obey these signs for your safety and that of other road users.
You’ll see a red 'X' if a lane is closed.
This can often be set far in advance of an incident to help those who are dealing with it.
Make sure to leave gaps in the traffic to allow people to filter into an open lane.
Driving in a closed lane could result in a fixed penalty of up to £100 and three points.
National Highways and Thames Valley Police will be carrying out enforcement on these roads.
For more information, please visit the National Highway’s website

An Invitation To Our Annual Meeting on 21st May

Please look out for a Zoom link that will be sent to all Members a few days before our Annual Meeting for members on 21st May. The meeting will start at 10.00 a.m. but you will be able to join shortly before this.

We are delighted to have as Speakers Matthew Barber, the PCC for Thames Valley, Chief Superintendent Katy Barrow-Grint from Thames Valley Police, and John Hayward-Cripps, the CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network, our national charity. Our own new TVNHWA Chair, Paul Adkins, will bring you up-to-date on our plans for the future.

If time permits, we plan to add a brief Q&A Session after each Speaker. Should you already have a question that you would like to put to any of these Speakers, it would be helpful if you email it as soon as possible to me at: sec.tvnhwa@gmail.com. We cannot guarantee to answer all questions individually, and may combine similar ones, but we will do our best.

Reminder TVP Opens Police Officer Recruitment For Non-Degree Holders

“The best thing about working in policing is the variety and having the opportunity to make lasting positive impressions.” – Pete, Police Constable on the Positive Action and Engagement Team.
Join our team in 2022! Thames Valley Police (TVP) is actively looking for people to ‘be the difference they want to see’ in their communities.
For a limited period of time, our force is recruiting for police officers via the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP).
This fantastic opportunity is now open to all candidates over the age of 17 who meet the eligibility criteria but who do not wish to work towards academic qualifications in tandem with becoming a police officer.
The Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) means:

  • No requirement for a degree to apply
  • No requirement for A-levels to apply
  • To be eligible for this entry route you must have GCSE English and Maths (Grades 9-4/A*-C) and meet our other eligibility criteria – more details here.

If you are interested in working towards an academic qualification in tandem with becoming a Police Officer, we have alternative entry routes that are also accepting applications.
To find out more about a policing career with TVP as a Police Officer via our entry routes, including the realities of working on Response, initial training, and to apply please visit our Police Officer page.
In addition, we are open for a variety of other roles within our force, such as Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), Specials, 999/101 Call Handlers, Transferees and Re-joiners.
Join our team and help keep our communities safe. Visit www.tvpcareers.co.uk today!Email tracking gif

Catalytic Converter Thefts

Overnight  between Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 April  thieves targeted a number of cars in Hatch Ride, Ellis Road and Wiltshire Avenue in the North Crowthorne area, cutting off and stealing the Catalytic converters whilst the cars were parked outside the owners homes.

During the month similar thefts have occurred elsewhere across the Bracknell and Wokingham boroughs, with one car been targeted during daytime whilst it was left in a town centre multi storey car park.

Catalytic Converters are targeted as precious metals are used to make the actual filters contained within them, so have a good second hand value or otherwise command a good scrap value.

The thieves operate by jacking the rear of a car up so they can slide underneath and then use cordless power tools to cut through the exhaust pipe, completing the theft in a matter of minutes.

Catalytic Converters come in varying designs and sizes with different car manufacturers using different makes, and currently Honda and Lexus cars seem to be the favourite targets.
To reduce the risk of your car been targeted you can,

  • arrange for your car's dealership to supply and fit security brackets.
  • ensure the car alarm always sets as you leave it unattended
  • fit a dashcam with motion activation that will record anyone walking up close to your car.
  • reverse into parking bays, or up against a wall or fence
  • avoid parking in unlit areas.

If you have any information about these thefts or have CCTV or Dashcam footage you are asked to contact Thames Valley Police on 101.  Should you not want to speak to a police officer or want to remain anonymous to contact the independent charity “Crimestoppers” on 0800 555 111.

For more advice on how to keep your vehicle safe, visit the Thames Valley Police website. www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-your-home-and-belongings/

Please feel free to share this report and advice on social media.

Vehicle Crime

Most vehicle crime is preventable. The best way to protect your belongings is to keep valuables out of sight and lock your car whenever you leave it.

Unfortunately, some cars are so attractive to thieves that simply locking the doors isn’t a total deterrent. Modern cars that have keyless entry and ignition systems are proving to be a particular target, as thieves can utilise electronic scanners to copy and mimic the vehicle’s actual key in order to get in and start the car without causing any damage.

