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Neighbourhood Watch April - June 2005

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DVLA HOTLINE UNTAXED MOTOR VEHICLES
0800 032 5202
ESSEX COUNTY COUNCILTRADING STANDARDS HOTLINE
0845 604 4466
CRIMESTOPPERS
0800 555 111

The MOBILE POLICE STATION is at Theydon Bois Village Hall on Alternate Thursdays from 10.00am - 12 noon.
Next visits are 30th June, 14th July, 28th July, 11th August

Many locals think I am their local officer which I am not. I am a retired police officer who is now employed as a civilian to drive the mobile police station around the villages of Ongar, Epping and Brentwood. I call at over thirty villages in a two week cycle and only work an 8-4 duty. I try to encourage Neighbourhood Watch and will discuss concerns with locals and try and solve these problems for them but leaving a report of a burglary or such crime on my answerphone is not going to get a response until the next day, so in the first instance reports should be made to your local police station.
Chris Caten


MOBILE POLICE STATION’S NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER
Monday 20th June to Friday 1st July 2005

MILKBOTTLE NOTES

Do you remember all the messages we used to leave our friendly milkman? ‘No Milk Today’, ‘Two extra pints please’ etc. Sadly, those times have changed! So leaving notes like “No milk for next two weeks because I’m off on holiday” is not a good idea anymore. You would be wrong to think nobody does this anymore – please, if you are going on holiday or even a weekend away, tell your milkman, don’t leave a note.

NUMBER PLATES

We are urging motorists who find their number plates stolen to report the theft immediately. A good villain will go to great lengths to hunt down and steal the plates off a car exactly like their own so that at face value everything looks legitimate and everything matches. They try to make the car as credible as possible. If you do get your car plates stolen you must report it because it is your proof of innocence. A lot of people won’t feel it’s necessary because they won’t be claiming on insurance but it is vitally important they do and will save you a lot of problems in the future.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

This newsletter now appears in many other publications including village magazines.
However, there have been a few problems mainly because some areas that use these articles are not on my route. The other day I had a call from somebody who lives in Wales who required help and advice and whilst I’m more than happy to help, unless people come to me this help is limited to telephone advice.

These Newsletters are used by Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators in areas that I call at and as such, a newsletter is issued every two weeks. Most village magazines are only issued every two or three months so you can see that most articles have to be left out, the choice of articles used is down to their editors and not me. Just so that you know who I am, I am a retired police officer who returned to work for Essex Police as a member of their Support Staff mainly because I didn’t fancy going shopping every day with my wife.

So, for any editors out there, if you use any of my newsletter articles in your publications can you please also add the venue list with dates and times or at least explain who I am. I will help and advise anybody either over the phone or personally should they wish to come to see me in the Rural Police Office at the times and venues published.

Chris Caten
CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police

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MOBILE POLICE STATION’S NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER
Monday 20th June to Friday 1st July 2005

MILKBOTTLE NOTES

Do you remember all the messages we used to leave our friendly milkman? ‘No Milk Today’, ‘Two extra pints please’ etc. Sadly, those times have changed! So leaving notes like “No milk for next two weeks because I’m off on holiday” is not a good idea anymore. You would be wrong to think nobody does this anymore – please, if you are going on holiday or even a weekend away, tell your milkman, don’t leave a note.

NUMBER PLATES

We are urging motorists who find their number plates stolen to report the theft immediately. A good villain will go to great lengths to hunt down and steal the plates off a car exactly like their own so that at face value everything looks legitimate and everything matches. They try to make the car as credible as possible. If you do get your car plates stolen you must report it because it is your proof of innocence. A lot of people won’t feel it’s necessary because they won’t be claiming on insurance but it is vitally important they do and will save you a lot of problems in the future.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

This newsletter now appears in many other publications including village magazines.
However, there have been a few problems mainly because some areas that use these articles are not on my route. The other day I had a call from somebody who lives in Wales who required help and advice and whilst I’m more than happy to help, unless people come to me this help is limited to telephone advice.

These Newsletters are used by Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators in areas that I call at and as such, a newsletter is issued every two weeks. Most village magazines are only issued every two or three months so you can see that most articles have to be left out, the choice of articles used is down to their editors and not me. Just so that you know who I am, I am a retired police officer who returned to work for Essex Police as a member of their Support Staff mainly because I didn’t fancy going shopping every day with my wife.

