Dorchester Police Twitter PageHave you discovered the Dorchester Police Twitter page yet? Why not take a look and follow the team who will give you up to date information. Their Twitter page can be found onhttps://twitter.com/DorchesterSNT?
If you are going away please remember to:•Cancel milk, newspapers and other deliveries. If possible, give a spare key to a family member or neighbour and ask them to pick up your post, so that it is not lying in a pile on the floor. If you have an external mail-box, ask someone to regularly empty it for you.•Don't close curtains or blinds, as they are a 'give away' that the house is not occupied, particularly when drawn through the day•Consider plugging a lamp into a 'time-switch', which will automatically turn the lamp on and off during the evening. However, don't put the lamp in a room, which passers-by can see into when the light is on. You could also use a 'time-switch' to automatically switch on a radio•Keep spare keys in a safe place. The first places that a burglar will look are under a mat or flowerpots. If possible, leave spare keys with a family member or friend/neighbour, rather than outside your property. Never leave keys in the locks inside or lying around the house•Lock all ladders and garden tools away in your shed or garage. Put a strong lock on the garden shed and lock all garage doors•Please don't let the whole Social Networking world know that you're away. You never know who might be reading your messages.Finally, go away and have a great holiday! Remember that many of the above guidelines can also be used when going out for the evening.
Please only use the numbers above for non-emergency calls. If a crime is in progress or life is in danger, please dial 999.For help and advice, to report an incident or if you have been a victim contact Dorset Police on:Telephone: 101 Non-emergency; Email:email@example.com; Online: www.dorset.police.uk
What is Action Fraud Alert?Action Fraud Alert is provided by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau which is run by the City of London Police as a national service. Register to receive direct, verified, accurate information about scams and fraud in your area.The system uses the Neighbourhood Alert Platform which is a secure, national community messaging facility used by Police, Neighbourhood and Home Watch, Crimestoppers, Fire & Rescue Services and local authorities throughout the UK.The service is totally free, you can sign up online immediately and messages are delivered by email, recorded voice and text message. The system is confidential, you can opt into other services from your account here and control what you receive and who sees your information. You can unsubscribe at any time instantly.For details af the latest scam alerts go to https://www.actionfraudalert.co.uk/
Action Fraud is the name given to the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and financially motivated cyber crime. The team is run by the City of London Police, working alongside the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and Neighbourhood Alerts team. They use information from all fraud and cyber crime cases reported to them to create alerts about new types of crime or those which are increasing in severity.Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person. This can have a devastating impact on those affected. Knowledge is the best defence when it comes to fraud. The more you know about the most recent or common techniques fraudsters are using to defraud victims, the less likely you are to fall into the trap. Dorset Police has designed a new webpage that will keep up to date with the latest frauds affecting the county on our website. Action Fraud also sends information about scams and fraud in your area by email, recorded voice and text message. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, please report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Scheme prevents nearly £1 million being handed over to fraudstersA partnership involving local banks and Dorset Police has helped to prevent nearly £1 million getting into the hands of fraudsters.The banking protocol scheme sees bank staff trained to spot when someone is about to fall victim to a scam and aims to prevent them from withdrawing cash or transferring money to a fraudster, with an immediate notification to police.A total of 168 alerts were raised with Dorset Police from August 2018 to August 2019, with 37 transactions found to be genuine and 131 requiring further investigation. As a result total losses of £979,912 were prevented. In August 2019 alone there were 17 alerts relating to 11 suspected scams with £51,000 prevented from being handed over.The average age of those targeted was over 72, with most common type of scams involving rogue traders, phone calls requesting the intended victim to go to a bank and transfer or withdraw cash and romance scams where contact is made, typically via an online dating site, and trust is built up before the offender elicits sums of cash from the victim.Inspector Phil Swanton, of Dorset Police, said: “We recognise the impact these offences can have on victims and it is encouraging that through this scheme we have been able to prevent a significant amount of money being handed over to fraudsters. We continue to work to prevent vulnerable people from becoming victims of fraud and urge anyone who believes they have been targeted by a scam or has concerns for a relative to contact police. I would remind members of the public that banks will never send someone to collect your bank cards from your address, ask you to go to the bank and withdraw cash or ask for your PIN over the phone. They will also never call and ask you to transfer money from one account to another. If someone calls claiming to be from your bank and you have doubts over their validity, we advise that you ask for their name, hang up and then call your bank directly.”For more crime prevention advice visitwww.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/scams-fraud-cyber/.To report an offence contact Dorset Police atwww.dorset.police.uk, via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101.
