Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter 10-10-21
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Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter 10-10-21
collated by Maggie Lewis - Voluntary Area Representative and Administrator for Oxford Neighbourhood Watch.
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This weekly newsletter is for reading and/or sharing in entirety or copying and pasting.
The index is available so you can read all or just the items of interest. Items are collated and taken from surfing the web, social media, articles, emails and conversations. Contributions will be gratefully received.
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1) World Mental Health Day
2) World Homeless Day
1) The Knowledge Hub
2) National Hate Awareness Week
1) Securing sheds and outhouses
2) Fearless Organisation (attachment)
3) Walk Safe (attachment)
1) Car Insurance Scams
Oxford City Council
1) What goes in each bin?
2) Recycling Heroes Competition
3) Women's Safety
Oxfordshire County Council
1) Laptops for Children
1) Urgent food recalls
2) escooters (attachment)
1) Antisocial Behaviour
2) Ten things you should do now to prepare for winter
Today is World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day
1) World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992. This year's theme is 'Mental Health in an Unequal World'
Samaritans. To talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit some branches in person.
SANEline. If you're experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).
National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK. Offers a supportive listening service to anyone with thoughts of suicide. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK on 0800 689 5652 (open 24/7).
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). You can call the CALM on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) if you are struggling and need to talk. Or if you prefer not to speak on the phone, you could try the CALM webchat service https://www.thecalmzone.net/help/webchat/
The Mix. If you're under 25, you can call The Mix on 0808 808 4994 (3pm–midnight every day), request support by email using this form on The Mix website https://www.themix.org.uk/get-support/speak-to-our-team/email-us or use their crisis text messenger service.https://www.themix.org.uk/get-support/speak-to-our-team/crisis-messenger
Papyrus HOPELINEUK. If you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm), email email@example.com or text 07786 209 697.
Nightline. If you're a student, you can look on the Nightline website https://nightline.ac.uk/want-to-talk/to see if your university or college offers a night-time listening service. Nightline phone operators are all students too.
Switchboard. If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day), email firstname.lastname@example.org or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
Helplines Partnership. For more options, visit the Helplines Partnership website https://www.helplines.org/ for a directory of UK helplines.
2) World Homeless Day
The Inaugural World Homeless Day was marked on the 10th of October 2010. The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to people who experience homelessness needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides.
Neighbourhood Watch helps people connect with their neighbours to build vibrant communities, with a central focus on preventing crime
1) The Knowledge Hub
The Knowledge Hub is a bespoke online platform available to Neighbourhood Watch volunteers across England and Wales. It offers induction, training, support, and other resources to help our volunteers in their roles.
2) National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2021 9th – 16th October 2021 (attachment)
What are hate crimes and hate incidents?
A hate crime is any incident, which is a criminal offence, that the victim, or anyone else, thinks is motivated by someone’s hostility or prejudice towards them or another person because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
Typically, hate crimes are verbal abuse, physical assaults or damage to property, a car or a home.
Hate crimes include posting abusive or offensive messages online about a person or group of people.
A hate incident is any incident, which is not a criminal offence that the victim, or anyone else, thinks is motivated by someone’s hostility or prejudice towards them or another person because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
Typically, hate incidents include litter in the garden, dirty stares, or noise nuisance.
The victim does not need to perceive that an incident was motivated by hostility or prejudice; if another person, a witness or a police officer, perceives that it is, it will be recorded and investigated as a hate incident.
Anyone can be the victim of a hate crime or incident. For example, people may be targeted because someone thinks that they are gay even if they aren’t or because they have a disabled child. Someone can also be a victim ‘by association’, for example, if a friend is racially abused in your presence and you feel as if you’re a victim of that incident as well.
Evidence of prejudice or hostility is not required for incidents to be reported, recorded and investigated as a hate incident – someone’s perception will suffice.
Oxford Mail articles
1) Witness Appeal - Man arrested after fight breaks out outside pub in St Clement's Street
Police are appealing for witnesses to a fight involving a number of men outside the Half Moon Pub in St Clement's Street in the early hours of Friday.
One man received injuries to his face and arm but did not require hospital treatment.
It is thought that a number of others could have been injured but no one else has come forward.
