Here is the latest update from the Wantage area Neighbourhood Policing Team.
Burglary: Burglary remains a priority for Thames Valley Police and patrols continue in targeted areas. Over the last month we have seen a decrease in residential burglaries but have had two reports of sheds and garages broken into and push bikes stolen. Please remember to secure all bikes and consider extra security such as lighting, shed alarms etc which can be purchased very cheaply online. Also consider signing up to Thames Valley Alert to keep up to date on issues in your area. Please visit www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk to find out more about this system which send you information from the Police on crimes in your area.
Rural crime: The team have continued to patrol farmland on The Ridgeway where several attempts of trespassing with dogs with the intention of poaching were successfully disrupted. The team continue to regularly engage with local landowners.
A male from Didcot has recently been given a Section 59 warning for riding his motorbike across the across the Ridgeway in an anti-social manner. Following the Section 59 Warning if the male uses this motorbike or any other vehicle in a similar manner in the next year we can now seize the vehicle.
Violent Crime: During the month of February in the early hours of Sunday we had reports of drunk behaviour in Wantage Town Centre. The team have been viewing CCTV to try and identify any ringleaders and also have spoken with Licensees to reduce these incidents. Please go out and enjoy yourself but drink responsibly and respect others when you leave a licensed premises. OP Sceptre launches this month and is designed to reduce knife carrying through education and enforcement.
You said, we did
We have increased patrols in St Marys and Three Pigeons Close following several reports of ASB. A drugs warrant was executed at The Wharf Wantage following information from the community. Drugs and cash was seized and the investigation is ongoing at this time.
Anti-social behaviour (ASB)
A constant concern of callers is with regard to ASB. It is one we take very seriously. We are concerned at the moment that young people are accessing the building sites, which are dangerous places. We have liaised with the building companies to deter this behaviour. If you have any information on this please contact us.
Theft from vehicles
Over the last month we have seen an increase in theft from vehicles mainly targeting work vans for tools. We appreciate this can have a large detrimental impact on people as it affects their livelihoods. We are targeting our patrols around hotspot areas and utilising equipment such as ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) to deter or catch the persons involved. We recommend do not leave valuables in your vehicle and report any suspicious activity to the police or the car owner if you know them. If you require some crime prevention advice or visit from the neighbourhood team please use the contact details below.
The neighbourhood team have attended numerous victims and attempted victims of fraud over the last month, these come in various different forms from telephone/internet scams, courier fraud and persons pretending to be police officers. The outcome can be very detrimental both financially and mentally to the victim. We have seen an increase in telephone banking fraud, telephone banking fraud is a scam which is becoming increasingly commonplace. The fraudsters do not actually scam their victims online, but use the telephone to do so. Here’s how it works:
You receive a call from somebody who claims to be from an organisation you trust, such as your bank or the police. They inform you that there is a safety or security problem associated with your bank account or payment cards, and you need to take some kind of immediate preventative action, which normally involves confirming your confidential login details. However, the person on the other end of the call is not your bank or card issuer, but a fraudster.
You may also be asked to give your cards to a courier sent by the ‘bank’ or ‘police’ to ensure that they have been stopped, or for evidence. This is known as ‘Courier Fraud’.
• You provide your account details and answers to security questions to fraudsters
• Your bank account is emptied and/or cards used to their limit
• You could become a victim of identity theft because you have revealed confidential financial and personal information
How to avoid telephone banking fraud
• A bank or payment card company will never ask you to transfer money out of your account to another that you do not recognise, so hang up immediately.
• If you do think that the call may be authentic and you choose to call your bank or card issuer, call the number on your bank statement or other document from your bank – or on the back of your card, and NOT a number given to you by the caller or the one you were called from.
• Never provide financial or personal details to a caller, but call back on a number you know to be authentic. Many scammers have the ability to spoof authentic numbers to fool you into thinking that they are genuine.
If you have been a victim of telephone banking fraud
Report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk. Report it to your relevant bank or payment card provider immediately. You will find out how to do so by looking on their websites.
During February PCSO Jennings visited the Wantage Nursery and Preschool and completed a presentation on road safety and did some fingerprinting with the children.
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Always phone 999 in an emergency