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Author: FVCA

Street Watch: Join the scheme today

Would you like to help keep your community safe, get some exercise, and meet new people?

West Mercia Police are looking for more volunteers to join our Fairfield Street Watch scheme.

As a Street Watch volunteer, you will walk your local streets in groups and provide reassurance and engagement with local issues that matter most. While you will have no police powers, you will work directly with local policing teams to report any issues noticed during your walks.

Becoming a Street Watch Volunteer is a fantastic way to help keep your community safe, to meet new people in our community who share the same values, to improve community engagement with the police, and to keep fit and healthy.

If you’re also interested in becoming a Street Watch member you can learn more by clickinghere.

Or email the team directly:

Wildmoor Quarry Planning Application Update

We have been informed that the Wildmoor Quarry application is now likely to be submitted in April 2024. (Apparently the applicant needs more time to get reports together!)

Planning Application – Croppings Green Wood Stables, Warbage Lane

The following planning application is available to view and comment on. Please use this
link to take you to the home page of Public Access which is the tool for
viewing applications and making comment electronically.

  • Click on the link above
  • Type in the application number and click, this will take you to the summary page of Public
  • When at the summary page
  • To view the documents you will need to click on the tab, then
    the .
  • To make a comment click on the tab,
  • Fill out your details and make your comment and press submit, this will go straight to the
    relevant planning officer and be immediately viewable in the comments tab.
  • If you have provided an email you can request a confirmation email.
DATE ACCEPTED:30.11.2023
LOCATION:Croppings Green Wood Stables, Warbage Lane Dodford Worcestershire DY9 0AN
PROPOSAL:Change of use of Agricultural Building to 1 dwelling.
PARISH COUNCIL:Belbroughton Parish
WARD:Belbroughton And Romsley Ward
CASE OFFICER:Charlotte Wood
TELEPHONE:01527 64252 Ext 3412

Share the road: cyclist and pedestrian safety awareness for drivers

UK roads are governed by the Highway Code. This extensive list of rules ensures the safety of every road user, not just drivers. The code is constantly being revised and updated, which is why it’s vital for all drivers – regardless of how much experience they have – to stay abreast of the latest rules. It’s important that everyone plays their part in keeping our roads a safe place for all, and this starts with educating ourselves about the rules of the road. 

This informative guide produced by Compare the Market is a great resource to refer to for anyone looking to understand more about how we can interact with each other more safely on the streets. It includes practical advice on how drivers can be more considerate to horse riders, pedestrians and cyclists, as well as outlining the latest rules around the hierarchy of road users. According to 2020 data, more than 4,000 cyclists were seriously injured on UK roads. Minimising this number by following recommended safety advice is important to helping everyone to feel safer whether you’re getting behind the wheel or on the saddle. 

Whenever we take to the roads, we’re not only responsible for our own safety, but also for that of anyone we share the space with. By following government guidelines and adopting good driving habits, motorists can play their part in reducing the number of road collisions and injuries we see each year.


Courier Fraud Offences… Beware!

Project Prospero is West Mercia Police’s response to courier fraud which has been ongoing for a number of years. 

Typically, criminals carry out Courier Fraud by cold calling the victim, purporting to be a police officer, government officials, HMRC, bank official etc…. The fraudsters will then claim there’s an issue with the victim’s bank account or request their assistance with an ongoing bank or police investigation.

The ultimate aim of this call is to trick them into handing over money or their bank details. Common techniques used by the fraudsters include telling the victim to withdraw large sums of cash, purchase an expensive item, provide their bank cards/details or transfer money. A ‘courier’ will then come and pick up the cash or items, on behalf of the police or bank. Sometimes the victim may be persuaded to transfer a large sum of money to a “safe account” rather than a courier attending.  Once the money is handed over or transferred it will be gone and the victim will never see it again.

This video from West Midlands Regional Cyber Crimes Unit explains it in more detail:

Courier Fraud – “Your debit/credit card is YOURS!” – YouTube

This video is an example of how it can work (there are other MOs):

Courier Fraud – 89 year old victim speaks out – YouTube

Sadly Operation Prospero offences are happening again with multiple offences reported across the force recently.  An elderly lady in Shropshire lost £40,000 in one of these crimes, whilst only yesterday there was an attempt in Shifnal.  These criminals are likely operating within Telford now and you need to know how to respond. 

This crime type effects all members of society, but tends to be elderly and vulnerable people who fall foul of the criminals, often losing tens of thousands of pounds (as above).  It is hugely underreported with victims (and their families) often blaming themselves or hiding that it has happened from family members.  In many of these cases, criminals are pretending to be police officers, so victims may not have confidence in the police and as officers assisting them we need to give them the best service possible.

Please make family, friends and neighbours are aware so that they do not become a victim.

Why is it called “Courier Fraud”?
The ‘courier’ part of courier fraud is there because scammers will send someone round to collect the ‘evidence’ – usually cash or bank cards complete with PIN numbers – or in some cases actually pick the victims up and take them to a bank, jewellers, or currency exchange to withdraw cash, or buy expensive items to use as collateral in the investigation. The closure of many local Banks has made it easier for criminals to use less secure outlets where their victims can withdraw cash.
So, imagine going about your usual day when your phone rings. You answer it – it’s the Police!
You are told that there’s been fraudulent activity on your bank account, and they need you to help in an investigation to get it sorted. They already have your name and address, but ask you to confirm your identity with your bank details and PIN.

You panic – this sounds serious.
They then ask you to withdraw a substantial sum of cash to use as evidence in the case, but not to tell anyone you’re helping them, as this could jeopardise the investigation and you could be arrested. They send a courier over to pick up the money, and your bank card, all of which you’ll get back as soon as the investigation is finished.  
In other cases, they may ask the victim to buy high value items such as jewellery or watches “to help in their investigations” 
But of course, You never hear from them again. You never get that money back, and this is how Courier Fraud happens.

