Precept Survey – 17/01/2022

Good afternoon,

Police and Crime Commissioner, Darryl Preston is asking Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents to give their views on his proposed increase to the policing part of council tax in a short survey.

The survey was launched on 6th January and will be open until 5pm on 20th January 2022.

Please could you share the survey link provided below through your channels to local residents so as many people as possible can provide their views before the deadline. If you wouldn’t mind sharing it via your social media channels and tagging @PCCCambs in your comms?

Survey link: The Police & Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire | Consultations & Surveys (cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk)

Volunteers Needed – 29/12/2021

We are looking to recruit volunteers for the New Year ahead. DISH provides support for people in your area with disability benefits advice, applications and appeals support. We are looking to recruit a team of volunteers to further support people whilst they are awaiting their benefit application outcomes and appeal decisions.

Home CCTV Helps Catch and Convict Burglar – 29/12/2021

A convicted burglar was caught trying to break into a home in Peterborough thanks to a home CCTV system.

The occupant of a home in Leaf Avenue, Hampton Hargate, woke up on 24 October to find his garden gate was open.

Upon checking his CCTV cameras, he saw a man in the garden trying door handles of his house and peering through the windows.

We were alerted and the man in the footage was identified as a known burglar, 21-year-old Vitalijus Beliajevas.

View the footage here.

Beliajevas, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with attempted burglary with intent to steal, which he admitted in court.

On Tuesday, 14 December, he appeared at Peterborough Crown Court where he was sentenced to a year in prison, as well as having a previously suspended eight-month sentence for burglaries in Peterborough activated, taking his total sentence to a year and eight months.

DC George Corney, who investigated, said: “This case shows just how valuable home security such as CCTV can be in assisting us with our investigations. The cameras on the victim’s home caught Beliajevas in the act which enabled us to identify him and take swift action.

“I would urge members of the public to invest in home security measures such as CCTV where possible as they can act as a deterrent but also help catch offenders if you are unfortunate enough to find your home targeted by burglars.”

Advice on how to best protect your home from burglars can be found on our website here.

Are You Leaving The Door Open For Hackers? – 29/12/2021

Why are software updates important?

Software updates are an important part of staying secure online. But why? You’ll often hear about the new features or performance improvements in a software update, but what isn’t talked about as often are the bug fixes and security improvements. Out-of-date software and apps contain weaknesses. This makes them easier to hack. Companies fix the weaknesses by releasing updates. When you update your devices and software, this helps to keep hackers out.

Why would cyber criminals target me?

Your device contains a lot of personal data that is highly valuable if it fell into the hands of a fraudster. The likelihood is your device will contain your full name, date of birth, address, bank details, passwords, as well as many other forms of personal data such as private photos or videos.

Improve your online security by using automatic software updates

We understand it can sometimes be annoying to remember to update your devices every time a new update is released, that’s why we encourage you to enable automatic updates wherever it’s available. That means you don’t have to manually install updates every time they’re released. 

We’ve provided some useful links below where you can find step by step instructions on how to enable automatic updates for your devices and apps.

For more of the government’s latest advice on how to stay secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website: www.cyberaware.gov.uk

Do You Know Where To Report Scam Messages? – 20/12/2021

Fake emails and text messages are a common tactic used by cyber criminals, their goal is often to convince you to click a link. Once clicked, you may be sent to a dodgy website which could download viruses onto your computer, or steal your passwords and personal information.

In order to try and convince you that their messages are legitimate, criminals will pretend to be someone you trust, or from some organisation you trust. This could be your Internet Service Provider (ISP), local council, even a friend in need. And they may contact you by phone call, email or text message.

Reporting suspicious emails:

If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, you can report it by forwarding the email to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service at: report@phishing.gov.uk

As of 31st October 2021, the number of suspicious email reports stands at more than 8,100,000, with the removal of more than 67,000 scams and 124,000 URLs.

Thank you for your continued support.

*In a small number of cases, an email may not reach our service due to it already being widely recognised by spam detection services. The vast majority of reports do reach our system so please keep reporting any suspicious emails you receive.

Reporting suspicious text messages:

You can report suspicious text messages to your mobile network provider, for free, by forwarding the text to 7726.

If you forward a text, your provider can investigate the origin of the text and take action, if found to be malicious. If 7726 doesn’t work, you can find out how to report a text message by contacting your provider.

(On many Android devices and iPhones, pressing and holding on the message bubble should present the option to forward the message)

For more of the government’s latest advice on how to stay secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website: ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware

Cambridgeshire Police Fraud & Cyber Security Advisor – How secure is your contactless bank card? – 13/12/2021

How secure is your contactless bank card?