Keyless entry and ignition works by the car’s key fob constantly transmitting an electronic signal that can be picked up by a receiver in the car when the two are close to each other. If you own such a car and leave your key within range the doors can be opened and the engine started. Generally taking the key further away from the car stops the signal being detected by the car.

When at home if you leave your car outside and the key fob near external walls, doors or windows an offender can pick up the signal on a hand held scanner which can then be transmitted or boosted to your car, allowing an apparently secure car to be stolen off the driveway. In recent weeks, there has been a spate of such thefts in the Bracknell and Wokingham areas, and police enquiries are ongoing.
If you have seen anything suspicious, have CCTV or video doorbell footage of suspicious activity or persons or know anything about these thefts you can report this information to police by using our online reporting portal or by dialling 101. If you want to remain anonymous or do not want to speak to the police, you can report information via the independent charity Crimestoppers online or by calling 0800 555 111 free of charge.

Steps you can take to deter thieves from breaking into your car:
• Store your key fob in a signal blocking pouch or tin.
• Utilise an overt steering wheel lock as these can act as a physical deterrent to thieves. Some models can link to pedals and gear sticks.
• Do not leave anything on view within your car, even a jacket can entice thieves to break in and see if any valuables are in the pockets.
• Make sure your sunroof and all windows are fully closed.
• Take removable items such as sat navs and other electrical devices out of the car.

Whilst driving in the UK you are not required to have your driving documents with you, so there is no reason to leave your registration document (log-book), insurance, MOT or Driving Licence in the car. If stolen they could potentially be used to transfer ownership of your car or for identity theft.

For more advice on how to keep your vehicle safe, visit the Thames Valley Police website www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-your-home-and-belongings/vehicle-crime/

Over 20K People Fell Victim To Remote Access Scams

More than £50 million was lost last year to scams where victims are tricked into handing over control of their computer or smartphone to criminals.
New data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, reveals that 20,144 people fell victim to scams where they were persuaded to grant criminals remote access to their device. Victims reported losing a total of £57,790,384 – an average loss of £2,868 per victim. 
What are remote access scams
Remote Access scams will often begin with a browser pop-up saying that your computer is infected with a virus, or maybe a call from someone claiming to be from your bank saying that they need to connect to your computer in order to cancel a fraudulent transaction on your account. Regardless of the narrative the fraudster’s use, their goal is to steal your money or access your financial information by tricking you into allowing them to remotely connect to your computer.
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish, from the City of London Police, said:
"While remote access tools are safe when used legitimately, we want the public to be aware that they can be misused by criminals to perpetrate fraud. We often see criminals posing as legitimate businesses in order to trick people into handing over control of their computer or smartphone. 
“You should only install software or grant remote access to your computer if you’re asked by someone you know and trust, such as a friend or family member, and never as a result of an unsolicited call, browser pop-up or text message.”
How to protect yourself

  • Only install software or grant remote access to your computer if you’re asked by someone you know and trust, such as a friend or family member, and never as a result of an unsolicited call, browser pop up, or text message.
  • Remember, a bank or service provider will never contact you out of the blue requesting remote access to your device.
  • If you believe your laptop, PC, tablet or phone has been infected with a virus or some other type of malware, follow the NCSC’s guidance on recovering an infected device.
  • Protect your money by contacting your bank immediately on a different device from the one the scammer contacted you on.
  • Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk. If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101.

Cold Callers and Doorstep Rogue Traders

This is the time of year when we traditionally see an increase in offences that start with a ‘cold call’ knock at your door, from someone claiming to be a tradesman working in the area. They will call unexpectedly, offering services or goods that you have not asked for. Those who accept work often find the price increases or work is left unfinished.

Common types of work offered include pressure washing driveways, tree surgeon services, garden clearance, roof repairs or guttering and driveway work. Genuine reputable tradespeople do not need to find work in this way. Residents who buy goods or pay for work are likely to be targeted again.

Cold Calling can also be a cover for persons planning more serious offences such as Burglary, Car Crime or ‘Bogus Official’ offences such as pretending to be from the Water Board and needing to fix a leak, where entry is gained to a house by deception in order to steal while the occupant is distracted.

If someone does call at your door, please consider the following advice:
• Don’t agree to any work or sign anything on the spot.
• Don’t feel pressured to buy. It is your home and your right to say ‘No’.
• Don’t ever go to a bank or cash point with a trader. Legitimate traders would never do this.
• If you have vulnerable neighbours or family members who could potentially fall victim to these type of fraudulent individuals please check in on them and call 101 with details of any suspicious vehicles or individuals.
• If you suspect a crime is in progress, or about to occur please make a note of any descriptions and contact the police on 999.

