Home Safety

Police Information- Cuckooing

‘Cuckooing’ is the term used to describe the practice where professional drug dealers take over the property of a vulnerable person and use it as a place from which to run their drugs business.

The drug dealers will target those who are vulnerable, potentially as a result of substance abuse, mental health issues, or loneliness, and befriend them or promise them drugs in exchange for being able to use their property.

By using an unassuming property, criminals can operate their drugs supply out of sight in an attempt to stay below the police radar. They are often only in the premises for a short amount of time before moving on to their next victim.

As the victims of cuckooing are vulnerable, they are often fearful of going to the police and worry that they will be incriminated in the criminality.

We are urging the public to watch out for vulnerable neighbours, to ensure they don’t fall victim to this trend.

There are also signs of cuckooing that you can look out for:

  • It usually takes place in a multi-occupancy or social housing property
  • There may be an increase in the number of comings and goings, including people you haven’t seen before
  • There might be new vehicles outside the property
  • A possible increase in anti-social behaviour in and around the property

If you suspect that drug dealers are operating from a property near you, it’s really important that you report it so that we can protect those who are vulnerable and ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

Call police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency) with as much information as possible. If you don’t want to contact police, you can report drug dealers to Crimestoppers, completely anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111 or via their website.

Theft from motor vehicle warning:

Police in South Norfolk are urging motorists to be vigilant following a number of thefts from vehicles recently.

A number of vehicles have been broken into on the area in the last week in particular work vans were power tools are being stolen.

PC Jim Squires, said: “thieves are targeting works vans, we are finding no forced entry to the vehicles, it could be they have some sort of master key. With this in mind I would advise owners of works vans to remove valuable tools from the vehicle at night”.

I would also give the follow advice on vehicle security:

  • Don’t leave anything on display in your vehicle
  • Take your belongings with you when you leave the car – if you can’t, lock them in the boot before you start your journey
  • Get an alarm installed
  • Consider marking all your valuables that you frequently leave in your vehicle
  • If you have a garage, use it. If you don’t always try and park in a well-lit open place
  • Always lock your vehicle and garage

Anyone with information concerning the thefts should contact us on 101 or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Witness appeal after cars damaged in South Norfolk

Police are appealing for witnesses after a number of cars were damaged in South Norfolk.

Between 15 and 20 cars had their petrol caps tampered with in a car park off the A140 at Dunston between 7pm and 11.30pm yesterday (Tuesday 7 February). In some cases the petrol cap was damaged.

Officers are appealing for anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in the area to contact the Poringland Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Police issue warning about bogus callers

Police are urging residents to be vigilant following a number of suspected bogus caller incidents in recent weeks.

Officers have received reports of incidents in the Norwich, Blakeney, Great Yarmouth, Horning, Poringland and Costessey areas. In each case a man has knocked at the door claiming to be there to either read a gas or electricity meter, or to check the boiler.

Police are reminding householders to be vigilant when dealing with cold callers and offer the following advice:

  • Close and lock the back door before answering the front door.
  • Use a spy hole or window to look at the caller before answering the door.
  • If you do not recognise the caller, speak to them through the closed door.
  • If the caller is selling something or offering work on your home, tell them you are not interested and ask them to leave.
  • If they do not leave or you need assistance then call the police.
  • If the caller is valid still always ask for proof of identity. Phone the company or organisation the caller claims to be from while the caller waits outside.
  • Tell someone you trust about the uninvited callers to your home.
  • If necessary, report it to police with a description of the people involved and details of their vehicle if possible.

To report suspicious activity call Norfolk Constabulary on 101. In an emergency always dial 999

Fraud Alert

Fraudsters are targeting members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters, via email, will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer and once payment is made the victims of the fraud soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services.

Protect Yourself:

  • Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact.
  • For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.
  • Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.
  • Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer some protection and avenue for recompense.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online at:  http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone on: 0300 123 2040.

The Following is a Police Connect Message.

Driving in winter weather

In winter weather, driving conditions can deteriorate fast, making driving hazardous.

