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Neighbourhood Alert Reports

These reports are as received from the Police Cooordinator, and not edited by me
August 12, 2019

Update -Serious Collision 9 August

Update in relation to serious collision in Christchurch

A woman involved in a serious road traffic collision in Christchurch has sadly died from her injuries.

Dorset Police was called at 10.29am on Friday 9 August 2019 to a report of a collision on Barrack Road, outside the Premier Inn hotel.

The collision involved a white Volvo lorry and a grey Mazda 6, which subsequently collided with a wall of the hotel as well as a number of parked vehicles in the car park.

Officers attended, along with the ambulance and fire services, and the driver of the Mazda – a woman aged in her 80s and from Christchurch – was freed from the vehicle before being airlifted to Southampton General Hospital.

Very sadly she was pronounced dead at the hospital last night, Friday 9 August 2019. The woman’s family has been informed and are being supported by specially-trained officers.

Police Sergeant Fern Graham, of the traffic unit, said: “Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.

“We are continuing to investigate this collision to establish the full circumstances and I would urge any witnesses who have not already spoken to police or anyone with dashcam footage to contact us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email SCIT@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number 9:129.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.



Message Sent By
Adrian Lowes (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Assistant, Dorset)
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August 12, 2019

Dorset Police releases results of 2019 firearms and ammunition surrender

82 items were handed in to Dorset Police during the firearms and ammunition surrender which ran from 20 July – 4 August this year.

The national campaign, instigated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS), was supported by other forces around the country, including Devon & Cornwall Police.

Items were voluntarily surrendered at police stations in Bournemouth, Weymouth and Poole.

Michelle Mounsey, Head of the Alliance Firearms and Explosives Licensing department for Dorset Police and Devon & Cornwall Police, said: “As a result of this firearms surrender, all of these items are now permanently out of potential circulation. While not every firearm is owned with the intent of criminal activity, every firearm can become a weapon in the wrong hands, removing the guns from circulation reduces the risk of danger to public safety.

“The campaign was an opportunity for anyone to hand in illegal, unregistered or unwanted firearms without risk of arrest at the point of surrender and while the campaign is now over, I would encourage anyone in possession of a firearm or ammunition that they no longer want to contact us for safe disposal.”

Information about firearms licensing in Dorset can be found here: www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/safety-in-your-community/firearms-and-explosives-licensing

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “Dorset does not have a serious problem with gun crime and remains one of the safest places in the country.

“However, I’m glad to see that these items have now been brought into the police so they can be safely destroyed, rather than running the risk of them ending up in the wrong hands.”

The breakdown of the types of firearms handed in during the 2019 surrender is as follows:

Air weapons
Rifles: 16
Pistols: 14

Other weapons
Shotguns: 11
Rifles: 1
Handguns: 2

Ammunition: 30 lots

Components: 6

Pyrotechnics: 2

Blank firing weapons: 2

CS/”Pepper” spray: 2




Message Sent By
Adrian Lowes (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Assistant, Dorset)

July 16, 2019

Dorset Police HQ Open Day Saturday 20 July 2019

Dorset Police HQ Open Day
On Saturday 20 July from 11am – 4pm we will be opening up Dorset Police HQ (DT2 8DZ) to the public! Come along and meet our:

Dog unit
Drone unit
Traffic unit
Safety camera team
Neighbourhood policing team
Firearms unit
Safer schools team
Forensics team
Search team
Marine section
Public order unit
Ropes team
Cyber-crime team
Rural crime team
999/101 Call handling team
Recruitment and volunteering team
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner

There will be displays from our police dogs, drone team, ropes team, method of entry officers (chain sawing and knocking doors down) and we will even be throwing petrol bombs at officers to show how they deal with disorder!

Alongside our displays and information stands, you can also have a go at securing evidence and solving crime with our CSIs, try on some police uniform and equipment and shoot some paintball guns in our firearms range!

