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Todwick Village

Neighbourhood Watch

Todwick Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter

June / July 2021

Welcome to all those villagers who have signed up to the Todwick Neighbourhood Watch since our last newsletter in December 2019. We hope that you find these newsletters informative and useful, and we always value your information and feedback and questions. We never publish anyone’s name or address.

Update and the future

Over the past few months, we have not produced any newsletters in order to try to protect our coordinators from the Coronavirus pandemic. We have managed to publish some information of interest on the village website run by Mrs Sheila Pantry. We are most grateful and thank her for her help in this issue.

Your village Neighbourhood Watch has been in operation since July 2006 – that’s 15 years and during that time it has built up to include the vast majority of the residents of the parish of Todwick.

Over the last few weeks we, with Todwick Parish Council, have been looking at possible ideas that could improve how we get the Neighbourhood Watch message to the whole village. Our Parish Council has agreed to give us space in the Informer newsletter at no cost to the Watch. So after this newsletter, Neighbourhood Watch newsletters will be part of the village ‘Informer’ publication. After the publication of 2 of these newsletters (covering 6 months) the new method of operation will be reviewed to see if any improvements can be made.

Scams and how to spot them

Looking at the number of emails I receive almost daily from Action Fraud, South Yorkshire Police, the central Neighbourhood Watch alerts and village residents, it is very clear that scams and fraud are big business. One of the most common forms of delivering scams is by email. Please be aware if you receive an unexpected email, even though it may appear to have come from someone you know. Be very aware especially if there is a link or ‘click on the button’ instruction. Be aware of poor English and spelling mistakes, these can often give you a clue that it may not be what it seems to be. If you move your cursor over the sender’s name, it can produce some interesting clues as to whether it is suspicious. A recent email purporting to be from Royal Mail was actually sent by which is from Italy. The topics for some scams are getting more up to date. A recent one purported to be about Eco3 government funding scheme for energy saving issues. The fact it had been sent by put me on notice. But the scammer had highjacked the genuine advert which made the email all the more convincing. The subject matters cover banking apps (bogus of course) broadband, Your bill is ready, Covid-19 Vaccine passport, update to terms of use, online holiday and travel fraud, Bitcoin, dating apps, scams on social media, the list is endless.

Telephone scams can be distressing unless you keep your wits about you. Often these are recorded messages with threatening undertones. One resident who refused to press “1” on his phone when instructed so to do, is still waiting (since April this year) for the Police to come round to arrest him for alleged tax fraud. Another resident, again with a recorded message thanked the resident for calling them! I have had a live call recently from someone overseas telling me that my shareholding in a certain company was going up in value. Her mistake was to remind me I had 498 shares when I knew I only had 6 shares left. Occasionally people’s email addresses get hacked and fake emails are sent out sometimes to the whole address book and sometimes just to individual contacts. There is no obvious clue that it is anything other than a genuine email. Even so, be aware and ask yourself if this is how this person would normally address you, for example if your best friend would normally start an email with “Hi mate” but the one you receive begins “Dear Mr A” then perhaps something is very wrong? I have seen several fake emails that begin with a polite request asking if I can help this afternoon please by buying a birthday gift from Amazon, or ‘please can you make a payment to me in Spain because I have just been robbed at the railway station.’ Beware!!

The best advice is to think before you click. Because of the pace of life these days, scammers benefit from the speed of your actions.

If it is an unexpected communication, whether it be by “snail mail”, email, text, telephone or social media – treat it as suspicious.

If you click on a link, it is like letting someone you do not know into your home, stop and think.

If you are in any doubt always ask a friend or a member of your family for advice.

Above all do NOT get or feel pressured into doing something with which you do not feel comfortable.

Protect your car

Every ten minutes a car is stolen.

Amazingly 44% of cars are broken into through an unlocked door.

80% of crime happens in the evening or at night, which means 20% must happen in the daytime. Often the problem is made worse because things like handbags, keys, credit and debit cards, personal documents e.g. driving license have been left in the vehicle, some on view to passers by.

It takes 56 seconds to steal your catalytic converter. This is the bit of kit with expensive rare metals that converts gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide into carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

Many vehicles are stolen because the driver has not turned off the engine or just left the vehicle” for a few seconds” whilst doing something outside the vehicle. It could be as simple and quick as posting a letter, or moving a second vehicle.

So, what can be done to reduce the chance of theft or damage?

Keep the keys in a safe place. Most important for keyless cars keep the keys (AND THE SPARE) in a blocking device. I have heard of people using tins and even a microwave as a temporary anti-theft device. Take the keys out before preparing dinner!

Invest in a good quality antitheft device. Close all windows and lock doors – making sure no-one or an animal is left in the vehicle.

Take all valuables away from the vehicle – indoors if possible.

Avoid parking behind hedges or fences

Fit a tracking device.

Light up your driveway and fit a good CCTV system to cover your car if possible.

Ensure your house door locks are fitted to the current best specification to make it more difficult to break into your home to steal the vehicle keys... and the vehicle.

Consider solar security lighting if a power supply is not easily obtainable.

And to deter catalytic converter thieves, park adjacent to a wall so the vehicle cannot be jacked up to get to the kit.

Finally, when a vehicle is stolen, in many cases it is parked up for a few hours in a “local” area where it will not attract attention and then finally taken away for export or breaking for parts.

Norman Anderson – chairman