The Public Protection Partnership covering Bracknell Forest, Wokingham and West Berkshire may be able to assist you and your neighbours by creating a Cold Calling Zone in your street or area. For more information on how they can help, visit:
www.publicprotectionpartnership.org.uk

Neighbourhood Watch is a successful crime prevention initiative. Getting together with your neighbours to take action can cut local crime. If you would like information on setting up or joining an established local scheme visit www.ourwatch.org.uk

Please pass this advice to friends, family members and neighbours who might not receive Neighbourhood Alert emails.

Thames Valley Police Museum Open Mornings

The Thames Valley Police Museum is open on Wednesday mornings between 10.00am – 12.00pm and you can pop along without making an appointment or paying a visitors fee.
The museum is based in the White House at The Thames Valley Police Training Centre in Sulhamstead, Nr Reading, Berkshire, RG7 4DX.
The Museum’s collections include displays on the Great Train Robbery and the history of Thames Valley Police.
We look forward to your visit.

Spring Burglary Prevention Advice

Spring into action and protect your home, garage and garden buildings from theft.
The 15-20 minutes you spend on the school run or popping out to the shops is all a thief needs to break-in to your property. Please consider the below crime prevention advice to avoid becoming a victim of burglary this Spring:
• Make your home look occupied by using timer switches on lights and radios.
• Consider purchasing and installing a video doorbell, house alarm or CCTV system. Ensure you check privacy laws when installing CCTV systems.
• During warm weather spells, only leave windows open for ventilation when you are in the room and lock them when you leave the house and at night. Window opening restrictors can help you ventilate your home but make sure they cannot be picked and unlocked from the outside.
• Do not leave windows open, even on upper floors, if they are next to a porch or flat garage roof which can be used to climb up.
• Close and double lock all doors when going out and when you go to bed.
• Keep all valuables and keys out of sight and away from doors, windows and letterboxes. Store electronic car key fobs in a security pouch to prevent thieves scanning them to open and steal your car.
• If you have a key safe, ensure it is not visible to people passing by, but anyone tampering with it can be seen.
• When working from home, ensure laptops and electronic equipment are not on view.
• Consider joining a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme - visit www.ourwatch.org.uk for more information.
Please consider these crime prevention tips to protect your shed, garage and garden buildings this Spring:
• Never leave doors unlocked when you are not around and use strong padlocks on doors with no exposed screws and pay attention to hinges, which can be easily removed.
• Ensure fences, gates and their locks are in good condition.
• If you have a detached garage in a block, consider fitting additional security locks to the door to reduce the risk of offenders prising it open.
• Check whether your home insurance covers the contents from theft.
• Remove valuable equipment like laptops from garden outbuildings used as offices.
• Alarm it - there are systems on the market for all budgets.
• Security mark and register tools and other items so they can be identified at www.immobilise.com
• Consider installing CCTV (closed circuit television). Some systems can be accessed remotely via the internet or smart phone. Ensure you check privacy laws when installing CCTV systems.
• Thorny or prickly plants can be a deterrent in strategic positions, such as underneath windows or below walls and fences.
• Ensure hedges and shrubs are trimmed back to prevent areas intruders could hide or observe you. Crunchy gravel is also good for paths or areas around outbuildings.
Please contact us if you have any information relating to crime, suspicious vehicles or activity in your neighbourhood. Report online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk, call 101 or in an emergency 999. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on free phone 0800 555 111.

March Our News Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter

This month’s newsletter includes articles on:

  • our THINK WIDE(N) burglary prevention campaign
  • launch of our 40 YEARS, 40 ACTIONS pack
  • Neighbourhood Watch Community Grants Fund
  • International Women’s Day
  • Neighbour of the Year Awards 2021 regional winners

 You can read about all this and more in our newsletter attached.

Ukrainian Crisis Warning – We have begun to hear about scams using the Ukrainian Crisis to extort or scam money. Please be mindful of this and check the origins of requests to support the crisis. If you come across scams please report them. Visit our REPORTING SCAMS webpage for more information.

 We hope you enjoy this edition and welcome your feedback via enquiries@ourwatch.org.uk.

87573_March_2022_OUR_NEWS.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [9.3 MB]

Thames Valley Police Launches Rural Crime Taskforce

Thames Valley Police has launched its Rural Crime Taskforce to make the Thames Valley a hostile place for those who commit rural crimes. 

