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Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter 15-8-21

Alert message sent 15/08/2021 09:01:00

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Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter 15-8-21
Please share and care.

This weekly newsletter is for reading and/or sharing in entirety or copying and pasting. 
The index is available so you can read all or just the items of interest. Items are collated and taken from websites, social media, articles, emails and conversations. Contributions will be gratefully received.
To find out how you can reduce or prevent crime in your area please reply to below icon.
If you have any comments/information or want to unsubscribe please reply.
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
1) Oxford University Project
2) Car Insurance
3) Schemes
THAMES VALLEY POLICE OXFORD
Witness Appeals 
1) Barns Road
2) Rose Hill
3) Parsons Pleasure
4) Atkyns Road
CRIME PREVENTION
1)   Shed Theft
2)   Car Theft
3)   Keyless Car Thefts
SCAMS
 1)   Car Insurance
 2)   Reporting scams (includes organisations)
PERSONAL STORIES
 1)   Sharing scams
 2)   Thanks to local police
COMMUNITY NEWS
1) Patient Transport
2)  Oxford exits Enhanced Response Area but caution still needed 
3)  Litter Picking 

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
1) Bike theft project
Oxford Neighbourhood Watch has been accepted on an Oxford University programme for a project to reduce bike theft in Oxford. This will involve the "very best" of Oxford researchers working with seven community groups and is a first for the University.
The project is very exciting and challenging but in its infancy and will run from September to March with a potential  outcome of a physical product as well as crime prevention literature. The baseline is that it is effective and affordable.

2) Car Insurance (attachment)
Oxford Neighbourhood Watch has no funds but can accept donations. A Plan Insurance in Oxford will donate £25 to us on each new house or car insurance. Due to changes this may stop in January 2022 so if you want to support us financially please consider A Plan and share leaflet as attached. 

3) Schemes
Coordinators can apply online to run a scheme but all need to be approved and sign up to the Code of Ethics before they are approved. 
No self-declared schemes are recognized by Neighbourhood Watch or Thames Valley Police. 
The role of a Coordinator is one of responsibility and you would be representing Neighbourhood Watch in your local community. If you wish to check this please use reply to icon.

TVP OXFORD
Although some updates show arrests please report any information to the police in respect of these appeals.
1) Barns Road 
Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following a robbery in Cowley.
At around 1.15pm on Monday 2 August, a man was riding an electric scooter near to the bus stop in Barns Road outside Templars Square shopping centre in Cowley.
He was approached by another man who stopped him and told him to hand over his e-scooter and made threats towards him. The victim handed over his e-scooter and the offender made off.
Investigating officer PC Donal McGuckin, based at St Aldates police station said: “This incident took place on a Monday lunchtime whilst the area around Templars Square was busy.
“I know that members of the public were waiting at the bus stop at the time of this incident and I am keen to speak with these individuals as I believe they may have information that would prove vital to this investigation.
“If you were at the Barns Road bus stop near to Templars Square at around 1.15pm on Monday 2 August, please get in touch either using our online form or by calling 101 quoting reference number 43210344517. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously via their website or on 0800 555 111.”
Update
A 35-year-old man has been charged in relation to this incident and will appear in court on Friday 3rd September.

2) Rose Hill
Between 5.10pm and 5.40pm on Thursday 5 August a man attended a property in Thames View Road, Rose Hill and threw an unknown substance over the occupant.
The victim, a 34-year-old woman, was taken to hospital as a precaution but did not sustain any injuries. She has since been discharged.
The offender is described as a tall black man, wearing a hooded top and a blue surgical face mask.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Oliver Saunders, based at Oxford police station, said: “This was a very frightening incident for the victim, however thankfully she did not sustain any injuries. I am appealing to anybody who witnessed this incident to please come forward and contact police. I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who was travelling in the area at the time of the incident who may have CCTV or dash-cam footage from the area, or who recognises the description of the offender."
If you have any information or witnessed the incident, please call the 24-hour non-emergency number 101 or make a report online, quoting reference 43210350053.
Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

