Contact:    Dave Carpenter    Telephone:    0300 333 3000 ext 69338

Date:    February 2014    Ref:  Local Policing - Wem   


                    Wem Police – Safer Neighbourhood Team

With the change in name, we have a change in faces to the team Policing the Wem area, we have said goodbye to CSO’s Pete Elson and Dave Bryant and welcome to PCSO’s Angela Newson and William Tyler; they join the team headed by Sergeant Claire Greenaway, with PC Dave Carpenter and PCSO Liam Heathcote based at Wem police Station, New Street, Wem we all look forward to seeing you out and about, and if you have any queries, please do not hesitate in contacting us  by telephone on 101, email wem.snt@westmercia.pnn.police.uk or visit our website at West Mercia Police for further information. Twitter accounts:- for those of you who are technologically minded you can follow your Neighbourhood Team @NorthShropCops

July 2016

Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
West Mercia Police

SHROPSHIRE NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

NORTH SHROPSHIRE SECTION Date August 2016  Please can we all remember that we live in a very low crime area, however, you may wish to view details of offences that have occurred in your areas. These figures are available on the new website www.police.uk, where you can search for your area and view the different incidents that have taken place over a particular period.

Appeal for witnesses following fatal collision in Shropshire
West Mercia Police is appealing for witnesses after a fatal collision on the A49 in Shropshire this morning (Friday 1 July 2016).
Just before 10.50am, a collision occurred between a car and a lorry between Dorrington and Bayston Hill.
 Sadly, the driver and passenger of the car were pronounced deceased at the scene. Next of kin have been informed. The lorry driver was not injured.
If anyone witnessed the incident this morning and has not yet spoken to police, please call West Mercia Police on 101 quoting incident number 0216S of 1 July 2016.

 Serious Crimes in Your Area this Month
There is a marked increase in burglaries this month.

Hate Crime
There has been a national rise in hate crime being reported following the EU referendum result.
West Mercia Police will not tolerate any incident that is motivated by hostility or prejudice toward a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender. Therefore tackling hate crime is one of our priorities and any reports will be investigated.
Nobody should have to tolerate hate crime because of who they are or where they come from and so it is important that our communities have the confidence to come to police and report hate crimes or incidents.
All reports of any hate crime will receive a police response. Examples of hate crime include:-
•Physical attacks
•Damage to property
•Offensive graffiti
•Arson
•Threats of attack
•Offensive letters
•Abusive or offensive telephone calls
•Anti-social behaviour or intimidation
•Offensive language or harassment
If you feel you have been a victim of a hate crime incident, but are unsure if it is a crime, we do urge you to contact police regardless and we are always happy to assist and advise. We need to get a true picture of what is occurring in our local community, but we can only do this if people come forward and speak to police or other agencies.
You can report hate crime in confidence in any of the following ways:-
•In an emergency call 999
•For non-emergencies call 101
•Report it online at www.report-it.org.uk
•Call in at the police station
•Report it to Shropshire Council online at http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/crime-and-criminal-justice/report-a-hate-crime. Details of their reporting centres can be found on the website or telephone 0345 678 9000
•Report it to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111
•Report it to Victim Support on 0300 303 1977
If you would like any further information about how to deal with hate crime, please contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team, details of which can be found at www.westmercia.co.uk.

 Scam Awareness Month
West Mercia Police is marking scam awareness month during July by raising awareness of identity crime, with the message 'there's only one you; keep it that way'. Obtaining a person's identity, in the form of their personal details, gives criminals the opportunity to commit identity crime, such as fraud. Fraudsters may be able to take over someone's existing bank accounts, open new ones, obtain credit cards, loans and mobile phone contracts, order goods and get genuine documents in that person's name. Identity fraud was the largest fraud carried out against individuals, nationally, according to the Annual Fraud Indicator 2016, estimated at £5.4bn a year

Gobowen Community Hub
A successful launch took place of the Gobowen Community Hub on Thursday 30 June with the police and many other agencies attending. This location is where the Oswestry Rural North SNT team will be holding their PACT surgeries and attending other events with our partner agencies in the future.

