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This message is dated Friday 20th November 2020 - Maidenhead

Alert message sent 20/11/2020 14:30:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police


The evenings are really drawing in, particularly when the weather is bad.  If you haven’t already put Crime Prevention plans in place, please think about it now - we are still seeing a few burglaries taking place:
Think about getting and fitting a burglar alarm, if you don’t have one.  They are now wireless and simple and quick to fit.  They are simple to operate with a fob and zone the house - ground floor / upper floor etc.  That way you can set the whole system whenever you go out - or just set the ground floor when you go upstairs to bed.

They come in two types.  a)  Sounding Alarm.  New alarms don’t generally sound in the street any longer - People generally do nothing when they hear an alarm.  They now sound inside the property.  They are horrendously loud in that confined space.  You cannot think about anything other than getting out - that is the intention.  b)  Monitored Alarms.  If you live in an urban area / terrace, a sounding alarm is fine.  If you live in the country or a detached property, without close neighbours, you need a monitored alarm.  They still sound inside the property, but they are also monitored by a control room, who phone the police if there is an activation.

Both types of alarms, generate the same police response.  You need two pieces of evidence to get an immediate response.  1. - The alarm is sounding / activated.  2.- A secondary corroborative piece of evidence that it is a crime in progress - someone, is still inside the property.  In the case of a monitored alarm, as soon as the alarm is activated it comes up on the control room’s screen.  They then monitor it for a secondary activation from an internal sensor.  As soon as that happens, the police are called.

Some modern alarms also have video capability, so they send an activation notice along with live video footage, to your mobile phone.  You can of course be anywhere in the world to receive the notification and video, enabling you to contact the police and forward the footage.

A very common question is, can I still set my alarm if I have a large pet dog ?  The answer is - that is not a problem now.  All new alarms are pet sensitive.  They measure height / weight / body density, as well as any space between the image and the floor - in case a pet jumps up, or off the top of a sofa.

Sensors can now be aimed specifically at weak access points, such as Patio doors / vulnerable rear kitchen windows preferred by opportunist thieves.  In the past, you will have seen the sensors up in the corners of rooms, as reflections from windows and patio doors, caused a problem.  That has now been overcome and the sensor can be placed opposite these vulnerable preferred targets.

As Alarms are now, uncomplicated, simple to use, easy and quick to fit - the price has really come down.  They are now very affordable and fitted as standard in all new homes.

The most frequent comment about alarms - ‘Don’t they mean I have something inside worth stealing’ ???  NO, alarms are part of modern living, like replacement UPVC windows and doors.
Please look along your road - how many of your neighbours, have visible alarm boxes?  How many don’t ?  Our opportunist thieves, avoid and know little about alarm systems.  They will walk along a road, looking for the easiest and least protected, potential target.  That will be the houses without alarms.
Sometimes, they will target a house showing an alarm box.  Particularly if they see evidence at the property of a pet - such as cat / dog flap.  Often in those cases the alarm may be an old one and the owners do not set the alarm if they are at home - because of that pet.  In that case, they simple smash a window.  If the alarm is set and sounds, they make off.  If not ……….
If you cannot afford an alarm - just remember to lock up and secure your property whenever you go out and at night.  Make sure any garden shed is secured, so that no tools are available, to force doors and windows and there are no rocks / bricks around that can be used to smash windows / patio doors.  NO KEYS LEFT IN DOORS / WINDOW LOCKS, VISIBLE FROM WINDOWS.

These are brilliant and available in several models and makes from online retailers ‘ IT shops.  You do have to have WiFi, but not necessarily, power to your doorbell.  If you have a powered doorbell, they take seconds to fit.  If you don’t, there are battery versions to chose from.
At a recent Zoom meeting, with someone who has the battery version, they said the batteries don’t last a really long time, particularly in the cold weather - his advice - he would never be without it now - but keep spare batteries !
The footage records the whole time, not only when the beam is broken, but it depends upon your monthly contract, how much footage is saved and for how long.  Again - the footage is sent directly to your mobile phone anywhere in the world.  You can add additional cameras, both inside your home and at the rear.  Some people use them, to check on their pets during the day.  If anything untoward happens - you can forward any footage, directly to the police.
They also have a sound facility, so not only can you see them, but a caller can speak to you through the device - to say they are delivering a parcel - and you can speak back.  If they are up to no good - you can tell them they have been videod, the police called and they had better get off your property !
Technology moves on the whole time and we must take advantage of it !
.  These are small 4 inch square boxes, containing coloured LEDs, which simply flicker - looking exactly like a TV from outside the property.  As they are LEDs, they cost virtually nothing to run.  They have an on off switch, with 2 settings - Winter / Summer.  They also have a dawn to dusk sensor, so in the summer, they come on automatically when it gets dark and stays on for 4 hours.  In the winter, the same happens, but they stay on for 7 hours.  They go in an upstairs front facing room, or in a bungalow, in a front facing room, but not visible from the window.  Nothing could be simpler - plug it in, switch on and leave.  If you draw the curtains - they will still show a flicker, around the edges - your house LOOKS OCCUPIED.  Perfect for your home, along with timers on side lights and a talk radio station left on - if it is dark and you are not yet home / or have gone out.
These are inexpensive and readily available from most major online shopping outlets - simply search for ‘Fake TV’.

