advice

Door-to-door collections

The Metropolitan Police have very kindly listed those organisations that DO have licences issued and ARE allowed to go from door to door to collect in the name of Charities:

http://content.met.police.uk/Article/House-to-house-licences-issued/1400...

Also mentioned are Pedlar's certificates:

A pedlar is a person who travels and trades on foot and goes from town to town or house-to-house selling goods or offering their skills in handicrafts. These are the doorknockers selling such things as, pictures, dusters etc. A person who acts without a pedlar's certificate commits an offence.

http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Pedlars-certificates/1400012715063/...

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Bogus callers

'Bogus callers', 'doorstep crime' or 'distraction burglary is a crime that a lot of people fear. Follow our advice so that you can spot the signs of whether or not an unexpected caller to your home is genuine.

Top tips for deterring distraction burglars

  1. Check ID Properly – check the phone number matches the number in the yellow pages, phone Directory Enquiries or keep a list of useful numbers such as electricity and gas companies near your front door. Don't feel embarrassed leaving them on the doorstep – genuine employees expect their ID to be checked.
  2. Sign up to the Priority Services Register with your utility providers. This will give you a unique password, among other things, that only you and they know – so you can be sure people at the door are who they say they are.
  3. Keep your garden preened and the front of your house looking neat – bogus callers are more likely to target houses which look unkempt as they think you're less likely to care.
  4. Make sure you use your door chain when answering the door and keep it on until you've seen official identification – if you don't already have a door chain contact your local Neighbourhood Police team and they will put you in contact with agencies who can help you.
  5. Make sure your back door is locked if you go to answer your front door – thieves can work in pairs with one distracting you while the other slips in the back.
  6. Don't keep large amounts of money in your home. If in doubt, keep them out.
  7. Only let them in when you have double checked that they are a genuine caller.
  8. If you think you have been targeted by a distraction burglary tell a friend, neighbour, caretaker, Neighbourhood Watch representative and the police.

Did you know...?
The average age of a victim of a distraction burglary is 81 years old.

Remember:

  • ost people who come to your door will be genuine callers, but it's always best to make sure.
  • Fit a door chain or spy hole to help you check who the caller is.
  • If you were not expecting someone to call, a genuine caller will not mind waiting outside while you contact their company. Find the number in the phone book or on your latest phone bill. Most companies have a password scheme.
  • Genuine delivery personnel usually have uniforms and liveried vehicles and should not need to come into your home. Charity collectors will have identification and will not be offended if you ask to see it.
  • If you become uncomfortable after you have let someone into your home, even if it's someone you know, make excuses and leave. Go to a neighbour's house or ask a friend to come back home with you.

Did you know...?
In 4% of burglaries, thieves used a false pretence to gain entry to a property

Follow the ‘Lock, Stop, Chain and Check' procedure:

  • Lock – Keep your front and back doors locked, even when at home
  • Stop – Are you expecting anyone?
  • Chain – If you decide to open the door, put the door chain on first
  • Check – Ask for the caller's ID and check it by phone

 

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Vehicle Fraud

Vehicle fraud drives us round the bend, costing victims £17.8 million in 2013

27 March 2014

Online vehicle fraud is costing the nation a road-rage inducing £17.8 million each year, according to new figures released by Get Safe Online and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) today. This is the equivalent to 89 Aston Martin Vanquishes.

In 2013, more than 6,600 UK residents reported online vehicle fraud to the police, with an average loss of £4,078 per victim. The loss range is huge; from smaller losses of less than £50, which mainly related to holding deposits, to one unlucky victim who lost £300,000 where multiple vehicles were involved.

