Security

Top 10 Tips to Beat the Burglar this Christmas

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The weeks leading up to Christmas are the biggest shopping weeks of the year and for many retailers often accounts for 70% of their annual revenue. Stocking our homes with the latest electronic gadgets, computers, jewellery and must-have accessories is the norm, unfortunately though it provides thieves with the perfect incentive to commit burglaries.

Christmas; A time for giving, receiving… and taking!
Please read these tips on ensuring your home is secure over Christmas and the New Year period.

  1. Deterring would-be criminals is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention.

    Invest in a motion sensor flood-light or even some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home’s exterior. This will hopefully make approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar. Highlighting the fact your possessions are security marked and registered on Immobilise using window decals provides a further warning that your goods are marked, traceable and not worth the risk of stealing!

  2. Festive lighting – be secure.

    A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets.

  3. Dispose of gift packaging carefully.

    Refuse collections over the Christmas / New Year period are normally at different times. If you can’t take packaging to a recycling point, make sure you only put your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to fold boxes so that they do not advertise your new contents of your home to thieves!

  4. Protect your Identity.

    It is good practice never to dispose of receipts and personal paperwork without first shredding it. Christmas is a time when this is especially important! Be careful though not to shred any important warranty details, make sure documents you keep are stored somewhere secure.

  5. Check doors and windows for weak spots

    Government statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Installing a few dead-bolts and new window hinges could increase the security of your home exponentially.

  6. Keep your curtains, drapes and window blinds closed at night,

    making sure valuable items are out of sight. When going out for the evening make use of inexpensive timers to give the illusion of occupancy.

  7. Away over Christmas – plan ahead.

    If you’re going away at Christmas be sure to cancel any newspaper or milk subscriptions. Arrange for a neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Do not to leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like “we’re away skiing for the Christmas holidays” etc and again make use of light timers.

  8. Secure garages & sheds.

    Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment – make sure the garage is secure and your possessions are secured too in the case of bikes and tools. Naturally make sure anything portable / valuable is recorded on immobilise.

  9. Don’t hide keys & use alarms if you have them.

    Burglars know to look for hidden door keys so don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or trusted neighbour. Many houses these days have alarms, many though are rarely set, make sure yours is on and protecting your home.

  10. Register your property for FREE on Immobilise


    at http://www.immobilise.com . This is a national property database that the Police can access and search if we recover suspected stolen property. We regularly search houses of suspected criminals, we check second hand dealers, and visit car boot sales and we have a device that can identify stolen property if the bar code is registered. Don’t let them get away with your gear. Get it logged. Get it back.Most mobile phones have a unique identifier such as a serial number or an IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity) which can found easily by pressing the following keys on your mobile handset: * # 0 6 # . If your gift doesn’t have a unique identifier there are several affordable marking kits available (i.e. Smart Water / untra-violet pens). Contact your local PCSO for further advice.Hopefully your property will not be targeted by burglars but we do hope some of the advice provided helps to keep your home safe over the seasonal period and into the new year.

Lucas Fire & Security Ltd
http://www.lucasfireandsecurity.co.uk/news/christmas-home-security-10-tips-beat-burglar/

Are you scam savvy this year?

Stop the ScammersCriminals will be taking advantage this Christmas to send a record number of scams to catch us out.

Last Christmas over £16 million was lost to online scams in the UK. 

Types of scams to avoid this Christmas

  • E-Vouchers – criminals share free e-vouchers on social media or by email for well-known brands. Victims are told to click on a link to claim which takes them to a fake website where they are asked for personal and banking details.
  • Wish lists – can be useful to tell your friends and family about what gifts you would like this year however these lists can contain personal information which criminals use steal their identity and they can use the items to send phishing emails.
  • Social Media deals – messages on social media offering deals has increased in the last few years and while some of them may be genuine , criminals will be taking advantage often trying to tempt people with deals on electronics and jewellery.

READ about scams and how to deal with them
www.kent.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/consumer-protection/scams/types-of-scam

Kent County Council 15 December 2017
http://mailchi.mp/bab4ab365891/how-to-spot-fake-electrical-goods-puppy-buying-tips-and-more

What is a loan shark?

Call 0300 555 2222If your lender:

  • Offered you a cash loan,
  • Did not give you paperwork,
  • Added huge amounts of interest or APR to your loan,
  • Have threatened you,
  • Have they taken your bank card, benefit card, passport, watch or other valuables from you,

or

  • You are you scared of people finding out

they may be a loan shark.

You are not in trouble if you have borrowed cash or have been paying back a loan from an illegal money lender, the loan shark is. They are the people committing a crime, not you.

Report a loan shark, call Stop Loan Sharks on 0300 555 2222 or complete the form on their website: www.stoploansharks.co.uk/

Stop Loan Sharks is the England Illegal Money Lending Team of National Trading Standards

Alternative Place of Safety Workshops

East Kent Mental Health: Alternative Place of Safety Workshops

The East Kent Mental Health team are starting a new project looking at an adult, out of hours, therapeutic alternative place of safety (APoS) for east Kent residents experiencing mental health distress. We are inviting you to attend a workshop to get your views and ideas on what an Alternate Place of Safety in east Kent would look like, how it would operate and by whom.

Information, views and ideas gathered at these workshops will be used to develop an options paper on APoS for the East Kent Care Crisis Concordat steering group.

