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Neighbourhood Watch

 

If you would like to hook into the new e-NHW network, or have any questions or comments please advise Steve Horner.   Contact details are:

Steve Horner      01460 234342      steve@horner.uk.com

Janice Evans      01460 234118       ejanice54@yahoo.co.uk

If you have information about any crime, phone the police on 101 or you can call anonymously to the independent charity CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111.   For general information about Neighbourhood Watch nationally see the www.urwatch.org.uk website.

If anyone is the victim of a crime, or even sees a suspicious incident, we would like to know as Neighbourhood Watch so that we can advise the other parishes on our network i.e. Churchstanton, Pitminster, Buckland St Mary, Corfe and Yarcombe. This very rarely happens and we do need your co-operation.   Thank you.

   

Beef up your security! Click to download details of some very useful security items available at reasonable prices from Somerset Police.   An order form is included.   Items can be picked up from your local police station.

     

Something gone missing? There is a quick and easy way to report lost property online - click here.    The ReportMyloss website allows people to log their lost item using an online form, which will register the item on a Police Approved, National Database.   Police all over the UK will be able to view  the database.

     

Nuisance calls, texts or emails?

Click for online advice.

 

 
     

Tool & Knife Sharpening Rogue Traders

Devon and Somerset Trading Standards have received reports which suggests rogue traders offering tool/knife sharpening are operating in the Devon area.   We would advise residents to exercise caution before agreeing to any work offered by unsolicited doorstep callers.   Work can often be of poor quality and cost more than first agreed.   If you need to have tools etc sharpened or any general maintenance works undertaken, take time to get three quotes from reputable businesses you trust and make your decision on who to use in your own time.   Get recommendations from family or trusted friends or via www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk.

If someone knocks on your door and you are not sure, don't open the door.   If you are concerned rogue traders are operating in your area, always report it.   If you are concerned someone is at risk, always call the Police.   Would recipients of Community Messaging make your elderly and vulnerable neighbours aware of this message.   Thank you.

www.devonsomersettradingstandards.gov.uk/consumers/rogue-traders-doorstep-crime/
 

Fake Bank Letter

This is a message sent via Devon and Cornwall Alert. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters.   The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.   The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine.   When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.   Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.

The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address.   On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre.   The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake.   The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks.

If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card.
To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

 

New 105 Phone Service

This document includes information on a new service launched in September 2016 - the national 105 number to ring regarding Power Cuts.

This new service enables people to ring 105 to get information on Power Cuts in their area or to report welfare concerns in the face of power interruption.

Theft From Vehicle In Yarcombe

June 27th 2016: This message relates to Crime ref 42975/16.    Police received a report of theft from a vehicle parked in the car park at a Nature Reserve in Yarcombe in Honiton.   A window was smashed and a handbag stolen.   Drivers are reminded to remove all items of value from vehicles before leaving them unattended.   Thank you.
 

Lottery Scam

May 2016: Police have received a report of a letter purporting to be from The People's Postcode Lottery.   A letter sent to a resident in Torrington told of them winning an substantial amount and gave serial numbers to tickets bearing their name and giving contact details.   If you are a member of The Peoples Postcode Lottery, do not be fooled.   If you receive such a letter, there are indications on the letter that do show it is a scam.   Do not ring any of the numbers given on the letter or give any personal, banking or card details.   If you are unsure as to the authenticity to letters of this nature, go to your local Police Station for assistance in confirming a scam. Thank you.
 

Dodgy Tarmac Operators

April 2016: Police have received two reports of males offering to tarmac driveways in the Woodbury Salterton area on 27th and 28th April.   Two males dressed in high visibility clothing state they are working for the Council and have spare materials and offer to tarmac driveways.   The males will only take cash for the shoddy work and have escorted one victim to the bank for payment.   No quotes or paper work were supplied to the victims and excessive sums are charged for very poor quality work.   These males are driving a grey Nissan Nivara pickup, registration number FN65FWZ.   Please have nothing to do with these males and look out for neighbours who may be approached.   If you have a call from these males please contact the Police straightaway quoting Log No. 319 of 28th April 2016. Thank you.

 

Royal Mail Scam Email


Feb 2016:   Fraudsters are sending out virus infected emails that claim a package has been seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom.   The official looking scam emails claiming to be from Royal Mail contain a link to a document which will install malicious software on your computer designed to steal credentials like account names, email addresses and passwords.

An example email reads:

 

Title: Your parcel has been seized.

Royal Mail is sorry to inform you that a package addressed to you was seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom.   A close inspection deemed your items as counterfeit and the manufacturers have been notified.   If your items are declared genuine then they will be returned back to you with the appropriate custom charges.   You may have been a victim of counterfeit merchandise and the RM Group UK will notify you on how to get your money back.    Please review the attached PDF document for more information.

Document (RM7002137GB).Zip

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

 

To help the spread of the virus, the email also says: “you will need to have access to a computer to download and open the Zip file”.   If you receive one of these emails, do not click on any links or download any attachments and report it to Action Fraud.

Protect Yourself:

  Royal Mail will never send an email asking for credit card numbers or other personal or confidential information.

Royal Mail will never ask customers to enter information on a page that isn’t part of the Royal Mail website.

Royal Mail will never include attachments unless the email was solicited by a customer e.g. customer has contacted Royal Mail with an enquiry or has signed up for updates from Royal Mail.

Royal Mail have also stressed that they do not receive a person’s email address as part of any home shopping experience.

 If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online or by telephone: 0300 123 2040

 

 

Burglar Alarm Scam

January 2016:  An elderly resident of Marsh has received a call from a Burglar Alarm company who claimed to be working on behalf of the Yarcombe Parish Council,  carrying out surveys of properties for the installation of Burglar Alarms.   On enquiry she was told the cost was £99.00 per survey.   No such arrangement has been made with the Council and you are advised to terminate any such call.

 

Theft of Gas Cylinders

Police received a report of the theft of Orange Calor Gas Cylinders from Farleigh Trinity Field on Old Chard Road in the Monkton areas of Honiton. 
Heavy chain link fencing was cut for access between 1900-2200hrs on Thursday 14th January 2016, a white transit was seen in the area between these times.   Rural property owners are asked to be aware of this incident and be vigilant.   Report any suspicious activity you see to police, dialling 999 if offenders are still in the area at the time of your call, trying to note any vehicle description and registration. Thank you

 

Bogus Electrical Websites

Check the authenticity of websites before making any purchases on electrical goods and domestic appliances especially if the price is well below the retail price.   Conduct a 'who is' search of the website.   Check the Trusted Shops facebook page.



Surprise gifts or packages from couriers

 
You may receive a telephone call from scammers advising you that a package is being delivered via a courier and requires your signature.   By very wary of accepting any surprise gifts or packages from couriers which you neither expected or personally ordered especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift.   Never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.   You may be advised by the courier that a payment is due and that they only accept payment via credit or debit cards.   Using their hand held device will give them your card details and your PIN number enabling them to use your data at ATM machines.

 

Scam re EU Grants

Farmers are being warned to be extremely wary of any suspicious calls, texts or emails as fraudsters specifically target the agricultural sector when EU grants begin to arrive in bank accounts this month.   From December farmers start to receive funds from the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).   Information about these payments is publically available meaning criminals are able to target directly victims and make their approaches appear more convincing.   Be very wary of any phone calls, texts or emails asking for personal or financial information or to transfer money to another account.   If you receive such a call hang up, wait 5 minutes and ring your bank to alert them of this scam using a phone number that you trust.   Never disclose your 4 digit card PIN to anyone including the bank or police.   Never disclose your password or online banking codes.   Never disclose personal details unless you are certain you know who you are talking to.
 

Fraud in Honiton

Police are asking the public to remain alert to a new type of fraud occurring in the area.   This follows an incident in the car park of Lidls on Wednesday 25th November 2015 where a gentleman was scammed out of £250.

The male suspect is described as Italian, quite tall and with black hair.   He has a pronounced nose and jaw and thick rimmed glasses, and was wearing a dark grey jacket and tan coloured shoes.   The male was driving a black car.

The offender will ask the victim to come and help them with directions, usually to a nearby airport, and in return will offer 'gifts' of items of clothing from the back of his car.   These items are believed to be counterfeit goods.   The offender will then persuade the victim that they need to give him money for these 'gifts' and will often use 'confidence trickster' techniques to either fool or pressure victims into handing over the cash.   This follows a previous report where a lone gentleman was also targeted near Turks Head on Wednesday 18th November.

If anyone is approached by a male matching this description Police advise them not to engage and call 101 if you feel pressured or the situation is suspicious.   Victims of fraud are urged to log a report with Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk.

 

Financial Phone Scam

Devon and Cornwall Police have received reports relating to a professionally run national scam.   This has led to many vulnerable people, who are often elderly, being ruthlessly defrauded out of thousands of pounds.   There have been a considerable number of victims nationwide, including many locally in the Devon and Cornwall area.   The average age of victim appears to be 70 years old, with losses ranging between £4,000 - £100,000+.

The offenders call unsuspecting victims pretending to be an official body, such as the police or bank.   At present the common theme is for the caller to claim to be a Metropolitan police detective.   The offenders then convince the victim that there has been some form of fraudulent activity with their bank account.   They sometimes claim to have someone in police custody who was found with the victims bank details, or that their account has, or is being used, to withdraw substantial sums of money.   The caller requests bank account details, PIN numbers and other details as a matter of urgency to prevent further substantial losses.

The caller often invites the victim to hang up the phone and call their bank or local police to confirm events.   What the victim is unaware of is that the caller has maintained an open phone line, so on re-dialling the victim is actually connected to and conversing with the same offenders throughout the whole process.   Once having attained all bank details the caller eventually tries to convince the victim to package their bank cards, seal them in an envelope and wait for a courier to arrive and collect.   On occasion the caller also convinces the victim to visit their bank and withdraw substantial sums of cash from their accounts and await further instructions, usually involving a courier as described.   The offenders sound professional, use decoding electronic devices as part of the process and even have automated messages and background music if on hold; it is a sophisticated and well planned operation which gives the impression of being genuine.

If you believe a member of the public is in the process of being defrauded or has been the victim of this type of incident, please contact Devon and Cornwall Police on 101 immediately.

 

Help Trace This Man

This message relates to Crime Reference 75188/15.   Police are trying to locate the owner of a black 4 door saloon car with a broken driver side wing mirror which was described as hanging off.   The driver was described as having grey hair worn in a pony tail and wanted in connection with an offence that took place in the Seaton area on Thursday 29th October 2015.

Anyone recognising this vehicle and its owner is asked to call the 101 no: email: 101@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting crime ref 75188/15.

 

Theft from shed in Chard
 

Overnight between the 31st of October and the 1st of November 2015, unknown persons have entered a shed at Buckland St.Mary, Chard and have removed items from within including a chain saw and loppers.

 

Heating oil theft
 

Look after your Heating Oil!   Theft of heating oil has been an issue for rural areas for some time, but it can be a particular problem at this time of year as home owners get their supplies for the winter months.   Coupled with rises in the cost of fuel; oil has become a much more attractive target for thieves.

Consider the position of the tank; can it be viewed easily from the house?   If it is close to a road or pathway it is more at risk.   Think about using prickly, thorny plants to hide the tank from view, traces of blood or ripped clothing may help to identify the offender.

Be aware of oil levels and check them regularly.   Remote oil level gauge alarms are available and cost between £60 and £95; they will set off an audible alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full.   Update: unfortunately the Bobby Scheme no longer fit Heating Oil Alarms as part of their range.   Please see details below regarding companies that supply alarms.

