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06/02/20 9788 : Courier fraudsters dupe 28 victims out of more than £127,000 in Avon and Somerset.

Throughout January Avon and Somerset Police have been supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of courier fraud.
A three week campaign led by the National Economic Crime Centre was a combination of awareness raising and enforcement activity and is the first phase of activity to combat fraud. All 43 forces in England and Wales have been supporting January’s Operation Radium.

Nationally since November 44 people have been arrested on suspicion of courier fraud. Over the past two years there have been more than 3000 victims of courier fraud reported nationally with losses believed to be around £12m. Figures released by the City of London Police – the national lead force for fraud and the co-ordinators of Operation Radium – have revealed that 28 people in the Avon and Somerset force area reported being a victim of courier fraud in 2019. This amounted to an estimated £127,224 in losses. Nationally, victims are predominantly over 60 years of age with the most targeted demographic being females aged between 80 and 89 years.

Courier fraud is where fraudsters call someone, pretending to be a police officer or bank official, warning that there are corrupt bank staff, intent on stealing their money, and ask for their help. Typically, the caller then tells the victim to withdraw a sum of money and a courier is sent to collect it. The ultimate aim of this call is to trick them into handing over money or their bank details.

Common techniques used by the fraudsters include telling the victim to withdraw large sums of cash or go and buy high value items. Sometimes they instruct the victim to leave their bank cards in an envelope somewhere safe. In all cases, a ‘courier’ will then come and pick up the cash, expensive item or envelope, on behalf of the police or bank. They will often come to the victim’s home address.

Last year a taxi driver in North Somerset thwarted a courier fraud incident when he became suspicious when taking a woman to the bank. His taxi had been pre-booked – allegedly by the woman’s relative – but after the taxi driver discovered the woman was planning to withdraw a large sum of money when she got to the bank, he became suspicious. He alerted bank officials who advised the police and the large cash withdrawal was stopped.

Our message is – don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if they claim to be a police officer or a representative from a bank fraud department..If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of offence, please speak to them and share our crime prevention tips and remind them of the threat from telephone fraudsters.

People who receive a call on their landline and are asked to contact their local police station or bank to verify the caller’s details ideally need to put the receiver down and not touch it for five minutes, just in case the fraudster has kept the line open. Ensure you have a dialling tone before re-using. Ideally use another phone such as a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone and use 101 to verify the call.

We would also appeal to taxi drivers who are asked to collect parcels – especially from elderly – to be vigilant and contact us if they are suspicious.

-04/02/20 9788 AN006 Burglary Garage.

A garage has been broken into in Station Road, Backwell between 4:50pm on the 30th & 9am on the 31st. The garage was not secure at the time and as a result the offenders have got away with a large trailer and mini digger.

If you contact the Police about this incident, please call 101 & quote Reference number: 5220024572 or Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, thank you.

29/01/20 7164 Northeast & Somerset PCSO Recruitment Opens

Applications for Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) opened on Tuesday 28 January. Avon and Somerset Police are inviting members of the public interested in a rewarding new career and giving back to their communities to apply for a position as a PCSO.

PCSOs are part of the neighbourhood policing team, who build relationships with local people to provide reassurance and understand the policing issues that matter most to them. PCSOs work with individuals and partner agencies to support vulnerable people and solve local concerns and issues. For more information about PCSO recruitment please visit: <http://bit.ly/13ApplyToBeAPCSO>

27/01/20 9788 Appeal for information after theft of war medals in Nailsea.

We are appealing to members of the public for information following a burglary in Nailsea in which war medals and a significant amount of jewellery were stolen. The incident occurred at a property on Vynes Way at about 6.30pm on Monday 20 January. The suspects have gone around the back and gained entry by smashing the dining room window.

A number of war medals belonging to the 86-year-old victim were taken including two Victorian naval silver long service medals one which includes “Chief Steward Winfield” engraved on the rim, a silver china medal with “Luck now” relief bar on the ribbon, an Egypt medal bar with “Alexandria 1881”, and a George V Good Conduct and Long Service silver medal. A significant amount of jewellery was also stolen including wedding rings, necklaces and bracelets, pearls, cufflinks and broaches, as well as an Omega watch, silver cutlery and numerous old pound/shilling notes.

