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Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter

Alert message sent 10/04/2022 09:02:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch


Welcome to Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Weekly Newsletter
10-4-22 collated by Maggie Lewis - Voluntary Area Neighbourhood Watch  Representative and  Administrator covering Oxford LPA. 

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.  Any information, contributions and interactions will be gratefully received.

If you have any comments/information/errors or want to unsubscribe please use reply icon below.
Please share and care. 
Please click on links and attachments at end of newsletter

Neighbourhood Watch 
1) Victims of Crime
2) Monthly Newsletter
Oxford Neighbourhood Watch 
1) Working locally with you 
Thames Valley Police
1) Violence against women and girls
Neighbourhood Policing Teams
1) Blackbird Leys 
2) East Oxford 
Crime Prevention
1) Cold calling
2) Keyless cars
Crime Information
1) StreetSafe
2) Alcohol Tags
Scams
1) Loan sharks
2) Energy scams
3) Remote access scams
4) Fake emails posing as UK gyms
Oxfordshire County Council
1) Trading Standards
2) Free Covid tests
Oxford City Council
1) Postal or proxy votes for elections
General Information
1) Ukraine
2) eCall for Drivers
3) Food Alerts
4) Roadworks

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
1) Victims of crime 

Nobody thinks they will become a victim of crime until it happens. Feelings can range from anger to frustration, embarrassment to hopelessness. With all this going on it can feel overwhelming to know what to do next. 

Reducing risk to certain groups can help to reduce crime. By tackling the vulnerabilities that could lead to someone becoming either a victim of a crime or a victim of coercion leading into crime, we ultimately reduce the opportunities for crime to happen.  By reducing loneliness and isolation, we enable potential victims to be stronger and more resilient and signpost them to access support in the community.
https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/

2) Monthly newsletter
https://assets.neighbourhoodalert.co.uk/images/site_images/88409_April_2022_OUR_NEWS.pdf
As a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator recently said ‘Neighbourhood Watch is the bridge between the community and the police, and the gateway is us the Coordinators connecting, sharing information, communicating and making people feel confident.’. 

OXFORD NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
1) Working locally with you
https://www.mpls.ox.ac.uk/public-engagement/science-together-oxford-researchers-and-communities/working-with-oxford-neighbourhood-watch
We need volunteer Coordinators to start schemes for groups or their neighbours. Takes little time but makes a big difference. Watching out for others, you can protect yourself and your neighbourhood. It's all about being a good neighbour and retaining the spirit we found during the pandemic. Please use reply icon or join on www.ourwatch.org.uk

THAMES VALLEY POLICE 
Violence against women and girls
Thames Valley Police focused on tackling violence against women and girls
Thames Valley Police publishes its first Violence Against Women and Girls strategy
Over 50 arrests made in March during a special ‘week of action’
Specialist teams across Thames Valley make arrests in exposure and stalking cases
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/news/thames-valley/news/2022/april/04-04-2022/thames-valley-police-focused-on-tackling-violence-against-women-and-girls/

NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING TEAMS
Blackbird Leys  (attachment)

The Blackbird Leys neighbourhood team received reports of motorbikes being ridden in an anti social manner on your estate. After having failed to stop for us we later located them on Comfrey Road and seized them accordingly. Tell us about any issues on your street #BBLNHPT
East Oxford
PCSO's from the East Oxford Neighbourhood Team took part in a parking operation down the Cowley Road this evening. We issued tickets for those causing obstructions, parking on the pavement and parking in disabled bays without a disabled badge.

CRIME PREVENTION
1) Cold calling

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.
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

2) Keyless cars
A simple way of preventing your key’s signal leaking out and been picked up by a thief is to store your key in a tin. If you would want a more attractive solution there are specially made pouches to put the key in when not driving.
Other things you can do to deter thieves breaking into your car include;
Don’t leave anything in view within your car, don’t even leave a jacket where it can be seen, thieves will be prepared to break in to see if you’ve left your wallet in a pocket.
Make sure sun roof and windows are actually closed.
Take removable stereos and sat navs or other electrical devices out of the car.
Utilise an overt physical steering wheel lock.
Also whilst driving in the UK you do not need to have your driving documents with you, so there is no reason to ever leave the cars registration document (log book), insurance, MOT  or Driving Licence in the car. If stolen they could prove to be a goldmine to the thief or a fraudster .
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/keeping-vehicles-safe/preventing-car-vehicle-theft/

