The replacement of traditional sodium-vapour or mercury-arc street lamps by the more energy-efficient LED lighting is being implemented around our village. However, the contractors have not been instructed to salvage any of our NHWatch or NDSZ signs, and several road co-ordinators have had to request replacement signs. Should you see signs being discarded, please try to save them and let your scheme co-ordinator know that you have the signs for re-fitting. If signs are permanently lost, please contact me (see below) and I will arrange for replacements to be provided. Thank you.
Watch Out! The ‘Spoof’ warnings are about – again!
In the last few weeks, there have been several reports of ‘spoof’ warnings being circulated on social media, e.g. Facebook. Here are a couple of examples:
The report claims that eggs are being thrown at car windscreens at night. When you try to clear the mess using your washer/wipers, this makes the situation much worse, as egg mixed with water creates an opaque smear. You are then forced to stop to clear the windscreen and are then robbed or your car stolen.
This ‘urban myth’ dates back to 2009 and appears to have been re-vitalised. There is no real evidence that either the ‘egg/water’ mix has the claimed effect, or that it has been used as a precursor to robbery.
Baby seat by the roadside
In this scenario, a child’s car seat, sometimes with a blanket over it, or with a lifelike doll in it, is left by the roadside. The claimed intention is to persuade a concerned motorist to stop to check it out, and they are then robbed as in the previous example.
Again, this ‘urban myth’ dates back to 2009, but there appears to be no evidence that this trick has been used for the claimed purpose.
Should you – or someone you know – receive a similar sort of message with the exhortation to ‘pass this information on to everyone you know’, think carefully before taking any action. The Snopes website - www.snopes.com/ - carries a wealth of information about ‘spoof’ claims, including ‘spoof’ crimes, as does www.urbanlegendsonline.com .
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This is not to say that ALL warnings are false. There are reported cases of drivers, especially ladies, being persuaded to get out of their vehicle in a supermarket car park for example, by a note stuck to the rear window, or by a trickster. Whilst the vehicle is unoccupied, their handbag - which they have dropped on the passenger seat - is stolen, or at worst, the criminal steals the car. I have been told that an attempt was recently made to ‘hijack’ a car in Morrisons car park. Be alert at all times.
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For further information on these topics or about Neighbourhood Watch, contact:
David Gresswell – Area Co-ordinator, Flackwell Heath
(Tel: 525019 e-mail: email@example.com)
Police General & Non-emergency number: 101
Community Safety Team (Anti-social behaviour): 01494 421 087 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Crimestoppers (Anonymous): 0800 555 111
Trading Standards (Consumer Direct): 0345 4 04 05 06 (NEW Prefix)
Cyberaware – http://cyberaware.gov.uk
ACTION FRAUD: 0300 123 2040 (http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/)
The Information Commissioner’s Office: 0303 123 1113