These are just some of the amazing things you’ll be able to do on the day!


More information on our website
https://www.dorset.police.uk/news-information/dorset-police-hq-open-day/

See you there!



Message Sent By
Adrian Lowes (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Assistant, Dorset)

June 28, 2019

Cctv Appeal- Shoplifting In Christchurch

CCTV appeal following shoplifting incident in Christchurch

Officers investigating a shoplifting incident in Christchurch are issuing CCTV images of the suspect.

At around 2.50pm on Friday 21 June 2019 a man entered Currys on Stony Lane, selected two pairs of headphones and concealed them in his trousers. When he was challenged by staff he became verbally aggressive before he left the store. It was reported at the time that staff saw the handle of what is believed to be a knife, however no blade was seen.

Officers attended the incident and carried out a search of the area but no arrests were made.

Police Constable Louise Rowswell, of Christchurch police, said: “As part of my investigation I have found a suspect on CCTV and I am appealing to anyone who recognises this man to please contact Dorset Police.”

Images can be viewed here via link to Dorset police website:

https://www.dorset.police.uk/news-information/article/7849

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55190032485. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.



Message Sent By
Adrian Lowes (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Assistant, Dorset)

June 12, 2019

HMRC Alert

How To Stay Safe Online - Part 1


This month, Dorset Police Cyber Protect Officer Chris Conroy looks into how social media can be used against us – and what we can do to protect ourselves.


It was my birthday a few days ago. 32. Not a big birthday, admittedly, but that didn’t stop the stream of notifications from my friends and family. I got some really lovely messages on my Facebook, some mildly offensive ones, and a whole load of two word “happy birthday” posts. Among all the noise, however, one message stood out.

It was a simple “Hello. How are you doing today?” and it came from a family member. That in itself, of course, isn’t that strange. Sure, it’s not a conventional “happy birthday”, but we’ll let that slide.

It was what came next that threw me.

“I’m just wondering if you heard about the good news going on. It’s all about the PCH program.”

It goes on… Apparently, the PCH program have randomly selected me, as well as my family member, and I am in line to receive $90,000! Well, happy birthday to me!

But, of course, something isn’t quite right. The language he’s using. The prize being in dollars. The fact there are now two accounts in his name in my messages… It becomes pretty clear their account has been cloned. Their name, their profile picture, their basic details… everything had been taken in order to set up a fake account.

That account was made for one purpose. To defraud everyone in that family member’s list of friends out of their hard earned cash.

Thankfully, your friendly neighbourhood Cyber Protect Officer didn’t fall for it. But what if the fraudster had targeted someone else? Someone a little more trusting, or a little less cyber aware?

Cybercriminals can be incredibly convincing, and it’s easy to see how some people fall victim. Especially when the messages appear to be coming from a trusted contact.

So I thought I’d take the time to put together a brief summary of the ways hackers and scammers use our social media profiles against us.

Fear not! It might make for pretty bleak reading, but there are tips along the way to make social media as safe as possible!

Here we go…


1) Harvesting details from our profiles.

Have you ever taken the time to consider what you’re putting on your social media profiles?

Sometimes the hackers don’t have to hack at all. Sometimes we hand our information over on a silver platter.

Some people are surprisingly liberal with what they share on social media, with dates of birth, addresses and phone numbers being quite common. If people share too much data, scammers can piece things together to stand a reasonably good chance of impersonating someone.

Another thing to consider is your password. I’d like to think everyone is using long, strong, complex passwords, but the reality is most are probably still using some combination of a name (a child, pet, or place for example) and the year they were born. Can people figure those details out from your posts? All those puppy pictures and birthday messages could be giving away more than you thought.

Solution:

Think about what you’re sharing. If you wouldn’t share it with a stranger, don’t share it on social media. Take the time to check your privacy settings. Setting your account to private means only approved contacts or friends can see what you post, meaning you’re safe from prying eyes.


