Monday, 20 April 2009

Watchdog Warning as public is scammed out of £3.5BN

21st Newsletter from the London Neighbourhood Watch Association

The trading watchdog today warned people to be vigilant about scams which cost the public around £3.5 billion a year. The Office of Fair Trading said three million consumers become the victims of mass marketed scams each year, under which fraudsters use methods such as mailings, email, the internet, telephone and text message to recruit victims. More than 7,000 scams were reported last year, the most common of which were deceptive prize draws and sweepstakes, followed by bogus foreign lotteries. Under both of these scams, victims are told they have won a large sum of money but are asked to hand over cash to pay for fees or taxes before they receive their prize, which never arrives. The third most common scam was advance fee fraud under which people are asked for help transferring money from overseas and they are promised a chunk of the cash if they pay the fees involved. This was followed by frauds relating to homeworking and business opportunities and property and land investment scams. The figures were released at the beginning of the OFT's Scams Awareness Month, which marks the launch of a campaign with 90 Trading Standards Service across the country.

The OFT called on consumers to drop off any scam mailings they receive in designated 'Scamnesty' bins at local libraries and other public areas across the country. The information was used to help the OFT and its enforcement partners identify and develop strategies to combat the worst frauds. In a similar campaign in 2008, the OFT collected more than 15,000 mailings. The campaign is being backed by television presenter Angela Rippon, who also features in a new DVD being launched by the OFT, highlighting common scams and setting out how vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, can be protected. Ms Rippon said: "Scammers use psychological techniques to gain vulnerable people's trust. They exploit fear and insecurity to steal as much money as they can from those who can least afford it. "Though anyone can fall victim to a scam it is always the oldest that are hit the hardest." John Fingleton, OFT chief executive, said: "Scammers are sophisticated at targeting people who are often the most vulnerable in society. As we enter tougher economic times it is more important than ever for people to be alert to prevent themselves, or friends, families and neighbours from falling victim to these heartless money-making schemes."

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Oakleigh Newsletter

This newsletter from the Metroplitan Police is to keep you informed and updated with some of the latest events on the Oakleigh Ward. The newsletter will be published and distributed at the beginning of every month.


Following a recent spate of burglaries an observant resident spotted two males loitering in the road using their mobile phones, they then both left; one on a motorcycle and the other in a car. The resident managed to write down the registration of both vehicles, the team took this information on board and increased patrols to deter any further burglaries in the area that had become a hot spot.

During these increased patrols members of the team spotted the motorcycle the next day, checks were made and it was found that the keeper lived in Devon and was still in possession of his bike, this indicated that the motorcycle was bearing false number plates. The Team again saw the motorcycle parked and have seized it for forensic examination and confirmed that it was stolen in 2007. We now await the forensic report.

Although this seems to have removed one burglar there are others active in the area, particularly between 3.00 and 6.00 p.m. Please advise neighbours to be vigilant at these times.

Antisocial Behaviour

The team have successfully signed up two youths on the ward with Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC). They came to the attention of the Safer Neighbourhood Team on several occasions due to their antisocial behaviour.

The purpose of the ABC’s is to form a contract with the youths for them to adhere to. If they fail to meet the requirements of the contracts the next step would be to issue an Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO). This has been done working in Partnership with the London Borough of Barnet and the Metropolitan Housing Trust.

Artifice Burglars

On 26th March 2009 the ward was visited by a group of artifice burglars. On this occasion two men entered a block of retirement flats posing as security men. They entered a flat via an open door and spoke to the 96 year old occupant, they told her that there had been a burglary and asked her if she would check her belongings. They also asked her if she had a safe, which she showed them. One of the men then distracted her whilst the other removed property from her flat.

There have not been any other incidents like this on the ward, but we would like everyone to remain extremely vigilant, as there is always a risk from these villains.

Crime Stats March 2009
• 4 Burglaries (2 Dwelling, 1 Non dwelling)
• 3 Thefts from Motor Vehicles
• 2 Domestic Violence incidents
• 24 Stop & Accounts and 1 Fixed Penalty Notice for driving whilst using a mobile Phone.
• 65 Stop & Searched (63 Prevention of Terrorism, Section 44(2) Terrorism Act 2000)

Local policing priorities

• Burglary
• Road Safety
• Motor Vehicle Crime

Upcoming meetings

12th April 2009 10.30 – 11.30:
Community Event – St Mary’s Church, Athenaeum Road, N20

25th April 2009 10.00 – 16.00:
Drop-in Surgery – Marks & Spencer, High Road, N20

Oakleigh Ward, Whetstone Police Station,
1170 High Road, Whetstone, London, N20 0LW
t: 020 8721 2976

Barnet News