Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Weekly Newsletter

Alert message sent 31/07/2022 12:48:00

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My sincere apologies due to a computer glitch some of you may have received a double edition previously so please delete first version to share
Welcome to Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Weekly Newsletter 31-7-22 collated by Maggie Lewis - Volunteer Area Neighbourhood Watch Representative and Administrator for Oxford.
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.  Any information, contributions and replies will be gratefully received.
If you have any comments/information/errors or want to unsubscribe you can use reply icon below.

Links and attachments at end of newsletter
Please share and care. 

Neighbourhood Watch Network
1) Community Safety Charter (please read)
Oxford Neighbourhood Watch 
1) Neighbourhood Watch Volunteer Team
2) Shared Experiences
Thames Valley Police 
1) Reporting antisocial behaviour
TVP Oxford
1) Cowley  Road
Neighbourhood Policing Teams
1) Oxford Central/ East
2) Oxford East 
Crime Prevention
1) Keyless Fobs
2) Preventing car theft
3) Checklist for securing your home when you leave it
Crime Information
1) Crimestoppers
2) Ask the Police
3) Community Speedwatch
Scams 
1) Bogus Companies using your address?
2) Covid Scam
Oxfordshire County Council
1) Adult Social Care
General Information
1) Blue Badge Holder Renewal Information
2) Disabled badge holder problems in EU
3) Dog Owners
4) Smoke Alarms
5) Road Traffic Collisions
6)  Highway Code: updated sentences for driving offences
7)  Electric blanket safety checks
8) British Sign Language
9) SEND consultation
10) Railway strike update
11) Emergency Services

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NETWORK
1) Community Safety Charter
Please share this widely.
Any individual, community group, Neighbourhood Watch scheme, business, charity or other organisation in England and Wales can sign up for FREE, including schools and universities, community centres, taxi firms and public places (such as museums, libraries and leisure centres).
The aim of the Community Safety Charter is to involve a wider range of local organisations, charities, businesses and groups in crime prevention activity. The goal is to extend the scope of this work to eliminate harassment, antisocial behaviour, and intimidation experienced by anyone who lives, works, studies, or visits anywhere in England and Wales.
As a part of promoting a culture that does not tolerate these negative behaviours towards others we need as many people as possible to sign the Charter
https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/charter

OXFORD NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
1) Neighbourhood Watch Volunteer Team
We were pleased to be working in partnership with the enthusiastic and dynamic Pete Neale, Police Sergeant at Central NHPT and James Gale. The police team did bike marking and registering and were very busy throughout the three hours near the Plain.

Our Neighbourhood Watch volunteer team for bike theft prevention assisted the Central NHPT on 29/7 by promoting the event and giving crime prevention advice. We hope to be working with local policing teams and independently in future bike marking events. If you want the Roadshow in your area please let us know. We can supply the free bike marking and registration but cannot supply free D locks.
Thank you to the two Coordinators who signed up to start new schemes and several members who also signed up.

2) Shared experiences
Thank you to the Coordinators who have shared members' experiences and you can read them under the scam section.

THAMES  VALLEY POLICE
1) Reporting antisocial behaviour
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/ro/report/asb/asb/report-antisocial-behaviour/
From aggressive, noisy or abusive behaviour to neighbourhood disturbances involving drugs or animals, antisocial behaviour takes many forms. If you’ve witnessed antisocial behaviour, please report it to the police.

Reports are dealt with by the control room in exactly the same way whether you report it online or call 101.
Is it an emergency?
Does it feel like the situation could get heated or violent very soon? Is someone in immediate danger? Do you need support right away? If so, please call 999.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use the textphone service 18000 or text on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergency SMS service.


THAMES VALLEY POLICE OXFORD
A very worrying time for residents but police were on the scene very quickly
1) Cowley  Road
Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, a man has been charged in connection with a firearms incident in Oxford.
Emman Riasat, aged 21, of Outram Road, Oxford, has been charged with one count of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
The charge relates an incident at around 6.45pm on Sunday (24/7) in Cowley Road, near to the junction of Crown Street.
Officers were called to reports of a discharge of a firearm and deployed rapidly to the scene.
The victim sustained a small wound to his shoulder and was taken to hospital for treatment – he has since been discharged.
Riasat appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 27/7.
A 25-year-old man from Luton, who was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder has been released under investigation.
Two men, aged 23 and 25, both from Oxford, were also arrested on suspicion of Section 18 grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of a firearm.
The 23-year-old has been released on police bail until 22 August and the 25-year-old has been released under investigation.

NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING TEAM
1) Central NHPT/Oxford East (from social media)
PCSO's from local Neighbourhood teams of Oxford City Centre and East Oxford took part in a bike registering event that took place down Cowley Place. As Neighbourhood policing teams they were able to give crime prevention advice and register a large number of bikes. Please keep an eye on their social media page for future awareness of similar events.

2) Oxford East
Welcome to Beth Snowdon who has been appointed as the Acting Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant for the East Oxford Neighbourhood Policing Team.  Beth comes with a wealth of experience having worked most recently on the Blackbird Leys Neighbourhood Policing Team.
Neil Bouse who was previously Sergeant in East Oxford is now the Acting Inspector covering the City.

CRIME  PREVENTION
1) Keyless Fobs (attachment)
A police approved method to protect keyless fobs - please note all NW members will be given a discount code for 25% discount

Retail price £96 inc. VAT NW price £76.80 inc VAT
The key things are it’s UK Police approved and is the only device of its kind to be so.
It’s excellent value for money and could save you 1000’s of Pounds.
It works automatically so the driver doesn’t need to remember to do anything

2) Preventing car theft
The main core of Neighbourhood Watch is crime prevention. Although I have not had any specific reports of crime theft there have been numerous reports of people trying to get into cars, particularly in East Oxford. Let's report and give descriptions as it may be the same people across the City. Please check out this crime prevention advice.
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/keeping-vehicles-safe/vehicle-safe-and-sound/

3) Checklist for securing your home when you leave it
I was once asked if you were locked out of your house how would you get in? Hopefully you can't unless you've left a spare key with a neighbour or friend. If you can that's how a thief will get in/
It’s vital to leave your home secure whenever you leave it.   Getting into an ‘exit routine’ can help ensure that you don’t forget obvious, important things, like not leaving your valuables near windows, or no lights on if it will be dark before you get home.   Here’s what you should do just before you go out.
Become a creature of habit
Try to get into the habit of following your own course of action when you lock up your home.   This will ensure that you don’t forget anything.
Here’s what we recommend you do before you go out :
*close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you’re only going out for a few minutes
*double-lock any door
*make sure that any valuables are out of sight
*keep handbags away from the letterbox or cat flap and hide all keys including car   keys, as a thief could hook keys or valuables through even a small opening
*never leave car documents or ID in obvious places such as kitchens or hallways
in the evening, shut the curtains and leave lights on
*if you’re out all day, then it’s advisable to use a timer device to automatically turn lights and a radio on at night
*set your burglar alarm
*make sure the side gate is locked
*lock your shed or garage
*lock your bike inside a secure shed or garage, to a robust fitting bolted to the ground or wall, like a ground anchor
Going away ?
Here are five tips to help you keep your home and belongings stay safe while you’re away :
*if you’re off on holiday and wish to post anything on social media, make sure your posts aren’t public and that they’re only seen by your friends
*leave lights and a radio on a timer to make the property appear occupied
*get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property or join a Neighbourhood or resident Watch Scheme
*consider asking your neighbours to close curtains after dark and to park on your drive
*remember to cancel newspaper and milk deliveries

CRIME INFORMATION
1) Crime Stoppers
Think your information won’t make a difference?
Last year just one call on Domestic Abuse led to the arrest of a perpetrator where
multiple victims were taken to a safe place.
Help protect those at risk. Speak up to Crimestoppers today. 100% anonymously
Crimestoppers Trust is an independent crime-fighting charitable organisation in the United Kingdom. Crimestoppers operates the 0800 555 111 telephone number, allowing people to call anonymously to pass on information about crime.
https://crimestoppers-uk.org/

 2) Ask the Police (attachment)
This is a new national app.
https://www.askthe.police.uk/
Police UK has recently added a mobile phone App that may be useful. It is called 'Ask the Police', and it can be downloaded from your usual source for Apple or Android devices.
The new App covers a very wide range of topics, and provides helpful guidance.
This service is also available online, if you prefer to access it that way. Go to:

3) Community Speedwatch
Many of you have mentioned speeding issues in your areas. ANY RESIDENT can set up a Community Speedwatch but this must be done through the police who will train and insure you.
Groups across the Thames Valley are being encouraged to join the scheme where they can apply to receive a starter kit, including a speed detection device, to help their volunteers monitor and tackle speeding within their communities. 
In addition to the loan of equipment, Community Speedwatch has an online platform that allows group-related activities to be self-regulated via an online calendar.  Volunteers receive online training, including vehicle make recognition training. Risk assessments are also completed by police to ensure safety at the roadside.

