Residents urged to be vigilant following telephone scams

Police are urging members of the public to be vigilant following a number of telephone scams across the county. One incident happened on Monday (8 February) when the victim, a woman aged in her 70s and from the Wymondham area, was contacted by a fraudster purporting to be a police officer. During the call the victim was encouraged to transfer large amounts of money from her bank account, after being coerced into believing that she was part of an undercover police operation. She was conned out of £30,000. Another incident was also reported on Tuesday (9 February) when the victim, a man aged in his 20s, and from the Norwich area was again contacted by a fraudster purporting to be a police officer. The caller had cloned the Norfolk Constabulary number, making the victim believe he was speaking to a genuine police officer. £20,000 was taken. Officers have also received 15 reports within the past two weeks in which victims have been contacted by fraudsters claiming to be police officers. Courier Fraud happens when a fraudster contacts a victim by telephone claiming to be a police officer, bank or from a government department, among other agencies. A number of techniques will then be adopted in order to convince the victim to hand over their bank details or cash, which may then be passed on to a courier. Residents are reminded that neither the police nor your bank will ever ask you to withdraw or transfer money or purchase items.

Further advice includes: Police officers, banks and other government agencies will NEVER ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to another account as part of an undercover operation. They will NEVER ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN. The police will NEVER ask you to handover money for safe keeping or as part of an operation. The police will NEVER send someone to your address to collect money, cards or PIN Numbers or ask you to deliver these to another location.

Try these steps if you are approached: STOP – take a moment to think before parting with your money or information. CHALLENGE – Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests, only criminals will try to rush or panic you. PROTECT – Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen victim to a scam. Report it. You can confirm requests are genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly. Ask for ID from individuals who have approached you in these circumstances. If you’re asked to telephone a bank, then always do it on a different phone to the one you were contacted on. Officers are particularly keen for members of the community to ensure they contact family and friends, particularly elderly relatives to ensure they are aware of these scams and the warning signs.

If anyone has received a similar type of telephone call or has any information about these incidents. Contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting Operation Radium

Alternatively, Contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you believe a crime is in progress, always call 999. For further advice, head to the Action Fraud website: www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.        

Free Training to Support Community Volunteers

Volunteers provide an incredible range of support for their communities, and as we find ourselves in a winter lockdown the need for volunteers to support the coronavirus response with services like telephone support and befriending has never been greater. Checking in with someone who’s vulnerable and shielding is a fantastic way to check that they’re looking after their health and wellbeing as best they can, help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, and confirm they have the essentials they need. Even a few minutes of physical activity can bring mental and physical health benefits. When volunteers are checking in on people in their communities, they should be able to ask about how active someone is as part of their overall health and wellbeing check.

Not everyone is comfortable talking about physical activity, so Active Norfolk is hosting two free training courses to help those working in the voluntary sector feel more confident in talking about it. Whether you’re a regular volunteer or have stepped in to support the coronavirus response, this free training will help you feel confident in talking about exercise and in supporting residents in their community with their health and wellbeing.

The course covers practical elements such as conversation starters, how to recommend physical activity, and ideas and resources to signpost to amongst others. The sessions will be held virtually on Thursday 11th February 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. and Wednesday 10th March 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

To find out more information and book your place, email Amy.Story@activenorfolk.org or visit https://www.activenorfolk.org/news/2021/01/training-to-help-community-volunteers-talk-about-pa

Domestic Abuse Help

Victims of domestic abuse are being urged to use the code ‘Ask Ani’ at a number of pharmacies across Norfolk by the police, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office, councils and health organisations to enable them to get access to help.

The Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) scheme was launched by the Home Office earlier this month to allow those suffering from abuse to discreetly signal they need help and support at a time where many victims are isolated at home with little opportunity to go out and access services.

The scheme has so far been adopted by all 2,300 Boots stores across the UK and includes stores across Norfolk (see full current list attached) and is growing in momentum with independent pharmacies signing up.

The Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Group in Norfolk (DASVG), which involves Norfolk Constabulary, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN), councils and health organisations, is encouraging anyone who may be struggling to access support during lockdown to Ask for Ani – pronounced Annie – at participating pharmacies.

Gavin Thompson, Chair of the DASVG, said: “Home should be a place where people feel the safest particularly in the current climate.

“However, we know the lockdown restrictions caused by the pandemic can be very difficult for those affected by domestic abuse.

“It is vital we do all we can to ensure those who need immediate help and support are able to access it in a way which doesn’t put them at further risk.

“We welcome the introduction of this scheme and hope as many pharmacies as possible across Norfolk will take part – we must do all we can to protect those for whom home is not a safe space.”

Andy Coller, head of safeguarding for Norfolk Constabulary and Vice-Chair of the DASVG, said that the police are prepared for the Ask Ani calls coming in through the pharmacy network.

He added: “Throughout the pandemic we have worked with partners to reach out to victims of domestic abuse and have promoted various ways to get in touch with support services. Ask Ani provides another opportunity for victims of this terrible crime to seek help.”

Participating pharmacies of the scheme, which went live on January 14, will be displaying Ask Ani posters in their windows. When someone uses the code words, a trained pharmacy worker will offer a private space where they can speak freely and contact the police or get access to support services or a domestic abuse helpline.

The Ask for ANI scheme is part of the national #YouAreNotAlone campaign, launched by the government, and supports local partnership campaigns, such as the See Something, Hear Something, Say Something initiative launched by partners in Norfolk, to help those affected by abuse to get help during lockdown. As part of the campaign the DASVG funded the roll out of 300,000 stickers for pharmacy prescription bags to signpost victims of abuse to help and support.

To find out more:

You can visit the Home Office website: www.GOV.UK/domestic-abuse.

For information on how to adopt the Ask for ANI scheme, go to: www.gov.uk/homeoffice/pharmacy-codeword-scheme

Ask for ANI is available at Boots pharmacies across the county. Please visit the Boots website to find your nearest store.How to get help:
If you need to speak to someone about domestic abuse then please call 999 in an emergency or to make a report to police, call 101.
Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care offer a 24hr support line for immediate emotional and practical support for all victims of crime. Call 0300 303 3706.
For more information on help numbers for organisations and charities that can offer tailored DA support visit the Norfolk Police , Norfolk County Council or OPCCN websites for more help.

COVID 19 Community Support

Norfolk County Council: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/health-and-wellbeing/adults-health/coronavirus

Norfolk Winter Support Scheme: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/what-we-do-and-how-we-work/campaigns/winter-covid-support-scheme

Breckland Council: https://www.breckland.gov.uk/coronavirus

Residents can request help (as previously) via phone by calling Norfolk County Council: 0344 8008020

Mundford Pride Scheme

DAVID and PATSY ALLEN have been elected to be recognised by the

MUNDFORD PRIDE SCHEME

The people of the Parish wish to show their appreciation and recognition for the work you have undertaken selflessly and without reward for the benefit of us all. We value your presence amongst us and we thank you for all you have done in the past year. Mundford takes example from your actions.

Thank you.

Mundford Parish Council