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This message is dated Friday 23rd July 2021 - Maidenhead

Alert message sent 23/07/2021 15:23:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police


FIRST: AN UPSETTING REPORT FROM ACTION FRAUD:

The police has received a report from the victim’s son in law.  He reported that he believed she has been scammed by a man who had put a flyer through her door, advertising gardening services.  She responded to the flyer, as she wanted to get her garden tidied up.  He asked for a huge amount of money up front – which she gave him.  She explained what she wanted and the man said no problem and he would start on Monday 28th June.

On that day, three men turned up. The victim gave the supposed owner of the company, another large cheque.  Later, one of the other men doing the work, went to the victim and said that they hadn’t been paid and she wrote yet another even larger cheque, to cover what he said would be three weeks work.
Later, they asked for more money and the victim handed over a further cheque.

In total, the victim has written cheques totalling £25,700.  Since then, the owner of the company has made contact, saying that she owes a further £10,000.

This only come to light, because the victim said to her daughter ‘Don't use the current account’.  Her daughter asked why and the victim said ‘because there is no money left in that account’.  Her daughter asked why and it then came out that the victim had written so many cheques for the gardener.

The family are in contact with the bank, to see if any of the money can be traced and recovered.

This goes back to never deal with anyone that cold calls or puts flyers though doors.  If you need to have work done, seek a recommendation from someone you know.

PLEASE REMEMBER OUR NHW MOTTO

I AM SORRY, I DO NOT BUY GOODS AND SERVICES AT THE DOOR.


The only way the money can be recovered, is if we can prove Fraud and that is not as easy as it sounds.  We must prove that the amount paid was way above a reasonable charge, for the work actually done.  Generally, this is not a crime, but is a civil matter of contract – unless - we can prove Fraud.  Anyone, can employ anyone they want, to carry out work, for any price they agree.

I can buy a regular T shirt for £3 or £4, but it is not fraud, if I choose to buy a designer T shirt for £80.  That is my choice.  If I want gardening work done, I may decide to pay over the odds, because I like a particular gardener, his work, he is always punctual, tidy and arrives on the day he says he will come !  I may be willing to pay extra for that certainty.  That is a matter of personal choice and just because it is very expensive, does not make it Fraud.

We, the police, also have an additional responsibility to ‘safeguard’ a victim, if we believe they have been taken advantage of and we will do everything we can, to recover the money, trace the offenders and charge them with fraud – if fraud can be proved.  We have details of the gardeners and their vehicles and will be working with Trading Standards.

How can we all help to prevent vulnerable people being targeted ?

If you have elderly or possibly vulnerable neighbours / relatives and you see a builder’s / gardeners van / skip outside their house – please let us, or the RBWM Community Wardens know.  We will never reveal that a report has been made no by whom.  Elderly / vulnerable residents can be fiercely independent !  We will arrange for a PCSO, or a Community Warden, to happen to walk past and be patrolling in that area.  They will say, they noticed the van / skip outside and wondered out of curiosity, what they were having done.  They will then go through all the paperwork to make sure everything is in order.  If it is – nothing is lost and reputable builders / gardeners, will always support this activity.  If everything is not in order, you may prevent your neighbour from being scammed out of similar amounts to the above – as there is no guarantee, the money will be returned !

NEXT:  We have now had our first public residents’ meeting in nearly 18 months, last Wednesday in Wraysbury.  It was an experiment, to see if people felt safe enough and were willing to come out.  They did and it went really well.

We had the Chair of the local Neighbourhood Action Group, talking about their work, trying to resolve issues raised by local residents, an RBWM Community Warden, who talked about their work supporting local residents, the local PCSO from the Windsor East Neighbourhood Team and myself.  We covered the Summer Burglary Campaign, local crimes and the appropriate Crime Prevention Advice.  We then went through current scams and frauds.

In the audience, was a woman who had recently been the victim of a successful Courier Fraud from a supposed DI from Hammersmith Police Station.  She took us all through exactly how it happened.  Word by word, what she was being told, convincing her that her bank, the local police, everyone, was involved in a local counterfeiting fraud.  Though she was suspicious, everything she was being told appeared to be so reasonable – and – as it was the police asking for her help - she was convinced to go through with it, withdraw her cash and hand it over to the courier.  Completely insignificant random factors happened, which fed into her paranoia and the story of the conspiracy of crime being perpetrated by bank staff.  Taken moment by moment, what she did appeared to be totally reasonable.  She said she would like to join us at any future meetings, to tell her story.  She wants to do everything in her power, to prevent further victims and if her experiences can do that, she is willing to relive the experience.

As a result of our success, our next Public Meetings are already being planned across the entire RBWM.  The line-up will hopefully be the same, to make it as relevant as possible.