For further information and to register your interest in the Thames Valley Community Speedwatch scheme, please email SpeedWatch@thamesvalley.police.uk or lee.turnham@thamesvalley.police.uk

SCAMS
Shared Experiences
1) Bogus companies using your address?
A NW co-ordinator in North Oxford has alerted me to a scam that is being perpetrated using addresses in Oxford.
Scammers are setting up bogus companies using other people’s addresses to do so.  They then arrange for mail to be sent to the address in the name of the bogus company and try to intercept the mail.  

The key point is that the scammers do not intercept the mail and get hold of a letter from a utility, bank or other with their name and your address. With that they can really start to run riot.
There is nothing to stop someone calling up a utility company and claiming they are the new occupant of an address and asking for a new account to be opened for them. (Utilities companies do this because they say many people do not close out accounts when they move out). The utilities will then send out a letter to the new (fake) name at the address, and the scammers will be trying to intercept that mail.
People who have experienced this say that they were told that scammers had links to organised crime, knew exactly how to game the system, and were then linked to break-ins, identity theft and attempts to steal bank accounts and so on.
Some local residents have been dealing with this issue for several months now - they are receiving mail addressed to bogus companies that have nothing to do with them.
The best advice is to check with Companies House via its website:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house
Residents can do an advanced search by inputting their address including postcode.  If there are bogus companies registered, they should contact Companies House.
This is a timely reminder to be careful about the way in which correspondence which includes names and addresses (even if they are not your own but seem to have been sent to your address in error!) is disposed of – criminals/scammers go through recycling bins looking for items with names and addresses on them.

2) Covid scam
Thank you to our East Oxford Coordinator for sharing this.
A neighbour has reported they gave received a scam email telling them that they have been pinged as being in contact with someone with Covid and telling them to put in their credit card number to buy a test. The scammer had the last four digits of the card they were using when the scammer tried before and which they (the neighbour) has now changed.

Be very wary about this type of message or any email or text asking you to give ANY of your bank details.
If you receive an email like this, please don't respond or click on any links but forward it unedited to report@phishing.gov.uk

OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
1) Adult Social Care
Oxfordshire County Council is to join a small group of local authorities in England to pilot adult social care charging reforms that introduce a new lifetime cap on personal care.   
The new system will be introduced early in Oxfordshire as it becomes the sixth council to be selected by government to help shape the national approach to implementation, testing key aspects of the reforms to improve understanding of how it will work in practice.
https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/new-charging-reforms-for-adult-social-care/

GENERAL INFORMATION
1) Blue Badge Holder Renewal Information
The applicant for a Renewal can do this up to 6 weeks before it is due to expire.
This process normally takes up to 2 weeks to process.

2) Disabled badge holder problems in EU
Disabled drivers are being warned about using their blue badges in popular
European holiday destinations this summer.
It comes as ministers are still negotiating with 11 nations on the status of UK blue badges, which were recognised across the EU until the country left the union two years ago.
France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy are among the countries still “undecided” about whether UK blue badges will be recognised, according to the UK Government website.

The others are Iceland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania and Slovenia.
The AA has said disabled drivers may leave themselves open to parking fines if they use their permits in these countries as it criticised the “simply unacceptable” situation.
The Government has told badge-holders to “check with the embassy of the country you are travelling to for the latest developments”.
But the motoring association said consulates had insisted they could not issue advice to disabled drivers until an agreement was reached.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Negotiations on Blue Badge recognition are ongoing between the UK and individual EU states, and motorists should check our guidance to find out where the Blue Badge is recognised in the EU.”

3) Dog owners
a) Owner responsibility
Dog owners should take reasonable steps to keep their dog under control by considering the following:

Consider keeping your dog on a lead in public places
Ensure your dog is comfortable off a lead and will respond to your recall
Use a muzzle if you are concerned about your dog in public
Keep your dog on a lead when near livestock
See advice from the local Vet Surgery if you have any concerns
It is your responsibility to ensure that your dog is under control at all times.

Your dog must be wearing a collar with an identity tag that has the owners name and address on it - just a telephone number is not enough.

b) Missing Dogs
Check if the Council has your missing dog by contacting 249811
We have a lovely dog warden, Jayne. It's important that your dog is safe but if it goes missing then you can use the website as well as reporting on social media.

https://www.gov.uk/check-council-missing-dog
I keep a bcc email list for those who want to be informed of lost and found pets so send your email and home address to icon below if you want to be included in helping to reunite pets and owners.