2) Fake friends:

You’ve got your profile set to private, and no one but trusted friends and family can see what you’re posting. Excellent!

This, however, is a relatively small barrier for a scammer to overcome if you don’t pay attention to your friend requests.

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve received friend requests from people around the world. Maybe I’ve prematurely shut the door on some wonderful friendships. More likely though, I’ve just avoided the start of a sextortion scam, or blocked someone from snooping on my profile.

Sextortion - for those who aren’t aware - is a particularly nasty scam that can have devastating consequences. It relies on a victim accepting a friend request and getting into conversation with their attacker. The attacker pretends to be an attractive young male or female, and builds up a rapport with their victim.

As the trust builds, the scammer tries to convince the victim to remove their clothes in front of their webcam, or more. Then the scammer strikes. They tell their victim they’ve recorded everything, and a demand is made for a sum of money, with the threat of posting the video online if they don’t pay.

The ramifications can be huge, with responses ranging from mild embarrassment and financial loss to suicide.

Solution:

Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know and trust, and be guarded with what information you share with strangers.

Do not allow anyone to pressure you into doing something you’re not comfortable with. If you are unfortunate enough to fall victim to a sextortion scam, we do not recommend paying. There is no guarantee the scammer won’t come back and demand more money. Call the police in confidence on 101, and we can help.


3) Phising and Malware:

Phishing is something we more commonly associate with emails. Badly worded messages promising payouts from a Nigerian General, refunds due from HMRC, or mysterious purchases made on our Amazon accounts, for instance.

However, cybercriminals have cottoned on to the fact that social media is a veritable goldmine of potential victims. All a phishing attack needs to guarantee success is enough victims to target. Eventually, they’ll find someone who will fall for their scam.

There are many ways a phishing link can be delivered. On a Facebook newsfeed, a direct message, a post on your wall… the possibilities are endless.

One particular example that sticks in our minds was delivered through a Facebook competition in which users were encouraged to like and share a post for their chance to win an £85 gift voucher for a major supermarket chain.

On doing this, the users were sent a message containing a link supposedly taking them to a site from which they could download their gift voucher. But clicking this link actually took them to a website that tried to install malicious software on their computer.

Solution:

Be careful where you click. Take the time to check the source of any link you stumble upon, particularly if it’s offering something that seems too good to be true.

A quick pro tip - if you hover your mouse over any link or button in an email or website, the true address should be displayed in the bottom corner of your screen. If the link claims to be from a reputable company, but the true address looks wildly different, it’s probably a scam.

A quick point about the “like and share” competitions on Facebook – genuine companies often use these to grow their online presence. Don’t assume they are all fake. However, at the same time, don’t assume they’re all real!

Before you like and share, click into the page. Have a look around and see if it looks genuine. The “About” section of any Facebook page will tell you how old the page is, and whether it has been called something different in the past. We’ve seen scam pages change their name from that of a reputable jewelry store to that of a reputable pizza company, which should be a big red flag.

Also, think about how plausible the prize is. Why would a supermarket just give away gift vouchers? Add up all the likes, shares, and potential winners, and they’d be out of pocket by millions!


There you have it. Part one of the six ways social media can be used against us. If you found it interesting, come back next month to find out how criminals take control of our friend’s accounts, how apps can syphon off your data, and how things live on in cyber space, even after being deleted.

In the meantime, if you want to ensure you’re as safe as possible, make sure you use long, strong, secure and unique passwords for your social media accounts. This will help prevent someone guessing their way into your account.

Once your passwords are in order, make sure you turn on Two Factor Authentication. This acts as a safety net. Even if someone gets your password, they can’t get in to your account.

