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Crime: 15 November 2013  

A lot to discuss today – sorry the message is a long one, but it does cover some very important issues.
Cycle safety
Thames Valley Police operates a diversion scheme for cyclists riding without lights, during hours of darkness.
The scheme aims to raise awareness of the dangers and to offer an alternative to prosecution - where appropriate !  Unless, all of the pre-conditions of the scheme are met, cyclists will have to pay full tickets as usual.
An advice leaflet is attached.  I have also attached the Bike Passport.  All this information will be needed, if your bike is stolen.  Please do it now – while you still have your bike to refer to ???  We had three very valuable bikes stolen from Windsor a few nights ago – a repeat victim !  They were properly secured within a garage by a chain.  The thief brought along a hack saw to remove the chain.  If the garage had had a wireless motion sensor alarm and the chain on the bikes had a padlock alarm as shown in Mrs. Chalmers really useful Shed Advice Leaflet – those bikes would still be there !!!!
I have had 2 emails in this week, from members complaining about quality of service issues.  I put a message out last week about a Subaru driving around a field off Drift Road, causing damage to crops, possibly Hare Coursing, which lost its bumper when it hit a pothole.  Martin showed the message to his daughter.  The next day, she saw a Subaru, covered in mud, minus its bumper, being washed in a garage and passed the information via Martin, to me.  I circulated it internally – then I received this from Martin:
My daughter received a totally negative call from Bracknell police, questioning her on how did she know the vehicle concerned was a Suburu ?  How did she know the bumpers were missing ?  She explained she had seen your report and that's how she knew the details and that the police needed information.  The caller finished, by telling her - the call was a waste of time, as there is nothing the police can do, as they cannot link the vehicle to Drift Road.  
I was as angry as Martin by this response and immediately passed it right up the food chain.  Unfortunately, we were unable to find out who the officer was, to offer advice and training, but a Sergeant was instructed to investigate and get back to Martin, which he did.  Nick Breeze is an excellent Sergeant, who has been in the job a long time.  He is following this up internally.
If I ask for information / intel from you – it is because we want / need it.  Yesterday, we were badly hit with ‘theft from cars’ – 10 in all, right across RBWM.  We need your eyes and ears.  We think it was 3 distinct offenders, in Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead.  If you get a bad response from us, as with Martin’s daughter – you will think twice about phoning us a second time.  If this happened to you while phoning a gas or electricity supplier / shop, you would complain immediately.  The same applies to us.  In this country ‘we police by consent’.  We work in partnership with our Statutory Partners – the Borough, Housing Associations and of course yourselves – ‘the police extended family’.  You have taken that extra step, by signing up to NHW and the Alert system - offering to be involved and to help us fight crime –.  We can only do that together, and your help really is appreciated.  So, intel and information from yourselves, is vital to us.  Anything that jeopardises that very close relationship, must be avoided.  So – if you ever get a similar negative response, you have a course of action.  First – if it is a PEC operator, ask to speak to their Team Leader.  If that doesn’t resolve it, my email is at the bottom of this message.  Email me immediately with full details, including any URN number you have been given.  I can then track exactly what happened, including what was said.  If it was any other contact with us, again email me immediately.  I WILL get it sorted.  I hope Martin and his daughter are happy and reassured with the response they received after emailing me.
The second, was a case of Obstructive Parking.  I received this in from Mary:-
Your advice, is for people to call 101 if they have a problem and that 'someone would always be sent out'.
Well my experience is that there don't seem to be enough police officers in this area for that to happen.

Last Saturday afternoon, I was walking my twin grandsons along Cox Green Road, Maidenhead, in their buggy to try to get them off to sleep.  It was raining heavily and when I got to the scout hut (near the junction of Bracken Road and a big bend), the total width of the pavement was blocked by three (then four) cars parked - all four wheels - outside. I had to walk a good way back on myself, in order to see the oncoming traffic and cross in safety. As I crossed the road I suddenly thought, what a flaming cheek those drivers had, putting the safety of pedestrians at serious risk, considering the weather and the bend in the road - but at least their cars were safe !  I called 101 to report the situation. The operator was concerned and told me that 'someone would be sent out as soon as possible’.
Fair enough.

However, on my return journey (about 1½ hours later), three of the cars were still there.  I called again.  I was told that no-one had been free and did I have the reg numbers ?  I gave them to the operator once I'd arrived home (still no-one had been sent to speak to the drivers).

Would I ever bother with 101 again?  No, I doubt it very much - a complete and utter waste of my time.

Had a driver, in the heavy rain, unfamiliar with that road and that bend, hit me and my precious little boys, they'd have found the resources to deal with that situation pretty quickly. I hope.

Kind regards.

Again, Mary has done exactly the right thing by forwarding this to me.  Parking dangerously near a junction / causing an ‘obstruction’ by parking on pavements, are police matters, rather than parking on double yellow lines / in residents parking bays, which is a ‘parking issue’, dealt with by the Borough, and their Parking Wardens.  All calls to the police are ‘graded’, due to their seriousness.  I said in my message that we would always respond to Nottingham Knockers / people acting suspiciously walking up and down driveways / walking along trying car door handles etc. as they could be, ‘crimes in progress’.  I have passed Mary’s email onto the local Police Neighbourhood Team and the RBWM Community Wardens, to try and resolve the issue with the cars owners.  Mary has supplied us with car indexes and as she has made actually made a ‘complaint’, we can take this on.
I am here to support you in any way I can, the note at the bottom of my messages – ‘Eyes and ears.....and brain’ is not just a motto.  We mean it !
Hi jeff,
I have just had a visit from a man selling ironing board covers etc.  He showed me an ID card from "Direct Textiles."
He claimed he was from a group who supported "bad boys", who were now trying to do honest work.

