Crime

Norfolk Police – Road Safety Week 2020 “No Need to Speed”

Norfolk’s Road Safety Partnership members are joining forces to remind drivers that there is #NoNeedtoSpeed as part of a national campaign aiming to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

Road Safety Week, which starts today (16 November) and runs until Sunday (22 November) is organised by the charity Brake, and aims to raise awareness of the dangers on our roads and the steps drivers can take themselves to help improve their own safety, and the safety of other road users.

During this period Norfolk Police will also be supporting the NPCC roads policing campaign targeted towards vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders.

Between November 2019 and November 2020, Norfolk saw a total of 415 reported collisions in which someone was killed or seriously injured. 33% of these collisions involved a vulnerable road user. These vulnerable road users accounted for 25% of the total number of people killed in collisions between this period.

As part of the enforcement activity of Road Safety Week, officersfrom the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team will be conducting high visibility roadside speed checks across both counties, educating and informing drivers of the risks posed by speeding and the effects this can have on vulnerable road users. Both marked and unmarked police vehicles will be used, equipped with speedometers and video recording equipment in order to target speeding drivers.

We will also be sharing road safety messages on social media throughout the week, alongside our partners at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and Norfolk County Council’s Road Safety Team.

As part of the campaign, road users are also being encouraged to download the What3Words app. This provides people with a simple and precise way to share their location quickly and easily and can help to assist when involved in a collision that has happened in an unfamiliar or hard-to-describe area.

Temporary Chief Inspector Jon Chapman for the Joint Protective Services said: “Due to recent lockdowns we have seen more pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders using the roads as part of their daily exercise routine, which they are perfectly entitled to do. It is therefore extremely important that we use this campaign to raise awareness of the dangers speeding drivers pose to not only themselves and other drivers, but to these vulnerable road users.

“There are many reasons that people might give as to why they were driving at excess speed, for example, they are in a rush to get somewhere, they are unaware of the speed limit, or they enjoy driving fast. There are no excuses for putting the lives of others in danger.

“As we continue to reiterate speeding is one of the ‘Fatal Four’ offences which makes you more likely to be involved in a serious or fatal collision. The faster a vehicle is travelling, the more energy is transferred in a crash, and the higher the risk of death or serious injury.

“It’s simple – there really is No Need to Speed!”

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, added: “Everyone can play their part in improving road safety. Adhering to speed limits is a simple way every motorist can reduce the risk of serious accidents and injuries.

“Drive according to the road conditions and watch out at all times for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Driving at excess speed is not only against the law, but also puts lives at risk.”

Motorists caught speeding will be issued with a Traffic Offence Report (TOR) and face a fine, points on their licence or even court action. Some drivers can opt to take part in a speed awareness course.

For results and updates throughout the campaign follow the Roads Policing Unit on Twitter @NSRAPT using the hashtag #NoNeedtoSpeed

For more information about Road Safety Week please click here:

Norfolk Police – Latest Consumer & Scam alerts from Norfolk Trading Standards

Please find below the Latest Consumer & Scam alerts from Norfolk Trading Standards https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/scams/consumer-alerts

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers in the Hingham area – 15
October 2020
We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reorts of doorstep cold callers in the Hingham area.

Two men have been seen going door to door this morning, both are wearing branded tabards.

Our advice is always be very wary of claims made by doorstep cold callers and never give access to your property, agree to services, buy items or for return visits if approached in this manner.

Anyone concerned about doorstep cold calling in Norfolk can contact Trading Standards through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold calling incidents – 15 October 2020
Watch out for doorstep cold calling even if you are displaying a No Cold Calling sticker.

This follows a number of recent reports from residents who have had cold callers at their door despite displaying a sticker, with some reporting that the callers can be difficult to turn away and, in some cases, verbally aggressive when the presence of the sticker is pointed out.

Recently the ongoing COVID-19 situation has led to reports of doorstep cold callers claiming to be offering help to vulnerable residents or calling for health related reasons.

We are asking residents to report ALL doorstep cold calling incidents to us, especially if their property is displaying a No Cold Calling door sticker of any type. We are also offering the following advice:

* If someone cold calls at your property remember it is your doorstep
so your decision whether you even answer the door, if you can check
through a spy hole or look from a window to see who is there
* Think about your home security, make sure other doors to your
property are locked before answering the front door
* If the person is offering services or trying to sell something
politely but confidently say you are not interested and close the door
* If the person is claiming to represent an authority, organisation or
charity ask to see ID. If ID is offered, ask if you can take it to
check its validity. If you are given the ID close the door and
contact the company or organisation on the ID by a number you find
online or in the phone book, DO NOT use information on the ID, it
could be fake
If no ID is offered, the caller refuses to let you check it, or you
can not verify it is genuine politely but confidently say you are
not interested and close the door
* As the cold caller leaves, if you can safely from inside your
property watch and see:
o Do they go to call at neighbouring properties?
o Do they return to a vehicle, is it sign written, can you see the
make, model, colour and registration plate?
o Are they alone or working with others?
o Note down a description of the cold caller, why they were
calling and who they say they were representing – all of this
information is very useful to Trading Standards and the Police
when looking at Cold Calling incidents

You can report doorstep cold calling incidents to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Constabulary on 101. If you feel threatened or have concerns for vulnerable neighbours always dial 999.