So, for any editors out there, if you use any of my newsletter articles in your publications can you please also add the venue list with dates and times or at least explain who I am. I will help and advise anybody either over the phone or personally should they wish to come to see me in the Rural Police Office at the times and venues published.

Chris Caten
CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police

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MOBILE POLICE STATION’S NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER
Monday 30th May to Friday 10th June 2005


Regardless of the time of year our waterways attract us with ease, especially our youngsters. Most of us have fond memories of these locations, swinging from trees, and so on. However, times have changed and some concerned people have asked me to issue a few warnings.

Firstly, I want to remind you about Weil’s disease. This disease is caused by a parasite from rats and enters the human body through the skin, mucous membranes or skin abrasions following contact with water contaminated by the urine of infected rodents. It is present in the kidneys and urine of the rat and is not harmful to them, but very harmful to humans. Although this disease is much publicised, it is rare, but judging by the number of youngsters who swim or generally mess about in ditches and waterways I just want to be sure that you are aware of this disease.

There are many local areas that this water-bourne disease could be a problem, but one of the main areas I am concerned about is Dobb’s Weir. There are also gravel pits in this area, which are not only very deep but also have high sides. Last year a man fell into one of these pits whilst trying to rescue his dog that had gone into the water and was struggling to get out. The side of the pit just gave way under him and in he went and, due to the steepness of the pit edge, he was unable to get out and had to be rescued.

School holidays and weekends are the usual times for your youngsters to mess about in the local waterways, please take a few minutes to talk to them about the dangers.

The second point is also on the subject of disease. Most dog owners these days are very responsible people and will pick up their dog’s mess, but of course, there are still a few that are irresponsible. You can bet your life that your kid will be the one to bring it home on the bottom of his shoe, or will have fallen over in it. Again, just make them aware of the hazards, especially of getting it near their eyes, etc.

PIN NUMBERS

There are many ways used to try to obtain your pin number but just remember – nobody, not even your bank or the police should be given this info. Your bank should already know and there is no reason that we should require it. Remember the case in Ongar a few years back – a handbag was stolen from a shop owner whilst she was distracted – the handbag had all the usual items inside including her credit cards. She reported this to the police and within an hour or so she had a return call making her aware that we had captured the crooks. It was explained to her that her credit card had been used and that we required her pin number before the bank would help us with our enquiries. This she gave but of course it wasn’t the police but the crooks on the phone and they emptied her account. Never give out your Pin Number – if it is a worry for you then use the cashback service at your supermarket

Chris Caten
CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police

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MOBILE POLICE STATION’S NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER
Monday 14th to Friday 25th May 2005

TRAVEL ADVICE

Did you know that your EEC - E111 Health Form for Travel abroad has changed? This form was updated from December 2004 and you will need to complete a new one. A new medical card is to be issued later this year.

SEAT BELTS

Recently a delivery driver was issued a ticket for failing to wear a seatbelt. He explained that he was delivering numerous items in one village and therefore did not require one. He had to pay up but he made the point that there were many more delivery drivers out there who do not understand the seat belt law. So, I hope this helps. The general rule of thumb is that if you get out of second gear then you’re not on short deliveries. The law says any journey longer than 50 meters but as long as he is doing door to door deliveries, like a postman or milkman then that is alright but village to village will not count.

WARNING

I know I’m always going on about Identity Theft and not to divulge your Credit Card details and you are most probably as tired of reading it as I am of repeating it…..but….recently a market research team went out on the streets to conduct a fake survey with the offer of free theatre tickets to those who took part. Now here is the frightening part - of those taking part, 92% revealed details such as mother’s maiden name, first school, birth date etc, enough details in fact to impersonate them. Hopefully none of you will get caught out …..

SHOPPING
How many of you have you left a shop counter still struggling to put your change and receipts away in your purse? Considering the number of times purses are snatched this is not a good idea and it is unlikely that you will be able to give chase either. It may well annoy many people but it is a good idea if you stay at the counter until your purse is safely shut and put away in your handbag. I know this is a problem at supermarkets because the next customer’s shopping will start hurling down the lane at you but a few words with the shop assistant should stop that – just hold your ground until your ready to leave!! Think of your welfare.