Use good quality padlocks and lockable fuel caps.   A thief will not want to spend a long time trying to attack your tank.   Look for closed shackle padlocks, as they will be more difficult to break.   Look for quality marks and attack tested products ( see www.soldsecure.com )

If you have a plastic tank, consider screening it with a barrier.   According to OFTEC advice any screening hedge or trellis must be spaced 600mm from the tank or 760mm if it is part of a boundary and no fire barrier is erected.   Alternative options include a metal cage or grill with lockable access point across the top.   A specialist product called ‘Tank guard’ surrounds the tank with a metal enclosure; the sheet metal enclosure has lockable access doors, to allow filling and maintenance plus internal anchorage points fixing it to the concrete base.   A tank guard costs less than one tank full of oil and will last many years.

CCTV may help to deter thieves if there is very little natural surveillance.   Before you spend money on equipment make an assessment of your needs.

If you have outside security lighting, ensure that the system works and that the light sensors have been adjusted correctly to detect movement. 
Deter thieves from entering your property by using good perimeter security such as good fencing and strong lockable gates.   Maintain boundaries and perimeter fencing/ hedges.

Be vigilant by noting unusual / out of place vehicle registration numbers, and report suspicious activity to the Police.
OFTEC also offer advice and guidance to those using and storing oil. Contact www.oftec.org

Fuel Tank Alarms
www.commandersecurities.co.uk  Tank Commander alarm (Secure by Design approved)
www.check-my-tank.com  Fuel tank alarm
www.bundedtanks-shop.com  Range of fuel tank alarms
www.commercialfuelsolutions.co.uk  Watchman fuel tank alarm
www.fueltankprotection.com  Fuel tank alarm

 

Police Spam Email


There is an email in circulation that appears to have been sent from a legitimate Lancashire Constabulary email address.   The email appears to come from ‘Lyn Whitehead’ and is asking the recipient to pay an invoice that is attached to the email.

The email has not been generated from inside the Constabulary or by the Constabulary.   This email has not been sent from Lancashire Constabulary.  A third party supplier to the Constabulary has had their data breached, as a result of the breach this Lancashire Constabulary email address has been spoofed and used to generate spam to recipients far and wide.

This type of email is commonly referred to as spam, and if you have received it you MUST NOT open it.   Instead delete it from your email system to avoid infecting your device.

Protect Yourself:

* Do not click or open unfamiliar links in emails or on websites
* Make sure you install and use up-to-date anti-virus software
* Have a pop-up blocker running in the background of your web browser
* If you have opened the attachment and ‘enabled macros’ it is very likely that all your personal data will have been breached.   You MUST change all your passwords for personal accounts, including your bank accounts.

If you believe you have become a victim of this get your device checked over by a professional.

If you think you have been a victim of this type of email you should report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, actionfraud.police.uk

If you do make a report please provide as much detail as you can about the email and any effects it has had on your computer.  Additionally if your Anti-Virus software detects any issues in relation to this email please provide us with the details.

More information can be found on Lancashire Constabulary website, lancashire.police.uk/news/2015/october/email-virus-alert.aspx  and cyberstreetwise.com/common-scams.

 

Council Tax Scam

Fraudsters have been phoning victims telling them that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and are entitled to a rebate.   They normally say that this rebate should be worth about £7,000.   Once the victim is convinced, the fraudster tells them that in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay an administration fee in advance.   The payment they ask for varies between £60 and £350.   The victim provides the details and makes the payment, but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to on the phone.   When they phone their council about the rebate and the fact that they are in the wrong tax bracket, the council will confirm that they know nothing about it and that they have been contacted by fraudsters.

The fraudsters have mainly been targeting both male and female victims who are aged 60 and over and live in the Sussex area, but it is likely that the fraudsters will also start to target victims in other areas.

Protect Yourself:

* Never respond to unsolicited phone calls.
* Your local council won’t ever phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate.   If you receive a call of this nature, put the phone down straightaway.
* No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advanced fee in order to receive money, so never give them your card details.
* If you think you have been a victim of fraud, hang up the phone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open.   Then call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud. Where it is possible use a different phone line to make the phone call.
   

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

 

Doorstep Crime and Rogue Traders

It is important to know your rights and to raise awareness of this issue.

You have a right to cancel a contract you’ve entered into at home.   Traders must give a consumer a ‘Notice of Right to Cancel’ which allows the consumer a cooling off period of 14 days.

You must also be given written information on how to cancel a contract.   This must contain information on your rights to cancel and is relevant to any contract that you take up in your home over the value of £35.00.

You can cancel a contract after work has started, but only if you are still within the cancellation period.   (This is if you have agreed with the trader to start works before the end of the 14 days cooling off period.   The trader must get the consumer’s written agreement on this early start).

Q: If you spot a couple of men /women up a ladder on your elderly neighbour’s roof, what should you do?
A: Never ignore it. You should speak to your neighbour - and check they are happy with the situation.   It’s good advice to make a note of the description of the workers and their vehicles.

If you have any suspicions or are concerned about door-to-door callers, please call the Police on 101.   If you think a crime is in progress always call 999.

Did you also know:

A trader breaks the law if they visit your home and refuse to leave when requested to do so.
Claiming a product is available for a limited time to pressure a sale, is illegal.
Inaccurately claiming you are at risk if you don’t buy the goods, is illegal.

 

Suspicious Activity

On the evening of Saturday 26th September 2015 a new white BMW 5 series car with blacked out rear windows was seen acting suspiciously in Farringdon.   The male driver was stopping and looking in all the field gateways between Farringdon Church and Farringdon Cross.   We would ask residents to report any further suspicious activity to the police immediately; and ask Farmers and Land Owners to check their gateway security.

 

Parcel Mule Alert

September 2015: People are being targeted to become “Parcel Mules” as part of a reshipping scam, which results in them handling stolen goods and losing out financially.

Victims are predominantly recruited through job advertisements and dating websites.   They are persuaded to have items delivered to their addresses, and to pay for postage before sending the items elsewhere.   Victims are contacted through Freelancer websites and invited to become a “Freight Forwarder” as an employment opportunity.   The work is advertised as processing packages and forwarding them to clients.

The items being delivered have been purchased through fraudulent means, including the use of stolen/fraudulently obtained cards.   The items being delivered are often pieces of electrical equipment or high value goods such as trainers, perfume and the latest phones.

If you act as a “mule” you are not only handling stolen goods, but also losing out financially.   You will not get paid the promised salary and you pay for the postage and delivery of the packages personally.   Additionally, you will have provided enough of your personal details to allow identity theft to occur.

How To Protect Yourself:

* Do not agree to receive packages at your address for someone that you do not know and trust.
* Be cautious of unsolicited job offers or opportunities to make easy money.
* When accepting a job offer, verify the company details provided to you and check whether they have been registered in the UK.
* Be wary of someone that you have met only online who asks you to send money or to receive items.   Protect your privacy and do not give your personal details to someone that you do not know and trust.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
 

Assault in Honiton

Police in Honiton are investigating an assault that occurred around 03:30 to 04:00 hours on Sunday 30th August 2015, on Kings Road in Honiton leaving the victim requiring surgery.   The victim was walking down the hill towards the High Street when a vehicle approached him on the opposite side of the road.   The vehicle was travelling uphill away from town - towards Axminster.   Police are investigating the possibility that the victim was injured by an air weapon pellet or 'bb' gun pellet.   The vehicle seen in the area at the time was described as a dark blue or purple colour with blacked out windows, the same length as an estate car - but taller.

Police are appealing to anyone who has any knowledge or information regarding the assault or similar vehicle, to please contact them on the 101 no: or email 101@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk quoting Police Log 697 30/08/15, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

 

Pets (Puppies) For Sale Alert

Aug 2015: Action Fraud has noticed a rise in reports concerning the purchase of pets, in particular puppies, advertised for sale via popular online auction websites.   The fraudsters will place an advert of the pet for sale, claiming to have recently moved abroad and the need to re-home the puppies.    Once a sale is agreed and payment is made, usually by money transfer or bank transfer, the pet does not materialise.   The fraudster will usually ask for further advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees or vet bills.

Protect yourself:

* Stay within the auction guidelines. Be wary of paying fees via a Money Service Bureau, such as MoneyGram and Western Union.
* Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller; for example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated with this number online.
* Request details of the courier company being used and conduct enquiries regarding the company.
* Agree a suitable time to meet face to face to agree the purchase.
* Be wary.   If you think the purchase price is too good to be true then this is probably an indication that it is!

 

Avoid Being A Victim Of Bogus Websites

Fraudsters have created a high specification website template advertising flat screen televisions for sale which are below market value and do not exist.   Payment is being requested via bank transfer and will offer no protection to the consumer when the television does not arrive.

Protect yourself:

* Payments made via bank transfer are not protected should you not receive the item.
* Always make payment via a credit card or PayPal where you have some avenue of recompense should you not receive your product.
* Conduct some online research on the website, company name and business address to identify any poor feedback or irregularities.
* Check the authenticity of websites before making any purchases.   A ”whois” search on the website will identify when the website has been created, so be wary of newly formed domains.   This search can be conducted here.
* If the item advertised seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

 

Theft of Ride-on Lawnmowers

August 2015:  Somerset is experiencing an increase in thefts of ride on lawnmowers.   In most cases they are being stolen from secure sheds and barns.   We are advising owners to check and review their security - upgrade locks to those with 'Sold Secure' approval.   Be sure to mark your mowers with an approved marking system and to register them with Immobilise.com.   Call 101 to report any suspicious activity and check with any neighbours, who you know have ride on lawnmowers, who may not get this message.

 

Attempted Break-In

We have been informed about an attempted break-in in Dommett, Buckland St Mary, at 12.30am today, 11 August 2015.   Fortunately it triggered an alarm which was investigated along with large barking dog by which time the would be thieves had fled.   Other than a jemmied hasp & clasp nothing appeared to have been taken.   Tyre tracks in the field indicated they came in a 4x4 with a trailer.   A new heavier duty hasp & clasp is now bolted to the door and the field gate is chained and padlocked.

The police would like to ask everyone to keep an eye out for two suspicious vehicles, one with a trailer, which may or may not be related to the above.   One is a large black pickup and the other a black Range Rover with tinted glass.   The latter was possibly seen driving very slowly past the properties at the top of Dommett a couple of months ago.   If you have any information on these vehicles please let PC Brown 4769 know at Chard Police Station.

 

Rental Fraud in Student Accommodation Alert

Seasonal rental fraud is an emerging trend with students looking for suitable accommodation around August, before the start of the new term.

Fraudsters use a variety of websites to advertise available properties to rent, often at attractive rates and convenient locations.   Adverts will seem genuine, accompanied by a number of photos and contact information to discuss your interest.

Due to demand, students will often agree to pay upfront fees to secure the property quickly, without viewing the property, only to discover that the fraudster posing as the landlord does not have ownership of the property, or often there are already tenants living there.

Protect Yourself:

* Only use reputable letting companies.
* Do some online research such as using Google maps to check the property does exist.
* Make an appointment to view the property in person.
* Always view the property prior to paying any advance fees.
* Look out for warning signs, such as landlords requesting a ‘holding deposit’ due to the property being in high demand.
* A landlord will usually conduct some due diligence on any successful applicant.   Be wary of handing over cash without the landlord requesting employment or character references.

