Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter 22-8-21
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Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter 22-8-21
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.
1) Oxford Neighbourhood Watch
Oxford Neighbourhood Watch Association
2) Thames Valley Police
Cowley and Wood Farm NHPT
3) Oxfordshire Public Health Drug and Alcohol Team
4) Personal Experiences
5) Crime Prevention
Spotting Spoof Scams
7) Community News
Lost Dogs and Cats
Public Spaces Protection Order
8) General Information
It's Not Worth the Risk
1) OXFORD NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
There have been many replies to the questionnaire sent last week and you are still welcome to reply and no personal information will be used. Thank you to all those who have replied and for the information that will be presented at the networking and ideation sessions towards the end of September and delighted that I will be joined by a NW Coordinator and Police representatives.
1) Was the bike locked or not?
2) Location of bike eg shed, public highway etc.
3) Do you think that the theft could have been prevented?
4) If so, do you have any ideas of how.
5) Did you report this to police and with what outcome?
Oxford Neighbourhood Watch (registered members)
We now have an Executive Committee and working on a constitution and will update when appropriate.
2) THAMES VALLEY POLICE
TVP Cowley and Wood Farm (Twitter account)
Have Your Say
The Cowley and Woodfarm Neighbourhood Team will be hosting a Have Your Say Meeting outside of the shops on Atkyns Road on Saturday 4th September 2021 between 1000-1300 to meet with local residents and discuss their concerns.
Wood Farm NHPT have recently issued three Section 59 warnings to Moped riders having obtained evidence of them being used in an anti-social manner. They have also arrested one of the drivers following a failed drugs wipe, who was released under investigation.
TVP Witness Appeal (Headington)
POLICE are appealing for witnesses following an assault in Oxford.
The assault happened around 2pm on Wednesday August 11 at Green Road roundabout junction with Bayswater Road, near Headington.
The victim, a man in his twenties, was riding a Suzuki SV650 motorcycle when a grey Mercedes Benz CLA 220 pulled in front of him.
The driver got out of the vehicle and there was a verbal altercation.
The driver then pushed to victim and hit him on the crash helmet with a hammer, damaging the visor.The victim was not injured during the incident.
A 50-year-old man from Oxford has since been arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, criminal damage and common assault.
He has been released under investigation.
Investigating officer, PC Lorna Benjamin, based at Cowley police station, said: “I’m appealing for anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or who has any information about what happened, to please come forward.
“I’d also ask any motorists who have dash-cams and were in the vicinity of the incident at around 2pm to please check any footage in case it has captured something that could assist with this investigation.
“You can report any information by calling 101 or making a report online, quoting reference 43210359083.
“Alternatively, if you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website.”
Witness Appeal (Risinghurst)
Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following a burglary in Oxford.
At around 6.20pm on Friday 13 August, the victim, an 82-year-old woman, was in her garden when she heard noises at her front door on Lewis Close, Risinghurst. She called out, and then saw three or four people run away, possibly in a vehicle.
Gold jewellery was stolen from the house, including rings, bracelets, a stone pendant and a gold watch.
One offender is described as a young black man with a local accent. He was wearing a hat, a black face mask and black clothing.
No other specific descriptions are available at this time, but the victim believes the other offenders are all young.Investigating officer PC Fritha Harvey, based at Oxford police station, said: “I am appealing to anyone who may have seen this incident, or who may have information about what happened to please come forward.
“If this was you or you have information, please contact police by calling 101 or making a report online, quoting reference 43210362997.
“Alternatively, if you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website.”
3) OXFORDSHIRE PUBLIC HEALTH DRUG AND ALCOHOL TEAM (Red Alert)
The Oxfordshire Public Health Drug and Alcohol Team has issued a red alert for the workforce following reports of overdoses and contaminated heroin across the South East.
The Oxfordshire County Council-run service has received reports of fatalities in the last few days in the South East region of the UK.
In the past 10-14 days there have been an unprecedented number of overdoses in the region and London, with some deaths in people who use drugs - primarily heroin.
Current reports indicate that these may be a result of potentially contaminated heroin.
As a result, The Oxfordshire Public Health Drug and Alcohol Team has issued a red alert for the workforce to inform service users of the following:
• Buying from an unknown source is always a risk
• Mixing drugs and alcohol is potentially fatal
• Try to avoid using alone
• Be aware you may not have the tolerance level to manage these drugs
• If someone goes over or collapses call 999 and stay with them
• Tell your worker of any unusual symptoms
Office for National Statistics figures show there were 42 drug-related deaths recorded in Oxfordshire in 2020.
