Police Connect

Keyless entry vehicle thefts

Keyless theft of a vehicle occurs when criminals use a transmitter to amplify the signal being emitted from the genuine key inside the owner’s house to reach the vehicle outside.  This allows it to be unlocked and driven away in seconds.  Several makes of vehicle have been stolen in this way, but between October 2018 and April 2019, nearly 70 Mercedes Sprinter vans were stolen using this method across Norfolk and Suffolk. 

There are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of this theft:

  • In the house, store keys away from accessible doors and windows, inside a Faraday bag (search RFID security at www.securedbydesign.com for details of police preferred specification products) or at least in a metal tin.
  • It may be possible to disable the keyless entry function. Check your owner manual or seek advice from your local dealer if required.
  • Use physical security measures such as steering wheel locks or wheel clamps to compliment your vehicles own security (www.soldsecure.com)
  • Ensure that basic security measures, such as checking the doors and windows are secure, are always done.
  • Where possible, park vehicles within secure compounds covered by CCTV.

Spring into action!

As the days gradually get longer (and hopefully warmer!), we naturally tend to have windows and doors open more, spend more time in the garden and take time out to enjoy the beautiful Suffolk countryside.  Please take every opportunity to ensure that criminals are not able to spoil your day by following a few simple steps:

  • Always lock your external doors, even when you are at home. 
  • Check the doors and windows are secure before leaving the house or at night, especially doors like French doors that may not have been used for months. Don’t assume another member of the household has done it.
  • Don’t leave keys in the locks or within reach or sight of the door or window. Make sure you have a fire plan so everyone in the house can leave quickly in the event of an emergency.
  • Windows should be left secure when the room is unoccupied.
  • Never leave a door or window insecure to allow a pet or family member access.
  • Never leave car keys within reach or sight of the doors or windows. 
  • Lock cycles in a secure shed or garage. Fit a secure ground anchor and lock them to that too. 
  • Always lock tools away after working in the garden to prevent them being used to force entry. 
  • Ensure your rear garden is secure and lock gates.

Further First Principle crime prevention advice can be found on the Suffolk Police website www.suffolk.police.uk.

Warning to drone users – nesting sites

Police in Suffolk are urging people who fly drones, either commercially or as hobbyists,  to be mindful of the locations they operate in at this time of year due to nesting birds.

The county has some very sensitive sites in Suffolk where rare bird breeds, both native and non-native, are either already nesting or will shortly be arriving to do so. Some of these sites are protected from entry, so some users of drone may want to try and get a view from above, using the technology that is available.

People who fly drones are reminded that it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb any wild bird listed on Schedule 1 whilst it is nest building or is in, on or near a nest with eggs or young; or to disturb the dependant young of such a bird.

Sgt Brian Calver from the Rural Crime team said: "From a birds perspective, a drone is likely to be seen as a predator and as such cause distress and disturbance, which amounts to an offence, if nesting. Just causing the bird to momentarily leave the nest is sufficient to commit the offence. We do not want to spoil everyone’s enjoyment of the countryside, but we would urge users of drones to be sensible and think twice about where they are flying.”

Fabian Harrison, from RSPB Suffolk, said: "Drones can have severe consequences for breeding birds, leading to abandonment and an increased risk of detection by predators. At a time when wildlife already faces so many challenges, we are imploring the public to stay vigilant this summer and keep an eye out for wildlife crime. Remember – if you see a crime in progress, always call 999.”

Police would also take the opportunity to remind people that the legislation is also relevant to dog owners around ground nesting birds, so equally we would urge people to be considerate and think about where they let their dogs off the lead.

If officers get evidence of such offences being committed, police will take action, which could potentially result in six months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000.

TV Licensing scam email

Police are advising residents to be cautious of emails from TV Licensing stating there is a problem with your direct debit or similar.

You are advised not to follow any links supplied in the email or give any of your banking information.