As a result, Norfolk Police are advising motorists to:

  • Make sure all your car lights are working and you have no failed bulbs. Ensure that dirt, salt and snow is cleared away from light fixtures.
  • Always ensure all windows are fully cleared of snow, frost and condensation before setting off on a journey – it is illegal to drive with obscured vision.
  • Also clear snow from the top of the car as this can fall down and obscure your windscreen while you are driving.
  • Keep windscreen washer fluid topped up as windscreens quickly become dirty from traffic spray and salt from the roads.
  • Make sure you have sufficient fuel for your journey. Keep the fuel tank topped up.
  • Give yourself extra time for your journey and drive at a constant speed. Accept your journey will take longer and don’t take risks.
  • Take a mobile telephone with you and make sure it is fully charged. Carry a mobile charger in the car.
  • If you get stuck in the snow stay with your car, but in an emergency, if you do need to leave it, park it out of the main traffic route, where it won’t cause an obstruction when conditions ease. Leave a contact number on the inside of the windscreen and return to your car at the first opportunity you have.

More information and advice can be found at www.norfolk.police.uk

Police Connect

Please be aware that due to the introduction of new software, a reduced service continues to be provided by Police Connect.

The full service will be resumed as soon as possible.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

News, appeals and information can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.norfolk.police.uk

Chief Inspector Nathan Clark

Help Norfolk Police With Their New Website

Norfolk & Suffolk Constabularies are moving into the future by investing in new websites that will provide more services to the public and increase online accessibility.

The increasing use of online services mean the Constabularies are looking for their websites to provide more functions to support day-to-day policing, improve online reporting and provide a resource for residents to be able to source the help and information they may need.

Work is currently underway to initially develop the websites and it is hoped they will be ready to launch in the late summer or early autumn of 2016 with the sites then continuously growing as new areas and functions are added.

Police are now inviting members of the public to get involved in the development of the sites to ensure they are user-friendly.

More than 70,000 people currently visit the two Constabularies websites over the course of an average week, the majority using mobile devices to access the sites. The aim is to encourage more people to visit, to ensure they are optimised for mobile use and to offer an increased range of services that will then help free up other resources.

Proposed ideas for the site include a web chat facility, a faster more responsive search capability, a greater library of up-to-date advice and information, easy ways to contact your local policing team, developments in online crime reporting, and the ability to complete forms online and make payments.

Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Hamlin said; “We recognise that while many residents like to see officers out and about, and to deal with police in person, there are an increasing number who prefer to deal with public bodies via online services. It is a growing area and we need to ensure we are accessible to everyone, whatever their preference.

“Investing in technology is a key strand of our on-going change programmes. Our existing websites are increasingly outdated, they cannot be further developed to capitalise on advances in technology and don’t offer the facilities that we need them to do and it was agreed that we needed to invest in this area to stand us in good stead for the future.

“Digital technology is the future for delivering efficient, relevant and cost-effective services to the public; and we must keep pace and capitalise on the opportunities it brings.

“The new sites will have increased functionality with the aim of reducing frontline policing demands and will offer a better search function – making it easier for users to locate the information they need – as well as greater self-service and virtual public access options.

“They will also be ‘mobile-optimised’, meaning the majority of our customers who now wish to do so, will be able to access information, advice, news and services on the go via their mobile or tablet device whenever and wherever they want to.”

The existing websites have limited functionality with older software and operating systems. The introduction of new websites to enhance engagement and legitimacy is highlighted in the HMIC PEEL Police legitimacy report.

Stephen Bett, Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This project represents a major investment for the constabulary so it is vital that it delivers what Norfolk people need. I would urge the public to get involved as ultimately they will be the ones using the website.”

Police are now looking for public volunteers to get involved to have a say on the content and features included.

Members of the public are being invited to take part in a usability session to navigate through the website ahead of it going live to help with refining and developing the sites. Anyone is welcome to sign up to help, you don’t need to be an expert, and you will be asked to do several short tasks using a website. You will also be asked questions about your experience and perceptions of the website design and navigation – no preparation or prior knowledge required.