Warnings issued to drivers following reports of anti social driving in Market Drayton
Market Drayton SNT have issued 2 section 59 warnings to 2 young drivers after receiving complaints from members of the public that vehicles were doings doughnuts in Towers Lawn and Lidl's car parks.
This now means that if these individuals are seen driving a motorised vehicle in an anti social manner in the next 12 months Police will seize them!
I would encourage anyone who witnesses someone driving in a anti social manner to report it to the Police by calling 101. When calling please get a good description of the offending vehicle or driver/rider including a registration number if possible.

Important update
For several years there have been two community alerts services that Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police have used to inform and update the public to warnings, alerts and issues of interest. However, these systems (VC Relay and DOT Mailer), will be replaced with one single message service called the Community Messaging Service (CMS). That full service replacement will be happening soon so you will need to sign up to the new service (CMS) to continue to receive vital messages from the police once the BIG SWITCH happens!
You can sign up to the CMS on the West Mercia Police website here and on the Warwickshire Police website here. Registering is easy and only takes a few minutes.
 If you experience any problems when trying to click on the above links to registry please just visit our West Mercia Police website and click on Registry in the top right hand corner of the screen.
Remember, the two existing delivery systems will be switched off in the near future so sign up today!
We will advise you of the exact date the BIG SWITCH happens in the next few weeks.
Note: if you have seen or heard anything which might relate to an incident in this report, please phone West Mercia Police on 101 and quote the appropriate OIS incident reference number.  Thank you.
*** End of Message ****

Volunteering Opportunities with West Mercia Police
West Mercia Police are currently seeking Police Support Volunteers. We have a number of exciting new roles available. If you are interested in becoming a Police Support Volunteer please visit our website
https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/2417/Police-Support-Volunteers .
You will find information about our volunteering programme and how to apply.
If you experience any problems opening the above link please Google West Mercia Police and click on Jobs and Opportunities then Police Support Volunteers.
 Thank you.

SHROPSHIRE NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
SHREWSBURY newsletter Date August 2015 

Please can we all remember that we live in a very low crime area, however, you may wish to view details of offences that have occurred in your areas. These figures are available on the new website www.police.uk, where you can search for your area and view the different incidents that have taken place over a particular period.


Serious Crimes in your Area this month.
There has been the usual numbers of shoplifting, mobile phone and bicycle thefts. I would like to draw your attention to a couple of items in this newsletter.
Bogus Callers
Railway Safety
Operation Protect
Protection of your shed.


Police warning following spate of courier fraud incidents in Shropshire
West Mercia Police are encouraging people to be vigilant following a spate of attempted courier fraud incidents in Shropshire.

A total of eight incidents have been reported since 11am (Monday 6th July), with the majority in the Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury areas. Offenders are calling victims pretending to be from the police. They will state that the victim's bank cards have been used fraudulently, and then ask them to contact their bank. The fraudsters then stay on the line, in order to obtain bank details before sending a courier to collect the bank card, and use it to obtain cash.
Police are offering the following advice:
•    If you receive a call like this, please hang up immediately and call 101 from a different phone. If there is a crime in progress, please call 999.
•    Remember the police and bank would never ask for your PIN or send a courier to collect your card.
•    Please share this message with any elderly friends and relatives.