This was up from 32 the year before, and the highest figure since 2002.
The deaths relate to poisoning from a variety of illegal and legal drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
The figures count deaths from drug abuse but also include those from accidents, suicides, and health complications arising from drug use.
4) PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
It is always helpful to have feedback from the police.
In last week's newsletter I spoke about a nearby medical emergency and the efficiency of the rapid response team. I used a website link to thank the police.This was forwarded to Professional Standards nationally and they sent a reply saying that they would contact the Area Commander who would pass the thanks to the responders team. Good to know that they will get recognition they deserve.
Thank you to the Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator who sent this to me and has been forwarded to Oxfordshire Trading Standards. I have not named the company, as yet, there is no proof that this is a bogus company.
'This morning a neighbour came round to see me about possible suspicious behaviour in ****************.
A man was delivering the leaflets and whilst doing so was looking around. The neighbour who brought this to my attention said she was concerned because her windows were open at the time.
We have done some research and there is no evidence that *******************exists. Furthermore, no address was supplied on this flyer, which is rather unusual.'
Advice from Oxfordshire Trading Standards about doorstep traders.
I have asked our doorstep crime team and they have taken the information for their records. Their advice – as always is:
Trading Standards discourage all consumers from entering into work contracts with traders who deliver leaflets through their letterbox. Skilled and reliable traders are in high demand and are too busy, and have no need, to attract custom in this way.
If consumers need a professional and reliable tradesperson they should visit the Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme:https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/advice-communities/buy-confidence for traders who have been vetted and approved.
Who are the victims of cuckooing?
Victims of ‘cuckooing’ are often drug users but can include older people, those suffering from mental or physical health problems, female sex workers, single mums and those living in poverty. Victims may suffer from other forms of addiction, such as alcoholism.
Once they gain control, gangs move in with the risk of domestic abuse, sexual exploitation and violence. Children as well as adults are used as drug runners.
It’s common for gangs to have access to several addresses. They move quickly between vulnerable people's homes for just a few hours, a couple of days or sometimes longer. This helps gangs evade detection.
These gangs may use accommodation in rural areas, including serviced apartments, holiday lets, budget hotels and caravan parks.
Some vulnerable adults may be forced to leave their homes, making themselves homeless and leaving the gangs free to sell drugs in their absence.
What are the signs of cuckooing?
Signs that 'cuckooing' may be going on at a property include:
An increase in people entering and leaving
An increase in cars or bikes outside
Possible increase in anti-social behaviour
Increasing litter outside
Signs of drugs use
Lack of healthcare visitors
What is Hollie Guard?
Hollie Gazard was murdered by her ex-boyfriend who stalked her. A charity was set up by her father and the app. was developed for people who feel vulnerable. This was seen on Crimewatch and Derbyshire Police did a promotion some years ago.
Hollie Guard is a next generation smartphone app that provides enhanced levels of protection.
In danger? With a simple shake or tap it activates Hollie Guard,
immediately notifying your chosen contacts, pinpointing your location
and sending audio and video evidence directly to their mobile phone. The idea of Deterrent mode is to make it clear to anyone in your surrounding area that an alert has been raised and to reduce the risk of an attack. The phone will display an obvious red alert screen capturing your GPS location, as well as audio/video footage that may be used to assess danger and collate evidence.
With a second shake of the phone it will generate a high-pitched alarm and a flashing light to attract help.
How to spot spoof calls
Never share any personal or financial information with anyone calling you out of the blue, even if the number calling you looks official. Instead, hang up and get in touch with the organisation yourself (using contact details you know to be correct) to verify everything you’ve been told.
Caller ID can’t be trusted: it’s easy for scammers to spoof legitimate phone numbers using software shared by criminals freely online.
No genuine bank will contact you to transfer money to a ‘safe account’ – ignore anyone who asks to do this, whether it’s by phone, email or any other method.’
Need to know: A bank transfer scam, also known as an authorised push payment (APP) scam, occurs when you transfer money from your own bank account to one belonging to a scammer. Most high street banks are signed up to the voluntary Authorised Push Payment Scam Code and should refund scam victims in most cases.