I have attached reference numbers to each crime report. If you live in the vicinity of any of the crimes mentioned and have CCTV or a video doorbell, can you please check the footage. If you have any that might be of interest to the police, can you please make contact with us, quoting reference number given.
I have added a new email address below.  The first email address is directly to your local Neighbourhood Team.  The second is to our investigation team.  Please use it to send any intelligence / video doorbell / CCTV footage you may have, which is relevant to any of the crimes lists below - quoting the reference number.
Alternatively you can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or email -
20/11  Friday 7.20 a.m.  Simpson Close.  CCTV footage shows a white Transit van pulling up outside a house having renovation work done.  A man got out and wandered around the property in both the front and rear gardens.  They picked up a copper cylinder being stored, placed it in the van and drove off.  Ref. No:  43200385700
18/11 - 19/11  Wednesday 10 p.m. / Thursday 6 a.m.  Florence Avenue.  Van break.  The van may have been left unlocked as ENTERED BY UNKNOWN MEANS - tools stolen.  Ref. No:  43200383796
20/11  Friday 5 a.m.  Hargrave Road X 2.  1.  Car driver’s window smashed - loose change stolen.  Ref. No:  43200385768.  2.  Car driver’s window smashed - car searched - nothing stolen.  Ref. No:  43200385799

19/11 - 20/11  Thursday 3 p.m. / Friday 10.50 a.m.  Belmont Park Avenue.  CAR ENTERED BY UNKNOWN MEANS - nothing stolen.  Ref. No:  43200386003
19/11  Thursday Belmont Road.. CAR ENTERED BY UNKNOWN MEANS - Car searched - loose change stolen.
15/11 - 18/11  High Street, Hurley.. House under renovation - garden furniture stolen.  Ref. No:  43200385917
18/11 - 19/11  Wednesday 9 p.m. / Thursday 7 a.m.  Mossy Vale.  Car on driveway searched - loose change stolen.  Ref. No:  43200383989
19/11  Thursday 4.30 a.m.  Oldershaw Mews.  Video doorbell footage of a car - ENTERED BY UNKNOWN MEANS - searched and purse stolen from car door pocket and a sports bag from the back seat.  Ref. No:  43200384587 
19/11 - Thursday 3.30 a.m.  Halifax Road.  The owner was awoken aby a noise on the gravel driveway outside.  The looked out and saw someone inside and searching their car.  They shouted and the man made off.  A few minutes later, they heard another car alarm sounding.  Nothing stolen.  Ref. No:  43200384599
20/11  Friday 6.40 a.m.  Sunderland Road.  Van break.  The owner heard their van alarm sounding and looked out to see someone making off.  They pulled off a amask and rode away on a red bike.  The window had been smashed and loose change stolen.  Ref. No:  43200384595
13/10 - 16/11  School, Chiltern Road.  Welder stolen from shed in school grounds.  Ref. No:  43200383172
19/11 - 20/11  Thursday 6 p.m. / Friday 6 a.m.  Farm, Blackbird Lane.  A gate damaged and stolen and builders waste fly tipped.  Ref. No:  43200385974

Hi Jeff

I thought I’d let you take a look at this scam email. I get one of these every week
Carole has received an email - addressed ‘Dear Client’ - from Amazon.  It says they were unable to deliver a parcel - please click on the link below to reschedule delivery.
I have received the identical email, but liveried up from the 'Royal Mail'.  My virus protection has put a warning on it.  ‘Do not click on the Link’ !

Hi Jeff,
I see from your daily TVP updates that the old Amazon Prime scams continue.
I’ve recently experienced what is a new one on me. I had a phone call from a number with a 01753 prefix, which encouraged me to answer.  I just said “Hello”, then an American accented female voice, said my Amazon account has been charged with an exact amount – one I recognised as accurate – for purchase of a specific product – again accurate.
She went on, to give me various options, which I did not listen to, putting the phone down.
What I would like to know - is how do the scammers obtain such accurate personal information, then link it to the correct person, with their contact info?
Because my phone displayed a local number, it would have been very easy to fall for it, if I wasn’t alert as a result of your alerts.
Anyone not ware, could very  easily be taken in by such accuracy.
Certainly I was to some degree relaxed by the phone code, displayed in the first instance.

We have no idea how the scammers obtain so much accurate and relevant information about their targets.  Some companies - very few - do admit their databases have been hacked - and this does happen all the time.
The scammers are well organised and have sophisticated software, which enables them to display a local number on your phone, specifically to make you think it is a local call, knowing you would not answer, if it displayed an international number.

Always - stop, think, breathe - however much they panic you with urgency - take a moment, before giving any personal information over the phone, to a complete stranger with a kindly, supportive helpful attitude and voice- they do this all day, every day, as their job and they are very good at it.  Just thank them, put the phone down and make your own enquiries, from your paperwork - never a number they give you.

Hello Jeff ,
Hope you and everybody are doing well .
Just to report that there we had a telephone call again about loft installation , saying it’s a government
The man said his name was Simon

He seemed to have information about our current loft insulation ??

He was well spoken

He maintained the old installation was causing condensation in the house.

He can replace it under a government scheme
I asked where he get our information, but he carried on talking from his script.  I again I asked where he got our information and he then put the phone down.
Please can this be looked into and circulated to remind people this is a SCAM to obtain your details.
Many thanks, keep well and safe.
Kind regards

These calls are generally from foreign call centres which can display a local number on your phone, as they know you are less likely to answer an international call.  They originate outside the UK Jurisdiction and there are so many, we cannot investigate them all.
The advice is simple.  The minute you recognise it is a unsolicited call - replace the receiver.  By talking to the caller, you telephone number is recorded on their database as a ‘responder’.  You may not respond to this scam, but may to another.  By responding, you make your phone number more valuable and likely to be sold on.  No conversation, do not get involved in answering any questions - just put the receiver down.

Please consider using our online reporting system but please note this reporting tool is not for use where a crime happening right now, the suspect is still at the scene, or anyone seriously injured or in immediate danger.
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Eyes, ears.....and Brain

Message sent by
Jeffrey Pick (Police, Community Engagement & Resilience Officer, Windsor & Maidenhead LPA)

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