Police appeal following robbery in Shrewsbury
West Mercia Police are appealing for witnesses after a robbery in Shrewsbury.
Two men were walking along the footpath near to Bage Way from Abbey Foregate on Thursday 16 July between 10pm and 10.15pm, when they were approached by three other men. The offenders threatened the victims with a knife and a gun and one of the victims was punched to the head, causing a minor injury.
Around £60 was then taken from one of the victims before the offenders ran off in the direction of Cineworld. No other injuries were sustained during the incident and the firearm was not discharged. The three men are described as being 16 to 19 years of age, around five foot eight to six foot tall, of slim builds. One was wearing a red Adidas hooded top and another was wearing a grey tracksuit.
Police are eager to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident or who saw three men of these descriptions making off from the scene.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting incident 820S Thursday 16 July.
Alternatively, information can be given to Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111 or their website.
• A 17-year-old man from Telford, a 16-year-old boy from Ellesmere and a 17-year-old man from Shrewsbury have been arrested on suspicion of robbery in connection with this incident. They have been bailed until Thursday 3 September pending further inquiries.
Online Crime Advice
Online crime (or cyber crime as it is often known) is simply a crime that is linked to use of computers.
Computers and the internet can be fun for young children, but they could easily become victims of cyber bullying, or be sent unsuitable material or exposed to content intended for adults. Here is some basic advice and top tips to give to young children to keep them being a victim of cyber crime:-
•Always ask a grown up before you use a computer or the internet
They can help you find the best thing to do.
•Treat people how you would like to be treated
Be kind when you write anything on the computer so you don't upset anyone.
•Don't tell strangers where you live, your phone number or where you go to school
Only your friends and family need to know that.
•Some people on the internet may not be who they say they are
You shouldn't meet anyone that you only know from talking on the computer.
•Don't send pictures to people you don't know
You don't want strangers looking at photos of you, your friends or your family.
•A lot of friend sites are not suitable for children
If you want to use friend sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, you need to ask a grown up who looks after you if it's ok.
•Tell a grown up if you feel scared or unhappy about anything
If you believe that a child is a victim of online crime of any kind, please contact police on 101 to report it or contact a member of the Safer Neighbourhood Team. Have a look at the advice on our website for further information about cyber crime and young children - https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/1952/Online-crime