If you are unsure whether an email is genuine, always contact the company directly and not through the email.

For further information on how to check whether a TV Licensing email is genuine, visit their webpage https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/faqs/FAQ288 or for more details about the scam please visit the Action Fraud website https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/the-tv-licensing-scam-that-has-cost-victims-over-830000-and-how-to-spot-it.

If you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or call them on 0300 123 2040. 

Purse thefts – Ipswich

Police are reminding people to take care of their purses, phones and other valuables whilst out shopping after a number of thefts were reported in the town centre this week. 

Thieves will target purses in open handbags, on top of open shopping bags or left unattended, even for a short time.  Phones are easily snatched from people’s hands as they are talking or from back pockets as they walk along. 

Please take the following steps to reduce the risk of being a victim: 

  • Keep your purse or phone in a zipped up handbag or inside pocket.
  • Use a bag with a shoulder strap and wear it across your body, with the zip facing inwards.
  • Never leave your purse, phone or hand bag unattended.
  • Put your cash and cards away before you leave the till or ATM.
  • Try to avoid using your phone in public.  If you need to make a call, try to go inside a shop or stand with your back to a wall and keep alert to any activity around you.  
  • Criminals may ask the time in order to get you to reveal your phone and then snatch it from your hand.  If you are asked for the time by a stranger, refer to a watch or public clock if possible.  Consider politely advising that you are unable to help.
  • Register your phone for free at www.immobilise.com  

Please also let your elderly family, friends and neighbours know what they can do to keep themselves safe.

Countywide – PPI scam warning

Police are warning members of the public to be vigilant after an attempted fraud in east Suffolk last week.

The incident occurred on Thursday 14 March, when a woman from Woodbridge received a call from a man purporting to be from the Government Regulations Claims Department in relation to owed PPI.

The victim is in the process of making a PPI claim and so believed the call to be genuine. She was advised that in order to receive her refund, she would need to go to Argos and obtain a £200 Steam gift card which is used for gaming.

Once she had obtained the card, she would then need to call a phone number in London beginning 0203 and arrangements would be made for her cheque to be delivered to her, at which point she would hand over the Steam card which would be used to pay the tax she owed.

The victim then went to an Argos in the Ipswich area to purchase the Steam card, but fortunately a vigilant member of staff informed her that this was a scam and that she should call the police immediately.

Other victims of similar frauds have been asked to purchase different types of gift card, including Amazon and iTunes.

Suffolk Constabulary is reminding residents that government departments, banks, or any other legitimate body, will never make phone calls, use text messages or email to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty and will never ask for a payment in this way.

For advice on keeping yourself safe against scams, please visit: https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z.

For more information on this type of crime do visit: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/alert-fraudsters-claiming-to-be-from-hmrc-jun17

Alternatively, report incidents of fraud to Action Fraud using their online reporting tool http://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 1232040.
 
You can also sign up to the Trading Standards weekly email alert on rogues and scams targeting Suffolk at www.suffolk.gov.uk/JoinTheFight   

Cold Callers

Officers are reminding residents to be cautious when dealing with cold callers either over the phone or in person, especially callers claiming to be police officers.

Police have the following advice –

  • Never give out personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone.
  • If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up and call 101 using a different phone. If you can’t use a different phone, wait at least five minutes before calling back. If they are in person, check their identification and if in doubt, ring the police force to verify they are genuine.  A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.
  • Police and banks will never ask you to give out personal details such as account numbers or PIN numbers. 
  • If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible.
  • Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.

Anyone with concerns about such calls should contact Suffolk Constabulary on the non-emergency number 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Help us keep our communities safe

Police advice on a variety of subjects can be accessed via

To report something, or to otherwise contact Police, use the link

To report something anonymously call Crimestoppers on

0800 555 111 or visit

Alternatively call

101 for non-urgent matters.

Always call 999 in emergencies, or if an immediate police response is required.

Police Connect Team

 

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