A witness has described seeing an unknown man in the front room of the property at around 6.30pm and police enquires are ongoing.

PC Emma Leadbeater, of Operation Remedy, commented: “This is a callous offence in which an elderly man has had his home broken into and a large amount of valuable and sentimental items have been stolen from him, including his war medals.“We are committed to tackling burglary across and Avon and Somerset and will be doing all that we can to identify and apprehend the individual responsible and where possible return the stolen belongings.”

We’re asking for members of the public to keep an eye out on online selling sites for anyone selling items that match the description of the stolen belongings, and are also appealing to anyone who works in antique shops and pawnbrokers to call us with any relevant information.

Residents are encouraged to take note of the following burglary prevention advice, particularly regarding securing your home and boundaries, and looking out for one another including elderly neighbours. Lock up and set the alarm, if you have one, at night as well as when you go out. •Lock all your windows and doors every time you leave your house – even if you are just in the garden – and remembering to double lock UPVC doors.

•Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows. •Hide any high value items such as jewellery, handbags/wallets and passports etc and where possible store them in a properly secured and hidden safe or bank vault. •Keep entrances to your property easily visible by ensuring nearby hedges and trees are well maintained. •Ensure any side gates are securely locked to prevent unwanted access to the rear of your property. •Make sure boundaries to your property – including fencing and walls – are in a good state of repair. If possible, install a visual burglar alarm.

•Where possible install an outside security light, many of which are sensor activated. •Where possible, leave radios and lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied. •Ensure you let trusted neighbours know when you are going away so they can keep an eye on your home. •Consider joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

If have any information that can help with our investigation please call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5220016326.

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111or via their Anonymous Online Form. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.

21/01/20 9788 Warning after pubs report receiving counterfeit £50 notes.
Landlords and cashiers are being advised to be aware following several reports of counterfeit £50 notes being used in South Gloucestershire. We have been contacted by four pubs in recent days after customers tried to pay for drinks with counterfeit notes, but we believe several more have been targeted.

Sergeant Ruth Gawler said: “This appears to be part of a crime series within South Gloucestershire with forged £50 notes being handed over to staff. The notes appear to be genuine under ultraviolet light but we have seen several of them use the same serial number and other features of the note are faked. We would ask all landlords to be wary across the force area – not just South Gloucestershire – and to contact us on 101 if they are offered any counterfeit notes.”

The Bank of England provides security advice for businesses and information about what to do if they have fallen victim to counterfeit notes. If you suspect that you have a counterfeit banknote, please take it to your nearest police station.
If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5220011605. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A new polymer £20 note is due to be released on 20 February. In case criminals use this opportunity to defraud people, it’s worth checking the security measures on the new note. Go to <https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/polymer-20-pound-note> for some helpful advice.

17/01/20 9788 Appeal to reunite owners with their electric power tools.

We need your help following a series of burglaries in the North Somerset area. We have recovered a large number of electrical tools from a garage in Weston-super-Mare, which we are trying to reunite with their owners.

The garage is in Severn Road and it is believed that the items could have resulted from mor than one burglary incident.
There have been a series of van break-ins in the North Somerset area over the past 12 months, where electrical power tools have been targeted.

The tools include: a Stihl chainsaw; a Kennedy professional retool tool box, a Makita holdall; angle grinder; a Makita cordless screwdriver; Makita circular saw; a JD Sports bag containing various items; a Stihl disc cutter; a Makita nail gun; a Makita jigsaw; a Makita disc sander; Paslode nail guns, plus other items.

We’re keen to hear from anyone who has had tools taken similar to those above. Please contact us on 101 quoting reference 5219287205

15/01/20 Somerset Press Release: Two duped out of £15,000 in telephone fraud incidents.

We are warning people to be on their guard against a telephone scam, which involves a fraudster claiming to be an official from Amazon. The bogus official called the victims on their landline and said they were from Amazon and querying either an issue with a payment or a problem with the victim’s Prime membership.

We are aware of three incidents in the Avon and Somerset force area – two of the victims have lost a combined total of almost £15,000. During the call a pre-recorded message invites the victim to press 1 on their phone to link to an operator. A long conversation follows in which the victim is asked to re-connect to the caller via a computer or mobile device and then allow Amazon to link to their account. While they continue to talk to the victim, they ask them to log on to their online banking via the remote device to check whether a refund has been made to their bank.