Railway Safety
There are up to 60 people who are killed on the railway every year by crossing the track.
Modern trains are deceptively silent and are extremely fast. A train travelling at 125 mph takes only 7 seconds to travel a mile. So.....it is never safe to take a short cut across the tracks - it may cut your life short.
When crossing tracks at railway crossings, please follow the Network Rail Guidance:
1. Stop and look both ways before crossing the tracks. Listen for the train.
2. If a train is going by, stand well back from the track.
3. Never try to cross the tracks if a train is coming. It is too dangerous and you will never cross in time. It can take up to 1 and a half miles for a train to come to a complete stop - that's about 20 football fields.
4. If a train goes by, look both ways again before crossing. Make sure another train is not coming. Many crossings have more than one track, which means there could be more than one train at the same time.
Some trains are powered by electricity which is never switched of. In some parts of Britain, the electricity runs through a rail on the track and in others through the overhead power lines.
In both cases the power is strong enough to kill you.
You do not have to touch the overhead power lines to get electrocuted. The electricity can arc like lightning and jump up across a gap. You can get electrocuted if you or anyone you are holding gets close to the electric power lines.
Where electricity is provided on the rail, there is a third rail running along the railway line. This third rail looks like a normal rail but it is actually a power line. The electricity is so strong that if you touch the rail or step on it, you will stick to it like glue and won't be able to get off.
Report it - Don't ignore it
If you see someone behaving in an unsafe way on the railway line or putting other people in danger, report it.  Call free on 0800 40 50 40
The British Transport Police (BTP) is the national force for the railways. They provide a policing service to rail operators, rail staff and passengers throughout Scotland, England and Wales.
Operation Protect
As part of the ongoing Operation Protect, the Alliance are embarking on a campaign to assist the public in contacting the 'Right Service, First Time'. If you have a query about a lost pet for example, it's not the police you need - take a look at the common queries on our website that our partner agencies can assist with.
Operation Protect highlights how every single member of our workforce is determined and committed to protecting you and your families from harm 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year; including answering calls from people who need the most help.
Head of Force Contact, Chief Superintendent Steve Cullen, said: "The 101 number provides a vital service for people to contact us for non-emergency matters - but using it inappropriately detracts from all the cases where people genuinely need our help."
"Every call takes time to answer and properly assess for our response.  For every misdirected call we receive, people who do require a police response may have to wait longer to have their call answered at the busiest times."
Many queries can be resolved with a simple internet search or a call to directory enquiries, so we are urging people to think before they call in order to help us lower the summer surge 'Right Service, First Time'.
Our geographic neighbours - West Midlands Police, have experienced similar inappropriate calls like: "There's a lizard on my lawn" - watch their video for reasons to call the police and contact details of agencies that can help with lots of other unrelated issues.
Witness appeal after fatal collision on A49 near Church Stretton
West Mercia Police are appealing for witnesses and information following a fatal road traffic collision on the A49 near Church Stretton.
The incident happened on Saturday 25 July at around 7.45am.
A red Mitsubishi L200 Pickup truck was travelling northbound on the A49, when it was in a collision with a white Volvo heavy goods vehicle travelling southbound. The driver of the Mitsubishi, a 64 year old man, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
There were no other injuries reported. The road was closed until the early hours of Sunday morning.
Police are urging anyone who may have witnessed the collision or who may have seen either vehicle beforehand to call police on 101 quoting incident number 169S of 25 July.
Elderly woman's purse stolen in Shrewsbury supermarket
West Mercia Police are appealing for witnesses after an elderly woman had her purse stolen in a Shrewsbury supermarket.
On Tuesday 21 July at around 10.30am, an 85-year-old woman was shopping in Morrisons on Whitchurch Road. She hung her handbag on the hook of the trolley unzipped. When she came to pay for her shopping she found that her purse was gone from inside her handbag. A man thought to be of Eastern European origin, in his early 40s, around five foot two, with black hair, a moustache, wearing large black rimmed glasses, a light blue shirt and dark shoes, is believed to have stolen the purse.
CCTV indicates that there a number of potential witnesses to the theft and police ask for them to come forward and give information.
Call police on 101, quoting incident 231S of Tuesday 21 July. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers via 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Although the victim stayed close to her trolley during her shopping trip, police are urging supermarket shoppers to not leave their bags unattended on their trolleys and to keep their belongings on their person at all times.
Protecting your shed from burglary
Although theft from outbuildings and sheds is uncommon there have been a few over recent months across the area. Therefore police are asking residents to remain vigilant. We have seen a number of sheds and outbuildings across Shropshire being targeted and we do need people to take precautions to protect their property. Please ensure you keep Valuable tools out of sight lock buildings, fit good security lights and alarms where possible. If you have CCTV look at using it to cover your sheds and outbuilding as well as the house. Whitewash the shed window or put a curtain across to stop any one looking inside the shed. Fit good locks and attach the fittings with bolts. Cover the screw heads on hinges so they can't be taken out.
Remember, sheds that are not attached to homes or are out of sight at the bottom of a garden can be quite vulnerable. Look at making sure that your boundary fences and hedges are in good condition and grow shrubs such as Firethorn or Hawthorne in your hedges. Don't make it easy for the thief.
Put tools away and out of sight after use and don't forget to lock the shed up before popping off to the shops.
Bogus Callers
If in doubt, Keep them out... Not all burglars have to break and enter
Burglars won't go to the trouble of breaking in if they can just knock and be invited in. Always be on your guard when anyone you're not expecting turns up at your door. Bogus "officials" may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, Water Company or other organisation. Their real purpose is to talk their way into your home to see what they can steal.
Genuine callers will normally make an appointment first and will carry identification with their photograph on it.
Bogus "workmen" may say that they need to come in to check something or make urgent repairs. You also need to be careful of callers who offer to make building repairs or surface your drive. Often they will ask for money in advance, even offering to drive you to the bank to withdraw the money you need to pay them. They could then simply disappear, or do a poor job very expensively. If you need any building work done, get several written quotes from reputable firms, then decide which one is best. If in doubt, talk it though with a neighbour or someone in your family. For consumer advice telephone Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06
REMEMBER
- Genuine callers will normally make an appointment first and will carry identification with their photograph on
- Always put the chain on before you open the door
- If you don't know the caller, ask to see their identity card. Check it carefully and keep the chain on while you check.

