From time to time, Wingham Parish Council receive community email messages from the Kent Police Neighbourhood Watch Team, and where appropriate, details from these emails will be placed here for your information.

Cyber Crime advice 15.5.17.  ALERT Following the ransomware cyber attack on Friday 12 May which affected the NHS and is believed to have affected other organisations globally, an alert urging both individuals and businesses to follow protection advice immediately and in the coming days.
PROTECTION / PREVENTION ADVICE Key Protect messages for businesses to protect themselves from ransomware:
– Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
– Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
– Create regular backups of your important files to a device that isn’t left connected to your network as any malware infection could spread to that too.
The National Cyber Security Centre’s technical guidance includes specific software patches to use that will prevent uninfected computers on your network from becoming infected with the “WannaCry” Ransomware:
For additional in-depth technical guidance on how to protect your organisation from ransomware, details can be found here:
Key Protect advice for individuals is essentially the same, with one additional point:
– Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
– Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
– Create regular backups of your important files to a device (such as an external hard drive or memory stick) that isn’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.
– Only install apps from official app stores, such as Google’s Play Store, or Apple’s App Store as they offer better levels of protection than some 3rd party stores. Jailbreaking, rooting, or disabling any of the default security features of your device will make it more susceptible to malware infections.
Fraudsters may exploit this high profile incident and use it as part of phishing/smishing campaigns. We urge people to be cautious if they receive any unsolicited communications from the NHS. The protect advice for that is the following:
? An email address can be spoofed. Don’t open attachments or click on the links within any unsolicited emails you receive, and never respond to emails that ask for your personal or financial details.
? The sender’s name and number in a text message can be spoofed, so even if the message appears to be from an organisation you know of, you should still exercise caution, particularly if the texts are asking you to click on a link or call a number.
Don’t disclose your personal or financial details during a cold call, and remember that the police and banks will never ring you and ask you to verify your PIN, withdraw your cash, or transfer your money to another “safe” account.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at:

Safety advice re possible distraction Burglaries 5.4.17 The following crime prevention advice could help reduce the risk of becoming a victim to this type of offence:

  • Lock your back doors and windows before answering your front door – thieves are known to work in pairs, one entering through the back door while the other knocks at the front.
  • Use a spyhole and ask who the caller is through the door first, then keep the door on the chain.
  • Check their identification, even if they have a pre-arranged appointment.
  • If you’re not expecting the caller and they do not carry an ID card, do not let them in.
  • To check a caller is genuine, you can look up the number in the phone book or a recent bill and check it against the card the caller has given you.
  • Don’t just ring the number on the card – it may be fake.
  • If you have any doubts about whether the caller is genuine, ask them to leave and come back at a time convenient to you and when you’ve had a chance to ask someone to be with you.
  • Never leave your front door unattended. If you need to get something, close the door until you return.

Cold Caller Alert 6.3.17    People are being urged to be vigilant after reports that a couple have been knocking on doors in Thanet claiming to be deaf and selling drawings.  Police received a number of reports of cold callers in the Birchington and Minster areas on Saturday 4 March. Although no crimes were reported it is believed to be a scam which has been reported around the country.  Inspector Lara Connor of the Thanet Community Safety Unit said: ‘The man and woman had a sign saying they were deaf and that they wanted to sell people a hand-drawn picture.’  Similar incidents have been reported in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. ‘In some cases victims are asked to pay in the region of £10 to £15 for a picture and only later do they realise it’s a photocopy,’ she said.  ‘The cold callers prey on people’s compassion and mainly target older or vulnerable people.’  Inspector Connor urged people to be on their guard against cold callers and to keep an eye out for elderly or vulnerable relatives and neighbours.  ‘Although no crimes were reported in this instance, we would always urge people to be vigilant and to always check the identity of anyone knocking at their door,’ she said.  ‘Ensure you keep your front and back doors locked – even while you are at home – always use a door chain and don’t let any strangers into your house. If you feel threatened by a caller, call the police. And if you have any doubt about who is at your door, don’t answer it.’

Crime Prevention message 7.2.17  Following a rise in the number of vehicles being broken into throughout the County please be aware of the following crime prevention advice:
. Do not leave doors or windows unlocked when vehicles are unattended.
. Make sure items which could contain valuables, such as jackets or bags are concealed away from view, or better still not left in the vehicle at all. Remember to also remove stereo fascias and sat navs.
. Activate any security devices when leaving your car unattended.
. Remove valuable items from vehicles overnight.

Detectives link distraction burglaries in Deal, Dover and Folkestone 31.1.17.  Police are warning people to be on their guard against distraction burglars after a woman talked her way into the homes of three pensioners.
Detectives are linking the three incidents and are urging people not to be taken in by the woman.  The first incident took place between 8.20pm and 8.45pm on Tuesday 24 January at an address in George Street, Dover. The Investigating officer said: ‘The offender rang the bell and asked the occupant, a woman in her 70s, if she could use her phone because she had locked her keys in her car.  ‘It was only after she had left that the victim realised her own car keys had been stolen, as had her car, a grey Seat Arosa.’  The woman was described as white, in her 20s, about 5ft 6in tall of a slim build with dark brown hair. She was wearing a white beanie-style hat, a beige jacket with a long-sleeved top underneath and jeans and she was carrying a small, light-blue handbag. She had an English accent.
The second incident is reported to have taken place between 8.15pm and 8.45pm on Wednesday 25 January at an address in Foord Road, Folkestone. The offender asked the occupant, a man in his 70s, to lend her £20. When he declined, she grabbed his wallet. During an altercation he suffered a minor injury to his face. The woman made off with the wallet. She was described as white, of a slim build, about 5ft 4in tall and with wavy hair and was wearing white trainers, dark trousers, a dark-coloured tee-shirt, a black fluffy jacket, a white scarf and a white bobble hat.
The last incident took place at an address in Telegraph Road, Deal, at around 9pm on Sunday 29 January. Detective Constable Gee said: ‘Once again the offender claimed she had locked her keys in her car and asked to use the phone. After she left the victim, a woman in her 70s, realised her purse had been stolen.’ The offender was described as in her 20s, white, of a slim build, with long, dark brown hair and an English accent. She was wearing a long black coat.
Detective Constable Gee said: ‘Distraction thieves prey on a person’s good nature and often ask the occupant for a glass of water or to use the phone so they can gain access. However, there are ways you can protect yourself.’
This includes:
. Ensuring rear doors and windows are shut and locked when answering your front door
. Considering fitting extra security measures such as spy holes, door chains, door locks and intruder alarms
. Always checking the ID of cold callers – a door chain or spy hole will help you do this without letting anyone into your home. Don’t be afraid to turn people away
Detective Constable Gee urged people to be vigilant and to look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours and relatives.
‘We would also like to hear from anyone who recognises this woman’s description or who has information about the incidents,’ she said.

If you can help, please phone Kent Police on 01843 222289 or Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting reference number ZY/3265/17.


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