How can you help? 

If you know what to look out for, you can help protect not only yourself, but also those you care about.
Possible signs that could show someone might be a victim.
• Are they suddenly receiving more phone calls than usual, and not wanting to be overheard?
• Do they seem anxious or withdrawn?
• Are they suddenly more concerned or secretive about their finances than usual?
• If you have access to their bank accounts, are there unusual unexplained high-value withdrawals or purchases?
• Are they experiencing sudden money issues out of the blue? 
• Have you noticed unusual visitors to your vulnerable neighbours?

Nationally, total losses to Courier Frauds exceeds £12 million and average personal losses are in excess of £4,000 with some individuals losing much higher figures.

So stay in control
If something feels wrong, then it’s usually right to question it. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. Neither your Bank nor the Police will ever call you and ask for your PIN, or get you to hand over your Credit Card to a courier.

Take Five To Stop Fraud

STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe. 
CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you. 
PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud

• Avoid disclosing security details
• Emails, Phone Calls and Texts may not be authentic
• Always make direct contact with any organisation by using a genuine phone number 
• Stop and Challenge any unexpected requests
• Protect others by reporting Fraud and Scams

If you’ve fallen for a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via

Scam Text messages can be forwarded to 7726 to help phone providers take early action and block numbers that generate spam on their networks.

Forward Fake Emails received to

How to avoid loan fraud

When it comes to looking after your personal safety and that of those in your local neighbourhood, it isn’t just physical threats we need to be aware of. With the rise in technology and the growing sophistication of opportunistic scammers, it’s important to have a conversation about how to protect your money.

One of the most prevalent financial scams is loan fraud. This is where criminals manipulate the loan process for their own gain, to either persuade victims to part with their money or steal personal information to take out a loan in your name. Unfortunately, there are certain groups that are naturally more vulnerable to falling victim to crimes of this nature. The elderly are particularly at risk, either due to their personal circumstances or a lack of understanding of modern-day scamming techniques.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of information out there to help everyone guard against these malicious crimes. Comparethemarket has produced this handy guide to loan fraud. It contains actionable advice on how to protect yourself from falling victim, information on how to recover after being targeted, and details of the legitimate loan process, so you know what to look out for if you’re ever suspicious.

By sharing this information with members of your local community, you’ll be playing your part in helping to keep everyone safe from the dangers of loan fraud and other financial scams. This guide presents all the necessary information in a way that’s accessible to everyone, so use it as a starting point to inform yourself and your community.


Licenced Pedlars

On Thursday 9th November, we reported a suspected unlicenced doorstep pedlar in the community, the person claiming to be part of rehabilitation scheme, his behaviour, mannerism and value of goods he was trying to sell aligned with what is commonly known as a Nottingham Knocker, i.e.

Until last Friday (10th November), we were under the impression that West Mercia Police did not issue pedlar licences, and we have previously been encouraged to report visits by people claiming to be licenced pedlars.  We now understand from our Safer Neighbourhood Team that the person of interest was genuine, and he had a Pedlar’s Licence signed off by West Mercia Police.

To enable residents to identify between a genuine licenced pedlar and someone who is not, and to give the community peace of mind, we have obtained a copy of a Pedlar’s Licence, see below.  This will, hopefully, enable residents to make an informed decision as to whether they wish to assist someone, e.g. someone who is on a programme.

Should you receive a visit from an unlicenced pedlar, please continue to report to the police, and if the individual is licenced, do not be pressurised into buying any items.

Community Falls Silent at Service of Remembrance

A well attended Service of Remembrance this morning, which was held inside the Village Hall.

Wreaths were laid by the Parish Council (Cllr. Gibbs), Community Association (by a child, Miss Jessie Gibson), West Mercia Police (PCSO Cadwallader), Fairfield Women’s Institute (Mrs. Cotterill) & Fairfield First School (child & headteacher, Mr. Scott Smith).

Following the service, members of the community enjoyed refreshments.

The collection raised £134.30, which will be donated to the Royal British Legion

Thanks to all volunteers involved with the service and serving refreshments.

Litter Picks to Continue

Thanks to Keith & Carol, who have volunteered to coordinate litter picks, our Community Litter Picks will continue in 2024.

A deputy is needed for when Keith & Carol are on holiday. Can someone help with this?

The next Community Litter Pick will be on Saturday 13th January 10.30am.

Cold Mornings

Although vehicle crime is low across West Mercia, every winter the force receives a number of reports from drivers who have had their cars stolen after leaving the engine running, while they wait in the warmth of their home for it to heat up and defrost the windscreen.

Some vehicle owners nip inside for just a few seconds to collect a bag or finish the last mouthful of their breakfast coffee – but that’s all the time an opportunist thief needs. To ‘freeze out’ the thieves, West Mercia Police advises motorists to:

• Clear windscreens with de-icer and a scraper

• Sit in vehicles while the heater de-mists the windscreen

Drivers who ignore this advice are taking big risks. Thieves will drive around residential areas looking for likely targets – when they spot a vehicle with its engine left running on a drive or outside a home, it’s there for the taking.

One person will be dropped off, gets into the target vehicle and simply drives away.

Many of the vehicles are never recovered, and some – especially high value models such as Mercedes, BMW and Audi – may be shipped overseas.

It is also worth remembering if your car is stolen when keys have been left in it, you may find your insurance will not cover you. If your house keys are stolen along with your car, your home is then vulnerable too.

So, this winter, don’t give criminals an easy ride by leaving your car running unattended.