4) Smoke alarms
Please check that you have working smoke alarms and visit www.365alive.co.uk for more fire safety information

5) Road Traffic Collisions
49% of road traffic collisions occur whilst we are travelling to and from work.
Always allow plenty of time for your journey so you are not tempted to speed. Concentrate on your driving, not what you need to do at the end of the journey.
It’s not worth the risk of driving too fast.
www.365alive.co.uk/cms/content/its-not-worth-risk

6) Highway Code: updated sentences for driving offences
The Highway Code has been updated following a change in the law that affects the sentences for some driving offences. The updates are to the penalties for: 
causing death by dangerous driving
causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs
The maximum sentence for both offences has increased from 14 years’ imprisonment to life imprisonment.  
The obligatory disqualification period for both offences has increased from a minimum of 2 years to a minimum of 5 years. 
The changes have been updated in annex 5 (penalties) of The Highway Code. 
Highway Code
New driving offence
A new offence has also been created for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
This carries a maximum penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and an obligatory driving disqualification.  

7) Electric blanket safety checks
Posting early as pre-booking
Free electric blanket checks in Oxfordshire, make sure your blanket is safe to use this winter.
Join Oxfordshire Fire Service and bring a friend for free refreshments and information about keeping safe and well
September 2022
Monday 19th - Oxford City
Tuesday 20th - South Oxfordshire
Wednesday 21st - Cherwell
Thursday 22nd - West Oxfordshire
Friday 23rd - Vale of White Horse
Collections from your house if you can't get to us: 3-7th October 2022
Booking information - to book your safety check call 01865 895999 option 3 or email duty.officer@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Pre booked appointments only on a strictly first come first served basis.

8) British Sign Language
British Sign Language users can now contact the emergency services by making a video call
999 BSL is the name of the UK’s first ever Emergency Video Relay Service in British Sign Language (BSL). The service is available to download as a smartphone app (iOS and Android) and access as a web-based platform. It launched on 17 June 2022 and enables deaf BSL users in the UK to make calls to emergency authorities such as the police, ambulance, fire and coastguard services via BSL video relay interpreters.
https://999bsl.co.uk
You can also register your phone for 999 text service https://www.deaflink.org.uk/bsl/services/information/999-phone-registration

9) SEND Consultation
Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) want to change the way they inspect services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This consultation asks children and young people what they think of these changes. Consultation ends on 11.45pm on 11th September 2022
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-new-approach-to-area-send-inspections

10) GWR Update
Dear Maggie
 
Thank you for your help in alerting your networks to the RMT strike yesterday.   The limited services we were able to operate ran as planned, and the team have been working to put together an amended timetable for the ASLEF (train drivers) strike planned for this Saturday 30th July. 
 
As this involves drivers it will mean no GWR services will operate on the vast majority of our network throughout Saturday.   The disruption will also continue into Sunday 31 July with no services on some routes and limited frequencies on others.  Services will also start later and finish earlier, and where services are running customers are advised only to travel if necessary and those trains that are able to run will be very busy.  
 
Full information on the impact for both dates is available at www.gwr.com/strike   
 
It is also important to note that online journey planners are in the process of being updated.  Network Rail are working as fast as they can on this and they should be fully corrected as soon as possible.  In the meantime we are contacting customers who have booked journeys directly and using social and traditional media to highlight the changes. 
 
Any help you can give to share these messages ahead of this weekend would be greatly appreciated.
 
You may have also seen that ASLEF have announced a further strike date for Saturday 13th August, and the RMT (Network Rail signallers, on board and station staff) and TSSA (managers and office based staff) have announced strikes on Thursday 18th and Saturday 20th August.  We will be in touch with more detail closer to the time, but it likely that we will see the same levels of disruption.
 
If there is anything we can do to assist, please do get in touch.
 
Best wishes
 
Jane & Toby


Jane Jones | Head of Public Affairs | Great Western Railway

E: jane.jones@GWR.com  
 
Toby Elliott | Head of Communications Western | Network Rail Western
E: toby.elliott@networkrail.co.uk 

11) Ambulance Services
https://what3words.com/products/what3words-app

Ambulance service urges people to download what3words so they can find them in Oxfordshire

The ambulance service is asking people to download 'what3words' so they can find them in Oxfordshire.
In a video posted to Facebook South Central Ambulance Service say they expect this summer to be busy for 999 calls and emergencies can happen anywhere.
The caption reads: "Whilst usually there ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough nor ain't no river wide enough, to keep us from you, there can be... "
They advise people to download the free what3words app to help them pinpoint locations that are difficult to describe.
Every 3 metre square of the world has been given a unique combination of three words to be used for e-commerce and delivery, navigation, emergencies and more.
You can give 999 the what3words address and they will know exactly where to find you.
South Central Ambulance Service said: "So if you're on holiday in our region, or exploring a new part of our coast or countryside away from home this summer, then why not download the free what3words app and learn how to give your exact location to local ambulance, police, fire or coastguard services in an emergency."
 
Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (Neighbourhood Watch Network, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford )
Attached files
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