The caller talks to the victim, distracting them from looking at their device, while money is quickly transferred from their bank, or even an application for a loan made while the banking session is open.

Amazon will never call and ask for personal information, including bank PiN numbers and passwords. Any attempts for permission to remotely access your computer or phone should be a red flag warning. If you are suspicious or uncomfortable about the call, finish it immediately and call the company who claimed to call you, using their official number and try to use a different phone to ensure the telephone line has not been held by the scammer. If any link to your device has been added by the scammer – such as TeamViewer – have it professionally removed and keep the device disconnected from the internet.

General advice….

Neither the police nor the banks will ask you for banking details or PiN numbers on the phone. Similarly, they would never send a so-called ‘courier’ to collect bank cards or money. Our message is – don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if they claim to be a police officer or a representative from a bank fraud department or even a well-known company.

Genuine callers will be happy for you to make an appointment to visit them at a bank branch or police station or for you to call them independently to verify that they have been trying to contact you. The police and banks will never ask you to withdraw cash on their behalf; arrange for cash to be collected by a courier; ask for details about your bank card; or ask for the PiN on your card.

If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of offence, please speak to them and share our crime prevention tips and remind them of the threat from telephone fraudsters. We would also appeal to taxi drivers, who are asked to collect parcels or take people to banks to withdraw large sums of cash – especially the elderly – to be vigilant and contact us if they are suspicious.

 10/12/19 9788, Police call on public to sign up for free counter terrorism  

An award-winning counter terrorism training course is being made available to the public for the first time and Avon and Somerset Police want you to sign up and help protect the UK.

Devised by CT officers and security experts, the ACT Awareness eLearning package was previously only available to staff working in crowded places like shopping centres and entertainment venues.

Now Counter Terrorism Policing has decided to open up the training to anyone who wants to become a CT Citizen so they can learn how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and understand what to do in the event of a major incident.

The programme was originally devised in partnership with retail giant Marks and Spencer – and participants needed to be signed up by their employers. Today the online learning is available free of charge to anyone who wants to take part.
The decision to offer the training to the public was not made in response to the recent attack in London. However, the tragic events which took place just 10 days ago, when two people lost their lives to terrorism, were a stark reminder of the ongoing threat and the need for vigilance.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Cullen said: “ACT Awareness eLearning is especially useful for anyone working in or regularly visiting crowded places. “Developed alongside industry experts more than one and a half million modules have already been completed. “The course has been so popular, with nine out of 10 users saying they would recommend it, we want to open it up to as many people as possible.

“The threat level remains at Substantial – meaning an attack is likely – so giving everyone the chance to be extra eyes and ears for police and local security teams help to keep all communities across the Avon and Somerset area safe. “The festive period is obviously a very busy one – so this is a good time to join up and become a CT Citizen.”

ACT Awareness is made up of seven modules that take a few minutes each to complete. You can pause and re-join at any time. In total it takes just 45 minutes – so less than an hour of your time could help to prevent an attack or help save lives if one was to happen.

The course is hosted by online training specialists Highfield. To register and start learning, click here



- as on the back inside cover of the Village Journal

, which space kindly donared by Butcombe Brewery

EMERGENCY - Fire/Ambulance/Police
Police General
Crime Stoppers
0800 555 111
District Councillor Wrington 862109
Mendip Vale Medical Practice Surgery Langford
Out of Hours
Practice website
Dispensing Chemist Wrington
Dental Surgery
Baby Clinic, Nurses House, Stockmead, Churchill Tues 10-12 noon
SWEB/EDF Emergencies
Bristol Water Works
0800 365 900
National Marriage & Family Guidance Council (Relate) Weston-s-Mare 627206
Caretaker Memorial Hall 862898
Helpline Co-ordinator
07783 046437
Samaritans Bristol
Samaritans Weston super Mare
Wrington Post Office 862289
Wrington Website www.wringtonsomerset.org.uk
Veterinary Surgeon 862497
Parish Clerk: Fiona Burke, John Locke Room:

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