One man has been arrested following the fight which happened between 12.45am and 1am.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Oliver Dalby of CID based at Oxford police station, said: “We are investigating this incident of disorder and one man has been arrested in connection with this incident.
“We are aware that there were a number of people in the vicinity of the incident, who might have been witness to it and as such we would ask that if they have any information that they please do get in touch with us.
"St. Clement's Street was busy with traffic at the time of the incident and any vehicles with dash cams may have captured the incident."
Anyone with information, or footage of the incident should call 101 or go online quoting reference 43210441746.
2) Witness Appeal - Fatal stabbing in Barton (Oxford Mail)
An Oxford man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, police have confirmed.
A 20-year-old man was arrested in the early hours of this morning and is being held in custody.
A murder investigation was launched after a man in his 30s was stabbed to death in Bayswater Road, Barton. The victim died at the scene of his injuries.
Today, a large scene-watch remains in place in Bayswater Road and the adjacent park area.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Nick Hind of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit, said: “This incident occurred in a busy area of Barton just before 6pm on Friday, and we would renew our appeal for any witnesses to contact police.
“If you saw what happened, or were driving in the area and have dash-cam, I would ask you to please check this and contact the force if it has captured anything that can assist this investigation.
"You can contact us online or by calling 101, quoting incident reference 1694 of 8 October.
“We have now made an arrest, and I would like to re-assure the local community that we are making good progress in this investigation.
“It is understandable that incidents such as this cause great concern in the local community, but our officers at the scene are there to speak to should you have any concerns or information that you wish to raise.
“Even though our investigation is in the very early stages, we do believe that the victim and offender were known to each other, and we don’t believe there to be a wider risk to the local community.
“However, there will be a continued increased and very visible police presence in the area for some days to come while we piece together what has happened.
“Although formal identification of the victim has not yet taken place, we have identified and notified his next of kin, who are being supported by specially trained officers at this very difficult time.
“Our thoughts remain with the victim’s family and friends, who understandably are very distressed at this news.
3) Missing Teenager (known to frequent Oxford and Iffley Fields) (attachment)
A 16-year old girl has been missing from Witney since last night, as concern is growing for her welfare.
Courtney Lancaster was last seen at 6.50pm last night at an address in the town.
Thames Valley Police have said that concern is growing for the teenager’s welfare
Courtney is described as a ‘white girl, around 5ft 2ins tall with a stocky build’.
She currently has pink hair which is tied up on top of her head, although the image Thames Valley Police has provided does not show this hair colour.
Courtney is also known to frequent Oxford and Iffley Village and is known to like water and water fountains.
08 08 16 89 111
Being a victim of crime can be distressing. The impact of crime will vary, but many people benefit from receiving some support and information to help them cope and recover.
They provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for people affected by crime and traumatic events – regardless of whether you have reported the crime to the police.
Teams of highly-trained staff and volunteers provide a wide range of specialist services that help people affected by all types of crime from burglary, hate crime, fraud and theft to domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and terrorism.
Crime can have a damaging effect on your mental and emotional well-being. If you’ve been affected by crime, one of the ways they can help is by giving the support needed to cope with emotional stress.
What they do is similar to counselling, but it’s not the same. Counselling is a very specific type of therapy practised by qualified professionals who analyse someone’s entire life and history to help them understand themselves better. That’s not something most victims of crime need – usually, they just need some help dealing with the emotional turmoil they’re experiencing.
While some people can do this with friends and family, it doesn’t work that way for everyone, especially if those around you are affected by the crime too. They can provide a safe, neutral place to voice fears, worries and emotions. This helps a lot of people to cope and move forward after a crime.
Being a victim of crime can lead to all kinds of practical problems. This can range from minor issues (such as damage to your property or having to fill in insurance forms), through to serious medical problems or the loss of your home. While emotional support can help you to deal with your feelings after a crime, practical problems often act as reminders of what you’ve been through and make it harder to get your life back under control.
The service is confidential unless they believe there is a risk of harm or it is a legal requirement, they will not pass on personal details or any other information that could identify without permission.
1) Securing sheds and outbuildings
These are often targeted by thieves as an easy option and they hold valuable items that can be easily sold on i.e. items such as bikes, mowers, power tools, garden tools and sporting equipment such as golf clubs. Research has shown that the average shed contents are valued between £1,500 and £5,000, making sheds easy pickings if insecure.