The Taskforce consists of a team of dedicated officers, as well as intelligence support, who will work tirelessly with our partners, drone units, and the Joint Operations Unit with Hampshire to tackle serious and organised rural crime. 

What is rural crime? 
Rural crimes are offences that relate to farms, agriculture, wildlife, the environment and heritage sites where they are targeted due to their isolation or rural location. Spanning across harm to animals and the theft of vital machinery, rural crime causes distress, misery and unnecessary hardship for farmers who rely on their land and machinery for their livelihoods. 

How does rural crime impact the Thames Valley? 
The Taskforce is successfully working to support rural communities and tackle crime. Over £400,000 worth of trailers, caravans and other equipment have been recovered by the team. They have been proactively working with the Forensic Investigation Unit to address rises in thefts of GPS systems within tractor satellite navigation systems. This means the Forensic Investigation Unit is able to attend these incidents when they have taken place, helping the rural communities recover from the impact these offences which can have severe consequences on the livelihoods of those affected. Local policing areas across the Thames Valley have also seen the benefit of the Taskforce, with the team supporting investigations into rural issues such as thefts and hare coursing. 

There is also proactive work led by the Taskforce, which has included working with the Economic Crime Unit to look into the proceeds of crime. Operations have taken place into money laundering, showing how rural crime can often link into organised crime and the key role the Taskforce will play in supporting wider police operations. 

Rural Crime Taskforce Inspector, Stuart Hutchings said: “The trust and confidence of our rural communities is extremely important to us and that is why we are grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner for the funding which has enabled us to develop a Rural Crime Taskforce. 

“The Taskforce will make the Thames Valley a hostile place for anyone looking to commit rural crime. We now have a team of dedicated officers committed to making our rural communities safer as well as staff waiting to take your call who are trained in the complexities of rural crime and its impacts. We will not tolerate rural crime.” 

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire NFU chair Alex Nelms said: “The commitment by Thames Valley Police to introduce and resource a Rural Crime Taskforce really is welcome news to farmers and growers across our three counties. For a long time now, we have been calling for greater resources that would enable the force to be better placed to tackle specific types of rural crime, given the challenges of working over such a broad area. This taskforce will also undoubtedly boost the amount of intelligence gathered by Thames Valley Police that it will be able to share with neighbouring forces, where criminals are operating across borders.” 

If a crime is happening or someone is in danger, call 999. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service. 

If you think a rural crime is being committed then contact us by reporting a crime online
We’d rather you contacted us and we investigate, than not hear from you.  

You can also report wildlife crime anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111. 
Further information on rural crime and prevention advice can be found on our website.

Advice Issued Following Increase In Reports of A Fake Banking App

Thames Valley Police is issuing advice to residents following a number of incidents involving a fake bank transfer app.

Over the past few months, there have been a number of reports about an app that creates an image, which shows a transfer has been made. Offenders have been targeting vulnerable individuals, including the elderly.

Shopping online can save time and effort and gives you a wide choice of goods from around the world. Unfortunately, while most buyers and sellers are genuine, fraudsters use online shopping scams because they can hide their identity and target many victims at the same time.

Selling sites such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Gumtree have reported incidents to us of offenders using an app to pretend to pay for goods they have agreed to purchase.

Some advice that we suggest when selling goods:

- Make sure you receive payment confirmation before sending goods.
- Check your account online or ask your bank to make sure cleared funds have been received.
- Take pictures of items before posting them so you have proof of condition in case of a fraudulent claim.

If you would like to find out more information about how to keep yourself safe, please visit our webpage Online shopping | Thames Valley Police.
 

Witness Appeal Following Burglary In Arthur Road Wokingham

At approximately 7:50pm on Friday 21st January 2022, a burglary occurred in Arthur Road, Wokingham. The victims were sitting in the living room of their address watching television. They heard a loud bang and one victim has gone into the hallway to find a male stood there. The victim started making lots of noise and waving their arms around. Two more males have come running out of the dining room in the address and ran out the front door. The males ran out of the address turning right towards OXFORD Road, Wokingham.
The male found in the hallway is described as of large build, approximately 6ft tall and wearing dark clothing. This male was holding an object which was dark and possibly 18 inches in length in his left hand. The two other males were of smaller build than the first male and were also wearing dark clothing.
We are appealing for any witnesses or anyone who may have CCTV, video doorbell or dash-cam footage that may help with this investigation.
If you have any information, please get in touch using our online form or call 101 with reference number 43220030952.
For advice on how to protect your home and vehicles from criminals, please visit our website www.thamesvalley.police.uk
Please contact us if you have any information relating to crime or suspicious activities in your neighbourhood. Report online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk or call us on 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.
“Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously via their website or on 0800 555 111.”