LETTERBOXES

Recently there was a problem with letters being removed from a street Pillar Boxes. From what I understand the boxes were full and mail was visible – this was a temptation to someone because they were removed and opened and then left lying about. If the box is full it may well be worth not using it especially with all the identity theft problems

Chris Caten
CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police

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MOBILE POLICE STATION’S NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER
Monday 2nd May – Friday 14th May 2005

CASH MACHINE FRAUD
The Top Tips to avoid cash machine fraud

1) Put your personal safety first
2) Be aware of others around you. If someone close by the cash machine is behaving suspiciously or makes you feel uncomfortable please choose another
3) If there is anything unusual about the cash machine or there are signs of tampering, do not use the machine and report it to the bank or premises owner immediately
4) Give other users space to enter their PIN in private. We recommend standing about two metres away from the user in front of you until the person has completed their transaction. Some cash machines may have a safety zone marking out this area on the ground around the machine
5) Do not accept help from 'well-meaning' strangers and never allow yourself to be distracted
6) Stand close to the cash machine and always shield the keypad to avoid anyone seeing you enter your PIN
7) Once you have completed a transaction, discreetly put your money and card away before leaving the cash machine
8) If the cash machine does not return your card, report its loss immediately to your bank
9) Dispose of your cash machine receipt, mini-statement or balance enquiry with care. Tear up or preferably shred these items before discarding them

Although fraud at cash machines in the UK has increased significantly in the last five years, it accounts for less than ten per cent of total plastic card fraud losses. Skimming at ATMs is a growing trend, often perpetrated by organised Eastern European criminal gangs. In the case of skimming at ATMs a skimming device, known as a Card Reading Device, is attached to the card entry slot and a separate miniature pinhole camera is hidden overlooking the PIN pad. This enables the criminal to produce a counterfeit card and withdraw money at a cash machine using the legitimate PIN. These devices are highly sophisticated and look as if they are part of the machine itself. The device may only be placed on a machine for a very short period of time whilst the fraudsters remain nearby. The fraudsters will eventually take the reading devices off and move to another location and do the same again.

A Card Trapping Device is a device that is inserted into a cash machine's card slot and retains the card inside the cash machine. The criminal tricks the victim into re-entering the PIN while the criminal watches. After the cardholder gives up and leaves, the criminal removes the device, with the card, and withdraws cash. If you suspect a device has been placed on an ATM DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MOVE IT. These are expensive devices and suspects may use violence if they think their precious commodity is likely to be interfered with. Instead call the police or contact the bank immediately. Do not keep your card and PIN number together.

Chris Caten
CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police

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MOBILE POLICE STATION’S NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER

Monday 18th to Friday 29th April 2005

THIRD WORLD COLLECTIONS

I have had many complaints about Junk Mail, espically about companies who hand deliver and leave leaflets hanging out of letterboxes advertising to all and sundry that you are not in. I have complained on your behalf many times and have challenged these callers but I can’t stop this problem.

There is no simple solution but it’s worth giving the company a quick ring to complain or even have a separate postbox attached to your property and block up the letterbox in the door.

The best solution however is a trusted neighbour to keep a watchful eye.

A popular leaflet being delivered requests collections of unwanted clothes, blanketts, towels, cosmetices, perfumes. You are asked to put these items in bin bags which will be collected later by men in unmarked vans and then, after sorting, delivered for use by the third world.

Many of these companies who deal in this type of work are not charities but are run as a profit making business. I am not suggesting that these companies are working illegally because they actually state on the leaflet that they are not a charity but may I suggest that if you want to give items to charity then first check that it is registered as such.

With Identiy theft upper most in our minds (and if it isn’t then it should be) the collection of bin bags is an issue to many of you. Now and then your local council will have bin bags collected by a company to check what type of rubbish we dispose of, unmarked vans are normally used for this.

It is therefore sometimes difficult to know whether it is a legistimate collector when you witness a bin bag being placed in the back of a van. So, with that in mind, it is good practice to destroy paperwork that could be used to steal your identity. You may well have seen some of the recent national newspapers with horrific stories involving Identity Theft. Don’t get caught out – shred it/ burn it / destroy it – do not bin it!!

ACE

If you receive a phone call and your mobile phone displays the word ACE on the screeen then don’t answer the call. If you do your phone will be infected by a virus. The virus will erase all IMRI and IMSI information from both your phone and SIM card and you will have to buy a new phone. Motorola and Nokia have comfirmed this. There have been over three million phones world wide infected by this means.

Chris Caten
CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111
E-mail: - Chris Caten
Mobile - 07715771603
www/essex.police

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Last Up Dated: 9th Sept. 2005