 

Beware of Distraction Thefts

Police have received numerous reports across the Devon and Cornwall area regarding distraction thefts which have occurred in supermarket car parks.   We believe Asian males are targeting lone females engaging them in conversation asking for directions to specific locations.   Having been distracted an accomplice enters the victims car and steals cash or bank cards.   Please lock your cars and keep all valuables and handbags with you if leaving your motor vehicle unattended even for a short time.   We ask you to be vigilant.   If you see any suspicious activity contact the Police immediately noting if you can descriptions of the offenders or registration numbers of vehicles used. Thank you.

 

Rio 2016 Olympics Lottery Scam


July 2015:   This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales).   This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau).   The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has received intelligence regarding two new Lottery Fraud letters/email attachments (Scam 1 & Scam 2) using the 2016 Rio Olympics as a theme.

The scams try to trick people into believing they have won the following:

Scam 1: An online lottery prize of £650,000 and a trip to Brazil to watch the Olympics as the recipient’s email address was chosen out of a possible ten million at random.

Scam 2: An online lottery prize of £820,000 and a trip to Brazil to watch the Rio Carnival and the Olympics as the recipient’s winning numbers 8 17 34 38 42 and 51 were selected.

In order to collect the winnings the recipient is requested to contact:

  Scam 1:
Mr Dima Robert
MillMan Street, WC1N 3JB. London A5200.
Tel: +447035973561
Email: RioOlympics2016@represnetative.com
Scam 2:
‘UK Pay out Officer’
Email: paymaster-office@bol.co.br
+44 7937428753

Protect yourself from lottery fraud:   Never respond to any such communication.   If you have not entered a lottery then you cannot have won it.
Official lotteries in other countries operate in much the same way as the UK’s National Lotto.   No official lotteries that we know of contact people to tell them of their win.   We do not know of any official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings - any request for a fee payment is a good indication that someone is trying to defraud you.   Never disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance.   If they have provided an email address to respond to, be very suspicious of addresses such as @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com or numbers beginning with 07 because these are free to get hold of.   Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity.   If they ask you to keep your win a secret, it is likely to be a fraud.   Many fraudulent lotteries have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work.   If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

 

Wine Investment Fraud


July 2015: The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) wishes to remind investors that fraudsters are still active and are using various methods to dupe victims into investing in fine wine.   Whilst it might be easy to identify a fraudulent investment in non-existent fine wine, there is another tactic which is much harder to detect that relies on limited knowledge of the investor in this specific area.

In many cases, the fraud relates to the value of the wine as opposed to the existence of the wine.   Therefore, fraudsters will be able to prove to the victims that they have the wine in stock, however the wine in stock will be significantly cheaper than the inflated price the fraudsters ask the victims to pay.   Whilst it may look like a ‘real deal’, the dramatically inflated prices make the promise of any returns unrealistic.   Assessments of reports show that fraudsters charge victims an average of 47% more than the comparative market values at the time of sale.   The brokers who typically cold call victims boast that an increasing market in China will guarantee tax free profits.   When questioned about risk, fraudsters will convincingly say that it is “extremely low”.

How to protect yourself against investment fraud:

If you’re considering any type of investment, always remember: if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.   High returns can only be achieved with high risk.   If you get a call out of the blue, be wary; if in doubt don’t be polite, just hang up.   Take the time to seek independent legal or financial advice before making a decision.   Always check the credentials of the company you’re dealing with.   Check for known fraudulent organisations at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online or by telephoning 0300 123 2040.

 

Guard Your Properties

Devon and Cornwall Police would like to remind residents to be sure that you secure your properties during the summer months.   This includes making sure that vehicles are kept locked and that windows and doors are secure.   Even if you are still present at your address your property could still be vulnerable.   When having BBQs and leisure time in the garden ensure that the front of your house and garages are securely closed and locked.   Please do not make yourself an easy target for the opportunist thief.   Thank you.

 

Another Prize Money Scam

June 2015: People are being approached by letter and by telephone informing them they have won a large sum of money.   They are then being asked to pay either monies for "insurance" purposes or as "release fees" to get the prize money released.

There is no prize money and this is a variation on previous attempted frauds.   Residents are advised not to make payments and not to provide any personal information or banking details.   Refer any such attempts to the Police or Trading Standards.   Thank you
 

 

Royal Mail Email Scam

June 2015: A scam email is currently being sent to victims fraudulently claiming to be from the Royal Mail.   Attached to the email is the CryptoLocker virus.

The victim receives an email purporting to be from the Royal Mail stating that they are holding a parcel/letter for the victim.   The victim is then required to contact the Royal Mail to arrange for the item to be resent/collected.   By following the instructions within the email the CryptoLocker virus is subsequently downloaded to the victim’s computer.   This virus encrypts files on the victim’s system and requests a ransom be paid in order for the files to be decrypted.   Additional incentive is added for early repayment as the ransomware states that the cost of decrypting the files will increase the longer the fine is outstanding.

Protect yourself:

* Look at who the email is addressed to.   Is it generic or specifically addressed?
* Look at the quality of the images included on the email.   Are they of sufficient high quality that they could come from Royal Mail?
* Do not open attachments from unsolicited emails regardless of who they are from.
* Do not click on the link supplied.   Instead, go to the relevant website and log in from there.
* Check the address of any email received to see if it appears legitimate.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

 

Axminster Theft

Police have received a report of burglary and theft from a shed at a farm on Lyme Road in Axminster.   A red diesel tank lock in the shed was forced and fuel completely drained from the tank between 1300-1730hrs on Wednesday 17th June 2015.   Farms are asked to be aware of this incident and be vigilant, report any suspicious activity you may see, trying to note make models, colour and registration of any vehicles seen.   If you are able to offer information regarding this burglary and theft please call the 101 no: quoting crime ref 24077/15

 

Sheep Stolen

June 2015: Over the last few weeks Avon and Somerset Police have experienced large amounts of sheep being stolen from fields in the Highbridge, South Petherton and Langport areas of Somerset.   A cattle Lorry was stolen but was later found burnt out, an Ivor Williams 12ft Trailer DD12 complete with sheep decks has been stolen in the Somerset area and is believed being used in the theft of sheep.   Farms are asked to be aware of these incidents and check your livestock on a regular basis.

Anyone able to offer information regarding the thefts or whereabouts of the sheep and trailer is asked to please contact PC/4783/Karen Pattison at Chard Police Station 01823 363913.

Crimestoppers Scam


June 2015: Crimestoppers has been alerted to a group of scammers who have 'hijacked' the 0800 555 111 number.   The scammers are calling people, saying they are "Crimestoppers at the Home Office" and directing them to the website to clarify the number and asking for personal information like bank details.

Crimestoppers has never, and will never, make cold calls to members of the public asking for any personal details.   If you receive from someone asking for personal information and claiming to be from Crimestoppers, please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.   Roger Critchell, Director of Operations for Crimestoppers, is currently talking to their phone service provider to attempt to resolve the situation and hope this can be rectified as quickly as possible.   "People can still call the 0800 555 111 to pass on anonymous information about crime, but we wanted to make sure people are aware that Crimestoppers will never, ever contact members of the public asking for personal details.   Please do not hand offer any personal information from cold callers claiming to be Crimestoppers".   Thank you.

 

Deer Scam

There is a scam going around the area, where a vehicle pulls into your yard and the driver asks if he could have permission to cull an RTA injured Deer. But once on your land and with permission they will target healthy deer. For one thing all land has to be registered to the person doing the shooting unless they have an open licence; the other is that all RTAs should be reported to the Police so they would be the ones to bring in a Wildlife Officer to dispatch the victim. Please spread the word to other land owners you know and if possible if it happens to you get their vehicle reg and/or ring 101.
 

Rogue Traders


May 6th 2015: Trading Standards have received a number of complaints about unsolicited visits from doorstep traders offering gardening, building and driveway works.   These complaints often mention poor quality work, excessive costs, and even sometimes elderly people being driven to the bank to withdraw cash.   By law, doorstep traders have to give you written information before you agree to a contract - including their name and address, how much the work will cost and how long it will take to complete.   They also have to give you a written notice telling you about your right to a 14 day cooling off period - although you can decide to have work done during this period, if you want to.

Trading Standards always advise not to enter into contracts with unsolicited visitors to your home.   Take your time and always get 3 quotes for any work that you want to be done.   Always get a second opinion if you are told by an unsolicited visitor that you need work doing to your home.   If you want advice, details of approved traders, or to complain about a doorstep trader, please call Citizens Advice on 03454 040506. If you feel threatened by a doorstep caller, contact the police.
 

Rave Watch

April 27th 2015: Police are asking residents in rural areas to look out for any signs of a rave taking place as they believe they are likely to take place at this time of year.   They are asking for farmers and rural residents to be vigilant and report any signs of people gathering or setting up equipment for such an event as early information is vital.   Suitable sites are isolated buildings and fields or flat areas of hard standing.   24 hour filling stations are asked to notify police if they notice increased numbers of people filling up petrol cans.   Please contact the Police on 101 or by e-mail if you have any information.
 

Tractor Stolen

A blue Ford tractor, with a loader on the front and links box on the rear was stolen around half past five today from the edge of Crewkerne: HAA548K - BLUE FORD 5000 TRACTOR. Please make sure vehicles are secure at all times. Any sightings please call 101 quoting Log no 763 of April 26th 2015.

 

Pension Changes in April 2015:  Avoid The Fraudulent Investment Risks

HMRC have advised that from April 2015, people over the age of 55 will be given the flexibility of taking a number of smaller lump sum pension pots.   25% of the sum will be tax-free, with the remaining pension fund charged at marginal rate of income tax.

If you take out money from your pension fund before the age of 55, the normal tax rules apply.   We are concerned that fraudsters will take advantage of these rule changes by offering to invest pensions on the victim’s behalf.   Be very wary of such offers.

Avoid losing your hard-earned cash:   Do not invest with companies which cold call you, offering extremely high returns.   If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.   Seek financial advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau, who work alongside the Treasury delivering the ‘Pension Wise’ service.
Further information can be found here.   If you wish to invest your savings in a company, please ensure you seek advice from an FCA registered and authorised advisor.   Be aware of callers offering a free pension review service by phone call, email and text message and do not invest in unregulated markets such as overseas property developments, storage units or forestry.

 

House Sign Removed / Stolen

Someone, or rather a mindless vandal, has removed/stolen the The Old Vicarage house sign from the roadside in front of a property in Yarcombe.   The lettering is black on a white background and measures about 24 ins x 18 ins, with a distinctive font as shown.   It disappeared last Saturday night - 14 March 2015.

If anyone spots it laying in a field/roadside, please notify myself or the owner (if you know them), they would be most grateful.   The same thing happened sometime ago and it turned up at Raymonds Hill in a front garden!

 

 

Somerset sheep rustling investigated

Officers are investigating the rustling of 200 in-lamb sheep from a field at Ash, near Martock, on Friday night, 6th February 2015. They were all ear-tagged and marked a large red patch on their backs, as well as an orange one on a front shoulder. The sheep were all North Country Mules. A stolen vehicle used to transport them has been recovered in Ilford, near Ilminster, after it was torched. A V registration Leyland Daf box van, cream in colour, was stolen on the same night from a business at Broadshard near Crewkerne, probably about 11.30pm. This may also be connected with a Long Sutton farm burglary on Thursday in which sheep feed, lambing equipment and hurdles were taken. It happened between 2am and 10pm in the Knightlands Lane area. WPC Rowan Hawkins from the Rural Crime Team said: "Stealing a flock of ewes due to give birth soon is a devastating crime for a farmer, and it appears to be linked to two other burglaries in South Somerset. To take such a large number of animals is a highly organised crime and will require access to suitable facilities. I appeal to the farming community for anyone with any information which can assist in this investigation to come forward as soon as possible as we do have some lines of enquiry that we are following, and we also need to be mindful of the sheep’s welfare."   If you saw anyone acting suspiciously or any vehicles involved, or have any information which may help in the rustling investigation, please call us on 101 and quote reference 13272/15 for the lorry theft and/or 12751/15 for the farm burglary. If you wish to give information in strict confidence, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and they will pass it to us anonymously. Thank you.