Report a scam to your bank and Action Fraud 0300 123 2040
OFCOM has issued a warning to the public after an increase in phone scam reports in recent months.
There have been growing instances of nuisance callers and criminals deliberately changing their Caller ID, a practice known as 'spoofing'.
Identity thieves who want to steal sensitive information such as your bank account or login details, sometimes use spoofing to pretend they're calling from your bank or credit card company.
People have taken to social media to share their experiences with one person suggesting they realised the call was fake after the caller asked for bank details: “I received a phone call and my bank’s phone number came up which I recognised.
“He asked me if I lately received the usual scam text and email and I confirmed I did but never replied as I recognised them as fake. He then asked if I accessed my account from two locations neither of which I had been to.
“He requested my username and I realised straight away my bank never ask that so I told him I can't remember and will ring him back.
“He then tried to keep reassuring me and keep me talking explaining if I don't believe him I can look at the phone number on the back of my bank card matching the call number. I hung up and called my bank to check - all fake and a scam, it was a cloned phone number.”
OFCOM has confirmed it is working with the international regulators, as well as the telecoms industry, to find solutions to the problem, and have laid out guidelines to prevent people from becoming victims of such a scam.
What should you do?
Never give out personal information in response to an incoming call, or rely upon Caller ID as the sole means of identification, particularly if the caller asks to carry out an action which might have financial consequences.
If someone rings you asking for this information, don't provide it. Instead, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company's or government department's website to check whether the call was genuine.
OFCOM suggests waiting at least five minutes before making the call to ensure the line has cleared and you're not still speaking to the fraudster or an accomplice.
To report an ongoing fraud attempt to the police, call 101 or 999.
If you think you're a victim of Caller ID spoofing
Tell Action Fraud - If you've been targeted by a scam, or know someone who has, then call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk
However, if debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam your first step should to contact your bank or credit card company.
Tell Trading Standards - If you think something may be a scam, phone 0808 223 1133 and tell Citizens Advice Consumer Service, who will pass the details of the case to Trading Standards.
The Trading Standards service is responsible for protecting consumers and the community against rogue traders and traders acting unfairly.
Tell Others - Warn family, friends, neighbours, local Neighbourhood Watch scheme and so on. If you get a suspicious circular or are contacted by someone who might be a scammer, make sure to warn others.
7) COMMUNITY NEWS
Lost Dogs and Cats (attachment)
There have been reports of missing dogs and cats recently and I have been trying to reunite owners and pets via transfer of information via social media sites. If dogs are found it may be difficult to know what to do. The attachment is to help if you find a lost dog.
For cats standard advice is to ask neighbours and leaflet as many cats go into sheds and outhouses and may be locked in accidentally. Then post on Pets Reunited https://www.petsreunited.com/oxfordshire and various social media sites. A tip I have found along the way is to put used cat linen on the line and the scent (with wind and no rain) attracts them home - I was sceptical but it appears to have worked several times after many days, even weeks, disappearance.
PUBLIC SPACES PROTECTION ORDER (new rules) (attachment)
For more information - see attachment
The Council is introducing new rules to stop people from lighting fires, including barbeques, in some of Oxford’s most precious open spaces.
The new rules are to stop people from lighting fires, including barbeques, in Port Meadow, Burgess Field, Wolvercote Common, Rivermead Nature Reserve, Angel and Greyhound Meadow, and South Park.
Port Meadow and Wolvercote Common are both a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC); and Burgess Field is a nature reserve.
All these open spaces have been damaged by fires in the past. The fires have burnt the grass and scorched the ground, which can take years to recover. All the parks and open spaces will continue to welcome picnics.
The new rules will not target all Oxford’s parks and open spaces. Instead, they will focus on sites where the City Council has evidence that fires have caused damage in the past.
Separately, the City Council is also introducing new rules to stop people from digging holes to search for old bottles in Port Meadow - a practice that has seen large and damaging holes dug in the protected meadow.
A new PSPO
The City Council will bring in a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to control both activities. The PSPO will enable City Council officers to issue fines of £100 to people who are causing damage to the parks by making fires or digging for old bottles. However, the City Council’s anti-social behaviour policy states that officers will seek to resolve cases at the lowest level of intervention, for example by talking to the individuals in the first instance.
The PSPO will take effect from Wednesday 11 August. New signs will be erected in the parks covered by the PSPOs to inform the public that the rules are in force.