Fraudsters used the following methods to steal their victims’ cash:

  • Part or full payment for the vehicles and then loss of contact with the “seller” accounted for nearly half (49%) of frauds
  • More than a third (37%) of cases involved the payment of a deposit rather than the full amount
  • Bank transfers (58%), fake eBay Invoices (14%) and fake Google Payment Systems Invoices (12%) offering non-existent "buyer protection" for the transaction were the most commonly cited payment methods
  • Some victims paid funds to holding accounts on the basis that funds will be held until the buyer has received the goods and is satisfied with them
  • Other victims received texts from well-known websites requesting refundable fees for car inspections

Further statistics show that:

  • Nearly three quarters (71%) of victims were men
  • People in their forties reported a quarter (25%) of all online vehicle fraud
  • London was the most targeted city for online vehicle fraud, followed by Bristol and then Birmingham

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, commented:

“It has never been easier to buy or sell a vehicle than it is now thanks to the internet. The ability to upload and view photos and vehicle descriptions, and contact buyers and sellers - all with a click - have transformed the business, and people's experience of buying and selling. At the same time the internet has also made it easier for dishonest buyers and sellers to defraud larger numbers of people. Vehicles are valuable goods and because of this, trading them isn’t a decision that people take lightly, so it’s awful that fraudsters are exploiting popular vehicle websites. Hopefully our latest campaign will make people more aware of the risks before going online to buy or sell a vehicle.”

Detective Superintendent Pete O'Doherty, Director of the NFIB at the City of London Police said:

“People looking for a new car are increasingly doing their searching and purchasing online, giving them access to a much greater range of vehicles and providing them with opportunities to get the best possible deal. Unfortunately not all adverts posted on the internet are legitimate, with last year thousands of buyers falling foul of fraudsters who pocket and then disappear with deposits and part and full payments for vehicles that are not actually for sale. The NFIB is supporting this campaign to raise awareness of the threat posed by online vehicle fraud and would also urge anyone who has fallen victim to this crime to report it to Action Fraud so we can quickly identify and target those most responsible for destroying people’s dreams of having a new car.”

A/Detective Chief Inspector Gary Miles at the Metropolitan Police said:

“Allegations of online fraud are on the increase. Criminals are exploiting a lack of awareness amongst the general public to “scam” them out of considerable sums of money. The MPS is working in partnership with Get Safe Online and Gumtree to prevent victims from transferring money to bank accounts when they have not personally seen either the seller or the vehicle they have agreed to purchase. Retailers are making every effort to identify and withdraw, as soon as possible, fraudulent adverts. However we would ask you to be extra vigilant when purchasing vehicles and parting with your money.”

Sam Diamond, Head of Communications at Gumtree.com said:

“Classifieds websites like Gumtree provide a free and easy way to find a second-hand car. But as with any high-value items for sale, there will always be fraudsters looking to take advantage of innocent buyers. We are working with Get Safe Online to advise users of two things; always meet face to face and inspect the vehicle before handing over any money and, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

For more information on the risks of buying and selling vehicles online, and how to stay safe, click here: https://www.getsafeonline.org/shopping-banking/buying-selling-vehicles/#.Uywy7Pl_vAk

You can download a poster to promote the campaign from our website here. You can also download a campaign leaflet from our website here, which gives some useful tips and advice.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk. If you responded to an advertisement online or in a printed publication, report it to the website or publisher. For more information and advice on buying and selling vehicles safely on the internet, visit www.GetSafeOnline.org.

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Safeguarding your mobile phone

This article has been reproduced from the Metropolitan Police website for the purpose of education

As many as 10,000 mobile phones are stolen every month. Two thirds of the victims are aged between 13 and 16. Many phones are also stolen from unattended cars. Here are some practical measures you can take to keep your mobile phone safe.

Remember to...

  • to register your mobile phone at www.immobilise.com
  • keep your phone out of sight in your pocket or handbag when not in use
  • use your phone's security lock code, if it has one
  • record details of your electronic serial number (ESN) and consider separate insurance
  • some phones have an IMEI number which is a unique identifier for the phone; you can obtain this number by typing *#06# (star hash 06 hash) into your mobile phone and it will display a 15 digit number
  • property mark your phone with your postcode and door number to help police identify stolen ones
  • report a lost or stolen phone to the police immediately
  • inform your service provider if your phone is stolen or lost

Don't...

  • attract attention to your phone when you are carrying or using it in the street
  • park in isolated or dark areas
  • leave your phone in an unattended car - if you must, lock it out of sight. It only takes seconds for a thief to smash a window and steal your phone.