Have you ever wondered that if someone could get close enough to you and your contactless bank cards, they could somehow capture the data and use it in fraud?

Well, the simple answer is they can’t. (According to global business Thales Group)

The link below, details some myths and facts that will explain why your contactless card/s are safe from being skimmed, whether they are in some form of protective wallet or not.

Contactless cards: How safe are they? (EMV security) (thalesgroup.com)

Cambridgeshire Police Fraud & Cyber Security Alert – Currys PC World phishing email – 15/11/2021

Another phishing email just brought to my attention and doing the rounds over the internet.

This one purports to be from Currys PC World and offers an expensive Apple iPhone 13 if the recipient takes part in a loyalty programme, all they have to do is click on the link and provide the criminal with their private information.

It is a SCAM.

A couple of things to note, since October 2021 the name Currys PC World no longer exists it is now just Currys. (I appreciate the rebranding will take time and not everyone will know about it)

Genuine brand logo for Currys

Secondly, if you note the ‘From’ address of the mail it states ‘CurrysPCWorld’ but if you carry on reading you will see a whole load of characters and the domain name @groenseykerstraat-48.com NOT what I would expect from the genuine Currys.

Cambridgeshire Police Fraud & Cyber Security Advisor – Scam WhatsApp message – 09/11/2021

A trusted contact has just alerted me to the following scam, they have kindly allowed me to use their screenshot.

The suspect number 07904 165574 has now been reported to www.who-called.co.uk

The potential victim receives a WhatsApp message from an unrecognised number in which the sender pretends to be known to the recipient.

The criminal makes an excuse that they have changed their mobile number and that this has caused a security issue which means they cannot make a payment, so the sender asks the recipient to make the payment now on their behalf and that they would be repaid in a couple of days time.

(Afterpay is an app that allows the user to make an online purchase by paying a small amount at the time, but then allows the balance to be spread over 6 weeks interest free)

Fortunately in this case, the recipient was suspicious and stopped chatting. They contacted their son to confirm that it was a scam, no money was lost.

Please remain alert to scams arriving by text, email, WhatsApp, Facebook in fact any electronic communication even if you think you know who the sender is.

STOP, CHALLENGE and PROTECT.

If suspicious, call the sender using a tried, tested and trusted telephone number and ask them you’ll soon know if it is genuine or not.

You can also check if a company is contacting you by logging into their genuine app or website.

It may never be known how the sender identified the recipient of the message, but may I suggest, that you please consider reviewing your security settings on all social media accounts, do you know who can see your profile, your contact details such as phone number, email and what is being posted, friends/contacts etc?

Don’t Get Complacent With Home Security As Break-Ins Continue To Fall – 01/11/2021

We are urging our residents to take extra home safety precautions during the darker winters months ahead of the clocks going back on Sunday (31 October).

We work hard around the clock to catch criminals and burglaries overall are continuing to decrease, however there is typically an increase in reported break-ins during autumn and winter.

Last year, figures did not increase over the winter, which is likely to be due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions, but with fewer restrictions in place this year, the force is urging people not to get complacent with their home security.

We recorded 600 burglaries across Cambridgeshire between October last year (2020) and March this year, a 44 percent drop compared to the same period in 2019-2020 (1,071). A total of 83 of these were in Huntingdonshire, compared to 176 the previous year.

While the figure dropped a further 21 percent between April and September this year, from 642 down to 510 overall, (and from 121 to 66 in Huntingdonshire), we are warning the public to increase precautions as the nights start to draw in.

Detective Sergeant Justin Parr, from the force’s Acquisitive Crime Team, said: “While it’s reassuring to see the number of dwelling burglaries falling, we do usually see an increase in incidents at this time of year.

“Most burglaries are a result of a thief spotting an opportunity and although we continue to target burglars and bring offenders to justice, often a lack of security, empty homes and the cover of darkness is all the invitation a thief looks for.

“Simple things like installing good interior and exterior lighting, used together with timer switches or motion sensors, keeping valuables hidden and entry points secure are all ways to put off a burglar.”

Other advice includes:

  • Closing your blinds or curtains at night to prevent people from looking into your home
  • Not leaving spare keys hidden outside – a burglar may look for these first
  • Not leaving car keys near the front door or anywhere easy to find
  • Installing a driveway alarm
  • Installing a visible burglar alarm

DS Parr added: “Tackling burglary is a priority for the force and while my team works tirelessly day-in-day-out, it’s just as much about prevention than anything else.

“When someone breaks into your home, it can often leave you feeling unsafe in the place you should feel safest.

“I’m urging the public not to rest on their laurels and to check their home security: it could save you a lot of time, stress and money.”

For more burglary prevention advice visit our website here.