The introduction of the PSPOs follows public consultation undertaken in June on the proposals.
There are existing PSPOs covering alcohol and dogs is parts of Oxford:
An Alcohol Disorder PSPO, which covers Oxford city centre and East Oxford, that creates an offence to refuse to stop drinking alcohol, or hand over any containers believed to contain alcohol, when required to do so by a police officer or authorised council officer
A Dog Control PSPO that requires owners to put their dog on a lead if required to do so by a police officer or authorised council officer, not to be in control of more than four dogs at the same time, remove their dog’s faeces and keep their dog out of children’s play areas.
8) GENERAL INFORMATION
Probation services (HM Inspectorate of Probation - Care Quality Commission)
Probation services across England and Wales supervise nearly 156,000 people in the community. HM Inspectorate of Probation estimates that almost 75,000 of these individuals have a drugs problem, yet fewer than 3,000 people were referred by probation services to specialist drug misuse treatment in 2019/2020.
It's Not Worth the Risk (attachment)
Did you know that over 90% of collisions are due to human error?
We used to call them road traffic accidents (RTAs) now they are called road traffic collisions (RTCs). Although this guidance is aimed at drivers the passenger(s) can have an influence - positively reminding the driver he/she may not be fit to drive or negatively by distracting the driver so we all have a part to play in avoiding collisions.
Eyes on the road
Even careful drivers can be distracted, by a phone call, text message, in car technology or a Satnav. A split second lapse of concentration could result in a crash.
Did you know that using a mobile phone when driving increases the chances of a crash by 4 times?
Did you know that drivers who are messaging are over 20 times more likely to crash?
Or that if you look at your phone for around 2 seconds driving at 30mph you will miss 100 feet of the road?
Time to react
Driving at a slower speed will give you those couple of extra moments that could lessen the impact or even avoid a crash.
Could you react fast enough if the unexpected happened?
You don't have to be driving over the speed limit to be driving too fast. If you are driving at an inappropriate speed you may end up:
Approaching a junction or bend too fast.
Overtaking where it’s unsuitable.
Be unable to negotiate narrow roads properly.
Time to stop
The faster you drive the less time you have to stop if something unexpected happens. Crashes happen when you run out of time and space.
The life saver
Your seatbelt could be a lifesaver. Did you know that you are twice as likely to die in a crash if you don’t wear one?
The designated driver
Have you ever thought one drink won't matter it'll be fine? The only safe option is not to drink alcohol if you plan to drive.
How are you getting home?
Booking a taxi? It can cost as little as one round of drinks.
Catching the bus or train?
Designating a driver? If you're in a group, agree who will be the designated driver before any alcohol has been drunk.
Mocktail and Drive
Mocktails are mock cocktails or non-alcoholic cocktails. They are a great alternative if you’re the designated driver or for party guests who are driving.
The morning after
There is an attachment of the morning after guide to check if you are safe to drive
Enjoy a few beers or glasses of wine on a night out? Ever thought you've had a good night’s sleep I'll be fine to drive this morning?
You could still be over the drink drive limit the morning after, even if you feel fine.
Time for a break
We never fall asleep without warning. Drivers who fall asleep have often tried to fight off drowsiness by turning the heating to cold, opening a window or turning up the radio. These tactics don’t work.
49% of collisions occur whilst driving to, from or during work. How fast are you driving?
Are you up to speed with the consequences?
There are many different consequences you might face for speeding.
Generally, speeding carries a fixed penalty of £100 and three points on your driving licence. If you are within 7mph over the speed limit,you may be offered a 'Speed Awareness Course', which you pay for but will not receive points. You can only do one course in a three year period.
Over that, you will be offered a conditional offer of points and a fine, or be reported to go to court and - depending on the severity of the speed, which dictates the level of points - face disqualification and a fine.
Other consequences you may not be aware of include:
Your car insurance could go up. You must declare all speeding offences within the last five years for most insurance companies, which will load your premium as you become higher risk
You could be disqualified. This will have a huge impact on your personal and work life.
You need to disclose any speeding convictions to your employer. Lying about this could be seen as fraud and lead to a further conviction.
Getting a speeding ticket could be seen as gross misconduct by your employer and you could lose your job. Have you signed a policy with your company to say that you will not speed?
It definitely isn't worth the risk, is it?
Have a good week,
Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (Neighbourhood Watch Network, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford LPA)