By taking these simple precautions, you can protect your phone.

If you see anything suspicious, call the police - dial 999.

Link to source website

Popular tracking apps. - Strongly advised! Click on the Pic, it will take you to the websites.

    iPHONES

 

 

   ANDROID PHONES

 

                                    

   BLACKBERRY

 

Out and about

The chances of you or a member of your family becoming a victim of violent crime are low. Violent crimes by strangers in public places are still rare and account for a very small part of recorded crime. However, you can make yourself even less likely to be the victim of a violent crime - for example, robbery (mugging) or assault - by taking a few sensible precautions.

Many are common sense, and may be things you already do. Making yourself safer doesn't mean changing your entire lifestyle, personality or wardrobe, and it doesn't mean never going out at all.

Although there are different sections here for men and for women, this doesn't mean that personal safety is just for men or a women's issue. Men and women experience crime differently and it is important to remember this so that you can protect yourself as well as possible. You should find things of interest in both sections.

You should think about how you would act in different situations before you are in them. Think about whether you would stay and defend yourself (using reasonable force), risking further injury, or whether you would give an attacker what they want, to avoid injury. There is nothing wrong with doing either, but you should think about the options - there will be no time to do so if you are attacked.

Some general points:

  • You will be safest in bright, well lit and busy areas
  • Try to look and act confident - look like you know where you are going and walk tall
  • You might like to spread your valuables around your body. For example, keep your phone in your bag, your house keys in your trouser pocket and your money in your jacket
  • If someone tries to take something from you, it may just be better to let them take it rather than to get into a confrontation and risk injury
  • You can use reasonable force in self-defence. You are allowed to protect yourself with something you are carrying anyway (for example, keys or a can of deodorant), but you may not carry a weapon
  • If you decide to defend yourself, be aware that your attacker might be stronger than you, or may take what you are using in self-defence and use it against you. It is often better just to shout loudly and run away!
  • Shout 'fire' rather than 'help' - it can get more results
  • If you use a wheelchair, keep your things beside you rather than at the back of the chair
  • Try not to be conspicuous about the valuables you are carrying. Talking on your mobile phone, carrying a laptop, or showing your friend your new gold ring all show thieves that you are worth robbing

When out walking or jogging, you should not listen to a personal stereo or telephone through headphones, so you can stay more alert to your surroundings.

For further good advice about Personal Safety, check out http://www.suzylamplugh.org/

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Travel safety advice

Bear these tips in mind when travelling:

Buses and trains

  • Plan your journey in advance as much as possible. Make sure you know your route and stop
  • Check the times of the last buses and Tubes/trains
  • Always try to wait for your bus or train in a well lit place
  • Have your ticket, pass or change ready in your hand so your purse or wallet is out of sight. Keep bags zipped and valuables secure
  • Look out for Help points and passenger alarms - use them if you feel threatened. These will connect you to a member of staff
  • If you feel concerned about your safety on the bus, sit close to the driver. If you are on the Tube or train, move to a carriage where there are other people
  • Report any unattended bags, luggage or suspicious activity immediately to a member of staff, a police officer or use the green emergency button on the station Help point

Cycling Locking a bike

  • Park your cycle where it can be seen in a designated parking facility. Don't leave it in the same place every day
  • Lock your cycle securely - lock both wheels and the frame to the cycle stand or another immoveable object
  • Take removable items with you, for example lights and pump, and register your cycle
  • Learn more about on cycle security and avoiding theft

Taxis and minicabs

  • Always used a licensed taxi (black cab) or licensed, booked minicab
  • Book your minicab by phone, email or in a minicab office. Never approach or accept a journey from a minicab driver off the street. Only taxis (black cabs) can be stopped by customers and can pick up off the street
  • When your booked minicab arrives, make sure the minicab driver can confirm your name and your destination. Check this before you get in the vehicle
  • Check the minicab driver's photo ID
  • Always sit in the back and, if possible, carry a mobile phone
  • Trust your instincts - If you are in any doubt do not get in the vehicle. If you become worried about your safety ask the driver to stop and get out of the car - preferably in a busy area.
  • Never risk taking an unbooked minicab. You can also use Cabwise to have your two nearest minicab numbers and one taxi (black cab) number texted to your phone

