Update from Stewartby’s community officers
I’m PC Kerry Jones and I work alongside PCSO James Dancer as the local community officers for Stewartby, amongst other areas.
Although we are currently in unchartered and unprecedented times, we want to reassure our residents that just because we have had to temporarily postpone our community engagement events, doesn’t mean that we have reduced our policing service.
One of the priorities that we have been working towards is increasing high visibility patrols in relation to burglaries, which was an issue raised at our last priority setting meetings.
We are also regularly linking in with the local business in the area so we can work together to combat any issues that arise and it’s a great opportunity to get a better understanding of any concerns they may have.
We have also been working with Thames Valley Police and Northamptonshire Police on Operation Drover, which is a cross-border operation targeting offenders who are committing offences across the three counties. As a lot of the villages we are responsible for border both counties, it is great to have this opportunity to work with our neighbouring forces to combat crime.
Unfortunately as we are in the midst of a national pandemic, fraudsters are taking their chances and using the current situation as a hook to take advantage of people, which has understandably caused concern amongst our communities.
I’d like to encourage you to continue to be vigilant if you receive any unsolicited messages, emails or phone calls from anyone you don’t know who are asking for your personal details.
In particular, please be aware of sellers who are offering to send you protective masks or other similar products, or malicious attachments and links in emails or texts where the person claims to be from the World Health Organisation, the NHS or other heath organisations asking you to click on a link to access relevant information. We are also aware that there are fraudulent charities operating who are claiming to raise money for people affected by the pandemic.
To minimise a chance of becoming a victim of fraud or a scam, please follow our simple advice:
- Do not click on any links sent to you from an unknown organisation or person and don’t open any suspicious email attachments
- Only use trusted sources, like the Government website, for updates and information
- Never reveal your personal or financial information in an email, text or over the phone
- If you wish to make a donation check the legitimacy on the government charity register
- If you are making purchases online do a thorough research of the seller, and when making payment use a credit card as most major providers insure online purchases
- If you have any concerns about any suspicious messages or you have been targeted by a fraudster, please report it to Action Fraud
There are many ways you can report suspicious behaviour or crime in their area to us. You can report by calling 101, via our online reporting tool or through the live web chat on our website. Always call 999 in an emergency.
Finally we would like to reassure our residents in these difficult times that we are still here for you in your time of need, but we would urge you to play your part and follow the advice and guidance from the government.
You can also get up-to-date information on the work we are doing in your area by following us on Twitter at @bedspolicerural.
You can also follow Bedfordshire Police on Facebook, on Twitter @bedspolice or on Instagram @bedspoliceuk – we will be using the hashtag #KeepingBedsSafe to highlight the work we are doing alongside our partners over the coming weeks to protect our communities.
Please stay at home and help us keep Bedfordshire safe.
PC Kerry Jones