Why not consider setting up a No Cold Calling Zone in your community? You can find out more about our scheme at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz <https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/consumer-advice/no-cold-calling-zones>

Rogue Trader Alert – Door to door fish sellers – 14 October 2020

Be vigilant for cold callers selling fish door to door.

This follows an incident in the Carleton Rode area where a resident was cold called at their property by a man who offered to sell them fish.

In the past these types of sellers have been known to use high pressure sales tactics and there have been issues with the quality of the fish being offered, whether the type of fish is as claimed, and whether it has been appropriately stored for transportation.

Our advice is do not deal with cold callers and never be pressurised into buying on the doorstep.

If you are approached by this seller or are concerned about possible rogue trader activity in your community, please report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Police on 101. If you feel threatened by a doorstep cold caller or are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers selling household
cleaning and Christmas products – 14 October 2020

Watch out for doorstep cold callers trying to sell household cleaning and Christmas products.

This follows an incident where two men have been seen cold calling at properties in the Drayton area. At one property they claimed that they were ‘ex offenders’ selling items ‘as part of a rehab scheme’. They were carrying rucksacks containing household cleaning items, Christmas cards and wrapping paper. The resident declined the offer and reported the incident.

Our advice is never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something. It is possible these sellers will continue to move onto other locations in Norfolk.

Anyone sighting these sellers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated or sight these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Scam Alert – Text messages about your accounts or payments – 13
October 2020

Watch out for text messages claiming to be from various companies and organisations stating there are issues with accounts or payments.

These messages are spammed out randomly to huge numbers of mobile numbers hoping to trick people into clicking on a link which will take them to bogus versions of the organisation’s genuine website. There it will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

The messages will often claim that accounts have been frozen, that money is about to leave the account, that payments can’t be made or that there is unusual or fraudulent activity with the aim of panicking the recipient into reacting.

If you receive messages like these our advice is:

* Do not click on any links or open attachments
* Do not reply to the message
* Do not call any numbers given in these messages

You can report suspicious or spam text messages to your network operator by forwarding the message to 7726. You may get an automated response thanking you for the report and giving you further instructions if needed. You will not be charged for sending texts to 7726.

If you are concerned about the security of an account contact the service provider directly using the Customer Service number printed on the card, on a recent statement or via information available on their genuine website or app. Never use details provided in a suspicious text message.

If you think you might have responded to a text message scam and provided your bank account details, contact your bank immediately.

Norfolk Police – Scam Alert

Courier fraud victim speaks out in a bid to warn others of the sophisticated scam
The following is a Police Connect message.

A victim of courier fraud has described losing her “trust in people” after being conned out of almost £60,000.

The 65-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, has shared her experience in a bid to warn others and raise awareness of the sophisticated scam.

In the last two months, police in Norfolk have received more than 100 reports about fraudulent calls from suspects claiming to be police officers. The cold-callers will make efforts to defraud victims of money, asking them to withdraw large sums of cash in connection with an investigation.

The victim, who lives in Breckland, was targeted in September when she received a telephone call on her landline from an unknown number. The caller claimed to be a police officer working on behalf of the Fraud Prevention Investigation Team in London.

The officer said he was calling from Paddington Police Station and that they were investigating a case of stolen identity whereby someone in London had been using the victim’s personal details. In a bid to gain the victim’s trust, the fraudsters said she could verify their identity by ending the call and immediately dialling 999 and ask to verify the officer’s collar number and investigation reference. What the victim didn’t realise is that the line had been left open by the fraudster and so when she picked up to redial 999, the call was still connected to the scammer.

The victim was told police were carrying out an undercover operation into suspects allegedly passing counterfeit notes through the banking system and asked for her help.

Recalling the incident, the victim said: “I had grown up trusting the police and had no reason to think this was a scam. I had already verified that this was legitimate by calling the generic 999 number and so I agreed to help the officer with their investigation.”

The victim was asked to go to the bank and withdraw some money, which would then be collected by a courier who would attend her home address. The cash would then be examined to see if it was counterfeit. The victim was advised the money would be reimbursed as soon as their enquiries were complete and he was grateful for her assistance with the investigation. The suspects kept in contact with the victim, providing regular updates and advised the money was counterfeit. The cold-caller said a further two transactions would be needed as part of their investigation.

Describing the con, the victim said: “The officer would remain on the phone whilst I attended the banks in order to listen in on the conversation. I assumed this was part of the investigation and it made me feel at ease given that I was involved in an undercover operation. So, as asked, I withdrew two further payments from separate banks and handed them over to the courier. As expected, they too were counterfeit.

