Treasurer needed for Wycombe District Neighbourhood Watch Association
A new treasurer is needed for Wycombe District Neighbourhood Watch Association. Ian Burrell, the former treasurer of 9 years recently passed away creating the vacancy. The work involves around 100 bank transactions a year as well as arranging payments to suppliers and reporting to committee meetings. If you would be interested in taking on this volunteer role then contact Geoff Pegg via: email@example.com
Addressing Begging in the Town Centre
Aggressive begging has become a concerning issue in High Wycombe town centre. Occasionally, individuals engaged in begging claim to be homeless and in need of immediate shelter, but this is often not the case. The money collected through begging may be utilized to acquire substances such as alcohol or drugs, rather than being directed towards seeking assistance for addiction issues.
It is important to note that begging on the streets is an offence, and it is considered a more severe offence when such actions result in individuals feeling unsafe, threatened, or harassed.
The presence of aggressive begging in the town centre can have multiple negative consequences. It creates an environment of fear and discomfort for residents, workers, and visitors, which can deter people from visiting local businesses and enjoying public spaces. Additionally, it can perpetuate negative stereotypes about homelessness, making it more challenging for genuine individuals in need to receive the support they require.
Encouraging residents and visitors to donate to reputable charities and organisations that assist the homeless is another vital step in order to ensure that resources are channeled towards those in genuine need, rather than enabling the exploitative practices of aggressive beggars. Additionally, fostering partnerships between local businesses, law enforcement agencies, and community groups can enhance the safety and security of the town centre. By sharing information and reporting suspicious behaviour, residents can play an active role in discouraging aggressive begging and supporting efforts to address homelessness authentically.
Homeless Connections and other partner agency groups are doing some great work in trying to help people who are homeless. High Wycombe's town centre organisation, HWBIDCo, is taking proactive steps to address this problem and provide an alternative way for the public to donate and support those in genuine need. This month, they have launched a new initiative called the 'Diverted Giving' scheme.
Thanks to a generous grant from High Wycombe's Community Board, HWBIDCo will install several 'Diverted Giving Points' across the town centre. These points have been located on the High Street, White Hart Street, and at the McDonald's Drive-Thru. The purpose of these points is to enable the public to make small donations using fixed card terminals.
All the donations made at the 'Diverted Giving Points' will be directed to a central trust. These funds will then be used to support Street Support Outreach Staff, who will actively engage with individuals requesting money. The 'Diverted Giving' scheme will collaborate with local charities, starting with an initial partnership with The Oasis Partnership.
We hve recently met with the Anti-Social Behaviour Officer from Buckinghamshire Council regarding the town centre of High Wycombe. Our focus was primarily on exploring the ways in which Neighbourhood Watch could actively address various concerns, including drug dealing, public drinking, and aggressive begging. The meeting proved to be immensely valuable and purposeful.
Learn more about prevention and other crimes by joining Neighbourhood Watch!
As the public continue to protect their homes and property against crime identity theft is becoming more of a potentially serious crime. As a victim of identity fraud, you might not realise you’ve been targeted until a bill arrives for something you didn’t buy, or you experience problems with your credit rating.
Identity theft is when a person’s personal details are stolen and used to commit crime.The most common types of identity fraud involve the use of compromised credit and debit card details.
Identity thieves can steal your personal information in a number of ways: going through your post or rubbish to find bank and credit card statements or tax information; from your wallet or purse by taking a driving licence, credit or bank cards or even while you shop. In some cases, fraudsters may even ‘skim’ your credit card information when you make a purchase, leading to card cloning or card-not-present fraud.
Your identity details are then used to open a bank account, obtain credit cards, loans and state benefits, order goods in your name or take out a mobile phone contract. They can also obtain genuine documents, such as passports and driving licences, in your name.
Here are a few steps you can take to minimise the possibility of this happening to you:
1) Protect mobile devices from access using face or finger print recognition if possile.
2) Use complex passwords throughout.
3) Try to avoid using public wi-fi for certain types of transactions such as mobile banking.
4) Shred. Shred. Shred. Never throw any paperwork away that will identify you as an individual. This includes simple letters etc containing your name and address.
5) Check credit reports using Experian.
6) If you know of someone with an external letter box from which papers can be taken easily suggest they change it. One company in Aylesbury markets secure letter boxes www.letterbox4you.co.uk but there are others.
7)Don’t post any pictures showing your car number plate as this could be used to illicitly obtain your address from DVLA records.
8)A bank will never ask for your Pin, either over the phone or via email.
9)You can buy Card Defenders (£3 and £4)from us to avoid your cards being skimmed.
Learn more about preventing this and other crimes by joining Neighbourhood Watch!
