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Friday, 24 October 2014

Commercial premises

Thames Valley Police is asking local businesses in the South and Vale Local Police Area (LPA) to raise their awareness after a series of burglaries in which safes were targeted.

There have been three night-time burglaries in recent weeks which officers believe may be part of a series by the same offenders targeting commercial premises.

The first was in Uffington at about 1.15am on Thursday 16 October. Offenders gained entry by forcing the doors of the Post Office in Broad Street. Once inside, they conducted an untidy search and stole cigarettes and tobacco.

In the second, thieves targeted the Timpson store in the Marcham Road, Abingdon branch of Tesco. Between 6.50pm and 11.25pm on 17 October, offenders forced open the security door at the entrance of the store and then forced the till and the safe. They stole cash, an IPhone and two watches from the safe.

In the most recent offence, thieves forced open the back door of Sweet Fuels Ltd in Challow, near Wantage and stole a safe from the front office overnight between 20 and 21 October.

Inspector Mark Harling, Deputy LPA Commander for South and Vale, said: “We are linking these offences to a number of other offences that have occurred at Shrivenham, Rowstock and Chilton and believe that these are part of a broader series of offences that have been occurring in other parts of the Thames Valley and in other force areas including Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Hampshire.

“The criminals seem to be targeting commercial premises in remote areas, including industrial units and fast food outlets. The investigation into these offences is ongoing with a number of detectives working on the enquiry and liaising with surrounding police forces. Additional patrols have been allocated to the area and will continue until the offenders are identified.

“It is believed that the offenders are visiting the attacked premises prior the offences occurring in order to plan the burglary and we would therefore ask business owners to be vigilant and report any suspicious incidents or visitors to the police. We believe that the offenders may have access to 4x4 style vehicles and on some of the offences two similar 4x4 vehicles have been seen travelling in convoy away from the burglaries.

There are a number of steps business owners can take to help to prevent these offences, including not keeping cash on the premises overnight, making sure their CCTV is working and of a good quality, and using Smartwater to security mark their property. Our local neighbourhood teams and crime reduction advisors are available to visit businesses and give crime reduction advice and tips on how to improve security.

Anyone who has any information about the burglary or wants to report suspicious activity should contact Thames Valley Police via the non-emergency number, 101.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

More Bogus Callers

We have received reports recently of some people posing as planning or building control officers to gain access to people's properties under the pretence they're looking into enforcement issues etc.  When challenged, they’ve said they were from “planning” and left immediately.

Planning officers can often turn up to a site unannounced, especially planning enforcement officers.  However, they will always have photo ID on them, and are always happy to be asked for it and to explain the reason for their visit.  Their identity can also be verified by calling the planning office on01491 823740 or by contacting the Customer Service Manager Duncan Grainge on 01491 823711or email: 

We would like to ask residents to be extra vigilant about this kind of activity and to ask for ID from anyone who visits unannounced from any organisation. Please report suspicious activity to the Police via the 24 hour non-emergency telephone number 101 or call 999 for crime in progress.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Bucking the trend

NFU Mutual’s rural crime survey for 2013 has shown that rural crime is down by 19 per cent across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire collectively.

Thames Valley Police is one of the few forces across the Country to have seen a decrease with national figures showing a 5.2 per cent increase in rural crime.

Last year Thames Valley Police made concentrated efforts to tackle rural crime by conducting intensive operations to tackle criminals who target the rural economy, improve security in the rural areas and gain the trust and confidence of the farming communities.

Officers learnt more about how the farming community work and now understand the impact rural crime has on business and livelihoods. The policing activities and new skills implemented throughout the last year are now business as usual for the whole Force and Thames Valley Police will continue to drive crime down further.

NFU Mutual’s Top 10 UK counties by estimated cost of rural crime in 2013: 

Cambridgeshire (£2.7m)
Lincolnshire (£2.3m)
Essex (£2.1m)
Kent (£1.8m)
Lancashire (£1.8m)
Suffolk (£1.5m)
North Yorkshire (£1.5m)
Leicestershire (£1.3m)
Co. Antrim (£1.2m)
Somerset (£1.2m)

In Thames Valley, Berkshire Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire showed a combined loss in 2013 of £1.7m

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Door to door salesmen

I just had a white male, 30's light brown hair wearing a red jacket knock on my door trying to sell cleaning products.

He had a laminated I.D. 

He started off saying he had been a bad boy in the past but now.......

I stopped him there.

The I.D. If you look is a simple message anyone could write and print off, it's not an official I.D.

The one I showed him was, a police I.D. I then pointed out the sticker on my door saying I don't buy or sell at the door. He walked off mumbling under his breath.