3) Parsons Pleasure (attachment CCTV image)
The body of a man in his thirties has been recovered from a river in Oxford with police treating the death as unexplained. Officers were called at around 12.15pm on July 26 to a report of a body in the River Cherwell, near Parsons Pleasure Bathing Place. He has been identified and his next of kin have been informed. His death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.
Police have now released an image of an individual officers would like to speak to in connection with the investigation. Investigating officer, Detective Constable Dan Hayward, said: “Our thoughts remain with the family of the man who has sadly died at this time. As part of our enquiries to establish the circumstances around his death we are releasing this CCTV image of this individual as we believe they may have seen the man before he died.
“If the person in this image is you, or you think you may know who it is, please get in touch by calling 101 or making a report online, quoting reference 43210332803. I would also appeal to anyone who has any information they think may be useful to please get in touch using the methods above.”

4) Atkyns Road
Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following a report of indecent exposure in Oxford.
Between 8pm and 8.15pm on Wednesday (11/8) a naked man was reportedly in woodland area off Atykns Road, Oxford at the junction with Nuffield Road.
A man has been arrested in connection with this incident.
Investigating officer PC Emma McKeegan, based at Cowley police station, said: “We are appealing for witnesses to this incident as we believe that there may have been a number of people in the area at the time.
“If anyone has information we would ask them to report online or through 101 quoting reference 43210359714”.
Update
A 46-year-old man from Oxford has been arrested on suspicion of exposure and drugs offences. He has been released under investigation whilst our enquiries continue.

CRIME PREVENTION
1) Shed Theft (attachment)
There have been several shed thefts recently - many to steal high-end bikes
Keeping your shed or garage safe and secure
Many people don’t secure their shed or garage in the same way they do their homes - often using an easy-to-break lock or padlock to protect valuable contents such as a car, bike or lawnmower.
An opportunistic burglar will try a shed or garage first because they can find the tools they need to break into the main house.

Shed and outbuilding security: first steps
First off, check that your insurance covers the contents of your shed or outbuildings from theft
Think like a thief
Take a look at your shed and consider how you would break in. It’s worth having a good padlock on the door with no exposed screws. Pay attention to hinges, as these are sometimes easily removable. If you have windows then these could be vulnerable unless they’re secured with wire mesh or grills. And keep it locked at all times.
Alarm it
Consider a battery-operated shed alarm. They look low key but they respond to movement or door contact with an extremely loud siren.
Lock it, hide it or mark it
Don’t give them the opportunity or the tools to commit a crime. Lock everything away securely. Tools can be locked inside a locker or box or secured with a chain.
Secure your bike to the ground or a lockable stand within a locked shed or garage. Visit Sold Secure to search for ground anchors and other locks designed to fix to floors and walls.
It’s always worth draping an old sheet or blanket over the top of mowers or bikes to keep them covered from view.
Although it might sound like stating the obvious, never leave your garage or shed door unlocked if you’re not around.
Property marking your items is advisable and some tools can be painted with your name or postcode. Forensic marking is also an option. Recommended https://www.selectamark.co.uk/ - NW members can use discount codes.
The top five most common items stolen from sheds
Bikes
Mowers
Sports equipment
Power tools
Garden tools

2) Car Theft (attachment)
Protect your car (attachment)
More information on  Neighbourhood Website-
https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/protectyourcar

3) Keyless car thefts
Organised crime gangs target keyless cars see below for prevention and how it is done
When you watch these videos – you will understand why I say:
Keep your keyless fob more than 30 feet from the pavement / front door
Keep it is a ‘Faraday Cage’ cage / fridge
Purchase a small credit card protector – remove the card sleeves and keep your key inside.
There are now Faraday purses and handbags to protect keys

YouTube clips showing how it works !!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdb3wdatxYA

In this clip, you can see its on a busy road, but the thieves don’t care, but you can see how they use the device  – fortunately – they don’t get a signal !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szsUPQ2FoUY

This is the best clip to watch as it shows how persistent they are and what to watch out for – when out and about
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC1kNjmyjSM

You may have locked your car and placed your fob securely somewhere and therefore not been a victim, but if you have a performance car on the drive, check any CCTV / video doorbell footage regularly. – you may have been targeted, but not know it.