Do You Recognise This Horse Box?

Officers recovered this horse box and believe it to be stolen.
We would like to reunite it with the rightful owners.
Please call 101 if you believe these belong to you. Proof of purchase may be required.

The Best Way To Keep Hackers Out of Your Online Accounts

Enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) is the single most important thing you can do to improve the security of your online accounts.
What is 2FA?
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a way of strengthening the login security of your online accounts. It's similar to how an ATM works. You need both your debit card (first factor) and your PIN (second factor) to get access your account and withdraw cash. The main objective is better security. If your card is stolen, they still need your PIN. If your PIN is stolen, they still need your card.

Enabling 2FA will help to stop hackers from getting into your accounts, even if they have your password.

How do I enable 2FA on my accounts?
Here are links you can use to enable 2FA on some of the most popular online services and apps:


For more of the government’s latest advice on how to stay secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware

0800 555 111 - A Number To Remember

Thames Valley Police have frequently repeated that their success in fighting crime is very dependent on the efficient gathering of relevant information – ‘criminal intelligence’ – from the public. So, we all have a personal stake in helping this process.
The Neighbourhood Watch national website - ourwatch.org.uk – offers ideas of what to look out for under various crime headings. Even those living in peaceful, low-crime areas may occasionally overhear or see something that is suspicious or ‘doesn’t look right.’ Putting together criminal intelligence has been described as a bit like a jigsaw, and even little bits of information can help – by confirming other pieces perhaps. So, it is important that we all report things that we feel could help the police.
I am sure you know that you should immediately call 999 if you see a crime being committed or in an emergency. And you should call 101 to report anything else to the police – or go online to do so. This, of course, involves you in providing your own contact details, and even though these will be treated in complete confidence by the police, sometimes we can be reluctant to ‘get involved’ to that extent. That is understandable, but we do not want your ‘piece of the jigsaw’ to be missed. It could be vital!
So, we are partnering with CrimeStoppers to remind everyone of ‘The 3rd Number – 0800 555 111’ that enables you to report your information totally anonymously if you prefer. Please view this link, and consider adding the number to your mobile phone speed-dial list so it is quickly ready when needed.
While contacting the police directly – especially if you could be an important witness – is what we hope most people will do most of the time, having the CrimeStoppers anonymous alternative plays a vital part in helping the police to ‘complete the criminal-intelligence jigsaw’.
Whichever way you do it – please report it!
Many thanks for your support!

Thefts of High Value and Gold Jewellery

There has been an increase in reported thefts of high value and gold jewellery from residential properties across the area.

Residents can help avoid giving burglars the opportunity to steal their jewellery by considering these crime prevention tips:

• Try not to keep your high value jewellery at home. Consider using a bank safety deposit box. If you have to keep your jewellery at home, check that your home insurance covers these items.
• Invest in a home safe suitable for protecting your jewellery. Your insurance company may be able to provide advice as to which type and grade of safe best suits your needs.
• Photograph and keep an inventory of your jewellery. Place your jewellery against a plain background with a ruler next to it to give an idea of size. The inventory can be created as a paper version or online with companies such as Immobilise. Include identifying marks, value, and purchase date. For more information visit www.immobilise.com
• As with other valuables, do not leave any jewellery on display or post images on social media.
• Make sure your home is secure at all times. Ensure that all doors, especially rear doors, and all windows are secure and locked. Use timers that switch lights on when going out. Please do not post on social media that you are away from your home.
• Set your house alarm if you have one and consider purchasing a video doorbell or CCTV system.
• Use forensic marking to identify your jewellery. Information on forensic marking can be found on www.securedbydesign.com

Please feel free to download our attached crime prevention leaflets in English, Punjabi and Urdu.

For more information about crime prevention, please visit our website www.thamesvalley.police.uk

Please contact us if you have any information relating to burglary in your neighbourhood. Report online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk call us on 101 or in an emergency dial 999.

Alternatively, you call Crimestoppers anonymously on free phone 0800 555 111.

Thank you.

Do You Know What A Ghost Broker is?