Child Sexual Exploitation – how to recognise the signs

Police are issuing advice to parents, carers and friends on recognising signs of child sexual exploitation, as part of the National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, today, Wednesday March 18 2015.

Child sexual exploitation can be incredibly hard to recognise, as many warning signs can easily be mistaken for typical child or adolescent behaviour.

However, the following incidents could be an indication that something is not right.

Going missing from school or regularly returning home late
It may be possible someone much older has persuaded your child or friend to leave school or home to come and see them. They may come home with unexplained gifts or money.
Secretive behaviour surrounding their social media use
It is possible your child or friend is talking to unknown, much older ‘friends’ from outside their usual social group. Encourage them to use phones and laptops in the living room or kitchen so you can keep an eye on what they are doing.
They may stop talking to their usual friends or not have friends their own age
They may be particularly prone to sharp mood swings. While mood swings are common to all young people, it is the severity of behavioural change that is most indicative here.

Displaying inappropriate behaviour
This may be dressing in an unusually sexualised manner or sending sexualised messages or images via mobile phone or social media.

Unexplained physical harm
This could be a sign that the offender is also using physical violence as a means of control

What to do if you think a child is being sexually exploited

Contact the police on telephone 101 (999 in an emergency) or Children’s Services. They can take the necessary actions to protect the child from harm and bring the offender to justice.

Click here for more information.

 To report an instance of child sexual exploitation call 101 (999 in an emergency) or call Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Issued March 18, 2015 12:01

Police Launch Emergency Contact Disc As Alternative to Tax Disc

Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are pleased to announce the launch of our tax disc replacement, the Emergency Contact Disc.

The Emergency Contact Disc contains next of kin contact details and medical alert information for the driver. In the event of a medical emergency or road traffic collision that renders the occupants unable to communicate, a first responder will be able to obtain vital information that is not otherwise accessible at the scene.

The disc can be cut out and placed into the now otherwise redundant tax disc holder, the information sections fold inwards so it would not be viewed by passers by.

PC Dave Wise, the West Mercia officer behind the idea said;” The information within the disc could be vital to save lives or quickly locate a casualty's next of kin, something that can be time consuming at the scene of a serious incident"

“All information is optional and the blank discs can be used to add customised information, or attach a passport photo to help link the information to the right person. If there is more than one regular driver or even regular passengers, consider printing multiple discs and add a photo or description of each person. The Emergency Contact Disc can be used alongside existing medical alert products like bracelets and necklaces.”

PC Wise added "If people have concerns about security of information, they can omit certain details. We would advise that if the next of kin address is the same as the driver's address, it may be sensible to leave this portion blank"

"The information within the disc would give little or no information away that could aid potential criminals and any slight risk is far outweighed by the benefits".

The Emergency Contact Disc can be downloaded here: Emergency Contact Disc    If this does not work copy thgis into the adress part of your browser :

http://dmtrk.com/1EIK-2WZBZ-CG2OHR-1BLON6-1/c.aspx

 
Becoming A Victim Of Burglary


West Mercia Police is encouraging residents to take a few simple steps to keep their homes safe and secure, particularly during the darker months.

The message comes from West Mercia Police as part of its ‘Lighten up’ campaign, which reminds people that their home is less likely to be burgled if it appears occupied.

Overall numbers of burglaries in West Mercia decreased by 9% in the period 2012-2013, and year to date figures for 2014 show a further decrease of 7% compared  to the same period last year (April to September 2013), however over the last five years a peak in burglaries has been observed in October and November.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Judge, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police burglary lead said: “With the clocks going back this Sunday (26th October 2014), and the onset of dark nights, unlit houses can be a target for thieves.

“You can significantly reduce the chance of being burgled by taking a few simple precautions, especially at this time of year when we observe a peak in house burglaries. Most house break-ins are opportunistic, so don’t give thieves an opportunity.”