 

Top Safety Tips To Help Avoid Job Scams


This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales).   This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau).   Get Safe Online, Safer Jobs and Action Fraud are warning people to take precautions whilst looking for jobs online, to avoid falling victim to scammers.

There are a number of different ways in which job-seekers could be defrauded.   These range from direct financial scams to misleading job descriptions.   Safer-Jobs, the recruitment industry’s counter fraud forum, provide free advice to ensure that people have a safer job search.   They suggest several steps which any other job-seeker should take when dealing with a potential employer:

 

* Never part with money – employers should pay you, not the other way round.   If asked to pay for security checks, visas, training, or anything else, you should research the job, the company, and never use any associated company suggested to you without conducting independent thorough research.
* Never take it on face value – have you received an "out of the blue", "too good to be true" job offer?   Be sceptical and ask questions.   Why and how have you been contacted, what is the job, did you apply?   Be wary of any non-business, generic email address (such as hotmail and yahoo), poorly written job adverts or job descriptions, and emails or contact at unusual times of the day (unless pre-arranged).
* Never do everything online – whilst technology is a great enabler to help people find work, at some point your job discussion should lead to an interview or a meeting.   Hiring agents who keep the relationship solely on email must be treated extremely cautiously.
* Never fail to do research – find out about the company that the job is with and do your research!   Check landline telephone numbers and call the end employer to check the job exists.   Use social media and sources such as Companies House and LinkedIn to dig deeper into the organisations and people you are interacting with.
* Never phone them for an interview – premium rate phone scams are common.  This is where an individual calls a pay-for number thinking it’s an interview, when actually they are paying for every minute they stay on hold.   If an employer wants you to work for them, they will call you.
* Never accept money for nothing – with money mule scams on the increase, beware of any employer promising "get rich quick" or "earn thousands working from home".    When cheques begin arriving it is easy to be fooled into being used as a money mule.
* Never provide personal details – be suspicious of any requests for personal data ahead of an interview or registration meeting (if an agency).   Until you have the job, keep bank details safe and only provide identity details once you have met face to face.

For more information click on the links above.

 

Supermarket Thefts

This message relates to Log no. 7 of 22nd January 2015.   Police are investigating reports of burglaries to supermarkets in the Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon areas where criminals have targeted petrol station kiosks, stealing tobacco and cigarettes.   It appears that the offenders steal wheelie bins to assist them in transporting these goods to a waiting vehicle.   Police are asking residents who live close to a supermarket to be extra vigilant, reporting any suspicious activity promptly to the Police.   Thank you.

 

Policing - Public Surgery 18th December 2014

Police & Crime Commissioner, Tony Hogg will be holding a public surgery for members of the public to attend in Honiton to discuss matters regarding policing in your local area and community issues. The public surgery will be held on Thursday 18 December from 12.30pm - 4.30pm at The Beehive Centre. Surgery slots are allocated on a first come first serve basis and are 20 minute sessions. To book a slot or to find out more please call 01392 225555, you can email opcc@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk or visit the www.devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk website and visit the events section. Please note bookings are closed 48 hours prior to the event. When booking a public surgery slot please be prepared to let us know your name, contact details and information on the topic you wish to discuss.

 

Taunton Thefts

Ref G0967:   During the early hours of 20 November the following incidents occurred at Poundisford, Taunton:

* 2 garden sheds at a property were broken into.   Nothing appears stolen.
* Garden shed broken into but nothing stolen.
* Outbuilding broken into.   Leaf blower, drill and other tools stolen.

If you have information about any crime, phone the police on 101 or you can call anonymously to the independent charity CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111. For general information about Neighbourhood Watch nationally see the www.ourwatch.org.uk website.

 

Telephone Scams

Beware of scam telephone cold calling, where the caller states that your bank account has been compromised and  that they are calling from the police or the bank and are able to provide you with details of a new "Safe" bank account.   The cold caller will then insist that funds be transferred into this account.   The Police will NEVER call you and ask for your bank card, PIN or cash.   Your Bank will NEVER call and ask you for your bank card, PIN or cash.   NEVER give or disclose your PIN no: or any other banking or personal details to anyone.   If you receive a call and suspect it is a scam - tell the caller you will be reporting it to the police.   Please report any incidents of this nature to the police via the 101 no, quoting Operation Fardel which is the Devon and Cornwall Police response to crime of this type.   We would ask recipients of Community messaging to make your more elderly and vulnerable neighbours aware of this message. Thank you.

The public are warned not to call an 0845 number offering a call-blocking service to stop unwanted sales calls.   The number used is 0845 1297936.    Please do not call the 0845 1297936 no.   Thank you.

 

Advice Regarding Burglaries


Now that the clocks have gone back and it is getting darker earlier, please take extra care to ensure that your home and belongings are safe. Although burglary in Devon and Cornwall is low compared to other areas of the country, the risk of this type of crime traditionally peaks at this time of year.   The majority of burglaries are caused by opportunists who steal from homes where windows are left open or doors are left either open or unlocked.   To avoid the consequences of becoming a victim of crime during this traditionally vulnerable time we would urge everyone to think about the risks and remain vigilant.   If you are going away, please notify your neighbour so that they can keep an eye on your property.   Also, please let your local Neighbourhood Policing Team know – you can do this either by email (the email address of your local team can be found through the Devon and Cornwall Police website at www.devon-cornwall.police.uk ), writing to your local police station or by phoning 101.   As well as your address details, please include the dates that you are away, a contact phone number and the details of any key holder or person looking after your property.

With the Christmas period also coming up, we advise householders to follow a few simple precautions to help reduce the chances of burglary:

* Keep your windows and doors secure at all times.   A third of burglars enter premises through an open door or window.
* Keep keys accessible but out of sight and in a safe place.   Don’t leave keys in locks especially near letterboxes or cat flaps (where burglars can get their hands through).
* Keep presents and valuables away from outside view. For example, avoid stockpiling large amounts of gifts under the tree too early.
* Fit a security light to the front and back of your property.
* Keep garages and sheds securely locked.
* Security mark gifts and valuables with your postcode and house number.   Register items using the free service: www.immobilise.com which enables police to identify the owner of valuables if they are stolen
* Dispose of all boxes and packaging carefully, particularly from expensive presents, and do not leave it on show outside the house.

Chris Bolsover
PCSO 30413
Sidmouth Rural Neighbourhood Beat Team
Sidmouth Police Station
Tel: 101

 

Copycat Websites


Copycat websites are those which offer services from central or local government, but are not the official site and charge an often substantial premium for those services, usually with no additional benefit to the customer.   They also have website addresses designed to confuse with the official site, and often feature a similar look and feel and brand design.   Be particularly careful if you are applying on-line for any of these:

  Passports.
  Holiday visas
  Birth and death certificates.
  Fishing licences.
  Driving licences.
  Driving tests.
  Car tax discs
  Congestion Charge.
  Tax returns
   European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC).

Now these websites are to come under the spotlight from Trading Standards as the government confirmed extra funding for them to help tackle these rogue traders.

 

Thefts at Ilminster

6th October 2014: Charity Boxes, cash, TVs and anything that can be sold has been taken from a shop opposite the Minster.   Also the Primary School was broken into and seriously damaged.   It is thought that the culprits are local and anything suspicious should be reported to the police.

 

Rough Terrain Vehicles Stolen

On Sunday 6th July 2014, two rough terrain vehicles and a boat trailer were stolen from the East Way area of Lee Mill in Devon, three offenders gained access to a yard by cutting a padlock.   It is believed that the offenders used a silver minivan to transport the trailer carrying one RTV whilst the other was hotwired.   The trailer has been recovered, but the two RTVs are still missing, owners with vehicles of this type are asked to be aware of this crime and be vigilant.   Police are keen to hear from anyone who has been offered an orange or a brown and green camo Kubota rough terrain vehicle since July, who may have CCTV footage or any other information which would assist ongoing enquiries to please contact the 101 number quoting crime ref 087631/14.

Livestock Stolen


We have received three recent reports of livestock thefts from the North Cornwall, Caradon and North Devon areas.   A large number of sheep and calves have been reported as stolen.  We ask farmers to be wary of this and carry out daily checks and counts on livestock.   Please report any suspicious vehicles seen, if possible take registration numbers, and phone 101 quoting CR/107264/14.

 

Telephone Scam

Police received a report from an elderly resident in Honiton saying they were contacted by phone in reference to money they were owed regarding Payment Protection Insurance or PPI.   They were told they were owed £5000 but needed to pay/send £299 by way of three UKASH PAYMENTS and given a number to call which was answered by a person with a foreign accent.   They paid the money but did not receive the £5000, but were contacted again asking for more payments totalling £1500.

Residents are advised not to give out any banking details, make payments or call any numbers given to them by people cold calling over the phone or at your door.   If you are called and told you are owed monies ask them who is calling and take their number, then put the phone down and speak with a family member or contact your local police station.   Anyone who has sent money by way of UKASH payments is asked to please contact ACTION FRAUD on the internet to report it, or contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team at your nearest Police Station and ask a family member or trusted neighbour to contact your phone provider to get your number changed.   As these calls are generally targeted at elderly and vulnerable people we would like to ask recipients of Community Messaging to make them aware of this message.  Thank you.

 

Note to Bee Keepers

Bee keepers are being warned of hive thefts and it is suggested that they are branded, possibly with a soldering gun.   At night, when the bees are inside, all you have to do is block off the entrance and ratchet strap the hive into one piece.   Even the parts for an empty hive costs well over £100 so there is a market for "second hand" items.

 

Landrover Stolen

This message relates to Log No. 49 of 12th September 2014.   Police have received a report of a vehicle being stolen from the Upottery area of Honiton. This occurred at approximately 0121hrs on 12th September.   The vehicle is a blue Landrover Defender pick-up registration number OY63OWC.   We believe the vehicle may have been left in the lanes somewhere to be collected later on.   Police ask residents to be vigilant.   If you are out and about today please have a look out for this vehicle a blue Landrover Defender pick-up OY63OWC. If you have any information please contact 101 quoting log no. 49 of 12th September 2014. Thank you.

 

Tractor Stolen


Some time between 1830hrs on Friday 29th August and 0800hrs on Saturday 30th August 2014 a tractor which had been left in a rural isolated field in the Yarcombe area was stolen. The tractor, an orange Allis Chalmers Model B, registration no. JTF 573 cannot be started so specialist heavy machinery or transport would have been needed to remove this tractor from the field. Police are keen to hear from anyone who might have seen this tractor being removed to please contact them on 101 quoting Crime no. 102414/14.


Metal Thefts


August 2014: There has been an increase in the number of metal thefts in the past week throughout the district. The thefts have taken place during the day where one or two males have turned up at a location asking for scrap metal but they then push their luck and try to take more than was agreed or wonder around having not been challenged looking for scrap.

If you have scrap metal dealers turn up at your business or home please be aware and keep an eye on them.   Anyone collecting scrap metal must be registered and have a licence from Somerset County Council to transport scrap metal.   Police Officers are happy to check these people out so if you see them operating in your area please call us on the 101 number.   If you suspect them of theft please use the 999 number. It is helpful for us if you can get a number plate and description of the person.
 

Foiling the phone scammer


We are reminding people to be careful of phone scammers after several reports of bogus callers claiming to be police or security companies.