Just 15% of people have heard of a ‘ghost broker’.* Do you know what one is?
Have you ever heard of a ‘ghost broker’? No, we are not talking about things that go bump in the night – this is a lot scarier. ‘Ghost brokers’ are fraudsters who sell fake or invalid car insurance policies. Victims are sold fake insurance documents for a policy that does not exist, or for a genuine policy that has been set up using false details to lower the price of the premium.

How do ‘ghost brokers’ operate?
Fraudsters lure victims in with the offer of cheaper insurance premiums, usually via social media or by word-of-mouth. These individuals or groups pose as middlemen for well-known insurance companies, claiming they can offer you legitimate car insurance at a significantly cheaper price.

This type of fraud is typically carried out either by forging insurance documents, falsifying your details to bring the price down, or by taking out a genuine policy for you but cancelling it soon after.

Often, the victim is not aware that they have been scammed until they are involved in an accident and try to claim on the policy.

Who do ‘ghost brokers’ target?
‘Ghost brokers’ tend to target vulnerable communities, including members of non-English speaking communities who may not have full knowledge of UK insurance and laws, as well as young people looking for cheaper insurance deals.

Last year, Action Fraud received 694 reports of ‘ghost broking’, with almost a third (29%) coming from victims aged 17-29. The reported losses for these victims alone totalled £113,500, with each individual losing an average of £559.

Figures also indicate that over half (58%) of all reports in 2020 were submitted by men.

What could happen if I drive without valid insurance?
As policies sold by ‘ghost brokers’ are either invalid, non-existent or fraudulent, this means that the driver is technically uninsured, meaning that you could face:

  • £300 fixed penalty notice
  • Six points on driving licence
  • Vehicle being seized and crushed

How can I protect myself from ‘ghost brokers’?
There are simple steps that you can take to spot the signs of these scams and avoid being taking for a ride by ‘ghost brokers’:

  • ‘Ghost brokers’ often advertise and communicate via social media, online forums and messaging apps. If a broker is only using a mobile phone or email as a way of contact, this can be a sign of this type of crime. Fraudsters do not want to be traced after they have taken money from their victims.
  • They may also try to sell insurance policies through print adverts in pubs, clubs or bars, newsagents
  • If a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is. If you are not sure about the broker, check on the Financial Conduct Authority or the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website for a list of all authorised insurance brokers. You can also contact the insurance company directly to verify the broker’s details. You can also check to see if a car appears to be insured on the Motor Insurance Database website.
  • If you think that you have been a victim of a ghost broker, you can report your concerns to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040.
  • You can also contact the Insurance Fraud Bureau via its confidential Cheatline on 0800 422 0421 or on the IFB website.

Thefts of Parcels

Thames Valley Police has received reports of thieves stealing parcels left outside of people’s homes.

To prevent becoming a victim of parcel theft, please make arrangements for your goods to be delivered when you are home, to a trusted neighbour or a secure area where they cannot be seen or accessed by opportunist thieves.

We would like to hear from anyone with CCTV, video doorbell, dashcam footage or who may have seen anything suspicious in relation to these thefts. If you have any information, please report online or call 101.

If you don’t want to speak directly to the police you can contact “Crimestoppers” anonymously and free of charge on 0800 555 111. It is an independent charity, no personal details will be asked for, calls are not recorded or traced and you would not have to go to court.

For further crime prevention advice, please visit the Thames Valley Police website
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/

Please encourage friends, family or neighbours to receive this type of message by registering at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk

Update from Zoey Evans - Firearms Licensing Manager

Thames Valley Police will start to accept grant applications from 01 September 2020. Please ensure that you submit the relevant GP pro forma with your application form. 
 
The following link can be used to apply for your grant application – please note this link will not be activated until 01 September: 


https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/ar/applyregister/fao/af/apply-firearm-shotgun-explosives-certificate/
 

If you have previously applied for a grant application, with a GP pro forma, please submit this GP pro forma with your online application. If it has exceeded the 6 month timeframe we will make contact with your GP to confirm that there are no changes.
 
When contacted by your Firearms Enquiry Officer please ensure that you fully comply with the COVID-19 standard operating procedures that we have put in place (in accordance with the Government guidelines). If you fail to do so your visit may be cancelled. These procedures are in place to protect both you and my team.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and I may need to make some changes to the way in which we work if there are any localised lockdowns or change in Government guidance. As always, I will update our shooting community via this email alert system.
 
I would like to thank you all for your patience whilst we have been putting in place these health and safety measures. 
 