SCAMS 
1) Car Insurance 
New drivers in the UK have been issued a warning of car insurance scams circulating on social media.
Cash-strapped drivers are being urged to exercise caution when finding bogus car insurance “deals” online.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) issued the warning as thousands of learner drivers prepare to pass their test amid a backlog of tests due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Scams include “ghost broking”, where fraudsters pretend to be insurance brokers to sell unrealistically cheap and fake policies, often to younger drivers.
The IFB warned new drivers could be paying out hundreds of pounds on what in reality is nothing more than a photoshopped piece of paper.
The Bureau warned that scammers even use stolen personal information to take out policies which are then doctored before being sold on.
Victims will find they are uninsured when they come to claim for an accident which can lead to thousands of pounds in costs and even six points on their driving licence.
They may also face court, where they might receive an unlimited fine and a driving ban.
The IFB warned the scam could even affect job prospects if drivers are left with an uninsured driving conviction on their records.
Stephen Dalton, head of intelligence and investigations at the IFB said: “The last thing new drivers need right now is to risk losing their car for no insurance because they’ve been duped by a scammer on social media.
“Drivers must carry out basic checks to make sure they’re buying car insurance through a trusted provider, or they’ll be making a very expensive mistake.
“I encourage anyone who’s seen evidence of an insurance scam to report it to the IFB’s confidential Cheatline online or on 0800 422 0421.”
Mark Magee, head of driver policy at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said: “As well as ensuring you have the skills, knowledge and understanding attitude to drive safely, having valid insurance is of the utmost importance when you drive on your own.
“Check to make sure insurance brokers are genuine before parting with your money.”
Tips to avoid bogus car insurance deals
The IFB has shared tips to avoid bogus car insurance deals:
Avoid deals on social media or messaging apps and only purchase car insurance through reputable sellers.
If buying through an insurance broker, check the seller is registered with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba).
If buying directly through an insurer they should appear as a registered member of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).
Checks can also be made to see if insurance advisers are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The IFB’s Cheatline can be contacted online or by phone on 0800 422 0421.

2) Reporting scams
Not only can you report suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk
And forward suspicious texts to 7726
You can also report  if you have visited a website you think is trying to scam you, report it to the NCSC who will follow up. https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/

You can also report to 
Amazon
stop-spoofing@amazon.com
Facebook
phish@fb.com
FedEx
abuse@fedex.com
HMRC
phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
Lloyds Bank
emailscams@lloydsbank.co.uk
Netflix
phishing@netflix.com
Paypal
spoof@paypal.com
Royal Mail
reportascam@royalmail.com.

7726 is the number to send scam texts to.  
If anyone knows of other common organisations that have direct scam reporting emails to add to the list please email me or reply.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
1) Thanks to TVP Oxford (Rapid Response Team)
I would like to thank the rapid response team (999) from Cowley Police Station who were alerted by a neighbour to a driver who had stopped in middle of side road at midnight this week. The team got to the scene in three minutes and smashed a window to get the unresponsive driver out. He had suffered a medical emergency and the police supported him till the emergency ambulance arrived. Meanwhile, neighbours were asked for a broom and the  police to cleared the glass. They even asked where the best place to park the van so it didn't inconvenience the neighbours. Thanks to all the team.