2) Fearless organization
Fearless is part of Crimestoppers and geared towards youngsters.
Fearless is a site where you can access non-judgemental information and advice about crime and criminality and provides a safe place to give information about crime - 100% anonymously.
There is a useful A-Z of crime types using the guide to find out more information about all of the different types of crime and where to access further information, advice, help or support.
2) WalkSafe - (attachment)
I contacted WalkSafe about their app. and received the following information. There is no cost for our app. Our priority will always be to empower our users with the information they need to make better decisions about safety. The app will always remain free to use.
1) Car insurance scams
Car insurance scams can leave you out of pocket
When we think of scams, we often imagine a fraudster calling someone pretending to be from their bank or someone clicking on a dodgy link and sharing personal details.
However, scammers also target drivers by making false claims in an attempt to profit from their policy.
Sadly, car insurance scams can be dangerous and can leave you hundreds, or even thousands of pounds, out of pocket.
Ghost brokers: how the scam works
Fraudsters sometimes pose as insurance brokers and sell fake car insurance policies that cost far less than a typical policy would.
You should buy your car insurance from a trusted, recognised brand, either through a comparison site like Compare the Market of Moneysupermarket, or direct from the likes of Direct Line, RAC or Churchill.
How to check an insurance broker is legit
If you’re approached by someone claiming to be an insurance broker, you should check with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association to ensure they are authorised.
If you can’t find the broker on this British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s list or find only a phone number and email address is provided, it’s possible that you’re dealing with a ghost broker
If you have been tricked by a ghost broker, make sure you apply for a valid car insurance straight away. It’s illegal to drive without insurance – and you could get fined, penalty points on your licence or your car could be seized and destroyed.
Your insurer might be able to help point you in the right direction for a legitimate policy, but they’ll have to cancel a policy if it involves incorrect or misleading information.
Crash for cash: how this scam works & red flags
A crash for cash scam involves a fraudster staging an accident by damaging the car themselves or inducing an accident so they can make money from an insurance claim, personal injury or car hire claim.
One of the simplest ways to avoid a crash for cash scam is to keep your distance from other cars, making it more difficult for someone to slam on the brakes and induce a collision.
Always be alert to unusual behaviour from other drivers (including the driver two cars ahead who could be an accomplice) and keeping your distance from cars that are damaged.
The IFB warns drivers should focus on the vehicles, not just brake lights, as fraudsters sometimes disable theirs and to be extra cautious pulling out of a side road.
If you are involved in an accident and the driver and/or passengers appear unphased, appear to exaggerate injuries or have their written insurance information to hand, you could be dealing with a scammer.
Make sure you get as much information about the driver, passengers and what happened, including pictures, footage from a dashcam and note down any CCTV in the immediate area.
Flash for cash & slam on fraud: how these scams work
Flash for cash scams are similar to crash for cash scams, but a key difference is that the criminal first flashes their headlights to let a driver through before then crashing into them on purpose.
The RAC adds that it can be tricky to prove a crash was intentional in court as it’s your word against theirs unless you have a dashcam installed.
Slam of fraud is when a scammer uses their brakes spontaneously in the aim of getting involved in a crash, so they can try and get as much money as possible.
The RAC warns that some scammers will sometimes hide in a driver’s blind spot before overtaking them and slamming on the brakes.
As these scams can unfold without warning, it can be tough to figure out what’s going on.
It’s worth being wary of any suspicious behaviour from drivers, getting a dashcam to record any incidents and getting a blind spot mirror to improve visibility.
Why you should be wary after an accident
Unfortunately, you could also be targeted by scammers after the accident itself. Victims are sometimes called about claiming for an accident in a bid to get hold of personal details.
If you do suffer any whiplash injuries, you can now claim for these injuries directly with the insurer.
Oxford City Council
What goes in each bin?
In 2019-2020, 9.17% of the recycling that was collected from blue bins and clear sacks consisted of things that can't be recycled.When incorrect items are placed in the recycling bin, it can cause problems at the recycling plant. If too many items are placed in the recycling bin incorrectly, the recycling will be turned away from the plant. The main problem items in Oxford's blue recycling bins and sacks are: food, textiles, nappies, wood and black bags.