No travel is necessary as this will be done online and it will take 15–30 minutes. If you would like to participate please email SimonC@norfolk.pnn.police.uk.

The following is a Police Connect message.  

We have recently been advised that some members of the public are receiving an email that is designed to scare or entice them into reading the email and to then open an attachment.

The email claims to be a penalty charge notification with the subject along the lines of: ‘Invoice for IA20122439 (random numbers but all appear to commence ‘IA’)’

 

These emails appear to be sent from random senders and they contain a malicious Word doc or Excel XLS spreadsheet attachment.  If the attachment is opened, it will download various Trojans and password stealers which will encrypt all data on the end device and demand the user pays a ransom.

 

An example of the content of the email is as follows:

  

Subject:  Invoice for IA20122439

 

To Whom It May Concern,

 

Please find attached an invoice relating to Penalty Charge Notice Number IA01791153 along with a copy of the contravention.

 

In order to prevent this fine from escalating further we have paid this fine on your behalf. Should you have any queries concerning these charges please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Payment for this invoice will be taken by Direct Debit 9 working days from the date of this email.

 

Please refer to page 2, point 3.6 in your Terms and Conditions for information on Traffic Offences.

  

All the alleged senders, companies, names of employees and phone numbers mentioned in these emails may be innocent and are just picked at random by the criminals who are generating these emails. Some of these companies will exist and some won’t. 

 

These people and companies have had their details spoofed and picked at random from a long list that the criminals have acquired. They choose companies, government departments and other organisations with subjects that are designed to entice or alarm a person into blindly opening the attachment or clicking the link in the email to see what is happening.

 

These emails are a scam and any one receiving one of these should not open the attachment, the email should be deleted immediately from your inbox, and then delete it from your deleted items folder.

 

For further advice in relation to emails such as this please visit the Action Fraud website at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud-az-phishing

Crimestoppers Need Your Help

Make your New Year’s resolution to fight crime in your community by volunteering for Crimestoppers in Norfolk 

Norfolk Crimestoppers is calling for volunteers to help keep the county safe.

The charity currently has a network of over 600 people across the UK who work on a voluntary basis.

With experience in everything from campaigning to marketing, business networking and fundraising, they’re considered an integral part of Crimestoppers.

Now the charity is looking to reinvigorate its efforts in Norfolk by enlisting the help of more volunteers – including a chairperson to head up the committee in the county.

Antonia Litten Regional Manager for Crimestoppers said: “Crime affects everybody and this is a fantastic opportunity for the public to use their skills and experience to make a difference in Norfolk.

“Crimestoppers really does make a difference in the county and I’d like to continue that success with a team of volunteers here.”

Norfolk’s Police & Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett added: “By volunteering for Crimestoppers you can help empower the public to give information on crime and help keep their community safe.

“I’m sure there are plenty of people in Norfolk who are keen to get involved and with their help we can make the county an even safer place to live.”

Crimestoppers is an independent crime-fighting charity, separate form government and the police, which allows the public to give information about crime anonymously and securely through the 0800 555 111 number and their Anonymous Online Form.

Last year the charity passed 694 pieces of actionable information to Norfolk Constabulary, which resulted in 54 arrests and charges – an increase of 17% on the year before.

If you’re interested in volunteering in the Norfolk, you can contact volunteering@crimestoppers-uk.org or visit the website https://crimestoppers-uk.org/get-involved/volunteer-for-crimestoppers/

Public Enquiry Offices Christmas and New Year opening times

Open as normal except on the following days:

25 Dec 15 – all Public Enquiry Offices closed

26 Dec 15 – all Public Enquiry Offices closed (except King’s Lynn which is open 1000 – 1600 hrs)

28 Dec 15 – all Public Enquiry Offices closed (except Great Yarmouth which is open 1000 – 1600 hrs)

1 Jan 16 – all Public Enquiry Offices closed

If we are closed, you can still contact us via one of the following:

  • If you wish to speak to someone please pick up the phone on the outside of the Public Enquiry Office, this will directly connect you to our Contact Centre.
  • Non-Emergency No: 101 or text 07786 200777

In an emergency always phone 999