CRIME INFORMATION
1) StreetSafe

Street Safe is being utilised by policing nationally for members of the public to report issues such as environmental issues that may make people feel unsafe – such as street lights being out, and for where people may feel uncomfortable – particularly when considering Violence Against Women and Girls – so is there particularly areas / streets / parks where people feel unsafe for any reason? All reports come into the police who review with partners.
https://www.police.uk/pu/notices/streetsafe/street-safe/

2) Alcohol Tags
Alcohol tags helping thousands of offenders stay sober
More than 97% of offenders on sobriety tags have stayed off alcohol, a year after they were introduced in England following a successful pilot in Wales.

SCAMS
1) Loan Sharks

Stop Loan Sharks Project are on a mission to stop loan sharks in their tracks. But can only do it with your help. If you have information about illegal money lending in your area, call the 24/7 helpline on 0300 555 2222 or chat with us online at 
https://www.stoploansharks.co.uk/

Here are the warning signs to watch out for that a lender is acting illegally 
Giving you no paperwork or agreement on the loan
Refusing to give you information about the loan
Taking your personal possessions such as a passport or bank card
 Adding more interest or charges so the debt never goes down
Using intimidation or violence if you don't pay
Your information can help make a difference and keep people safe.

2)  Energy scams
Bill payers have been issued an urgent warning from Action Fraud at a time where people are being asked to check their meter readings before the price hike.
Customers of all the leading energy companies, including British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power and SSE, have been affected by a scam.
According to Action Fraud electricity or doorstep electricity meter credit scams are on the rise with it being revealed that more than 188,000 customers are said to have already fallen victim to the scam.

The scams involve being offered "cut-price energy" for those who use pre-payment meters.
They explain: "Criminals use cloned keys to top up energy credit illegally. People are offered a cut price deal on their doorstep, for example £50 of electricity meter top-up for a cash payment of just £25.
"However, energy companies detect that they have not received payment for energy used, and the customer ends up paying for the energy twice – first to the fraudsters and then to their energy company."
Action Fraud also state that the perpetrators are believed to have links to "serious and organised criminal activity" with companies urging their customers not to get involved.

3) 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.

How to protect yourself
Only instal 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

4) Fake emails posing as UK gyms
https://conversation.which.co.uk/scams/fake-david-lloyd-puregym-phishing-emails/

OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
1) Trading Standards

Residents are being warned to be cautious of cold callers offering to do driveway, landscaping or roofing work. They also often target consumers by leaflet dropping and creating fake profiles online.
Many traders will be booked up, so the advice is to be wary of traders who can arrive to start the work the following day and push for a quick agreement to use them. Always make sure you receive a final total cost in writing before agreeing to any work starting.

Oxfordshire residents can check the Local Authority’s Buy with Confidence scheme for local traders who have been vetted and approved by Trading Standards.
If anyone believes that they have been the victim of such a rogue trader and wants advice, you can contact the Citizens Advice National Consumer Service on 0800 144 8848 or via its website at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

2) Free Covid tests
Free testing for coronavirus from the NHS has ended for most people in England. However, there are a small number of people who will still be able to get free COVID-19 tests from the NHS.

You’re still eligible for a free test if:
• You’re going into hospital for surgery or a procedure.
• You have a health condition which means you’re eligible for new COVID-19 treatments.
• You work in the NHS or in social care (including NHS patient-facing staff, social workers, Shared Lives carers, workers in care homes, domiciliary care).
If you still want to get tested, and you're not eligible for a free NHS test, you must pay for a COVID-19 test yourself.

OXFORD CITY COUNCIL
1) Can't make it to the polling station? 

Apply for a postal or proxy vote.
https://www.oxford.gov.uk/news/article/2156/can_t_make_it_to_the_polling_station_apply_for_a_postal_or_proxy_vote

GENERAL INFORMATION
1) Ukraine

Disasters Emergency Committee has launched a Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to support DEC charities and their local partners in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to help provide food, water, shelter and medical assistance. The UK Government will match pound-for-pound up to £20 million donated by the public to this appeal. The Disasters Emergency Committee has urged people to donate money rather than goods if they can to help those affected by the conflict. The following are considered reputable charities:
International Rescue Committee is raising funds to help provide medical care, emergency food and other critical aid to families affected by conflict. They are working with local partners in Poland and Ukraine, to quickly mobilise resources that will provide lifesaving support to people forced to flee their homes.