2) Recycling Heroes Competition
Oxford currently sends 0% of its household waste to landfill, instead using recycling and turning waste into energy. ODS and the City Council would like more people to recycle and help Oxford become an even more sustainable city.
How to Enter
The competition will run from Tuesday 28 September to Tuesday 30 November 2021, giving you plenty of time to collect your recycling and do something amazing with it.
The competition involves taking a photo or video of you or your family doing something fun and exciting in the name of recycling, or showing off how much they recycle compared to what they throw away in the general waste.
Heroes will need to submit a video or photos to the Oxford Recycles Facebook page or to Twitter with a tweet including the handle (@Recycle4Oxford). Entry submissions must be submitted by someone who has followed or liked the relevant social media page and the video must contain recycling related content. The entry text must include the hashtag #RecyclingHeroes. Full details on how to enter the competition can be found at the top of this page.
The panel of judges will watch the whole city’s entries and decide who will win £250 of Love2Shop vouchers.
3) Women's Safety
Oxford has been granted up to £426,000 to introduce measures that will help prevent violence against women and girls travelling in and out of Oxford at night!
The funding aims to introduce new measures, including nightclub ‘Safe Zones’, Safe Walk routes, outdoor phone charging stations, upgrades to CCTV and more – in order to ensure safer journeys for those travelling from their home, into the city and back again.
In 2019-2020 88 sexual offences were committed by strangers in Oxford, 75% of these were crimes committed against women.
Not only will these measures help to protect women and girls, they will also make the streets safer for anyone who is vulnerable to violence or other predatory behaviour.
Oxfordshire County Council
1) Laptops for Children (businesses and residents)
Do you have any old laptops that could be donated to local schoolchildren ?
Join us in donating old laptops to Getting Oxfordshire Online, an initiative that refurbishes donated devices, and passes them to people who need them. A key area of focus is children from deprived families who need help with their online studies.
We have donated 120 laptops since the pilot launched in February and plan to donate a further 140 pre-used council laptops to Oxford children over the next 3 months.
Not only will this benefit 260 people, it will also save 88.93 tonnes of carbon compared to buying new, which is equivalent to 19 cars driving for a year or planting 1470 trees
1) Product recall for supermarkets (long list)
UK supermarkets are urging you to return these products amid health warnings
2) Escooters (attachment)
Confused by E-Scooters?
Here are the basics:
E-Scooters are motor vehicles so need to be insured, taxed & registered like a car
You need a driving licence
You could be given a fine & points
Rental e-scooter rules differ
Find out more at https://orlo.uk/HtPTf
Antisocial behaviour (ASB) incidents have increased over the last three years. Police forces, councils and housing associations are reporting significant spikes in ASB cases – and these are not minor incidents. They are complex and serious cases causing real harm to many people. 45% of people say ASB is a problem where they live and 56% of those who had either been a victim of or a witness to ASB, did not report it to anyone. This suggests that the incidence and the negative effects of ASB are much higher than official statistics based on recorded cases recognise.
Noise nuisance including loud music, banging, DIY at unsocial hours, loud parties and frequent visitors at unsocial hours
Household disputes including shouting, swearing and fighting
Harassment and intimidation including intimidation through threats or actual violence, abusive behaviour aimed at causing distress or fear to certain people, e.g. elderly or disabled people, and verbal abuse
Environmental antisocial behaviour including dumping rubbish, animal nuisance, including dog fouling and dogs barking, vandalism, property damage and graffiti, antisocial drinking, driving in an inconsiderate or careless way, for example, drivers congregating in an area for racing/car cruising, and arson (secondary fires).
There is a fine line between antisocial behaviour and neighbour disputes which can often begin over relatively minor inconveniences, such as parking. However, if they persist, they can potentially become antisocial behaviour.
Antisocial behaviour is not parking (including badly parked vehicles), children playing, neighbours doing DIY (at reasonable times of the day), groups of young people in the street or in parks unless they are being rowdy, abusive, causing damage or committing other crimes, noise caused by everyday living, religious or cultural practice, one-off parties, or general living noise.
2) Ten things you should do now to prepare for winter (Met Office)
Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (NWN, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford LPA)