If you get a visit today or in the future don't enter into a conversation with them, tell them you don't want anything and close the door. They are trying to con you.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

White van man

I have received reports of an Asian male driving around the area attempting to sell fish or meat door to door. He's driving a small white van with "DCSolutions" possibly written on the side. He was last seen in the Forest Row area but has been seen in various other places too.

He will knock on doors and ask the occupier to come to the van to look at his goods for sale.

My advice is don't 

Tell him politely no thanks and close the door.

He may well have what he claims to be fresh produce in the van and that's what he will show you. What you get is not what you've seen, it's normally rotten, basically it's a con.

It's not a new one it's been happening for years all over the country. Originally they came from the Grimsby / Hull area but now everyone is trying their luck. 

Never buy anything from someone calling door to door. Only buy from a known supplier and then only if it's been pre arranged.

It's now the time of year we all try to get our gardens back up to scratch using the various gardening tools and equipment available. Don't leave it on show, make sure it's marked with your postcode in permanent ink, and lock it away after use. 

If you don't chances are someone in a white van will help themselves to it.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Thames Valley Police released our crime figures for 13/14

There have been a number of positive results for the South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse.

Within the last financial year we were the second best performing Local Police Area in Thames Valley delivering:

  • 5.6% reduction in Dwelling Burglary.
  • 37.4% detection rate in Dwelling Burglary.
  • 37.0% detection rate in Rape.
  • 61.3% detection rate in Violence against the Person with Injury.
  • 6% reduction in Violence against the Person with Injury.

LPA Area Commander Supt Andy Boyd said:
“Once again I am really pleased to inform you that during the last twelve months we have been able to reduce crime whilst increasing the number of offenders we have brought to justice. During the last year we have reduced crime by 0.2%. Whilst this is a modest decrease, it should be viewed in the context of our success in reducing crime by over 38% in the last ten years. There were, last year, over a 1000 less victims of crime than there were two years ago.

“Whilst we are extremely proud of these achievements we do not under estimate the challenges of maintaining these levels of performance and we are committed to striving to further reduce crime.

“Contrary to what some sections of the media would have you believe, within South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse the overwhelming majority of the public have a great deal of trust and confidence in the Police. It is this relationship with the public which has enabled us to deliver sustained reductions in crime; we cannot detect crime without the support of the public. We rely on the public to tell us when they are victims of crime, to tell us when they see something suspicious and to give evidence at court in order for us to bring offenders to justice. It is our role to keep the public safe, we recognise our unique relationship with the public in which we are reliant on their trust in order to fulfil our duties, we will endeavour this year to enhance and build on this relationship.

“We will over the next year continue to develop our Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and community messaging across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse. These schemes enable us to further develop our relationship with local communities enabling us to let them know what is happening and how they can help us keep them safe and protect their property. If you would like to discuss how we can enhance the schemes in your local area please do let me know and I will arrange for a member of our neighbourhood team to contact you.

“As I regularly point out we have not reduced crime on our own and I am extremely grateful for the continuing help and support from both South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, the Community Safety Partnership and all those volunteers who support us through the Special Constabulary, Neighbourhood Watch and the Neighbourhood Action Groups.
“Thank you for your support this year, it has been very much appreciated and I look forward to continuing to work with you over the coming year”.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Incident at McDonalds Benson

Thames Valley Police is appealing for information after a robbery at a McDonald’s restaurant in Benson in the early hours of Tuesday morning (1/4).

Officers were called to the restaurant in Oxford Road, B4009, shortly before 12.30am after reports that a man had entered and brandished a bat at staff and demanded money from the safe.

The man has then made all members of staff enter a back office, where money was then handed over before he fled the scene.

The man is described as 6ft, and was wearing dark coloured clothing and had his face covered.

PC Jon Morley said: “I am keen to speak to anyone who may have been travelling through this area and seen something, or anyone that has any information about this incident.”

If you have any details which could help investigating officers, please call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101.

If you don’t want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at .

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Nearby burglaries

On Saturday (22/2), between 3.30pm and 6.15pm, a property in Park View, Crowmarsh Gifford, was burgled. Entry was gained via a rear patio door. A computer was stolen.

Between Friday (21/2), and Sunday (23/2), a property in Wantage Road, Wallingford, was burgled. Offender(s) gained entry via a garage door. Property stolen included electrical items and jewellery.

If you have seen any suspicious looking people or vehicles in the area or have any information relating to this message please call the police on 101.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Email scam

Fraudsters have been sending out legitimate looking spoofed emails designed to trick recipients into installing malware.
The emails say you have been notified and scheduled to appear for a court hearing, and contains specific dates, times, locations and reference numbers.
It asks you to download a copy of the “court notice” attached. The file actually contains an .exe file (a file that executes when clicked) containing a virus.
The email has no connection to the Criminal Justice System and anyone receiving the email should not download any attachments or click any links.

