Community Safety
Cash transfer fraud.

Some 6,000 people have lost money where fraudsters have intercepted emails or phone calls and then impersonated holiday companies or solicitors and tricked people into paying them through electronic transfers via copycat emails or bogus web sites. So beware of any suspicious emails or phone calls between booking and paying the bill like a request to change the account to pay into. Check the original phone number or web site you originally used.

Never give personal details on the phone, answering emails or at the door.

Beware of Scam letters, emails, phone calls and door step callers saying things like:

Your bank account is in danger
Your roof has problems
There is a problem with your computer
A stranded family member needs money
You are owed a tax rebate
You have won a prize or inherited money
You need to pay in advance for something

Never allow access to your computer, tablet or phone.

Protect your credit/debit card with a protective sleeve to prevent rouge scanning available free from the Council Info office at Park Hall.

Back up your computer files and keep software up to date.

Ensure your anti virus is up to date.
Delete old files and internet junk.

Fraudulent catalogues.

Beware of catalogues that say you have won money and all you have to do is place an order. Such catalogues are: Our Life and Biotonic

Do you have any external mail box? If so there have been cases of mail being intercepted and the house holders details being used to order goods or credit cards and when they are delivered they are again taken from the external box.

Join the Neighbourhood Watch OWL (online watch link) system for updates on fraud and scams at www.owl.co.uk

Check these web sites for more information.

www.thinkjessica.com

www.actionfraud.police.uk

www.getsafeonlin.org


2016/17 Annual Report
Crime levels in Harpenden have remained at remarkably low levels in recent years, at least by national standards, despite the government requirement that Hertfordshire Constabulary has made savings of £40 million over three years, by means of greater sharing of resources with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire police forces and more ‘low cost’ policing through additional use of volunteer Special Constables.

During the same period we have seen the appointment of a Police and Crime Commissioner effectively to replace what was the Hertfordshire Police Authority, and the national decision was made to include ‘cybercrime’ (which now constitutes over 50% of all recorded offences) in official crime figures.

The nature of what is normally thought of as crime has changed considerably. Preoccupation with ubiquitous crimes such as theft, robbery, burglary and assault remains.  But, perhaps understandably and encouragingly, greater attention is now being paid to the wider issues of community safety, from upholding trading standards to protecting the vulnerable elderly from cybercrime. Supporting the victims of crime has become a sharper focus of police work.

Social factors help keep traditional crimes low in Harpenden, though burglars and bag-snatchers, mostly from outside the town, continue to be attracted to our relatively prosperous town.  And, in the ‘computer age’ of the 21st Century, we are as vulnerable to cybercrimes as any community in the country.

More than ever before the Police are asking for our help in solving crimes, stressing the importance of community involvement in policing, notably via Neighbourhood Watch - whose Police Community Support Officer for the Harpenden area is Tom Perrin (phone 01707 806129; email: tom.perrin@herts.pnn.police.uk ) or or visit OWL Watch (www.owl.co.uk ).
Core Activities of the Group
The principal activities of the Group are:

To help ensure that members of the community are aware of current threat levels with regard to public safety

To help prevent individuals from becoming victims of crime or anti-social behaviour by ensuring that, through the activities of the Society, community awareness of advice (which may be based on that given by the emergency services and others such as local council authorities, Neighbourhood Watch, The Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Trading Standards, voluntary groups and social services) is enhanced. The main areas of concern are:

Burglaries, robberies, thefts, vandalism, anti-social behaviour and assaults

Telephone and online scammers
and fraudsters (all levels of threat including international)

Consumer protection, particularly with regard to cold calling/door-to-door salesmen

Road safety and traffic discipline

In order to achieve this every two months the Group collates information from divers sources and summarises it in the form of a report to the Committee; others are then asked to ensure that relevant content from these reports finds its way to the Society’s members via the Society's Newsletter, the website, the Chairman’s Email Newsletter and the Society’s meetings

To provide the community with news of the activities of the local police, the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and other emergency services; to liaise with these services and with Herfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner as appropriate

To promote information regarding safety in the home with particular concern for the needs of the elderly and other vulnerable members of the community

To monitor crime in the town from limited independent sources in order to compare police statistics with public perceptions (the Crime Survey for England and Wales does likewise at the national level); this addresses concern at the national level, expressed with increasing frequency, that some crimes may be seriously underreported.