“At the time I felt like I was doing something to help. I’m of the generation that strongly believes the local bobby will always help you out. These scammers preyed on that and they targeted me when I was in an emotionally vulnerable position.

“I realise now that these scammers treat this as their job and like us, they strive to do it to the best of their ability. They commit these crimes in such a sophisticated way, preying on the older generation who are more likely to be isolated, vulnerable or more financially stable.

“Looking back now, they brainwashed me into thinking I was being helpful. They made me feel like I was in control; when I asked whether I could tell my daughter about the investigation, the officer had never strictly told me not to so, but advised that it wouldn’t help the undercover operation. Therefore, I made the decision myself to keep it from her believing it would be within the best interests of the investigation.

“The effects of this crime will never be understood by someone who has not been through it. My children now regularly stay at my house as I struggle to be alone. I have undoubtedly lost my confidence and ability to socialise as perhaps I used to or would like to.

“Although I know that this was a sophisticated crime, that often many people fall for, I cannot help blaming myself and I often feel frustrated and emotional about it. I will no longer be able to have the future I envisioned and the financial implications are major. It has undoubtedly changed the way I trust people and the world.”

Norfolk Police are reminding residents that your bank or the police will *NEVER *ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone. Never give these details to anybody.

Further advice includes:

* Neither the police nor the banks will send a courier to collect
money from you.
* Always request Photo ID and if unsure call the police.
* If you’re asked to telephone a bank, then always do it on a
different phone to the one you were contacted on.
* Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play
ringtones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the
victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number.
Ensure you can hear a dialling tone before calling police or use a
friend or neighbour’s telephone instead.
* Do not rush into complying to the scammers demands / requests.
* If you have already given your bank details over the phone or handed
your card details to a courier, call you bank straight away to
cancel the card.

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, who commissions a countywide support service for scams victims, praised the victim for sharing her experience in order to help others protect themselves.

“What this Breckland resident has experienced is truly shocking. Her story highlights just how complex and convincing these scams can be and also the impact they have on their victims’ lives. Her bravery in speaking out in order to help raise awareness and prevent others finding themselves in her shoes is to be commended.

“As evidenced by this case, the emotional and financial hurt of being a victim of a scam can be massive. Key to preventing that harm is sharing information and advice, and learning how to keep ourselves safe.

“Who among us has not had that phone call, email or knock on the door by parties unknown seeking heartlessly to steal from us? Don’t brush off suspicious approaches; report them. If you’ve been a victim, speak out. Not only will you help the police with their investigations to put these criminals where they belong, but you may help your family, friends and fellow Norfolk residents avoid the hurtful exploitation you’ve endured.

“And if you’ve been affected by a scam, please don’t suffer in silence. The Norfolk Scam Prevention Service is there to help you.”

The Norfolk Scam Prevention Service, delivered by Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care, is a free and confidential service offering specialist support to individuals that have been targeted by scammers. The service, commissioned by the PCC and supported by the partners who make up the Norfolk Against Scams Partnership, helped 1,200 people affected by scams last year. Feedback from those using the service shows it is helping people feel more confident, safer and better placed to cope with the impact of what they have experienced.

Kami Al-Faris, service coordinator for the Norfolk Scam Prevention Service, said: “Sadly, in the last three months, we have seen an increasing number of reported incidents of elderly people being targeted by scammers impersonating police officers and the National Crime Agency, as well as scams directly relating to Coronavirus, including fake Track and Trace messages and false requests for information from local or national authorities.

“We have worked with victims facing these types of scams who have lost up to £390,000; whereas some victims who have not lost any money, may instead have their data or privacy compromised.

“We can help victims cope and recover from their experience, providing practical advice and information so they can get back their confidence and feel safe again. If you have been affected by a scam and would like to talk in confidence with a specialist member of our team phone 101 followed by extension 5005 or email [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>.”

Test & Trace scams.

There are lots of reports across social media of Test & Trace scams.

Please remember, genuine texts, calls or emails from the NHS service won’t ask you for any personal details upfront.
You’ll be given a unique ID number to log in to the NHS Test and Trace website. The ONLY official web address for the NHS Test and Trace service is: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/

Once you’ve logged in using your ID, you’ll be asked to enter some basic information about yourself including:
– Your name, date of birth and current address
– the names of the people you live with
– places you’ve recently visited
– names and contact details of people you were in touch with around 48 hours before you developed symptoms.
You won’t be asked to share this information upfront over a call or
text, so if someone is asking you for it directly, they are a scammer.

Contact tracers will never:
❌ ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
❌ ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product of any kind
❌ ask for any details about your bank account
❌ ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
❌ ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
❌ disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
❌ provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
❌ ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
❌ ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

Stay scam aware, and report any suspicious approaches to Norfolk Trading Standards via 0808 223 1133.