Walking

  • Think about your route - is there somewhere you could go if you felt threatened? The best idea is to head for a public place where you know there will be other people
  • Avoid using shortcuts and badly lit areas
  • Keep your mind on your surroundings. Look confident and walk purposefully to your destination
  • Never accept a lift from someone you don't know, even if you are cold, tired or it's very late

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Operation Castle

 

Most burglaries tend to be opportunistic rather than planned. So if your home does not look secure, seems unlived in, or provides unobserved access, it could be at risk. Understanding what burglars look for when choosing their target will help you identify weak spots in your home's security.

 

 

10 Top Tips:

  1. Install a visible burglar alarm and use it.
  2. Do not leave your car keys or ID documents near doors, letterbox or windows.
  3. Mark or etch your property with your postcode, house or flat number or the first three letters of your house name (getting a bit tired, this routine) or better, buy a forensic marking kit.  That way, if you move, you just register the new address.
  4. Register items with a serial number at: www.immobilise.com or the register associated with the property marking kit.
  5. Always check who’s at the door and don’t open it if you feel anxious.
  6. Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
  7. Keep your valuables out of sight.
  8. Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home.
  9. Always keep sheds and outbuildings locked.
  10. Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks at a time.

Another top tip: Run through the free and anonymous Home Security Survey at the Crime Prevention website.

How does a burglar's mind work?

Burglary, on the whole, is an opportunist crime. A burglar will select his target because it offers him the best opportunity to carry out his crime undetected and with the fewest number of obstacles in his way. A building that presents itself as unoccupied and insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one which is properly secured:

  • Side gates open
  • Accessible windows open
  • Ladders left out, allowing access to otherwise inaccessible windows
  • Garden tools available to force entry
  • Untrimmed hedges or high fences preventing natural surveillance

Each of these makes access to the building far simpler and is an indication to the prospective burglar that it's worth a second look.

Residents of multi occupancy dwellings or flats should be mindful not to grant entry to people via an entry phone system, if they do not know them, and to be cautious of people seeking to 'tailgate' them into buildings.

The question is, are the occupants in?

  • Milk bottles or parcels on the doorstep
  • Newspapers and mail in the letter box
  • Unlit houses after dark
  • All windows shut in very hot weather

These are signs telling the burglar that he is unlikely to be disturbed in the course of his work. Naturally, circumstances may arise when such situations may be unavoidable. If we can take measures that tell the burglar that this building is too difficult or too risky a target, he will hopefully move on.

Are you leaving a thief the key to your house?

  • Never leave a spare key concealed anywhere near the front door - burglars know all the hiding places
  • Prevent letterbox burglaries by storing keys away from the front door
  • Do not label your house keys in case you lose them and they fall into the wrong hands.

Remove temptation

  • Where possible, try to keep valuables out of sight from windows.

Make it look as though your house is occupied

  • Install timers which switch lights or radios on and off automatically.
  • Have a neighbour or friend pop round to clear your letter box or doorstep.
  • Encourage a neighbour to park on your drive.
  • If going out after dark, draw the curtains, leave some lights on and a radio playing.

If you are away for extended periods.

  • Set your burglar alarm.
  • Cancel the delivery of milk and newspapers
  • Disconnect the telephone answering machine, or re-word your greeting message to give the impression that you are only temporarily unable to answer.
  • Enlist the help of a neighbour, friend or relative to keep a regular eye on your property and keep the front door clear of deliveries.
  • If you are prepared to leave a key with a willing neighbour/relative, ask for curtains to be drawn and lights to be put on at night. If snow is on the ground a few footprints will make the house appear inhabited.
  • Check your insurance policy. Some insurance policies for contents don't cover you if you are away for more than 30 days.

Remember: Remove the Opportunity - Prevent the Burglary

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