Ashford; date to be confirmed (to be mid October) 5 – 7pm Venue: Tesco Extra community room, Crooksfoot, Hythe Road, Wilesborough, Ashford, TN24 0YE

If you are interested in attending the workshop click the link here! https://goo.gl/forms/lRSJpYl60nBV3EIa2 (this will open up a google form)

These workshops will be run by Louise Piper and Sarah Parker from the East Kent Mental Health Team. If you can not access the booking form and would like a paper copy sent through or have other questions, please email: EKmentalhealth.commissioning@nhs.net

Make sure donations go to genuine charities

Generous public should make sure donations go to genuine charities supporting the victims in Manchester

Charity Commission and partners issue advice on safer giving

The Charity Commission, together with organisations helping the victims, have issued advice on safer giving in the wake of the terrorist attack in Manchester. The action follows steps taken by the Virgin Giving website after the Westminster attack, to suspend payment to site users until they had verified that the money would go to those for who it was collected.

The Charity Commission is encouraging people wishing to support the victims of this week’s terrorist attack in Manchester to donate to a genuine charitable appeal.

It says that the great British public are always generous in their support for charities and this has already been reflected via the many giving sites set up to support the victims and families of the appalling attacks in Manchester.

The Charity Commission, Greater Manchester Police, the British Red Cross, and the Lord Mayor of Manchester are urging people wishing to help to give to the We love Manchester appeal, launched by the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s Charitable Appeal Trust or to other registered charities. (more…)

NCSC: International ransomware cyber attack

 

“It is important that organisations reduce the risks of these attacks happening to them.  There are three pieces of important advice to help protect your organisation:

1) Make sure your security software patches are up to date
2) Make sure that you are running proper anti-virus software
3) Back up your data somewhere else because you can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else.

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre said:

“Today we have seen a set of global cyber attacks against thousands of organisations and individuals in dozens of countries.

“The National Cyber Security Centre is working round the clock with UK and international partners and with private sector experts to lead the response to these cyber attacks.

“The picture is emerging that this is affecting multiple countries and sectors and is not solely targeted at the NHS. As the Prime Minister said, we have no evidence that UK National Health Service patient data has been stolen.

“We are very aware that attacks on critical services such as the NHS have a massive impact on individuals and their families, and we are doing everything in our power to help them restore these vital services.

“It is important that organisations reduce the risks of these attacks happening to them.  There are three pieces of important advice to help protect your organisation:

1) Make sure your security software patches are up to date
2) Make sure that you are running proper anti-virus software
3) Back up your data somewhere else because you can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else.

National Cyber Security Centre 12 May 2017
https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/statement-international-ransomware-cyber-attack

Patients reassured after cyberattack hits NHS

 

“We’d like to reassure patients that if they need the NHS and it’s an emergency that they should visit A&E or access emergency services in the same way as they normally would and staff will ensure they get the care they need.

“More widely we ask people to use the NHS wisely while we deal with this major incident which is still ongoing.”

For those who are worried about how this potential cyber-attack will affect them, we advise you to keep up-to-date with developments via reputable outlets such as the NHS and UK Government’s Twitter feeds, along with the news pages of the UK’s national media.

You may have heard or read reports of a cyberattack against the NHS which has affected a number of hospitals and GP surgeries across the country.

In some cases, as well as affecting IT systems and websites, the issue is also thought to have affected phone systems. It is believed that some hospitals and surgeries have also closed down their systems as a precaution, to check that their systems are not affected or at risk.

For those who are worried about how this potential cyber-attack will affect them, we advise you to keep up-to-date with developments via reputable outlets such as the NHS and UK Government’s Twitter feeds, along with the news pages of the UK’s national media. The extent of the attack and the affect it has had on patients will not become clear until the investigation has gained momentum in the coming hours. It would be wrong to comment any further until more information has been released by the NHS or the police. 

NHS Incident Director, Dr Anne Rainsberry, said: “We’d like to reassure patients that if they need the NHS and it’s an emergency that they should visit A&E or access emergency services in the same way as they normally would and staff will ensure they get the care they need. More widely we ask people to use the NHS wisely while we deal with this major incident which is still ongoing.”

She added there are contingency plans to “keep the NHS open for business”.

NHS statement

A statement on the NHS Digital website says that the attack has not been specifically targeted at the NHS and is affecting organisations from across a range of sectors.

It reads “At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed.”

The statement adds: “NHS Digital is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department of Health and NHS England to support affected organisations and ensure patient safety is protected. Our focus is on supporting organisations to manage the incident swiftly and decisively, but we will continue to communicate with NHS colleagues and will share more information as it becomes available.”

It is thought that the attack has been perpetrated by infecting systems with ransomware, a type of malware which locks access to computer files until a ransom is paid.

Get Safe Online 12 May 2016
www.getsafeonline.org/news/patients-reassured-after-cyberattack-hits-nhs/

SACF leaves Streetlife

South Ashford Community Forum has removed its page from the social network, ‘Streetlife’, as a result of Steetlife closing and migrating its membership to the network ‘Next Door’.

Next Door requires members to provide a street address and displays this information to other members of the network. We consider this to be a breach of members privacy.

Consultation on policing precept

A boost for security and frontline policing in Kent

Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner

Opens: 06 January 2017
Closes: 23 January 2017

A message from the Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott:

“I am responsible, as Police and Crime Commissioner, for determining the overall budget for policing in the county and for setting the amount that Kent Police receives from the annual council tax. Policing is mainly funded in two ways; about two thirds come from grants we receive from the Home Office and the rest from the council tax.

“For the next financial year, Kent will lose more than £2million of funding from the Home Office, as money is set to be taken away to pay for other things. I believe some of these, such as giving money to the courts service to pay for changes to police bail, are unfair and I will be challenging those.

“So in my first year as your Police and Crime Commissioner, I have been faced with a difficult choice. Ideologically, I am a low-tax Conservative. During the course of my campaign, I said that I did not want the precept to rise, unless it was needed to protect frontline policing. However, I believe that this announcement meets that test. In 2017/18, I am proposing that the council tax precept for Kent Police rises by 3.3%, equivalent to £5 for an average Band D household, supported by a contribution from reserves. (more…)