The ‘Lighten up’ top security tips are:

•A well-lit home gives the impression someone is in
•Use timer switches to turn lights on when you are out
•Save energy and money with low-energy light bulbs
•Lock windows and doors and keep gates and side entrances well secured
•Don’t leave car keys or valuables near windows, doors or letterboxes, where burglars can reach through to steal them
•Invest in external lighting


People are also urged to property mark valuables and make the details viewable to the police by registering them on Immobilise: www.immobilise.com. Belongings can be registered for free and it improves the chance of getting them back if they are lost or stolen.

Further home security advice is available on the force website: http://www.westmercia.police.uk/advice-centre/home-and-garden-security.html

You can support the campaign by using #beattheburglar

Issued: Friday, 24th October 2014, 8.30am


Police Launch Emergency Contact Disc As Alternative to Tax Disc

Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are pleased to announce the launch of our tax disc replacement, the Emergency Contact Disc.

The Emergency Contact Disc contains next of kin contact details and medical alert information for the driver. In the event of a medical emergency or road traffic collision that renders the occupants unable to communicate, a first responder will be able to obtain vital information that is not otherwise accessible at the scene.

The disc can be cut out and placed into the now otherwise redundant tax disc holder, the information sections fold inwards so it would not be viewed by passers by.

PC Dave Wise, the West Mercia officer behind the idea said;” The information within the disc could be vital to save lives or quickly locate a casualty's next of kin, something that can be time consuming at the scene of a serious incident"

“All information is optional and the blank discs can be used to add customised information, or attach a passport photo to help link the information to the right person. If there is more than one regular driver or even regular passengers, consider printing multiple discs and add a photo or description of each person. The Emergency Contact Disc can be used alongside existing medical alert products like bracelets and necklaces.”

PC Wise added "If people have concerns about security of information, they can omit certain details. We would advise that if the next of kin address is the same as the driver's address, it may be sensible to leave this portion blank"

"The information within the disc would give little or no information away that could aid potential criminals and any slight risk is far outweighed by the benefits".

The Emergency Contact Disc can be downloaded here: Emergency Contact Disc    If this does not work copy thgis into the adress part of your browser :

http://dmtrk.com/1EIK-2WZBZ-CG2OHR-1BLON6-1/c.aspx


Although vehicle crime is low across West Mercia, cars are stolen from driveways every winter because owners leave them unattended, with the keys in the ignition, while they warm up and the windscreens defrost (this may negate an insurance claim). Although we understand this is common practice, we strongly advise against it, please clear windscreens with de-icer and a scraper, sit in your vehicle while the heater de-mists the windscreen.

Bogus callers – Most people who call at your home will be genuine, but sometimes someone may turn up unannounced, with the intention of tricking their way into your home. If someone calls on you:
LOCK – Keep your front and back doors locked, even when you are at home.

STOP – Before you answer, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Check that you have locked the back door and taken the key out. Look through a spy hole or window to see who it is.

CHAIN – If you decide to open the door, put the chain on while you are talking to the person on the doorstep.

CHECK – Even if they have a pre-arranged appointment, check their identity carefully. Close the door while you do this. If you are still unsure, look up a phone number and ring to verify their identity. Do not use a phone number on the identity card, as this may be fake!

Bogus callers may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, police or utility companies. They can also turn up as builders or gardeners and try to trick you into paying for unnecessary work. You should never agree to having work done by someone who is just passing by. If you think work needs to be done, get at least two quotes from other companies. Shropshire council also offer an approved handyman scheme.

If you think a bogus caller has been called, report it to the police immediately.

If you have any doubts, KEEP THEM OUT!


Computer Users In West Mercia Warned About Upsurge In Cyber Crime

Computer users across West Mercia are being urged to step up their security to avoid joining the rising number of cyber crime victims. The warning comes from Detective Superintendent Paul Williamson, the senior officer responsible for tackling online fraud and other cyber crime across the two police force areas.