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Firearms Licensing Department on the following email link - firearmslicensing@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Cold Callers and Doorstep Rogue Traders

Thames Valley police have received reports of cold callers in the Wokingham Borough area and this activity could increase due to further lockdown restrictions being lifted this weekend. Doorstep traders call at homes unexpectedly, offering services or goods that residents haven’t asked for. Common types of work offered include pressure washing driveways, tree surgeon services or garden clearance, roof repairs or guttering and driveway work. Genuine reputable tradespeople do not need to find work in this way. Residents who buy goods or pay for work are likely to be targeted again.

Cold Calling can also be a cover for persons planning more serious offences such as Burglary, Car Crime or ‘Bogus Official’ offences such as pretending to be from the Water Board and needing to fix a leak, where entry is gained to a house by deception in order to steal while the occupant is distracted.

If someone does call at your door, please stick to the following advice:
• Don’t agree to any work or sign anything on the spot.
• Don’t feel pressured to buy. It is your home and your right to say ‘No’.
• Don’t ever go to a Bank or Cash point with a trader. Legitimate traders would never do this.
• If you have vulnerable neighbours or family members who could potentially fall victim to these type of fraudulent individuals check in on them and call 101 with suspicious vehicles or individuals.
• If you suspect a crime is in progress, or about to occur please note descriptions and contact police on 999.

Trading Standards can assist you and your neighbours by creating a Cold Calling Zone in your street or area. For more information on how they can help, email tsadvice@westberks.gov.uk

Neighbourhood Watch is a successful crime prevention initiative. Getting together with your neighbours to take action can cut local crime. If you would like information on setting up or joining an established local scheme visit www.ourwatch.org.uk

Please pass on this advice to friends, family members and neighbours who might not receive the neighbourhood alert emails.

Shed and Allotment Security

There has been an increasing number of sheds being broken into on allotments and in residential locations across the Wokingham area. The Priority Crime Team are asking residents to check their shed, garden and allotment security. Allotment Holders may wish to consider removing equipment and items from sheds during this time.

Please follow the below links for further crime prevention advice:
www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/non-residential-burglary/secure-shed-garage/
www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/protect-your-home-by-protecting-your-garden/

Please report any suspicious incidents, sightings or information by using our online service at: www.thamesvalley.police.uk. We're asking you please to only call 999 if it is an emergency and 101 if it is urgent.

The National Allotment Society has information about the effect of coronavirus on Allotment Holders at: https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news/covid19-information/

If you are looking for information about the government instruction to stay at home and how that may affect you, you'll find guidance on Gov.uk
Information about the police enforcement powers put in place to reduce the spread of the virus can also be found on the Government’s website.

You can visit the NHS website for information and advice about coronavirus.

Please Secure Your Bicycle

These 10 tips may help your bike remain safe, secure and not a statistic.

1. Register it
Get your bike security marked and registered at www.bikeregister.com It is a highly effective, visible deterrent to bike thieves. They know that if they are caught with a registered bike, the owner can be traced and they could be arrested.

2. Record it
Remember to record details of your bike such as the frame number (normally found underneath the bike between the pedals or where the back wheel slots in), the BikeRegister number plus any other distinguishing features, and take a photo.

3. Double-lock it
It can take thieves as little as few seconds to cut through some locks, so use two good quality locks, at least one of which is a D-lock.

4. Lock the lot
Lock the frame and both wheels to the cycle parking stand.

5. Secure it
Secure your bike as close to the stand as possible to give any thieves little or no room to manoeuvre.

6. Remove the removable bits
Take parts that are easy to remove with you. Or use locking skewers or nuts which can increase security by securing the bike's components to the frame permanently, making it difficult for thieves to steal detachable parts.

7. Park secure
Lock your bike at recognised secure cycle parking. It should be well lit and covered by CCTV.

8. Remember safety begins at home
Take the same care to lock your bike securely at home as you would on the street.

9. Check ownership
Ask for proof of ownership and check the bike frame number on www.bikeregister.com

10. Act fast
If your bike has been stolen, contact us as soon as possible, give us your frame number, BikeRegister number, a photo and any other details and make sure you update the status on BikeRegister. The sooner we know, the sooner we can act, which might stop it being sold on.
https://stolen-bikes.co.uk can help to spread the word on the theft of your bike and offer you advice to help get it back.
www.findthatbike.co.uk lists adverts for bikes placed on online marketplaces, which you can check frequently to see if yours has been listed for sale.

Rural Crime Action Group RCAG Wokingham

The Rural Crime Action Group (Wokingham) are a group of volunteers and representatives from organisations including Thames Valley Police, Wokingham Borough Council and the National Farmers Union who are passionate about keeping the rural communities safe.

