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Neighbourhood Watch

Fly Tipping

Over the past few weeks there has been a significant increase in fly tipping across our Parish Ward and in the surrounding area; Madeley Road, Chadwich Lane, Mearse Lane, New Road, Claypit Lane, Shut Mill Lane and, in the past 24 hours, Swan Lane.

Rubbish dumped has included a bucket of dog excrement, rabbit hutch waste, furniture, tins of paint, asbestos and general household waste. Rubbish can be harmful to the environment and can kill wildlife & livestock.

Fly tipping left on the side of the road is cleared by Bromsgrove District Council, at a cost to the Council Taxpayer, whereas the cost to clear rubbish left on private land (dumped over the fence or gate) is borne by the farmer/landowner.

The recent incidents of fly tipping are not the odd bag of waste.  Some may have been transported by a small van, most has been transported by a much larger vehicle.

If you witness or have information relating to fly tipping:

  • To report large-scale illegal dumping (such as lorries dumping rubbish) and hazardous waste, you CAN contact CrimeStoppers anonymously, tel. 0800 555 111, the Rural Crime Hotline tel. 0800 783 0137 or online at https://forms.theiline.co.uk/ruralcrimehotline (select ‘Large-scale, industrial fly-tipping’ from the drop-down box.

Ewe Slaughtered

Overnight a ewe has been killed, butchered and taken from a field near the “scrap yard”. Fencing has been damaged.

Did you see or anything suspicious last night? Please report to the police, tel. 101.

Please remain vigilant. Always report suspicious activity and share with your local verified Neighbourhood Watch Group admin@fvca.org.uk

Visa Secure Telephone Scam

A resident has “had two automated phishing phone calls so far today from a bogus company called Visa Secure telling us that a £600 transaction has taken place on our account. The voice then asks you to press 1 to speak to an advisor. I waited and they hung up. I understand an elderly neighbour has had five such calls but was savvy enough to ignore.”

If you receive a similar telephone call, PUT THE PHONE DOWN, do not carry out any instructions that may be given.

PLEASE make sure your elderly neighbours are aware of this scam.

Suspicious Vehicle Activity

Last night (10th September) a car with 2 Asian men were acting very suspiciously around Fairfield. They parked in the Swan car park at the very top where it dark. One man came from Swan Lane and got in the car which then left. The car then appeared coming out of Swan Lane and returned to the car park at the top end again. This was happening between 11.15pm and 11.30pm.

At 11.45pm the car was parked in the driveway of Orchard Farm, with the engine running and just the driver. At midnight 2 men appeared from Swan Lane direction and got into the car which then drove off at speed.

This suspicious activity has been reported to the police, including the vehicle make (Dark Grey BMW) and a distinct registration number.

If you see similar or any suspicious activity:

Phone the Police, telephone 101 or if a crime is taking place 999

Share with the Community Association (admin@fvca.org.uk) so that other residents can be made aware.

Why Join Neighbourhood Watch

By registering with Neighbourhood Watch and joining the Fairfield Neighbourhood Watch Group you will be joining other residents working hard to reduce crime and building a stronger community.

As a member of Neighbourhood Watch you will receive national alerts and the Our Watch newsletter, which is produce 6 times a year.  Local Neighbourhood Watch news will be shared via Fairfield Village Community Association’s e-Circular, by posts on the Association’s Facebook Page, at the monthly residents’ meetings and in the quarterly newsletters.  You can subscribe to the e-Circulars by filling in the Subscribe to Newsletter form on the Community Association’s website, http://fvca.org.uk

One of the benefits of being a member of Neighbourhood Watch is discounted home insurance.  Some (not all) home insurance providers offer a discount to members of Neighbourhood Watch.  Cooperative Insurance are currently offering a discount of 10% off their Home Insurance policy if you quote NHW10 and buy the policy over the telephone, tel: 0800 781 1390 (t&cs apply).  Some providers ask for you to declare that you are a Neighbourhood Watch member by answering a question contained in their online form and some insurers will ask for proof that you are part of an active Neighbourhood Watch group. Discounts offered will vary and will depend on lots of other factors to do with your home as well. 

Should you make an insurance claim, policy providers may seek evidence that you are an active member of your local Neighbourhood Watch, e.g. displaying Neighbourhood Watch/SmartWater stickers in windows, attending local Neighbourhood Watch (Fairfield Village Community Association) meetings and get involved with crime prevention initiatives, such as property marking – so don’t lie about being an active member of a group if you’re not.

The Fairfield Neighbourhood Watch Group (covers the Village of Fairfield and the hamlet of Stoneybridge) is part of Fairfield Village Community Association, membership is open to all residents.  Unlike many other local Watch Groups, we do not charge a membership fee, operating by fundraising and seeking grant aid.  Please support the Community Association’s fundraising activities.

To join Neighbourhood Watch visit https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/ ock

BURGLARY – Madeley Road, Bell Heath (Belbroughton Ward)

Between Saturday 17th August and Wednesday 21st August, intruders have entered two sheds and a caravan – all buildings searched and various items scattered around.

