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BRaG Residents Association

NHW update Nov 2019

Friday, November 29, 2019 

Nicola Duffeys excellent November Update....

Dear all
A few things as the nights draw in
A - Awareness - make sure when you go out to leave a light (preferably an upstairs one) on as it's getting darker SO much earlier!
B - Bike thefts - there's been an increase in bike thefts particularly from Sainburys however we've recently learnt that Sainsburys plan to put in CCTV although we don't know how long this will take so in the mean a banner in the town centre says 'Expensive bike, cheap do the maths'!!
C - Catalytic converters - I will try to write this without swearing but there are teams of criminals jacking up cars in broad daylight (and some at night) and taking the catalytic converter for the precious metals that they contain.  If you see something which doesn't look write dial 999 (or 101) when safe to do so and get it reported - ruin a criminals' Christmas!

From the local Police team: On Friday 8th November between 2pm and 3pm, there were 2 thefts from Motor vehicles which were both witnessed taking place on the ward.  The suspects removed the Catalytic Converters from the vehicles. Both of the victim’s vehicles were a Toyota Prius.

The suspects were seen jacking up the cars and removing the item.  A witness states that they used a cover story they had been instructed to change a tyre and even had a spare tyre with them. The males were both wearing high visibility jackets.


D - distraction robberies are on the increase - whilst you're watching the Christmas lights being turned on or a street show or just waiting at the bus aware of who's in your area, what they're doing, keep valuables out of sight and in a zipped bag or pocket...and then keep an eye on other people to help them.·        

From the local Police team:  In the last month, there has also been some reports of theft in Sainsbury’s, Sury Basin.  Victims have reported that when they have approached the tills, their purses/wallets have been taken.  Please be aware of any distractions whilst shopping.  Keep your belongings on you and close in a secure bag or pocket.  Never leave valuable items in a trolley or pushchair.

With all of the above and especially the catalytic converter thefts in broad daylight I really think we can do each other a favour and bring back 'Meet & Greet' between now and the new year.
The idea is simple, when you're out and about say 'Good morning, Afternoon or Evening' to people you see or pass. It's polite and makes people feel welcomed into our neighbourhood. It also shows people we care and crime will not flourish in a community that cares.
It also tells the criminals that we've seen them.  And their response can tell you a very different story as to whether they're pleased to be engaged with or whether they now feel threatened. By using a simple short greeting and walking on it doesn't feel out of place, nor does it feel like you have to start a conversation which can be awkward.
(I used to work at the GAP and we used to say 'hello' to people that entered the shop to a) welcome the customers but also b) you can tell alot from someone's response and for example, when working down Oxford Street, when greeted with a friendly 'hello' the customer turned and said 'Have you got a bloody problem?' To which I replied no! And then got our security team to monitor him so when he swiped 30 shirts into his plastic bag they were ready for him! So I know it really does work!)

In addition here are the  monthly crime stats and below some information on Courier Fraud backed up in the  booklet Little Book of Phone Scams

November is “Courier Fraud Awareness Month.”
In most cases of courier fraud, a fraudster phones their victim and claims to be from their bank, the police or other law enforcement authority.

They then con the victim into revealing their PIN and credit or debit card details. Sadly, the most common victims of courier fraud are the elderly.

Examples of courier fraud include:
A scammer calls you, claiming to be from your bank or a police officer. They tell you either that:
•       a fraudulent payment has been spotted on your card that needs sorting out
•       someone has been arrested using your details and cards
You may be asked to call your bank using the phone number on the back of your card.
This convinces you that the call is genuine.
But the scammer has kept the line open at their end, so when you make the call, you're unknowingly connected straight back to them or their friends.

They’ll either ask you for your PIN or ask you to key it into your phone. No bank or other legitimate service will ever ask you for your PIN.

The scammer then sends a courier or taxi to pick up the card from your home. Even the driver may not know they’re being used as part of the scam.

Once the scammer has both your card and PIN they can spend your money.
 A different version of this scam is where you’re contacted and told there’s a corrupt member of staff at your bank, post office or bureau de change and the police need your help to identify them.

They ask you to withdraw a large sum of your money, which the police or bank will mark, then put back into the banking system. They say this will help them identify the corrupt person. Once you hand the cash over, the scammers simply take it.

Another example is when a fake police officer phones or approaches you and asks you to buy an expensive watch or other high-value item, to try to find out if counterfeit goods are being sold.

Once you’ve bought the item, the scammer tells you to hand it to a taxi driver for transfer to the police. The expensive item is, of course, taken instead to the scammer’s partner.

The latest variation is where the scammer contacts you and says your bank account has been taken over and you need to transfer all the funds into a ‘safe account’. Of course, the new account is operated by the scammers, who then steal the funds.

Protect yourself
Behind all of the clever tricks and ever-changing narratives, there are a few basic recurring elements that are common across many frauds, including courier fraud. 

Here’s what you need to remember:
Your bank or the police will never…
•       call and ask you for your full PIN or full banking password
•       Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them.
•       Ask you to transfer money out of your account.
It pays to stop and think anytime you receive a request for personal or financial information.
Remember, if you feel uncomfortable or unsure about what you’re being asked to do, never hesitate to contact your bank or financial service provider directly, using a number you trust, such as the one listed on your bank statements or on the back of your card.

Alternatively, check your actions with a trusted friend or family member and get their advice on whether you should go through with any action relating to your finances.

 How to report it
Report via Action Fraud,
either online  or call 0300 123 2040.
If you’ve given your bank details over the phone or handed your card to a courier, call your bank straight away to cancel the card.

Courier fraud affects some of the most vulnerable members of our communities and we would really appreciate your support with helping the campaign reach as wide an audience as possible.

 To that end, please find the attached “little book of big Scams” and the following link to our video on “impersonation scams”
 More of our videos and leaflets can be found at

Okay I think that's enough from me for now! 
Remember - it is a LOVELY area - and if we could start saying 'Mornin'' you never know what you might see, hear or learn!
Have a good week - at least it's stopped raining...for now!
Nicola Duffey

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