British Red Cross is calling for donations to the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal in support of humanitarian aid charities. Currently, the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross, together with fellow Red Cross National Societies in border countries, are working to get vital help to those impacted by this crisis. 

2)  eCall for Drivers
Motorists have been urged to make greater use of a safety feature in their car.
Four years ago new legislation meant all new cars and vans must have the emergency system know as eCall, which includes an SOS button fitted in the vehicle.
When a vehicle’s airbags are triggered, sensors active the eCall system which automatically sends the vehicles location to a 999 operation.
National Highways is now joining forces with vehicle manufacturers and motoring groups in an attempt to raise awareness of the potentially lifesaving technology.
Mel Clarke, customer services director at National Highways, said: I urge drivers to check if they have this safety feature installed, particularly if your vehicle was manufactured since April 2018, and to follow our advice about how and when to use it.”

3) Food Alerts
Food alert – 7 April 2022:
Interdragon International Trading Co and Asia Oriental Market recall XZL Milk Fruit Jelly School Bag because of a choking hazard
Read more: https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/alert/fsa-prin-23-2022

Food alert – 8 April 2022:
Tesco recalls Tesco Free from Digestive Biscuits because they may contain small pieces of metal
Read more: https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/alert/fsa-prin-24-2022

Food Alert - 8 April 2022:
Kinder have extended the original list to below - please check as popular products for children.
Symptoms of Salmonella
Salmonella infection usually causes diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps. Symptoms can begin six hours to six days after infection and can last up to a week.
Full list of Kinder products recalled over salmonella fears
https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/news/further-kinder-products-recalled-following-an-outbreak-of-salmonella
Kinder Surprise
Pack size: 20g and 20g x 3
Best before: All dates up to and including 07 October 2022
Kinder Surprise
Pack size: 100g
Best before: All dates from 20 April 2022 up to and including 21 August 2022
Kinder Mini Eggs
Pack size: 75g
Best before: All dates from 20 April 2022 up to and including 21 August 2022
Kinder Egg Hunt Kit
Pack size: 150g
Best before: All dates from 20 April 2022 up to and including 21 August 2022
Kinder Schokobons
Pack size200g
Best before: All dates from 20 April 2022 up to and including 21 August 2022
What to do if you are affected
If you have bought the above product do not eat it. Instead, please contact the Ferrero consumer careline on consumers.uk@ferrero.com or 0330 053 8943 UK or +44 (0)330 053 8943 Ireland to obtain a full refund.

4) Roadworks
Folly Bridge

Work is currently underway to make repairs to Folly Bridge on Abingdon Road.
Two-way traffic signals have been installed on the bridge and will be in place until April 29, with a footway diversion for pedestrians.
A34 / A420 slip road at Botley Road
These works are part of a cycleway and junction improvement scheme. Temporary traffic lights are in place 24/7.
The works began in May 2020 and will continue until April 30.
Banbury Road
These works are part of the Growth Deal Corridor Improvements and will take place on Banbury Road Between Cutteslowe and St Giles.
Traffic control (two-way signals) will be in place for traffic.
The works began on April 1 and will continue until March 31 2023.
Woodstock Road
A full corridor re-design and re-prioritisation of road space is underway on Woodstock Road.
These works will take place between Wolvercote Roundabout and St Giles.
Like Banbury Road they began on April 1 and will run until March 31 2023.
Marston Ferry Road
The location of these works is on Marston Ferry Road between Banbury Road and Cherwell School.
It is a full corridor re-design and re-prioritisation of road space.
Work will take place between April 1 and March 31 2023.
Longwall Street
Work is taking place on this road until July 31 2022.
Knights Road
SGN Works
Works will run from 11th-24th April.
one.network Map | uk.one.network
Oxford Bus Company -
The roadworks will be taking place at the junction of Knights Road and Blackbird Leys Road and temporary traffic lights will be in operation. Our buses will operate on the same route but will be unable to serve the stop opposite the Blackbird Pub between 11th and 14th April.
Stagecoach
No changes
Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (Neighbourhood Watch Network, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford )
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