To leave feedback (including thanks and complaints) for Thames Valley Police
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/fo/feedback/tc/thanks-and-complaints/

2)Thanks to Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator
Thank you to the Coordinator who has shared this scam with us. Although there are various clues I have noticed I have been warned of several scams where relatives are used as the hooks for recipients to think the scams are authentic.
Scammers are finding more ways to catch us out. We can be vulnerable or in a hurry - anyone can be caught out. It is important that if this happens not to keep it a secret (no matter how little or large the amount) to contact Action Fraud https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or 0300 123 2040 . Reports can be made by a victim, someone reporting for a victim, a business or a witness.

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject:(@HMRCtaxrefunddatagov)Request a refund
CLUE- Subject-@HMRC header
Date:12 Aug 2021 20:32:52 +0000
CLUE- Date - shows from foreign country
From:e-mail-service-support-datagovukinfo-accountukstefaan.plovie@telenet.be
CLUE -From -.be = Dutch domain
To:
Annual tax refund recalculation
Dear ,,,,,,,,,
Your refund number: 0908411 129
You have received this email to be announced that after the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity , HMRC has determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of £240.00 GBP.
CLUE- Enticement is the  refund
         Link has been removed to false linkpage of Government Gateway
CLUE - threat of loss of refund (bad grammar)
If you will not complete the form required now , you will not be able to claim your tax refund online anymore.
-Issuind date : 8/12/2021 8:32:52 p.m.
CLUE- Spelling error and date usually 12/8
-Expiration date : August 14, 2021
-Receiver : ..........
-Amount : £240.00 GBP
-Payment delivery : Electronically by card
This message is confidential and may be privileged. If you have received it by mistake please notify HMRC by return e-mail and delete this message from your system. Any unauthorised use or dissemination of this message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.
CLUE - if you returned the email this may be part of the scam
Thank you,
CLUE - no signature or position in company

COMMUNITY NEWS
1) Patient Transport
The NHS is going to improve the eligibility criteria for patient transport, and make sure people don’t have to wait for hours to get to and from their appointments. They’ve also promised to simplify the travel costs scheme as well so if you need to claim back the cost of your travel to hospital, it will be much easier.

2) Covid Enhanced Response Area stops
Oxford City Council (social media)
From Monday 16 August, Oxford will no longer be classed as a Covid Enhanced Response Area, but please do continue to take precautions!
Thanks to everyone in the city for making sensible choices, being tested and vaccinated as case numbers have dropped from 620 per 100,000 in early July, to 279 per 100,000 in the latest figures.
Since the mobile testing units were introduced, over 8000 extra PCR tests have been carried out in the city, helping people without symptoms know if they are infected and need to isolate
From next week, please still take precautions to keep infections down:
wear a face-covering in shops, indoor venues and on public transport,
meet others outside or let lots of fresh air in
regularly use home test kits to check you haven’t been infected.
Things are improving but we all need to work together to make sure that continues.

3) Litter Picking (attachment)
Counteract litterbugs by being a litter picker. Many Neighbourhood Watch members organize litter picks and enjoy chatting with neighbours while exercising, keeping neighbourhoods clean and reducing crime.
EQUIPMENT To get started cleaning-up, it is recommended that you use a litter picker and some heavy-duty gloves as a minimum. You will also need a bag to put the litter in, and also recommended carrying hand sanitiser.
DISPOSAL - local authority will collect bags of rubbish. Bags should be separated into recycling and non-recycling waste. If hazardous waste is seen this should be reported and not picked up.
CHILDREN- before the clean-up, make sure children understand which items are potentially dangerous and should not be picked up. Teach children that if they are in any doubt they should ask an adult before picking the litter up. They must be supervised.
INSURANCE- it is good practice to have insurance as Neighbourhood Watch gives.

Next Saturday 21/8 at 11am -midday  is the litterpick in the Leys so hoping for good weather and lots of volunteer NW members and non-members. All welcome and it will be fun!

Have a good week.

Maggie Lewis
Area Representative and Administrator for Oxford Neighbourhood Watch
Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (NWN, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford LPA)
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