Spot the signs of County Lines - police launch campaign to protect vulnerable people from drugs gangsDorset Police has launched a campaign urging the public to spot the signs of County Lines and help protect vulnerable people from drugs gangs. County Lines is the term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas, as well as market and coastal towns, by using dedicated mobile phone lines. Criminals across the country use children and vulnerable people of all ages to courier drugs and money. These drug dealers will often take up residence in a person’s home - known as cuckooing - to sell drugs in the local area. Once caught up in County Lines, exploited individuals are at risk of extreme physical and/or sexual violence, gang recriminations and trafficking. As part of its strategy to safeguard young and vulnerable people, Dorset Police is working to raise awareness of County Lines over the busy summer months. Although the county remains among the safest places in the UK to live, work or holiday in, police are asking both local people and visitors to stay alert to spot the signs of County Lines - and to report them. Superintendent Caroline Naughton explains: “Protecting the vulnerable and tackling the supply of drugs is a priority for Dorset Police, and we recognise the detrimental impact it has on local communities. We know that County Lines is not a problem that can be solved by police efforts alone, and locally we have developed a successful neighbourhood policing response to drug issues and protecting vulnerable people who are at risk of exploitation linked to drug taking and supply. Our local neighbourhood officers regularly patrol areas that are known for street dealing and carry out safeguarding visits on vulnerable people living in our communities. However, we rely on members of the public reporting information to us and this campaign is aimed at raising more awareness of the signs that someone could be involved in a county lines drug network”.Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill says: “County Lines is a growing problem, not just in Dorset but across the country. It is something that the police can’t tackle alone. We need the support of our communities to continue to provide information to Dorset Police about suspected drug-related offences. We’re asking residents, as well as people visiting the county, to be aware of the signs of County Lines exploitation and to contact the police if they spot anything”.Signs to look for: • A young person going missing from school or home;• Meeting with unfamiliar adults and/or a change in behaviour; • Using drugs and alcohol;• Money or expensive gifts they can’t account for;• A neighbour who has not been seen for a while;• More people calling at a neighbour’s home – often at unsociable hours;• Suspicious vehicles/people attending a neighbour’s home. If you have spotted the signs – please tell police. Call 101, report it online at dorset.police.uk/do-it-online,or contact Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111. If you suspect someone is in immediate danger, call 999.
Help Dorset PCC Lobby the Government on Action FraudI was extremely concerned to read reports in the media about Action Fraud. An undercover investigation by The Times recently found evidence that call handlers working for the organisation were trained to mislead victims of fraud into thinking their cases would be investigated when they knew most would never be looked at again. Worse, some managers were reported to have privately mocked people who lost money to fraudsters, calling them ‘morons’ and ‘screwballs’.This was incredibly distressing, both to me, and to the many dedicated officers and staff in Dorset Police who work hard to combat this ever-growing problem. However, it is far from the first complaint I’ve heard about them. As the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) former lead for fraud, I listened to many heart-breaking stories from people who had lost tens of thousands of pounds – their life savings – only to feel ignored by Action Fraud, while officers working in this area expressed their own frustrations. Clearly, there’s something going badly wrong in the running of this organisation, and to my mind there has been for a long time. Now, I plan to do something about it by lobbying government for urgent improvements – and I want your help in doing this by responding to my survey, here -https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5ZTM6RLI want to find out about Dorset residents’ experiences of Action Fraud, whether they were satisfied with the outcome and the service they received, and if not I want them to tell me what went wrong and what could have been done better. This will give me a dossier of evidence I can take to ministers calling for improvements, rather than relying on anecdotal accounts. It’s vitally important we get this right. Nationally, fraud is a problem of epidemic proportions, accounting for more than a third of all crime across England and Wales last year. The service itself is overseen by the City Of London Police, but most of the call handling is outsourced to a private company called Concentrix. They conducted their own investigation following The Times’ report, and some staff members were suspended, but serious questions need to be asked about them – including whether an American company should even have been involved in this work at all. Ultimately, like many aspects of policing, it comes down to funding. With fraud being such a huge and rapidly growing area, should the Home Office be putting more resources into the national response and keeping a closer eye on how it’s managed? These are all questions that need looking at, but first I need your help in responding to my survey. Remember, this isn’t about complaining to Dorset Police or getting your case investigated – I can’t do either of those things in this space. What I can do is listen and take this to the government so I can tell ministers: “This is how many members of the public in Dorset feel let down by Action Fraud, what are you going to do about it?” I need to know what experiences you’ve had, both good and bad, so I can lobby the government and try to make this better for everyone.Again, please access the survey here -https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5ZTM6RLMartyn UnderhillPolice and Crime Commissioner for Dorset
Dorset Police’s Chief Constable James Vaughan has issued a personal message to the county’s communities in the wake of the latest COVID-19 restrictions. He said: "On Monday 23 March 2020 the Government announced emergency measures that represent some of the most far-reaching curbs on our personal freedom ever introduced in the UK. While we are coming to terms with the impact these restrictions will have upon us, I would like to reiterate that these measures have been brought in to save lives and protect our loved ones.The rules are very clear and guidance can be found on the gov.uk/coronavirus website. I urge you all to follow this very simple advice to stay at home and help us to help the national effort. British policing is founded on the consent of the public. I am therefore asking you all to do the right thing for everyone and stay at home. We all need to pull together and I am confident that you will all listen and abide by these very simple rules. We owe it to our loved ones, our friends, colleagues and neighbours to keep people safe and well.From today I will be chairing a Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) where we will be working very closely with our partner agencies to ensure we do all we can to help people through this unprecedented time. Demand upon public services is being placed under growing strain and I would urge you all to think carefully before calling the police for non-urgent matters that can be dealt with through our online services.Dorset Police remains open for business and we will continue to keep people safe and respond to serious crime but our key priority over the coming weeks and months will be to provide visible leadership for our communities through these extraordinary times. However, I must make myself clear that whilst we will adopt a caring, compassionate and respectful approach to the new Government direction, I must warn people that non-compliance of these reasonable and necessary restrictions will ultimately lead to positive police action and potentially prosecution under emergency powers provided to me by Parliament.In responding to this national emergency it must not be forgotten the sacrifice our officers and staff, alongside other emergency services, are taking so we can continue to protect you, prevent crime and uphold the law. I am immensely proud of the commitment and dedication they continue to show. We are doing all we can to keep our officers and staff safe while they continue to serve the public."