There have several incidents in North Somerset and South Gloucestershire over the last month where residents received a call on their landline from someone purporting to be from either the police or a security company.   An elderly couple in Clevedon, North Somerset, received a call from a man claiming to be from "The Crime Reduction Unit of the police".   He was trying to persuade the couple to buy an alarm for £1.00 that would connect them to the local police and fire service.   He also wanted to make an appointment to visit their home. They weren't sure about the man so they hung up and told their neighbour, who alerted police.

In a similar vein, an elderly lady in South Gloucestershire was made aware of a potential scam after a friend received a call.   When she then got a phone call herself she was prepared.   She was called by a man who stated he was from a security company wanting to conduct a home survey. She asked for the proposal to be put in writing and for a letter to be sent with some literature to her so she could speak to her son, at which point the man put the phone down.

PC Fin Simmons from Avon and Somerset Police said: "I encourage people to take care when they received unsolicited calls from people.   The two ladies who received calls did exactly the right thing in trying to get the person to prove their identity.   Reputable companies or genuine callers will be happy to prove who they are and provide identification.

It's important to reiterate the more we talk about these scams, the more people are made aware of them the less likely they are to become victims.   Please spread the word to your relatives, neighbours, colleagues and friends, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable.   If you are unsure of anyone asking you for details, we would advise you to be overly cautious.   There are some simple but effective measures people can take to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of these scams.   If someone claims to be from a company check their details, look at their website and see if they have any testimonials.

. Call the company, but don't use a number the caller gives you. Look one up on the internet or in a phone directory.   Before you make the call, either use a different telephone or wait for a dialling tone to ensure the bogus callers are not still on the line.

. If the person claims to be from the local police, always ask for their collar number or staff I.D number. Every officer or staff member has one.   You can then call 101 to check they are who they say they are.

. Don't release any personal information including any bank details that could be exploited unless you have confirmed the caller is genuine and reputable and you actually need what is being offered.

. The police and the banks will never ask you for banking details or PIN numbers on the phone.

If you have information about any crime, phone the police on 101 or you can call anonymously to the independent charity CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555111.   For general information about Neighbourhood Watch nationally see the www.ourwatch.org.uk website.



 

Gate Vandalised

Thursday, 21 August 2014:  A wooden gate to a field was cut in half in the last week – it was left at the site and is not the first time that this happened to the same gate. The field is on the Honiton side of the parish near to Stockland straight.   An odd crime with no lines of enquiry.

 

Trailer Stolen

This message relates to Log No. 464 of 21st August 2014. At approximately 1450hrs, Thursday 21st August a brown wood cladded trailer 6ft by 8ft was stolen from the Otter Valley Golf Centre.   Following a recent theft of a motor vehicle in Buckerell, Honition, Police are asking all farm owners and rural householders to be vigilant.   Review your security around outbuildings, sheds and report any suspicious vehicles or activity especially in the early hours promptly to the Police on 101. Thank you.

 

Theft Of Sheep

Police have received a report of the theft of 43 lambs having been stolen from Boobill Field on Membury Road in Axminster.   All the lambs have an electronic yellow tag at the back of their right ears.   On one side F Pearce - the other side UK 0360144.   They were stolen between 9th and 14th July 2014.   If anyone has any information regarding the theft or whereabouts of these lambs, please contact Devon & Cornwall Police on the 101 no, quoting crime ref 095525/14. Thank you.

Possible Attempted Horse Theft

In late July 2014 a horse was released, without the owners permission, from a field down Moor Lane.   The horse had been returned to his field, located behind Farmhouse Farm and Little Fayre House, Moor lane, Churchinford from its daytime stables on Saturday evening.   As normal the gate was shut and as an extra precaution a lead rein was tied around the gate bolt.   On Sunday morning when the owner returned to collect the horse, the gate was wide open.   It was found just inside a neighbour’s gate.   From horse droppings it appaeared the horse had been there for 6 – 8 hours.   It is not possible that the horse escaped from the field without human intervention.   Whether it was an attempt at stealing the horse or a prank is uncertain.   All horse owners are therefore urged to ensure that their gates are securely shut, if possible with a padlock.
 

Walk In Burglaries

Police would like to remind residents that walk in burglaries increase during the summer months, please don't be complacent.   Opportunists will take any advantage to enter your home and steal your belongings.   During the warm weather people are more likely to leave their doors and windows open to ventilate their homes. If you can't see the door or the window then it should be securely closed and locked, including when you are in the garden.   Remember it only takes a minute to become a victim of a walk in burglary. If you see anybody acting suspiciously please call the police on the non-emergency number of 101 or if you suspect a crime is taking place, dial 999. Thank you
 

Trailer Stolen

A trailer identical to the image attached was stolen between 2100hrs on Thursday 17th July and 2100hrs on Monday 21st July 2014 from Releath near Camborne.

It has no serial number but has a dent in the rear due to a digger bumping into it and the front metal board has a melted area due to an electrical accident and it has a brand new hitch.

It is believed the trailer has been seen in the more rural parts of Exeter area.

Anyone seeing a trailer with damage matching the description is asked to please contact PC/Wearne via our 101 no: quoting crime ref 092277/14.
 

 

 

Phone Scams

In May 2014 the force had to deal with another example of a nationwide telephone scam which is preying on elderly and vulnerable people.   A foreign sounding male contacted a taxi company in Taunton and ordered a taxi to go to the address of a vulnerable individual and take them to a post office or bank.   They also requested the potential victim to ring them for further instructions, which would no doubt have caused them to part with a large amount of money.   In this case, the fraud was narrowly prevented by the vigilance of the taxi driver, but we would like you all to be on the lookout for further offences.   Please also consider those among your neighbours who may be more vulnerable than yourself. The force area has suffered a number of these 'courier fraud' offences, and in one case an unsuspecting victim lost £34,000!   See how Avon & Somerset detectives are fighting this type of crime.

Crimestoppers have launched a special website with information and advice on how to avoid falling prey to a variety of types of fraud. Take their online quiz and find out if you may be vulnerable.

 

Landrover Thefts

A Landrover 90 vehicle, colour grey has been stolen from a property in Hemyock, Devon and this is the second of this type to be stolen recently in the area.   If you own a vehicle similar in nature, please increase your security, and if possible, store in a secure location overnight.
 

 

More Phone Scams

We are once again reminding people to be alert to phone scams which involve bogus "police officers" phoning people and trying to persuade them to provide bank card details before sending 'couriers' or 'colleagues' to collect the cards.   There have several incidents where elderly residents received a call on their landline from someone purporting to be from either the Police or a bank.   On one occasion one victim was asked for their PIN number and told that an officer was en route to collect their card.   On the second occasion, the victim was asked to withdraw a considerable amount of money from their account and await further instructions.   Dr Kirstie Cogram, Manager of the Economic Crime Group at Avon and Somerset Police, said:  The police and the banks will never 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 or ask you to withdraw cash.   The victim who has handed over her bank card and pin number has sadly lost a considerable amount of money.   In the second case this week, I would like to praise bank staff who prevented their customer becoming a victim of crime.    Their suspicions were raised and they alerted police.   It's important to reiterate the more we talk about this scam, the more people are made aware of it and the less likely they are to become victims.   Please spread the word to your relatives, neighbours, colleagues and friends, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable.   If you are unsure of anyone asking you for details, we would advise you to be overly cautious. There are some simple but effective measures people can take to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of these scams.   Never give anyone your bank card or divulge your pin number.   If in doubt call either your bank or the police, but don't use the number that you are given by the caller. Either use numbers given on a reputable website or in the yellow pages.   Before you make the call, either use a different telephone or wait for a dialling tone to ensure the bogus callers are not still on the line.   If you have any information about any financial scams or suspected crimes, or you wish to report that you have become the victim of a financial crime, you can contact Action Fraud.   They provide a central point of  contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.   If you've been scammed, ripped off or conned, there is something you can do about it.   Report fraud to them and receive a police crime reference number.   You can call them on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

 

Security Advice

With the main holiday season nearly upon us, police would like to remind all members of the following:  Try to make your home look occupied even when it is not - using lights  or a radio on a "talk" station set on a timer can help to make it look as though you are in.   Consider asking a neighbour to open and close curtains that are usually drawn on a daily basis.   If you are normally in the habit of parking a car on your driveway, when going away on holiday try to arrange for a neighbour to park their vehicle in its place.   Remember to cancel regular deliveries.

 

Fraud Warning


Yet another police message alerting us to yet more fraudsters, this time a little nearer home.  It is unlikely that many of us would be considered to be at risk as the fraudsters are preying on the elderly and vulnerable.   However, as you will see from the communication, we are being asked to look out for our friends and neighbours who may be targeted:

Last week the force had to deal with another example of a nationwide telephone scam which is preying on elderly and vulnerable people.   A foreign sounding male contacted a taxi company in Taunton and ordered a taxi to go to the address of a vulnerable individual and take them to a post office or bank.   They also requested the potential victim to ring them for further instructions, which would no doubt have caused them to part with a large amount of money.   In this case, the fraud was narrowly prevented by the vigilance of the taxi driver, but we would like you all to be on the lookout for further offences.   Please also consider those among your neighbours who may be more vulnerable than yourself. The force area has suffered a number of these 'courier fraud' offences, and in one case an unsuspecting victim lost £34,000!

Below is a link to an article showing how Avon & Somerset detectives are fighting this type of crime:

   https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/newsroom/zephyr-act-to-stem-multi-thousand-pound-courier-scam-against-the-elderly-in-sw/

Crimestoppers have launched a special website, www.crimestoppers-uk.org/gameoffraud, with information and advice on how to avoid falling prey to a variety of types of fraud.   Take their online quiz and find out if you may be vulnerable!

 

Garden Equipment Taken Overnight

The following items were taken from a garden shed during a non-dwelling burglary at an address in Bishopswood on the night of 16th - 17th April 2014.   All items were post code marked by GW beat team with TA20 3RS:

          1. McCulloch Elite 4100 Strimmer. Serial number 002726-1AX2002-88*0030*00 (~£100).
          2. Homelight F2020 Strimmer. Serial number 0701003444 (~£100).
          3. Ryobi, RGBV3100, Green Leaf Blower. Serial number 116DF0282 (~£200).
          4. Honda Flymo, GXV50 or HR8536C, orange hover lawn mower. Serial number either #1234 or M2CB-6208334 (~£400).

Please contact PC Hooper 276 or PCSO Bramley 8531 with any information regarding the above.

 

Illegal Raves

Devon & Cornwall Police are asking residents in rural areas to look out for any signs of a rave taking place as we believe they are likely to take place at this time of year.   We ask for farmers and rural residents please remain observant and report any signs of people gathering or setting up equipment for such an event as early information is vital. Suitable sites are isolated buildings and fields or flat areas of hard standing.   Please contact us on 101 if you have any information. Thank you, we appreciate your help.

 

Telephone Scam

Devon and Cornwall Police would like to make you aware of the following countrywide telephone scam. A call comes through from persons purporting to be the Police from Hammersmith stating that your bank account has been compromised by money launderers. These people are very convincing making the victims withdraw money from their bank accounts as they claim the cash is counterfeit. Taxi drivers have been employed to courier cash to London addresses. This is a SCAM. Please do not give out any personal or bank details or PIN numbers to anyone, especially unsolicited calls. Please hang up on any similar calls you may receive. Can this message be passed to friends, family and elderly or vulnerable persons that may be convinced to part with bank account, credit card details or cash. Thank you.