If you have any information on the above please report it to the Police on 101, quoting incident number 0651s 210819. Any information given will remain anonymous.

Please remain vigilant in your area, and report any suspicious circumstances, person or vehicles to the Police on 101, immediately.

Fraudsters Targeting Social Media Influencers

he National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received intelligence to suggest that fraudsters are contacting social media influencers, based in the UK and abroad, offering them the opportunity to market a bogus product, service or investment opportunity.

Fraudsters will present professional and credible pitches to the social media influencers and try to convince them to feature the opportunity for a fee on their social media profiles in order to entice unsuspecting followers of the influencer to sign up or make a purchase.

Additionally, fraudsters are using the names of well-known public figures, implying that their opportunity or product is endorsed by the figure when it is not.

The public should be aware that any apparent endorsement by celebrities, influencers or personalities does not necessarily mean that an investment, product or service is genuine. The public is urged to exercise a cautious approach to any such offer of investment, product or service with the same caution they would at any other time.

What You Need To Do

  • If you are purchasing goods from a company you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, or ask friends or family for advice before completing a purchase.
  • Professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts do not guarantee that an investment opportunity or product is genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known brands or individuals to make them appear legitimate.
  • Avoid paying for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person or company. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud. Instead, use your credit card or payment services such as PayPal as they offer you greater protection if you become a victim of fraud.

Further Concerned Residents Querying NextDoor Neighbour Letters

More residents have contacted FVCA querying letters that they have received from Nextdoor Neighbour – please share the contents of this post and our article with your neighbours.

On the 18th July FVCA posted the following article http://fvca.org.uk/notices/nextdoor-neighbour-website/ on the village website, which we encourage you to read.

  The Nextdoor Neighbour website was founded in the USA and the operators have expanded to the UK; the site is operated and provided to you by Nextdoor EMEA Limited, an Irish company. As you will read in our article there has been a mixed reception – from our understanding the majority of dissatisfaction is from the sharing of information with 3rd parties, the “local information” posted on the website is often well received. [Local Information – We understand that the Neighbourhood people are joining includes Bournheath, Belbroughton, Clent, Dodford, Hagley and the surrounding area]
  It would appear that residents are signing up to the website and letters are being sent out to their neighbours to encourage them to sign up to the website too. FVCA have spoken to a couple of people whose name appears at the bottom of these letters and they were unaware that these letters were being sent out, Nextdoor Neighbour claim that authority was given (see article).

  Our advice to anyone wishing to join the Nextdoor Neighbour network is to read the site’s Member Agreement, Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines. We do not know whether there are privacy settings like Facebook.

Reminder to lock out thieves during the hot weather

Police are reminding people not to leave their home open to thieves this summer as the country basks in hot weather.

With the onset of the school summer holidays and the hot weather it can be easy to forget to take a few home security measures, yet open windows and doors are often an open invitation for thieves.

Simple steps such as closing a window when you go out and locking doors can make all the difference and help prevent a house being targeted.

Holiday makers are also advised to take time to consider home security before they go away to give them peace of mind while they’re on holiday.

The advice forms part of We Don’t Buy Crime, West Mercia Police’s response to tackling serious acquisitive crime which includes crimes such as burglary and theft.

Sergeant Ram Aston, from the We Don’t Buy Crime team, said: “We Don’t Buy Crime continues to go from strength to strength with more and more areas signing up as part of our towns and villages initiative which sees whole communities protected by forensic property marking technology which acts as a great deterrent to criminals. So far this year we’ve seen some considerable reductions in house burglaries but this doesn’t mean we’re complacent and we want to make sure everything is being done to help prevent someone from becoming a victim to thieves.

“Crime prevention is absolutely crucial and anything residents can do to help protect their home can help make a difference. It can be easy in the summer months, especially when the weather is warm, to forget you’ve opened a window or left the back door open before you go out or go to bed. It only takes a few moment to double check but could help prevent your home being targeted. If you’re in the back garden, make sure you haven’t left any ground floor windows open at the front of the house and always make sure valuable items, such as car keys, mobile phones or wallets, are not in easy reach of an open window.

“If you’re going away make sure the house is locked up before you go and the burglar alarm is set. Hide any valuable items from view from the outside and don’t leave anything in the garden that could potentially be used to gain entry into your home. Be mindful of where you store your wheelie bin too and consider if it could be used for someone to climb on and access an upstairs window or used to climb over into the garden. If you’re leaving the car at home and have a garage, park it in the garage while you’re away rather than on the drive and if you’ve got gates close and lock them with a good quality lock.”

In addition to We Don’t Buy Crime towns and villages police carry out a range of covert tactics to catch thieves and work with second hand stores to make it more difficult for thieves to sell on stolen goods.

Sgt Aston added: “We Don’t Buy Crime essentially aims to put criminals out of business and we have a range of tactics at our disposal which are both overt and covert to not just prevent acquisitive crime in the first place but catch those who are responsible when they do happen and want to send a clear message to thieves that we are utilising a range of methods to target them.”

For more crime prevention advice visit https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/1955/Home