 

Rural crime tends to fall into one of four categories:

  • Agricultural 

Covers working farms, farm machinery, farm buildings and smallholdings. Offences include theft of equipment or fuel, damage to property and livestock worrying. 

  • Equine 

Covers working stables and equestrian centres and includes offences like tack theft and livestock worrying.

  • Wildlife

Includes hare coursing, poaching and interfering with protected species. You can find out more about wildlife crime on our website www.thamesvalley.police.uk

  • Heritage

Defined as 'any offence which harms the value of England's heritage assets and their settings to this and future generations'. This can include offences such as lead theft from churches, damage to ancient monuments and illegal metal detecting.

Rural crime can also fall under environmental crime, which covers illegal waste dumping, fly tipping, polluting watercourses and land.

If you are concerned about rural crime or your own security, a member of the RCAG can visit you and offer security and crime prevention advice for you, your premises or your home. Where, appropriate, assistance is available for those who find themselves in difficult circumstances.

 

You can contact the chair of the RCAG, Hugh Payen, at hugh.payen@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk or contact the Twyford neighbourhood policing team on TwyfordNHPT@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk 

Please note that as a team of volunteers, your enquiry may not receive an immediate response.

 

The RCAG do not respond to incidents of rural crime so please continue to report these on 101, online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk or call 999 in an emergency.

If you have information about crime or anti-social behaviour in your area but you do not want to speak to the police, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Chip and Pin Fraud

Fraudsters are actively targeting residents across Bracknell, Wokingham and surrounding areas, who use either Credit or Debit cards to make payments by way of entering a 4 digit PIN at the point of sale or when withdrawing cash.
Some offenders working in small teams, target female supermarket shoppers, taking note of the PIN as the victim taps it into the keypad at the till. They then follow the victim out into the car park where once the handbag has been placed in the car they distract the victim engaging her in conversation whilst the car is opened and the purse is stolen. On occasions the offenders have then simply gone to an ATM at the same store and withdrawn as much cash as they can from the victims account before fleeing. And all before the victim is aware of the theft.
Other offenders interfere with ATMs (cash machines) using illegal devices that retain a victim’s bank card once it has been entered into the machine whist recording the PIN as the victim taps it into the keypad. The offenders then later retrieve the victims card and use it plus the PIN to obtain cash or purchases.
A recent development to this offence has been by offenders who have targeted individuals trying to pay for parking in such locations as hospital car parks, by using their bank cards. Again the ticket machine is fitted with an illegal device to withhold the victim’s card and then approaching the victim, possibly claiming to be a car park attendant, an offender states the victim should report the incident into the machines intercom, and say the PIN so that the operator at the other end can process their payment. Again the offenders later retrieve the card and use the PIN to withdraw cash from nearby ATMs.

To prevent yourself from becoming a victim of these type of fraudsters remember the Golden Rules of;

  • Never letting anyone see what your PIN is.
  • Never writing your PIN down, and
  • Never saying your PIN out loud, to anyone.


Remeber no one in any bank ever needs to know your PIN,  No Police Officer or other legitimate investigator will ever need to know it, let alone any car park attendant.

KEEP IT SECRET!
 

Please feel free to share this information with family and friends.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 

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

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.

River Webcam

Church Services

SERVICES FOR MAY

Sunday 29 May

 11.15am sung Matins (BCP) with hymns

 

SERVICES FOR JUNE 

Sunday 5 June – Pentecost

Platinum Jubilee

of H M the Queen

11.15am Holy Communion (BCP) with hymns

Sunday 12 June

11.15am Holy Communion (BCP) with hymns

Sunday 19 June

11.15am sung Matins (BCP) with hymns

Sunday 26 June

11.15am Holy Communion (BCP) with hymns

www.remenhamparish.org.uk

Rectory Office – 01491 577340

rector.hwr@btinternet.com

 

We continue to hold a service every Sunday at 11.15am (details above).  The church is open daily from 9.30am to 4.00pm for private prayer.  

Cleaning protocols etc are in place in church.   

Rubbish & Recycling

Please click on the graphic above - thank you

 

Website Statistics

April 2022

1,528 unique visitors

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Total for  2021

17,193 unique visitors

40,926 pages viewed

 

Total for 2020

22,524 unique visitors

71,707 pages viewed

 

Total for 2019

23,107 unique visitors

67,374 pages viewed

 

Total for 2018

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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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hello@remenhamparish.org.uk

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