 

April 2014 Report

In the month of March no crimes were reported in our Parish.   However, a car was reported as having been abandoned under the A303 flyover at Marsh; the Police confirmed this and arrangements have been made for its collection and disposal by EDDC.   However, rural crime is increasing nationwide and rural criminals continue to cost the UK millions of pounds and cut backs of the policing budget have been blamed for this worrying trend each year.

The “Scene it. Herd it. Speak up about it. Anonymously” message will be spread this year by social media and local alert systems within rural communities with the aim of identifying where the real hot spots occur.   Rural crimes have been categorised into poaching, hare coursing, theft of oil metal and machinery and it is information about the criminals that are behind these activities that is required.   The crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is attempting to encourage the public to discuss and report incidents of rural crime anonymously.   You can contact Crimestoppers 24 hours a day on 0800 555 111 or on line at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.   As an alternative, if in doubt dial 101, the police are waiting for your call.

 

Honiton Robbery

Police in Honiton are investigating a robbery which occurred at Banwell Antiques Ltd, High Street, Honiton.   This offence took place at 9 am on Saturday 22nd March 2014.   A female shop worker was attacked by a lone male suspect as she opened the store to start work. The offender stole a high value quantity of jewellery.   The man sought is a white man of slim build, heavily unshaven, short dark hair, aged between 30 - 50 years.   He was wearing a blue coat, blue denim jeans, black trainers, beige coloured flat cap and was carrying a blue rucksack.   The victim is shaken but unhurt in this attack which is extremely rare for this area of Devon.   Detectives are appealing to the community for any witnesses who may have seen anyone in the vicinity of the High Street and the junction of Silver Street in Honiton at or around 9am on Saturday 22nd March 2014 to come forward either by contacting Devon and Cornwall police on 101 quoting crime reference KH/14/187 or to give anonymous information via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 Thank you.

 

March 2014 Report

At a meeting of The Parish Council held on 3rd March it was noted that there had only been one crime reported in our parish during the month of February.   This was an attempt to break into a barn with the aim of stealing a quad bike, this farm lying to the north of the A303, the attempted theft was thwarted by strong security installed in the barn.   Security cameras did not capture a clear image of the vehicle used but the thieves made off in a car;  it is suspected that these persons are not from the local area.   This serves as a reminder that all such equipment has a re-sale value for someone and we should not be tempted to buy a bargain off the back of a lorry.   If in doubt dial 101, the police are waiting for your call.

 

Missing Person

This message is forwarded on behalf of Police staff at Taunton and refers to a person reported missing.   The person has not been seen since the evening of 17 March 2014 and this is out of character.   Description: white male, aged 55. About 6ft tall, thin build with scruffy long grey hair and is described as "smelly".   There is no thought that this person is in imminent danger, but officers would like to ensure that is the case and to ensure their ongoing welfare.   Reports of any potential sightings should be report direct to the police  on the 101 number.   Thank you.

 

Fraud

This message is sent at the request of the police at a high priority.   Over the past couple of days there have been several reports of fraud occurring, predominantly in the North Somerset area but it is possible that this will occur in other parts of Somerset or further afield.   Essentially retired persons appear to be targeted with a phone call. The caller purports to be from the police and indicates there has been a problem with the use of their bank card. The caller asks the victim to call them back and gives a number. The end result of this is that a number of people have so far been conned out of several thousand pounds each.

Police are investigating this matter however your assistance is also requested:  (a) to encourage anyone subject of such a matter in the last few days to contact the police immediately using the 101 number.   (b) to encourage residents receiving an unsolicited call from someone  alleging to be from the police to take care. If they ask you to call them back on a number please do not do so. The number for the Avon and Somerset Constabulary switchboard is 101 and this is the number that should be used if anyone is subject of this type of telephone call.

For general information about Neighbourhood Watch nationally see the www.ourwatch.org.uk website.

 

February 2014 Report

At a meeting of The Parish Council held on 3rd February it was reported that there had only been one crime reported in our parish during the preceding month, namely an attempted break-in at an empty property situated near the A303.   In itself it is pleasing to note that rural crime does seem to be on the decrease but this must serve as a reminder that we must all be vigilant and there are opportunist thieves around looking for unprotected property.   In this regard I was deeply saddened to read that three men had been arrested down on the Levels equipped with a pump which would have enabled them to pump diesel or heating oil from properties which lie unprotected on the flooded moors.   How low can people sink in their disregard for others property?   Looting should surely be punished in a most severe manner.   It must have been like minded persons who left such pumps at the end of a farm track in this parish just before Christmas so we can be certain these criminals are in our midst.  If in doubt dial 101, the police are waiting for your call.

 

Yarcombe Burglary

This message relates to crime no. KH/14/124. We have received a report of a burglary to an outbuilding in the Yarcombe area of Honiton. Sometime between 1900hrs on Friday 21st February and 1230hrs on Saturday 22nd February 2014 a farm outbuilding was entered by breaking off a sliding bolt on a front metal door. Once inside a trailer was unhitched from a quad bike. The quad bike was moved and the iginition barrel was tampered with. No items were stolen but further damage was caused to a large metal shutter door in an attempt to open it. Would residents please be aware. Review your security. Report any suspicious activity or vehicles in your area promptly to the Police. Note any unexpected callers to your properties. If you have any information contact 101 quoting crime no. KH/14/124. Thank you.


 

Horse Mutilation in the Holcombe Rogus area of Devon.

We ask all owners of livestock be aware of this incident and be vigilant.   Check all livestock particularly horses daily to ensure they are safe.   Report any suspicious activity or vehicles you may see in and around your or neighbouring property to the Police promptly, dialling 999 if activity is in progress at the time of your call, using the 101 no. for any other information.

Update:  Officers are investigating a report of injury caused to a horse in Cullompton which was committed sometime between Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 February 2014.   A person has been arrested in connection with this crime and Officers are looking into whether a similar crime which took place in Holcombe Rogus, between 29 January and 01 February 2014, is connected with this.

We ask for horse owners to continue to be vigilant, if you have any information or concerns relating to this please phone 101 quoting crime KU/14/172 or 999 if you see any suspicious activity and believe a crime is taking place.
 

 

Beambridge Pub Robbery

This is a message concerning an incident at the Beambridge Inn Pub on the A38 Sampford Arundel which occurred at 01.30hrs on 21st December 2013.   Four persons, all wearing balaclavas, and one of whom armed with a large knife, attacked the landlord of the pub after he had finished cashing up. The four forced the landlord to open the safe with the keys and they stole several thousands of pounds in cash before making off in a vehicle.   The landlord, although threatened, was not hurt in the attack. We are supporting the landlord and staff at the pub and there is a full investigation underway.

 

Rogue Trader Incident,  Lowton area.

On Wednesday 18th December 2013, an elderly lady in an isolated rural location had 3 males knock on her door offering to cut some trees down in her garden. The lady did need a tree cut down and the lady was persuaded by the males to give the work to them. The lady started to feel uneasy when the males wanted to take her to a cashpoint machine for the money and she went to her neighbour for advice whose quick thinking by taking photos of the offenders van spooked the males who left the location having started the work empty handed.   This incident is currently being investigated.

Rogue Traders are people who pretend to be builders needing to do ‘urgent’ repairs or sales people offering bargain products.   They often try to confuse or pressurise you to pay in advance for materials or do poor work at highly inflated prices.   They give a verbal quote for work which is often changed once the work is underway.   They may offer to take you, the customer, to your bank/building society to draw out large sums of cash.   You should not be pressured into paying someone before work has been done or goods received.   You should not accept any offers to drive to the bank/building society/post office to withdraw the money.

Some Rogue Traders will call selling a variety of products.   They may make many claims for their products, which will not always be true.   Prices are usually over inflated and you may be convinced to buy something you don’t really need.

Some callers may employ aggressive sales techniques, and whilst this may not involve any criminal act, it can be very intimidating.

What the law says about doorstep trading:

For goods or services over £35 which you purchased as the result of an uninvited visit, or a visit arranged as a result of an uninvited visit or uninvited telephone call, you have certain cancellation rights.

 • You must be given a written form setting out your rights to cancel the agreement.

You are entitled to 7 days to cancel the agreement* starting the day after the visit.   If work starts within the 7 day period you can still cancel, but call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 for assistance.   You must cancel in writing.   A trader commits a criminal offence if they fail to provide you with a written cancellation notice. Call 08454 04 05 06 immediately if this happens to you.

 * This does not apply if you invite the trader to call.   However most credit and hire agreements have different rules and whether the trader was invited or not, you still have 5 days to cancel credit or hire agreements signed at home, which begins after you have received the second copy of the agreement.   Remember - you also have other consumer rights.   Goods must be of satisfactory quality and as described.    Services must be carried out with reasonable skill and care.   If not agreed, charges must be reasonable and work completed in a reasonable time.

 

December 2013 Report

Readers may recall that in the November Report we reported that a resident found at the end of their farm track an apparatus, smelling strongly of diesel oil, which consisted of pipes, a pump electrical wire and crocodile clips that could clearly be used for pumping diesel / heating oil from tanks into drums carried in the back of a lorry or van.   Subsequently we have received advice from the Police concerning the need to protect your oil tank which is as follows:

* Keep all gates to your property closed.
* Install security flood lighting and consider installing CCTV.
* When installing a tank ensure that it is not visible from the road.
* Check your fuel levels regularly.   It is now possible to purchase a remote electronic oil monitor which sets off an audible alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops.
* Install lockable caps which cannot be cropped with bolt cutters.
* Check your oil is covered by your household insurance policy.   Value say £1,200.

It is all very worrying that the Police have to issue such advice; we have to accept that rural crime is on the increase.   In our area, which covers the patch of country between Wellington, Taunton Yeovil and Honiton, there have been a number of crimes reported this month, theft of a quad bike in Payhembury, theft of chain saws in Fyfett and in our parish the theft of a pickup from a local farmer, later recovered which may have been used in one of these crimes.

Our thanks to our local police force who are responding magnificently and using the e-NHW system to keep your co-ordinators informed.   We must all be vigilant and watch out for any suspicious persons or vehicles loitering in the area, report this immediately to the Police by dialling 101.   The police are waiting for your call.
 

Stolen Vehicle & Diesel Oil

For your information and keep a look out for vehicle reg X446 OAG, Tata Loadbeta was stolen from Hornshays Farm, Nynehead, last week, overnight on the 04/12/2013. No keys, locked and stored in an open barn. (Crime filed by FSC without any contact!)    Overnight on the 05/12/2013, Nynehead Fruit Farm also had 100 litres of red Diesel stolen.   On making enquiries with both victims, on both occasions, the day before the incident, both premises had a visit; Fruit Farm had three males turn up in a transit (possibly blue, no reg) asking the female owner to help mend a flat, and Hornshays had a male turn up asking for eggs.   Both incidents there was a male in his late 60s, early seventies, smartly dressed.   Please keep us infomed if you see any suspicious activities such as this i.e. the Police AND NHWatch.

 

Telephone Scam

This message relates to Crime No. JN/13/3419.   The Police would like to make you aware of the following telephone SCAM.   The caller states he is a detective constable from the London Fraud Squad.   He says that persons have been arrested and currently in custody for the fraudulent use of credit cards.   He advises to hang up and cancel the credit cards.   A number is given and told to key in the PIN number of any relevant credit card, he states that he will arrange collection of the cards.   Please DO NOT give out any personal or bank details to anyone, especially unsolicited calls.   Please hang up on any similar calls you may receive.   Can this message be passed to friends, family and those elderly or vulnerable persons that may be convinced to part with bank account or credit card details.