Det. Supt. Williamson says research shows people are often lax with their cyber security, taking chances online they would never dream of taking elsewhere. “As with any type of crime, we need people to be aware of what is happening and to adopt basic security measures to protect their online interests.It’s pleasing to note that in many of the traditional crime categories – such as burglary, violence and robbery – there has been a steady decrease in recent years.  However, this is in stark contrast to cyber crime, where figures continue to rise.”

But at the same time, digitisation of the economy had also presented opportunities for cyber criminals to take advantage.  Last year, there were nearly 60,000 cyber related fraud reports nationwide with an average loss of over £3,000. Det. Supt. Williamson said he was issuing his warning as a wake-up call to support the Home Office’s “ 

Cyber Street
” campaign which was launched on (13 Jan).  The campaign aims to make people more “streetwise and savvy” in protecting their online interests and transactions.


“It seeks to educate small businesses in particular, as well as individual consumers, on how to avoid falling victim to sophisticated cyber criminals.  Anyone using computers is vulnerable if they don’t take appropriate safeguards and regularly update them.’’

“Our police force fully endorses this new campaign.  We urge people to checkout its online resource – www.cyberstreetwise.com – which provides clear guidance especially to small and medium business enterprises and women aged 35-55 – two of the more vulnerable groups.”

He added that sadly, many people chose to ignore or show only passing consideration for their online security – often to their cost.

“Most view safety behaviours as an annoyance that get in the way of their enjoyment or progress and are lulled into a false sense of security by the anonymity of being online.  Many are also confused about where to seek advice on best practice but want to appear competent to their peers.

“It’s estimated that 80 per cent of all cyber crime could be prevented by basic cyber hygiene measures.

“The  Cyber Street campaign aims to change attitudes, raise awareness of the cyber threat and make explicit the connection between people’s actions in the digital world and real life consequences, both in financial and reputational terms”.


West Mercia Police have made cyber crime a top priority, setting up a strategy group with local partners – including councils, trading standards departments and education authorities – to tackle key issues.

Basic security measures for all computer users include:

·            Download latest software and anti virus updates.

·            Use complex passwords.

·            Never download something if you don’t know its origin.

·            Delete suspicious emails before opening.

·            When buying online, check for the padlock to know it’s secure.



For more information, go to www.cyberstreetwise.com

Please note that the above comments from Det. Supt. Williamson are for the benefit of people living force areas, covering, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin.

It may be possible to arrange an interview with Det. Supt. Williamson or a senior colleague on request to Richard Ewels, 01743-237464.

West Mercia Police Cadets Are Now Recruiting

West Mercia Police Cadets are now recruiting for their September 2014 intake, so if you are a year 11 student with an interest in policing and making a difference in the community they would like to hear from you.

They meet every Thursday night at the following locations:; Shropshire - Shrewsbury Police Station Police cadets take part in a variety of activities including self-defence training, marching, fitness and role-playing as well as taking part in team building and Outward Bounds weekends. They will also gain an insight into police life, through talks by guest speakers from different departments and agencies and by taking part in local community policing events. Cadets develop discipline, friendship and teamwork and gain the satisfaction of knowing that they are making a difference to their community and developing themselves for any future career. Cadets will have the opportunity to gain a qualification in Leadership and Team Skills through the Institute of Leadership & Management, a practically based qualification attained through weekly cadet activities.

West Mercia Police is looking to sign up 14 new cadets for each policing area to start in September 2014, and anyone interested is urged to visit the force’s website for more details.

Applicants will be required to fill in an initial application form, attend a formal interview and take part of the Police Initial Recruitment Test.

Application forms must be received by 6th April 2014

Check out what the Cadets have been up to on Facebook & Twitter (@wmerciacadets) or to download an application form and for more information visit: http://www.westmercia.police.uk/policecadets/

Metal Thefts

There is a lot of work ongoing to deal with the theft of metal, but we would ask for the public’s help.  Anyone who sees a person seemingly tampering with metal, whether it be lead on roofs, copper cabling, road signs or even drain covers, we would ask them to please contact police immediately on 0300 333 3000.