I did not buy anything.  He may have been genuine, he may not be.
He may have been, but you cannot take the chance.
Hence our NHW Motto
I am sorry, I do not buy goods and services at the door, then firmly, but politely, close the door and call the police.
It sounds like a Nottingham Knocker – young unemployed lads – often ex offenders, going door to door selling household products.  They can keep whatever cash they make, over and above a small amount they pay for the bag contents.  These lads are generally, only after one thing.  The names and addresses of vulnerable people, who are easily parted from their cash !  They take the addresses back to their boss, who pays them an additional amount for each one.  He then sells the list on, in pubs and prisons, to real offenders !  You must not get onto one of those lists.  They could be sold on dozens of times, to dozens of different offenders.
Just a warning – never buy from anyone at the door – you never know where it will lead – better safe than sorry.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
14/11  Thursday 0.30 a.m.  Business, Forlease Drive.  Thieves broke into the property next door and climbed over a fence to gain access – Electrical cable and a box of brass stolen.
14/11  Thursday 7 p.m. / 9.30 p.m.  Holmanleaze.  Bike LEFT INSECECURE stolen from outside.  A greeny / blue, Al Carter, Pinto Creek.
11/11 – 13/11  Monday10 p.m. Underpass, West Street covered in graffiti.
14/11  Thursday 2.30 p.m.  Hines Meadow Car Park, Crown Lane.  A witness – from our Community Safety Team at the Borough, was walking through the car park, when they saw fresh graffiti on the wall and a youth making off.  The youth ran into Sainsbury’s, where he was detained by security staff with 2 cans of spray paint.  The police arrived and he was arrested upon suspicion of Criminal Damage.
14/11 – 15/11  Thursday 4.45 p.m. / Friday 8 a.m.  Cookham Road.  Business entered.  Thieves climbed over a rear fence into a yard and punched a hole in the fuel tank of a fork lift truck and siphoned out the fuel.  While there, they attempted to force open steel windows and door to the site office – no entry gained.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
12/11 – 13/11  Tuesday 5 p.m. / Wednesday 10 a.m.  Tavistock Close.  Car left INSECURE searched.  Thieves stole an empty handbag from inside.  When they found it was empty, they have thrown the bag back into the aggrieved’s garden, landing on the patio.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
13/11  8 p.m. / 11.30 p.m.  Old Mill Lane, Bray X 2.  1.  Car driver’s window smashed – iPhone 5 stolen from the cup holder.  2.  Car passenger window smashed – LAPTOP stolen from inside.
First bags of Christmas presents stolen from the boot of a car in Old Windsor !!!  It has started !
Hi Jeff,
I hope I am using the correct means of communication ?

I received a telephone call yesterday - number withheld. The caller spoke very, very bad English, so I was wary, when he started to tell me that one of my cards had been used in suspicious circumstances.  He kept asking me if I had all the cards and whether anyone else in the household, could have used them .  The other thing I was unhappy with and which really alerted me to the possibility this could be a scam was that I could not imagine a bank employing anyone with very poor English.

I rang my bank and card provider, on a separate phone and was told they knew nothing about it.
My question: Do these con merchants / scammers use someone with bad English, to confuse an elderly person so that they reveal more than they should? I did find it very confusing.

This is a really good question and the answer is no. 
The poor English and grammatical / spelling errors, are intentional !  That may sound wierd, but it is very clever .
Potential victims self select themselves.  The scammers only want to target the most gullible and vulnerable.  Intelligent people, could cause problems, ask questions and forward the scam emails / telephone calls, to the appropriate authorities – as you have done !  Therefore - we - the ones that recognise the poor English, spelling and grammar, select ourselves 'out' !  That way, their target range - once self selected as naive - gets a much higher hit rate. 
We know we have not entered a lottery / had a hugely wealthy relative die in Hong Kong, or will pass our bank account details to some unknown person in Nigeria / Sierra Leone - in order to get millions.  We, know life is not like that.  The more vulnerable / naive and desperate people, will take the chance !
I have also had this in from George:
Hi jeff
First class advice re pocket in curtain to hide jewellery and also the fake TV

I am glad George mentioned this.  I have been in communication with Mrs. Chalmers, the Crime Reduction Advisor for this area, who produces all those wonderful leaflets for us.  She has been negotiating with Redline Securities – the retail arm of the company who supply all our security devices – to get us a discount on various products – the Fake TV is one of them, and I can now offer this discount code !
The Fake TV is now available from various other retailers at various prices and members should check those out – just put fake TV into a Google search..  The full price on Redline is £27.50 (this is the version with the dusk sensor and 4 / 7 hour setting).
For Redline Securities - Click here
Redline can offer a £5 discount if your members use the following discount code FTV2013.   Redline will honour this discount until 31st December which is about 6 weeks.  You enter the discount code on the payment page, at the bottom.
Can’t say fairer than that.  I have had dozens of emails from members that have bought one of these and think it is brilliant !
Hi Jeff,
We are still receiving regular phone calls and e-mails, advising us that we are entitled to compensation for car accident..........we never had !
This all works on the same principal.  John knows he was not in an accident and dismisses it.  Someone else may think – Oh – some money to be made and fall for the scam !
Hi Jeff’
Hi, I just received an email from HMRC saying am due tax refund of £281.81.  It looked genuine same logos etc as on their website.
I filled in the details they asked for ; bank A/C details address D.O.B, etc.  Then I thought about it and decided I would call them, to find out more.  On their automated system, they say 'we will never email you regarding anything to do with that' so ANOTHER CASE OF FRAUD!
 I have phoned my bank to cancel my card and send me another new one, let’s hope they can’t access anything.
Many thanks
Many thanks Laura – absolutely right !  No-one will ever ask for these details in an email or a call from them.

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