 

Quad Bike Theft

We have received a report of a red Suzuki quad bike being stolen from a farm in the Payhembury area. This occurred at approximately 1910hrs, Wednesday 4th December 2013.   The quad bike had been left chained and padlocked inside a padlocked door to the tack room of the stables. It is believed it had been hot wired. Three people were seen running away, two left in a small red hatchback car the other person drove off on the quad bike.   Please be aware of this and heighten the security of your outbuildings.   Report any suspicious activity or vehicles promptly to the Police.   If you have any information that could help the Police with their ongoing enquiries please contact 101 quoting crime no. KH/13/973. Thank you.

 

November 2013 Report

There have been two notable incidents in Yarcombe in the past month.   A resident found at the end of their farm track an apparatus, smelling strongly of diesel oil, which consisted of pipes a pump electrical wire and crocodile clips that could clearly be used for pumping diesel / heating oil from tanks into drums in the back of a lorry or van. Using the 101 phone number, the Devon and Cornwall police quickly collected this equipment and delivered it to Chard Police Station because Somerset had expressed an interest in this device.

The second worrying matter concerned criminals probably based in Northern Cyprus gaining access to and control of one local residents computer and sending out slave messages.   The full extent of this activity is not yet clear and we will issue a further report in due course.   It is however a reminder to everyone to ensure their firewall and Anti-Virus software is up to date.

Our advice this month concerns telephone scams.   How these scams work:

* Cold calls are made from fraudsters to customers pretending to be from your bank ,the police or another institution.
* To verify their authenticity the caller tells the customer to hang up and call back the bank BUT they keep the line open and the customer is  reconnected to them.
* Customers are then told their account has been compromised and they are asked to do one of the following:
• Enter their pin number over the key pad and hand their card over to a courier.
• Transfer funds to a specified account via branch or internet.

How to protect yourself:

Do not be afraid to hang up if you are unsure the call is genuine.   Never disclose your PIN – no one will ever need this.   Do not permit anyone to collect your card.   Banks will never request transfers of money.

 

Burgaries in the Area

We have been alerted to a spate of burglaries which have occurred around our area.   The last took place in Dommett on the of night, 24th November 2013, sometime after 10pm, when a ride-on-mower, a motor X bike and trailer were stolen.   Similar occurrences have happened in Staple Fitzpaine and Fyfett when chainsaws and other power tools were taken.   The police have been informed in all instances.

 
Please ensure that your tools are kept securely and be on the lookout for any suspicious characters and vehicles. It is possible that the perpetrators ‘case’ the premises prior to the theft.   Do not attempt to apprehend but call the police immediately.   If you have any information please ring the Police on 101.

Theft of Tools in Otterford

During the night of 22nd/23rd November 2013 a farm in Otterford had several tools stolen (chainsaws/pressure washer etc) together with an off-road motorbike. Access was gained across a field which indicates this was a planned incident.   Please ensure all your out-buildings and sheds etc are securely locked - there have been other thefts recently in the area.   If you have any information or see any suspicious activity, please contact the Police on 101.

 

Theft of Tools in Bishopswood

Overnight between 19th/20th November 2013 a property in Otterford (Bishopswood) near the Devon border was targeted and a chainsaw stolen. The thieves got onto the grounds of the property by driving over a field and cutting the wire of a fence to gain entry before forcing a shed door open.

 

Vehicle Theft in Marsh

Overnight on the 19th-20th November 2013 a RED TOYOTA LAND CRUISER was stolen from a property in Marsh. If you know/saw anything or know of the vehicles whereabouts, please phone the Police on 101 quoting KH/13/921.

 

Upottery Burglary

Message from D&C police via Churchstanton NHW:   We have received a report of burglary to an outbuilding of a property on the A30 at Upottery.  
The offender(s) forced the lock on the outbuilding and removed frozen food and a compressor, this occurred sometime between 1900hrs on Monday 11th and 0930hrs Tuesday 12th November 2013.   Residents in rural areas are asked to be aware of this incident and be mindful, report any suspicious activity or vehicles you may see in and around your or your neighbour's property to the Police promptly, using the 101 no.   NB: If any resident does use the 101 service, and/or identifies suspicious activity etc, please also let a NHW coordinator (above) know otherwise it is not possible to keep the eNHW network informed.   The police do not offer this feedback to NHW.

 

Solar Panels Theft

On 8 November 2013 a theft was noticed at a farm premises at Culmhead, Taunton.   A box of solar panels had been opened and 20 or so stolen - value approx £5,000.

 

Shed Burglaries

On the 7th November there was an attempted burglary of a shed in Churchinford. The thieves were unsuccessful due to additional security in place at the location.   Also recently in Devon near the A30 another property was targeted and £700 worth of meat was stolen from freezers in a shed.
If you have any information about these crimes that could help police or if you have been a victim of a shed burglary/attempted burglary or know of someone who has and it has not been reported please call this into the police on 101 number.    Please don’t forget the police offer the following services:    FREE security review of dwellings, outbuildings, farms and industrial premises; FREE property marking;  FREE bobby van service.


 

Sheep Stolen

Between 1-9 November 2013 a field belonging to a farm near Cocklake, Wedmore was entered and 20 sheep valued at about £2,500 stolen.


 

Jewellery Theft

This message relates to crime no. KH/13/886.   At approximately 1430hrs on Wednesday 6th November 2013, a male called at a property in Smeatharpe touting for scrap metal.   Whilst at the door he requested to use the toilet.   The householder let this person in and it was discovered later that an item of jewellery had been stolen.   The male is described as being white, between 16 to 20 years old, approximately 5ft 8ins tall, skinny build, pale with short scruffy light brown hair.   Would residents please be wary of any cold callers.   If you have a visit from anyone you do not recognise do not allow them into your home, simply say no and shut the door.   If you receive such a caller please call the Police on 101.

 

Computers Hacked

Several residents of Yarcombe have had their computers hacked and effectively their machines have been taken over and enslaved by crooks probably in Northern Cyprus.   The following is the sort of message that you may receive. TAKE NO ACTION.

"Please can I borrow 1,450 Pounds from you? I'm trapped in hospital in Larnaca.   I travelled to Larnaca, Cyprus for a brief vacation. I had an accident on my way back my hotel suit, where a transit van hit me from behind.   My credit card and phone got damaged and not displaying.   I need the money urgently to sort my hospital bills and transport myself down to airport.   I'll refund your money immediately I return home.   Hope to hear from you very soon."
 

Find Connected to Oil Theft

A resident of Yarcombe found at the bottom of his farm track adjoining the public highway, a device consisting of a pump hoses, electric cable and crocodile clips that can be connected to a car battery.   The device smelt heavily of diesel.   There is little doubt this apparatus could be used for pumping out diesel/heating oil tanks into drums in the back of a van.   Devon and Cornwall Police contacted Avon and Somerset Police who want to examine this apparatus more closely and the system is now with Chard Police.   This swift action arose from the use of the 101 telephone number.

 

Tractor Theft
 

A tractor was stolen from a farm in the Newton St. Cyres area between 1.7.13 and 1.10.13. It is a vintage Nuffield SN, registration no. FDR 566D, chassis no. 60N86314 and red in colour.   It is of high sentimental value to its owner.   If anyone should see, be offered or know of its whereabouts please contact the Police on 101 quoting Crime No. KC/13/834 or phone Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

 

Gundog Theft Awareness Week


Gundog Theft Awareness Week is supported by the Countryside Alliance and runs until 2nd November. The event is run by www.pettheft.co.uk who tell us: "This is our chance to highlight to a wider audience the misery that thieves are causing by stealing dogs. We have three main aims: Prevention, guidance to victims, and to campaign for tougher laws. If you own a gundog the chances are that someone else will want it! DogLost.co.uk report that half the dogs registered with them are gundog types. Some will be irreplaceable pets and many will be highly trained and valuable working dogs. If your gundog was stolen please contact us as we'd like to highlight your story to help others. During GTAW we'll be offering preventative tips, showing how technology can help, and highlighting why more needs to be done to fight back against the thieves!"
 

Suspicious Car Report

On Wednesday 30th October the following car was seen driving around the Churchingford near Lower Munty Farm very slowly: WO02 PXG - a blue Ford Focus estate.   Officers attended and searched for the car but it had already left the area.   Please keep an eye out for it and call the police on 101 if seen.

October 2013 Report

At the Parish Council meeting held on 7th October PCSO  Phil Anning reported two attempted thefts in and around Yarcombe and on case of damage to a security light in Marsh-probably as a prelude to a burglary. In each instance the suspects ran off which suggests some local involvement.

We must all be vigilant and watch out for any suspicious persons or vehicles loitering in the area, report this immediately to the Police by dialling 101.   The police are waiting for your call.

Your two NHW Co-coordinators Janice Evans and Steve Horner met Peter Naylor who is the motivator for e-NHW in the area and we were able to discuss progress in developing our own e-mail alert system. Janice has assembled a good cluster of e-mail addresses for the Marsh area and it was agreed that we now have sufficient critical mass to become independent of Peter, therefore it was agreed that  Janice will continue to build and expand  her own chain with Peter passing over those Yarcombe e-mail addresses he has on his system.

At the October meeting the Parish Council discussed the best method of combating the multitude of hoax calls, cold calls and other such unwelcome calls which seem to be from overseas callers, and it was agreed in the next month’s edition of this bulletin we would provide advice on this topic. This will not be easy and if anyone has any solid advice as to how to stop these nuisance calls  please can you pass this on so we can incorporate this for next article. 

September 2013 Report

At the September meeting of the Parish Council, PCSO Phil Anning reported that 3 crimes had occurred in the Parish in July and August, one a theft and one an attempted burglary; since that meeting two more crimes have been reported, one a theft of tools from a shed and the second an attempted theft from a motor vehicle, both latter crimes occurred at about midnight in the area we know to be to the east of Yarcombe village on the A30; the suspects ran off on foot which would suggests some local involvement.
Subsequently the Devon and Cornwall Police put out a message asking for information from the public; however in the first message the exact location of these offences was vague, being described as the Yarcombe area. This prompted an exchange with the Police who claimed that this information could not be released because of the provisions of the Data Protection Act, which seems to be daft! Lesley Pidgeon has pointed out this apparent obscurity brought about the DP Act does not help the ability of the local community to offer assistance for the victim in case of need
Peter Naylor who runs e-NHW has written to the Police and I quote from his letter:
“The point that I was making, and which Steve Horner was making independently, is about communications.   The Data Protection Act was designed for other purposes and it is an inescapable conclusion that unfortunately is too easily reached, that you/the police can appear to be "hiding" behind the legislation. I am sure that is not so, you have a job to do, but nevertheless it misses the point that the Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators live in their communities and can be quicker off the mark than the police when it comes to chasing up incidents.   Put in old fashioned parlance "we care" - that is why we do it.   The email network between the 6 local parishes, of which Yarcombe is one, is fast and effective, and the essential point should be made that if “there is a burglary in one parish it will, by definition, be reported asap advising that there is a thief about".   Yarcombe and Otterford, for which latter parish I have been the main -co-ordinator for over 12 years, have a border problem defined by the County boundary, so it is particularly essential when incidents occur that we are able to promote action quickly to alert others.
Doubtless this debate will rumble on however our thanks to PC Clive Vickery and PCSP Phil Anning for keeping us up to date, but the increase in local crime is worrying and if you do spot any suspicious activity please dial 101, I am certain that this will help our hard stretched police force
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All change at Neighbourhood Watch 

After ten years of service Jon Stockwell has finally passed the responsibility for Yarcombe Parish NHW to two joint co-coordinators, Janice Evans and Steve Horner.    Thank you Jon for all your good work helping to make Yarcombe a safer and better place to live.