Police would much rather check a person is genuine than deal with the theft of metal further down the line.  While the thefts only account for about one per cent of total recorded crime within the force, police continue to work hard to tackle the problem.  Part of Project Livewire involves officers visiting scrap metal dealers to inspect their books and encourage their business to become licensed. Stop checks are carried out on vehicles transporting metal and police officers check drivers for the correct documentation.

Bike Thefts

Always lock up your bike when unattended, even for just a few seconds or in your own garden. Use a good quality bike lock to secure it to an immoveable object while out and about and ideally keep it in a locked building when at home.

It takes only seconds to pick up and ride or push away an insecure bike. One which is locked is harder to steal and increases the chance of suspicious activity being spotted and reported to police.

However, a number of the cycles stolen have been locked up and every bike owner is also urged to security mark their bike and register it with Immobilise, an online database linked to the police which helps reunited recovered stolen property with its owner.

Every single bike sold has a unique serial number, which can usually be found somewhere on the frame and/or on the pedals.

By logging this, along with a full description and even a photograph of your bike on www.immobilise.com, should your bike be stolen and later recovered, it can be returned to you.

There are a number of commercial security marking products available which also identify the bike belongs to you. Deter thieves by advertising that your bike is security marked and on Immobilise using a sticker or other permanent marking.

Theft from Vehicles

Police urge people never to leave anything that could be considered valuable in their cars.

Leaving items inside an unattended vehicle can be an open invitation for thieves to help themselves to your property.

By taking everything out of your car that could be considered valuable, you make it much less attractive for thieves.

Even hiding property from view can be ineffective as offenders could have been watching to see exactly where you put it.

Shed Breaks

West Mercia Police offers a series of tips under the ‘Sheducate’ campaign to help gardeners secure their property as well as possible from burglars.

Here are the Sheducate hints and tips:

Secure the access to your shed/garage by locking gates and plant thorny bushes alongside walls and fences.

Have you marked the contents of your shed with your postcode and house number either visibly or with a UV pen or other property-marking system?  Make a note of serial numbers and photograph valuable items and ornaments.

External security lighting is a useful deterrent.

Doors of sheds require attention.  Use strong coach bolts (dome heads) or non-return screws to secure door hinges.  Consider fitting a specialist shed bar or garage lock.  Fit a grille across windows.  Use robust closed-shackled padlocks and strong hasp and staples resistant to cutting.

Use the house.  Can valuable tools be kept in the house?  Never leave tools out so they can be used against your own property.

Chain up cycles, mowers, ladders and large tools.  Consider using specialist tool holders and clamps.

Alarm your shed or garage.

Together, we’ll reduce crime.  Is there a Neighbourhood Watch in your area?  Call 0300 333 3000, extension 5799 for your local co-ordinator.

Exactly what insurance do you have?  Does it cover theft from your shed, garage or garden?

A range of security products can be found on www.soldsecure.com

Distraction Burglary

Distraction burglaries remain rare in Shropshire but when they happen, they tend to happen in spates. Police urge people never to allow an unexpected or unknown caller inside their home, whatever they might claim.  Distraction burglars and other bogus callers are very credible and will tell you any number of stories to be allowed into your home.  No matter what they claim, whether it be that there is a problem with the water, there has been an explosion or that they need to get into your garden to retrieve something, never let them inside, even if they have identification.  Speak to them through a window or, if you have no other option, always use a door chain. Any genuine caller will be happy for you to verify their identity before you allow them inside but ensure you get a contact number for the company from a separate source, such as the phone book.  They will also be happy to return at another time when you can arrange to have a friend or family member with you.

West Mercia Police operates a campaign called ‘Knock Knock’, which offers advice on dealing with unexpected and bogus callers to your home. For more information, visit the Advice Centre on our website at www.westmercia.police.uk or call 0300 333 3000.