Would you like us to come to your area ?  If so we will need a venue.  Let me know your suggestions.


NEXT:  I AM VERY SORRY TO SAY – YET ANOTHER SEXTORTION CASE !
A young man was face timing someone yesterday, when they joined him into a live video feed of a girl carrying out intimate acts.  The young man, still in video feed then carried out intimate acts.  He then received a demand for £8,000 or they would post the video they have recorded of him, on Facebook and to all the people in his contact list !

LIKE SO MANY THINGS, THIS MESSAGE IS OBVIOUSLY NOT GETTING OUT THERE !

This whole episode has been very stressful for the family.

AS I HAVE SAID SO OFTEN – PLEASE DO NOT SAY, WRITE, TEXT, FILM, VIDEO, PHOTOGRAPH, EMAIL ANYTHING ONLINE THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE HAPPY FOR YOUR PARENTS, FRIENDS, RELATIVES, NEIGHBOURS, WORK COLLEAGUES, YOUR BOSS OR EVERYONE IN YOUR PERSONAL ADDRESS BOOK TO SEE !

Once you do anything online, it is totally out of your control and you have no idea where it could end up.

CRIME

I have attached reference numbers to each crime report. If you live in the vicinity of any of the crimes mentioned and have CCTV or a video doorbell, can you please check the footage. If you have any that might be of interest to the police, can you please make contact with us, quoting reference number given.

Alternatively you can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or email - www.crimestoppers-uk.org


MAIDENHEAD CENTRAL:
maidenheadcentralgeographical@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
SR.windsor&maidenhead@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk.
1/6 – 21/7  Boulters Gardens  Garage break – Padlock forced and bike stolen.  A black Specialized Epic mountain bike – WITH FRAME NUMBER.  Ref. No:  43210325967
22/7  Thursday 2.45 a.m.  Risborough Road.  The caller saw a man walking along the road trying car door handles.  He was dressed in dark clothing and not carrying anything.  They can see internal lights going inside cars and in one – a red Fiesta.  He can be seen rummaging through the glove box.  He then walked on towards Norfolk Road. Ref. No:  43210325338

RIVERSIDE & BELMONT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.

MAIDENHEAD WEST

maidenheadwestgeographical@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
SR.windsor&maidenhead@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
BISHAM, COOKHAM, HURLEY, THE WALTHAMS, LITTLEWICK GREEN & KNOWL HILL:
22/7  Thursday 1.50 p.m.  Woods Grove / West End Road.  Fence damaged.  Ref. No:  43210325613

PINKNEYS GREEN & FURZE PLATT:
22/7  Thursday 4 p.m. / 4.45 p.m.  Westmead.  Security gates forced and bent.  No entry gained and nothing stolen.  Ref. No:  43210326968
23/7  Friday 3.45 a.m.  Bath Road.  A caller reported 2 men on their driveway.  There was a car on the driveway and the men may have intended to break into it. It was very dark and caller was unsure. They then looked into the bay window of the conservatory.  They got there by jumping the back fence into the garden.  No further update at this time.  Ref. No:  43210227335

MAIDENHEAD SOUTH
maidenheadsouthgeographical@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
SR.windsor&maidenhead@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
BOYN HILL, COX GREEN & WOODLANDS PARK
NO CRIME TO REPORT.

OLDFIELD, BRAY & HOLYPORT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.



Please consider using our online reporting system but please note this reporting tool is not for use where a crime happening right now, the suspect is still at the scene, or anyone seriously injured or in immediate danger.

https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/

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Eyes, ears.....and Brain

Jeff
Jeffrey.pick@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk


FROM THE MAIDENHEAD NHW ASSOCIATION:

Maidenhead Neighbourhood Watch Association is growing fast, and with more members joining every day, we need to ask for volunteers to join us on the association to help keep the association going and keep Maidenhead safe!  
 
Here is a shortlist of the positions we have available: 
Multi-Scheme Administrator (MSA) 
Secretary of the Association 
Board members of the Association 
Vice-Chairman of the Association  
 
Please visit our website: MaidenheadNHWA.org.uk and from there you will be able to see all the different ways you can get involved to help support your local community. There is no time commitment or dedicated hours, but we do ask if you can attend the association meetings (One 60 Minute meeting every 2 months) 
 
If you have any question about any of the positions available, please feel free to contact us at contact@MaidenheadNHWA.org.uk 
 
I look forward to speaking with you soon. 
 
Kind regards, 
 
James Cooper HNDip, MBCS 
Chairman – Maidenhead Neighbourhood Watch Association & Vice-Chair for Thames Valley Neighbourhood Watch Association  

 
Message sent by
Jeffrey Pick (Police, Community Engagement & Resilience Officer, Windsor & Maidenhead LPA)

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