Subject headers change frequently
You are likely to see some variations of this email, as it is easy for fraudsters to amend the details and continue targeting people. BCRC’s cyber security specialist said “the email is difficult to block as the subject headers change frequently.”
He also said: “Provoking a panicked, impulse reaction has become a very common scam technique for cyber criminals. Opening the attachment allows the criminal to spy on the victim, use their computer to commit crime, or steal personal and financial information.
For further information please visit the BCRC website.

Friday, 24 January 2014

More fraud

Thames Valley Police are reissuing their warning to residents of the Thames Valley to be on their guard for fraudulent phone calls purporting to be from banks/police officers and requesting bank and card details.

On Tuesday 21 January, an elderly lady from Ermin Street, Shefford Woodlands, and an elderly lady from Lancaster Close, Hungerford, both received calls. Fortunately the
y realised that it was a scam before any money could be taken from their accounts.

Police are reiterating their advice about this type of fraud and asking everyone who has elderly or vulnerable family members, friends, or neighbours, to let them know about the scam.

The most important three things to remember are:

- Your bank and/or the police will never ask for your PIN
- Your bank will never attend your home to deliver a replacement card or to collect cash
- Your bank and/or the police will never collect your bank card

This type of fraud is known as courier fraud or vishing and often targets the elderly and vulnerable. The victim receives a phone call from fraudsters who say they are from their bank or the police. They tell the victim that they are calling because there has been suspicious activity on their account and advise them to call the bank from the number on the back of their card, which helps the victim believe the call is genuine.

The victim disconnects the phone and dials their bank or police, however the fraudster has kept the telephone line open so even though a number is dialed, it is not connected and the victim is still on the phone to the fraudster, who then gains their trust and asks them to either say or key in their pin, before telling them their card will be collected and a replacement delivered.

Once the fraudster has all the information they need, a courier is sent to collect the card from the victim, and a replacement is delivered at the same time, which is not a genuine bank card.

The offender has obtained the person’s name, address, full bank details, the card itself and the PIN. The bank cards are then used fraudulently without the victim’s knowledge.

Police advice is that if you receive such a call, end it immediately. Then use another phone-line, neighbours phone or mobile phone to make a report. If this is not possible please wait a period of time before you use your phone (10 minutes should be sufficient).

If you receive this type of call, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or via their website. In an emergency, dial 999.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Bank - credit card scams

Elderly people are being targeted with a new telephone scam that involves con men posing as bank staff or police, a fraud watchdog has warned.

The fraud, which has cost victims £7m in a year, is difficult to detect when well-executed, Financial Fraud Action UK said.
The criminals instruct the victim to disclose credit and debit card information before emptying the person’s bank accounts.
Those who have fallen into the trap have had their life savings wiped out within 24-hours. Around one in four adults in the UK has received a cold call like this. Financial Fraud Action said 43pc of victims have been aged over 50.
The new con is dubbed ‘vishing’. It involves a fraudster posing on the phone as someone from a bank or building society fraud investigation team, the police or another legitimate organisation such as a telephone or internet provider.

Remember this advice

Your bank or the police will never ring you and tell you that they are coming to your home to pick up your card or cash. Never hand it over to anyone who comes to collect it.

Your bank will never ask you to authorise anything by entering your PIN over the phone.

Never tell anyone your PIN. The only time you should need to use it is at a cash machine at a shop's chip & pin machine.

If you think that you have been the victim of a scam or fraud of this nature you should inform the police or you bank/card companies A.S.A.P

You can download a Free No Cold Callers message here


Illegal pesticides

Thames Valley Police is currently investigating the distribution and use of illegal pesticides, including counterfeits, across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

Illegal pesticides have been found in increasing amounts across the UK and Europe and Thames Valley Police has a particular interest in illegal pesticides not just because of the risks they pose to the rural communities but the links to organised crime gangs. There is growing evidence that the illicit activities of such gangs finance other serious crimes such as human trafficking and international terrorism.

It is not yet known to what extent, if any, illegal pesticides are being sold within our rural communities. Gathering intelligence and information is a vital part of the investigation, which is where you come in.

If you notice anything suspicious about pesticides you have either been offered or purchased, please call the 24 hour non-emergency number 101 and mention ‘Operation Silo’.

Things to look out for:

  • Does the product look or smell unusual?
  • Have you been offered a product which has been described as the same as another but at a discounted rate?
  • Have you been sold a product because your first choice was ‘out of stock’?
  • Do you have any feelings that a product you have bought isn’t quite right? Are there any unusual symptoms or irregularities?(clog spray jets / nozzles) etc
  • Is the packaging unusual or not what you would expect?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Computer virus

Should any of you receive an e-mail similar to the picture of one below delete it immediately, it is fake !
Do not under any circumstances click on the link as it will install dangerous malware.