Don’t forget, if you represent a business or community group, you can get in touch to arrange a free, impartial cyber security presentation. Email us at
cybercrimeprevention@dorset.pnn.police.uk

https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/scams-fraud-cyber-crime/cyber-crime/


Message Sent By
PCC Communications (Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, Dorset)

June 8, 2019

HMRC Alert

What you need to know


Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls and voicemails, to members of the public purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Fraudsters are spoofing genuine HMRC telephone numbers to deceive their victims over the phone. The fraudsters state that as a result of the victim’s non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable for prosecution or other legal proceedings in order to settle the balance. The fraudsters suggest victims can avoid this, by arranging payment to be made immediately by methods such as bank transfer or by purchasing iTunes gift cards.
If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, sending bailiffs to the victim’s address or, in some cases, deportation.
Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact with the victim.
In genuine cases, HMRC will initially make direct contact with you via post/letter and potentially follow up that letter with a phone call at a later date.
If HMRC contact you via telephone they will quote the reference number on the initial letter you should have received. HMRC will not discuss something you are not already aware of, like a tax investigation, and will NOT demand immediate payment.


It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature.

What you need to do

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.
Legitimate organisations wouldn’t ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using an iTunes gift card, or any other type of voucher. If you’re contacted by anyone that asks you to do this, you’re likely the target of a scam
Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.
Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, you can report this as phishing report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk


Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

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Appeal Following Banking Phone Scam

Officers are appealing for witnesses and urging residents to remain vigilant following three phone scams across East Dorset.

At around 4.30pm on Saturday 1 June 2019 an elderly man received a phone call on his landline from a man claiming to be from Lloyds Bank who stated that there had been fraudulent activity on both the victim’s and his wife’s bank accounts.

The fraudster arranged for his colleague to attend the victim’s address off Ringwood Road in Verwood to collect the bank cards. At 6pm a man arrived at the address in a white Mercedes car but he was challenged by the victim’s son and he made off empty handed.

A similar incident was reported to have occurred on Monday 3 June 2019 when an elderly woman living in Wick Lane in the Southbourne area of Bournemouth received a phone call from someone purporting to be from her bank.

The caller claimed someone had been trying to get into her bank account and they needed to collect her bank card. A man attended and collected the card. The victim then contacted her bank and established the offender was not from the bank.

The same day an elderly woman was contacted by someone claiming to be from Barclays Bank stating an attempt had been made to get money from her account. She was told to put her bank card in an envelope and a man attended her address in the Buttercup Drive area of Christchurch and collected the envelope.

All the victims have cancelled their cards and enquiries are underway to establish whether any money has been taken from the accounts.

Inspector Phil Swanton, of Dorset Police, said: “In each of these incidents the offenders targeted vulnerable people and purported to be from their bank.

“A full investigation is underway and I would urge anyone who was in these areas at the relevant time and saw someone acting suspiciously to please contact us. We are keeping an open mind as to whether these incidents are linked.

“I am also very keen to hear from anyone who has been contacted in similar suspicious circumstances.

“Please remember, the bank will never send someone to your home to collect your bank cards or ask for your PINs. If someone calls you claiming to be from your bank and you are unsure of their validity, we would urge you to ask for their name, hang up and contact your bank directly.

“I would ask anyone with elderly family members to please talk to them about these types of scams and help provide them with advice on what to do if they are in any doubt."

For more information, visit - https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/scams-fraud-cyber-crime/

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55190032485. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Message Sent By
Shirley Craft (Dorset Police, Neighbourhood Alert Officer, Communications and Engagement)

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Staying Safe Online - New Web Address For More Info

Hello

We had a fantastic response to our recent message, in which Dorset Police Cyber Protect Officer Chris Conroy gave advice about how to avoid falling prey to online fraudsters.

Unfortunately, many people weren't able to access the web link contained within the article. If anyone now wants to find more information about staying safe online, please try visiting this page:

https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/scams-fraud-cyber-crime/cyber-crime/

Or you can get in touch with Chris and his team directly by e-mailing cybercrimeprevention@dorset.pnn.police.uk


Message Sent By
PCC Communications (Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, Dorset)

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