Janice will look after Marsh and the local area towards Bishopswood whilst Steve will be responsible for the rest of our wide flung Parish and will work to develop over time a system based on round robin e-mails whilst continuing to keep everyone informed on notice boards, the village website and articles in The Voices. 

A meeting was held in late March with PC Clive Vickery and PCSO Phil Anning when the two new appointees were able to introduce themselves and learn how the local police would like their support to operate.   In particular the system of dialling 101 to summon non-emergency assistance; the cost of such calls is 15p either  from a land line or mobile, and as Janice proved some ten days later to inform the police of suspicious frying oil collectors of Eastern European origin, this really does work well.

The development of an e-NHW system will replace the cascade system which was supposed to operate when one designated person passed messages to five neighbours has in effect been passed into history and it will dovetail into a new Yarcombe Community e-forum being considered for development by Peter Tarrant.  There are distinct advantages to an e-NHW which operates across police boundaries into the two Somerset police forces based in Yeovil and Wellington.   As was proved recently an instant alert for a stolen car - nicked in Devon but found in Somerset - proved its value.

Garage Theft

This message relates to crime no. KU/13/195. It has been reported to us that at approx 2100hrs yesterday Monday 4th March and 0630hrs this morning Tuesday 5th March 2013 a garage in the Rosemary Lane area of Clayhidon was entered by damaging the metal electric up and over door and chainsaws, a Honda generator and drills were stolen. The Police ask all residents to be vigilant. Ensure all such equipment is secured as best as you can. If possible individually mark any tools with your post code. It is also important to keep serial numbers of any identifiable equipment. If you require any further advice please contact your neighbourhood policing team who can give information on how to keep homes, property and vehicles safe and secure. If you have any information concerning this particular crime contact the Police on 101 quoting Crime No KU/13/195. Thank you.

Suspicious Vehicle 'T' reg black Ford Cougar, partial registration ends in KKG

Seen in suspicious circumstances at around 10.15pm on 4 March 2013.   Person in the vehicle was described as a white male, aged 20-30, tall, stocky build, dark hair and thick eyebrows.   It is believed there could have been others in the vehicle but there are no details. Police would be keen to hear of any sightings of such a vehicle, if it is possible to obtain more details of the registration that would be helpful.    Also description of any users. Police would like to be able to speak to the driver if they could so prompt reports direct on the 101 number would be of great assistance.

Village Hall Oil Theft 

Around Mon night/Tues early morning 4 or 5 Feb thieves stole 700 litres of heating oil from Yarcombe Village Hall.  The police are investigating but have little hope that they will be caught.  The tank was padlocked but this was just cropped.  Did anyone nearby hear or see anything at the time?  Have you heard any rumours about cheap heating oil being offered for sale from dodgy sources?  If so contact the police on 101.  

Please be aware of this theft and if possible place extra security precautions around your tank. 

Car Theft 

On Sat 9 Feb at 4am a van - Reg Y524 KDV Silver Ford Fiesta was stolen from the Yarcombe area. It contained all of the owners hedgelaying tools and equipment.   The police responded very quickly and the vehicle was soon found in Ilminster, minus tools.   If you have any information, contact the police on 101.

Scam – Energy Saving Devices 

We would like to make residents aware that there are scam cold callers phoning offering energy saving devices.   Please hang up on any similar calls to do with this, they may seem credible and give a lot of information about the person they are calling. Please do not give out bank details or personal information.   If you have any concerns please contact us on 101 or Trading standards.  

Chain Saws and Other Tools 

There have been a number of incidents recently where persons have been calling on communities trying to sell tools, including chain saws, hedge
trimmers etc, from the back of vans. Tools have been later found to be sub-standard.  You can call Trading Standards on  01392 381381.   The police are also keen to receive information about any persons that do come calling in the area - particularly if they are selling items door to door. Please forward any information direct to the police on their general number 101.

Telephone Scam – New Area Code 809 

It has been reported that people have received calls from an 809 area code.   They get you to call by telling you that it has information about a family member who has been ill or to tell you someone has been arrested, died, or to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc.   In each case, you are told to call the 809 number right away.   If you call from the UK, US, Australia or Canada, you will apparently be charged a minimum of $2425 per-minute. And you'll also get a long recorded message.

Footnote from website administrator: see this link for details on why this can be largely ignored.   Emails about the scam have been circulating for at least 10 years and the charge per minute is grossly exaggerated.   It doesn't apply to all 809 numbers but conversely has been linked to other area codes.

Stolen Livestock

This message relates to crime ref KE/12/2881: Sheep were stolen from a field in Sowton Village during the weekend of 15th and 16th December 2012.If you you become aware or are offered lamb joints for sale please contact the police using the 101 telephone number, quoting KE/12/2881.
Please be aware that these animals had recently been wormed and as such the meat would not be fit for human consumption. Thank you.

Statue Theft 

A stone lion statue and the top section of a staddlestone were stolen around 27/28 May 2012 from a house in Yarcombe.   Lower section of staddlestone was too heavy to budge.   Please be aware and try and secure any expensive garden ornaments. Also if you see any of these items being sold or offered (eg car boot sales) please inform the police by ringing 101.

Phone Scam 

This message relates to Police Log 363 26 January 2012.   We have received reports of residents receiving telephone calls from a person claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice advising that the individual could receive payments, such as repayment of bank charges or other debts.   In order to claim this rebate the individual has to provide personal details and make an upfront payment, often by asking the individual for a Ukash voucher and asking for the voucher number.   This is a scam.   Please ignore such calls and simply put the phone down. Please inform neighbours and display this scam in notice boards.   We also ask shops who issue such vouchers to be wary and help those who may fall victim to this scam by not issuing vouchers if suspicious, and contact us on 101.   Thank you.   Please phone us with any information on 101. or e-mail general.enquiries@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk 

New non-emergency number for Devon and Cornwall Police

The new national 101 police non emergency number has gone live across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.   101 has now replaced the old non-emergency number, 08452 777444.   People who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired can text phone 18001 101.

While 999 is a well recognised number to report emergencies, the 2010 British crime survey found only 54 per cent of the public knew which telephone number to call if they wanted to speak to the local police about policing, non-urgent crime and antisocial behaviour issues.   The introduction of the 101 number will help communities to keep neighbourhoods safe by connecting them directly with their local police.   This new number will not change the way the Force responds to non-urgent calls which will still be received by call handlers in our control rooms.

Calls to 101 will cost 15p per call, irrespective of how long that call lasts. This cost applies to landlines and mobile phones, the first time that anyone calling about a non-emergency will know exactly how much it will cost them.   In an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened, the public will still call 999.

The Home Office will begin marketing the new number soon and, locally, the Force is expected to make a small saving by no longer using the 0845 number.

Distraction Burglaries 

This message relates to Police Log No.672 of 29th March 2011.   Several distraction burglaries have been committed in the Devon area in the last few days. In some incidents the offender claims to be from the Water board in others the Gas board, these are thought to be being carried out by one male. This male is described as; in his 20's, 5ft 6ins tall with short black hair.  Please be suspicious of any cold callers, ask for identification and let no one into your house you do not know, however plausible, until you are certain they are legitimate.  Cold callers should expect to be challenged these days.   Please phone us with any information on 08452 777 444.

Tarmac Salesman 

This message relates to police log 328 of the 8th March 2011. Please beware of a male attempting to sell tarmac in the Yarcombe Honiton area today 8th March. It is never a good idea to take advantage of offers like this. The work is usually of poor quality and very expensive. It may also be totally unnecessary.   Please phone us with any information on 08452 777 444.

ID Theft - Suspicious Phone Call   11 Jan 2011

 

A Yarcombe resident recently received a phone call from a man saying he was from the police and the call was to do with Crimestoppers.  The resident thought it odd to get the call and then became suspicious of the type of questions asked, eg.,  do you own your own home,  do you have a husband and others.  1471 was rung but the number was withheld, which only confirmed their suspicion that it was not the police who made the call.  The resident contacted the police who said it was an ID theft call and would have progressed to more personal questions. 

Please be aware of these types of calls and avoid giving out personal details to unknown callers

Shed Break - Ins  29 Oct 2010

This message relates to crime no KA/10/589. Two break-ins to sheds have been reported in the Stockland Honiton area in the last two days. Power tools and gardening equipment have been stolen. Please be aware of this, review your own security and report any suspicious activity to the police at the earliest opportunity. Please phone us with any information on 08452 777 444

Burglary 13 Sept 2010

A burglary occurred at an isolated house near Luppitt Honiton between the 13th September, and 10:15am on 14th September. Entry was gained by smashing a ground floor window. Once inside two laptops were stolen as well as about 200 DVDs in two large black carry cases. One laptop is a 17inch Apple Power Mac G4 laptop silver in colour. The other is a black Advent laptop. The power cables were also stolen along with a black carry case for the Advent laptop. The computers are of great sentimental  value to the owner as they contain family photographs and items required for the owner to conduct his work. If you are offered an item like this please contact 08452 777 444 quoting police crime no. KH/10/732.

 Fuel Thefts

Police are asking residents and workers in the Honiton area to be vigilant after an increase of theft of fuel from vehicles throughout the months of August and September. The majority of these incidents have involved fuel caps being forced or jemmied open and fuel being siphoned out. Areas targeted have been Heathpark Industrial estate, The High Street, The School Lane area and a School Car Park.  Please can members of the local community report any suspicious activity around vehicles to Police. Anyone with any information at call 08452 777444 quoting the most recent crime number of KH/10/711.

Local Thefts July 2010

Overnight of 16-17 July garage belonging to property at Poundisford was broken into.  Lock on the door was damaged.  Two surfboards were stolen total value estimated at about £300.

Overnight of 15-16 July sheds belonging to property in Corfe were broken  into.  Access was gained by forcing open doors.  A concrete mixer and pedal cycle were among the items stolen.

Computer Scam (Feb 2010)

A  local resident received 3 emails from UPS (delivery company). It says they were unable to deliver an item as incorrect address. He wasn't expecting anything so didn't open the attachment! Decided to find local depot and ring instead of good old email!!!
Good job he did as the email was a scam and actually contains a virus.   DO NOT OPEN ANYTHING FROM parcel@ups.com or tracking@ups.com
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Stolen Cable (Jan 2010)

Has anyone had a large quantity of electric cables stolen from their property overnight?  These have been found left in a rural location.  If you have any information contact 08452 777 444 and ask to be put through to the Axminster policing team.

Scam  (Feb 2010)

A resident of Blagdon Hill has just received a phone call purporting to come from Taunton Deane Borough Council advising her that she was due for a rebate on her Council Tax and asking for bank details. She refused to give these and on checking with TDBC they confirmed this was a scam and they had received another similar report.   Most of us are aware that this sort of fraud is becoming increasingly common and that we should never give our bank details to unsolicited callers. But this one is particularly worrying because it appears to come from a local authority and has a ring of authenticity about it. So please be aware and warn others not on this network, many of whom are the most vulnerable.

Dental Theft  (Jan 2010)

This message relates to crime no KH 10 31. A substantial amount of dental products was stolen from a shop in Lace Walk High Street Honiton on Friday the 5th January 2010. The police believe that these items may make their way to a car boot sale or market stall. If you visit such events in the near future please keep an eye out for cheap dental goods and call us on 08452777444 quoting crime no KH 10 31 if you find any large quantities, especially Sensodyne Pro Enamel, Sensodyne F Total, Sensodyne Fresh, Colgate cavity, Colgate Whitening, Colgate Pump.
Please phone us with any information on 08452 777 444.