SPOTTING ROMANCE FRAUD
Generally, the scam starts with an initial contact by the scammer. Their profile picture is very attractive. It’s common for scammers to use stolen photographs of beautiful people. You can check whether someone’s profile picture is associated with anyone else by accessing the website in Google Chrome, right-clicking on the picture and then clicking ‘Search Google for image’.
The scammer asks you a lot of questions about yourself. This is because the more information they know about you, the easier you will be to manipulate.
The discussion is friendly at first but turns romantic very quickly.
Eventually, the scammer asks you to lend them money. They use any number of reasons: they need help to pay for the flight or other transport to meet you, medical care or they have a great business or investment opportunity that could benefit both of your futures.
PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM ROMANCE FRAUD
Just because there are some mean, dishonest people out there doesn’t mean you have to stop using dating sites altogether. If you’re using social media sites like Facebook, don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
Don’t give away too many personal details about yourself online. Revealing your full name, date of birth and home address could lead to your identity being stolen.
NEVER send or receive money or give away your bank details to someone you’ve only met online. If anyone asks for your financial details stop communicating with them immediately and report them to the dating site.
Use reputable dating sites. Fraudsters will want you to quickly switch to using text messages, social media or telephone so there is no evidence on the dating site of them asking you for money, so keep communicating through the dating site messaging service.
Learn more about preventing this and other crimes by joining Neighbourhood Watch!
I can hear you knocking, but you can’t come in!
Beware of Nottingham Knockers! If you come across them, let the police know as soon as possible.
Nottingham Knockers are a pretty unsavoury bunch. Whilst presenting outward appearances of respectability, they are unscrupulous and tend to target the elderly and the vulnerable.
They get their tag name because traditionally they travel to their target areas from the East Midlands by mini-bus or van, accompanied by a team leader. Usually, they go from door-to-door selling cleaning materials and small household goods.
Some of them are honest and earn a living doing this, but the real aim of most of them is to assess houses and householders in order to pass information back to their leader, targeting particular properties for burglaries at a later date. It is understood that whoever spots a property for a subsequent successful burglary earns a commission. There is often a recognisable track record of burglaries following their calls – usually within a few weeks of their visit.
So, what happens when you hear that knock on your door? First, the ‘salesman’ will usually be offering cleaning materials, but these will be expensive. The salesman may try to gain your sympathy by saying the goods were made by a charity. He may also tell you that he is only doing the job while he seeks something better, or that he has just come out of prison and is making a genuine effort to go straight via probation scheme.
Legitimate door-to-door salesmen must have a Pedlar’s Certificate signed by a senior police officer. Our man just wouldn’t get one! He may produce some piece of dog-eared paper, but this will not be a Pedlar’s Certificate or anything to do with his supposed probation course. Tell him that you would like to make a note of it prior to checking with the police. He will probably leave very quickly! They often use quite abusive language when you don’t buy from them. Don’t be worried by this.
Always report these visitors to the police by phoning 101 or by using the Thames Valley Police website. They will appreciate the significance of your call, especially as these guys may be wanted for crimes elsewhere.
Learn more in preventing this and other crimes by joining Neighbourhood Watch!
Peace of mind whilst you’re away: Secure your home before you travel!
Everyone needs a holiday, but we want you to come home and find everything as you left it. Almost half of all burglaries happen when a home is left empty. By following the tips set out below you can help to make your home more secure while you are away. Why not tick them off before you go?
-Make sure your home looks occupied. Ideally, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to look after it. Let them have a spare set of keys, but don’t put your name or address on them.
-Don’t leave your curtains closed during the daytime, as this shows the house is empty.
-Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights on at dusk.
-Cancel any regular deliveries such as newspapers and milk.
-Cut the lawn before you go and trim back any plants that burglars could hide behind.
-Uncollected mail is a sign that you’re away. The Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ service will keep your mail for up to two months while you’re away.
-Avoid putting your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination. Put this only on the inside of your cases.
-Make sure that you have up-to-date contents and buildings insurance.
-Keep tools and ladders that can be used to break in locked away.
-If you aren't leaving your car at home, why not ask a neighbour or a friend to park their car on your drive.
-Don't publish your absence on the social media. Status updates, comments and photos can all give away that your home is empty.
-Is there a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme where you live? Visit www.ourwatch.org.uk and enter your postcode to check to see if there are any schemes set up in your area, or alternatively speak with us via our ‘office’ email address.
-Finally, don’t forget to lock all external doors and windows. If you’ve got a burglar alarm, make sure it is set.
-And just before you set off, it’s worth spending a couple minutes checking you’ve done all you had to do and taken everything you need with you. Don’t forget your passport and tickets!
NATIONAL NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
National Neighbourhood Watch has a monthly magazine "Our Watch". The May 2023 edition can be downloaded from this link: Our News May 2023