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Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Weekly Newsletter 6th March 2022

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Welcome to Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Weekly Newsletter 6-3-22 collated by Maggie Lewis - Voluntary Area Neighbourhood Watch  Representative and  Administrator covering Oxford . 

This weekly newsletter is for reading and/or sharing in entirety or copying and pasting. 
The index is available so you can read all or just the items of interest.  Any information, contributions and interactions will be gratefully received.
If you have any comments/information/errors or want to unsubscribe please use reply icon below.
Please share and care. 
Attachments at end of newsletter

Neighbourhood Watch Network
1) Ukraine

Oxford Neighbourhood Watch
1) Challenges

Thames Valley Police
1) Missing man (Long Wittenham)

Thames Valley Police (Oxford)
1) Missing man
2) Witness Appeal (Diamond Place)
3) Witness Appeal (The Plain)
4) Witness Appeal (Magdalen Street)
5) Witness Appeal (London Road)

Neighbourhood Policing Teams
1) Blackbird Leys
2) Cowley and East Oxford
3) Marston
4) Rose Hill
5) Wood Farm

Crime Prevention
1) Burglary Prevention Campaign
2) Get safer online
3) Spiking of drinks

Crime Information
1) Victims First

Scams 
1) Ukraine
2) Parents
3) Buying pets online
4) Courier scams
5) Suspicious emails
6) Which? Alerts

Oxfordshire County Council
1) Library service
2) Fix My Street

Oxford City Council
1) Can I Get Help with My Council Tax?

General Information
1) BT to phase out landlines
2) Road Closure
3) International Women's Day
4) Age UK Oxfordshire Care Awards 2022
5) Food Alerts
6) Changes in Covid restrictions
7) Older Drivers' Forum 
8) Mobile phones
9) Latest population figures

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NETWORK
1) Ukraine
Neighbourhood Watch supporting the Ukrainian people
At Neighbourhood Watch we are deeply saddened by the plight the Ukrainian people find themselves in by being invaded by Russia. Since the escalation of fighting in Ukraine, Red Cross teams both inside Ukraine and in bordering countries have been supporting people wherever possible.
To date, Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers have distributed 30,000 food and hygiene parcels and helped evacuate people with disabilities. Teams have also provided first aid training to 1,000 people in metro stations and bomb shelters, and are supporting firefighters, medical and civil protection units. 
In just a few days, more than 500,000 people have left Ukraine due to the conflict, with even more currently displaced from their homes within the country. Red Cross teams in bordering countries including Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, and Romania have been preparing to support people on arrival in each country. 
To help the Ukrainian people we encourage our supporters to raise funds amongst their communities and donate to Red Cross. As the security situation allows, the Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will continue to respond to existing and emerging humanitarian needs. Your donation could help someone affected get:
food
water
first aid
medicines
warm clothes
shelter
Donations can be made here through their website: https://www.redcross.org.uk/

OXFORD NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
1) Challenges
As you may realize, Oxford Neighbourhood Watch is facing a challenging future in this changing world. We need  more people to help us to continue supporting our communities as we have been doing for the last 40 years. We would value your help.
Please reply on icon below if you can assist us in this way.

Volunteer Coordinators are needed to start up local Neighbourhood Watch Schemes.  The Coordinator is recognized as the main contact in the road by the local policing team. Help is given if wanted for scheme start ups. If you spread the word anyone can apply on http://www.ourwatch.org.uk  or you can reply direct to me on reply icon below.

By setting up a NW scheme Coordinators can protect themselves and others from crime by knowing more about crime prevention and building a relationship with their local PCSO to share information.  The role of a Coordinator is mainly to pass on messages to members so that they are warned as to what is happening locally plus extra information which will hopefully avoid them becoming a victim of crime. If you are in a low crime area this can  help keep crime down.

With email now it is so easy to circulate the information and this can also be done via Messenger, WhatsApp or a closed Facebook Group.  You will receive free Neighbourhood Watch road signs and stickers together with details of discounts available to all neighbours - currently Jewsons, A-Plan (contact Oxford  branch), Co-op, Yale, SelectaDNA, PatLock,  BMA Locksmiths,  Hollow Way Autoparts and Beeline. The Coordinator will be introduced to a dedicated PCSO for their road(s) and can discuss the issues that concern them.

Being a Coordinator takes little time and commitment but can make a big difference to your neighbourhood. Run as a community led initiative but also under the umbrella of the national organization that is trusted and recognized in its 40th year with 2.3 million+ members in England and Wales.

THAMES VALLEY POLICE 
1) Missing man (image attachment)
Thames Valley Police is appealing for help to find a missing man from a village in South Oxfordshire.
Mark Nicholls, aged 72, is from Little Wittenham, near Abingdon, and was last seen at his home at 10.30pm on 23rd February.
He is about 6ft 2ins tall, has grey hair and wears glasses pictured below.
Inspector Mark Davis, based at Abingdon police station, said: “We are very concerned for Mark’s welfare and are appealing for the public to help us locate him.
“I would urge anyone who may have seen Mark, or anyone who thinks they know where he is, to please get in touch by calling 101, quoting reference 43220083862.”

THAMES VALLEY POLICE (OXFORD)
1) Missing man (image attachment)
Thames Valley Police has issued an appeal for the public's help in finding a man who is missing from Oxford.
Francis Jennings, 55, was last seen on Tuesday, March 1st morning at around 10am getting into a taxi on Woodstock Road in Oxford.
He was last seen wearing brown trousers, a white jumper and a cream jacket.
Francis is around 6ft tall of a slim to medium build and has balding grey hair.
Investigating officer, PC Alex Jones said: "We are growing increasingly concerned for Francis’s wellbeing and I am appealing to anybody who knows of his whereabouts to please contact the force on 101, quoting reference number 43220091902.
“If you see him, please call 999.
“Francis, you are not in any trouble, but we want to know that you are safe, and so if you see this message, please contact your family or the police to let us know where you are.”

2) Witness Appeal (Diamond Place)
Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following a robbery in Oxford.
At around 9pm on Friday 25th February , the victim, a woman in her twenties, was walking along Banbury Road, Summertown.
She then turned into Diamond Place car park, when she was grabbed by a man with a knife and he demanded money.
The victim handed over £50 and her purse was taken. She was then pushed to the floor, and had minor injuries but did not require hospital treatment.
The offender was a black man, of an athletic build, approximately 20-30 years old and around 5ft 10ins. He was wearing a black puffer jacket, black trousers, black shoes, as well as a black hat.
Investigating officer PC Fritha Harvey, based at Oxford police station, said: “I am appealing for any witnesses of this incident, or anyone who was in the area and saw anything suspicious, to get in touch.
“I would also encourage any businesses who may have CCTV footage of the Banbury Road and near to the Co-op around these times to also get in touch.
“Anyone who can help should call us on 101 or make a report on our website, quoting reference number 43220086619.
“Alternatively, call the independent charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111

3) Witness Appeal (The Plain)
Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following a fatal road traffic collision in Oxford.
At around 2.35pm March 1st a cyclist and a DAF tipper lorry where involved in a collision at the roundabout junction of St Clement’s Street and The Plain.
The cyclist, a woman in her thirties, suffered serious injuries and died at the scene.
Her next of kin have been informed and are being supported by officers.
A 39-year-old man, from Oxford, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit of a drug and causing death by driving unlicensed. He has appeared appeared in court on 3rd March and remanded in custody.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Lyndsey Blackaby, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Sadly a woman has died following this collision. We are appealing for anyone who saw what happened to please come forward.
“We’re also asking any motorists who were in the area around this time of the incident to please check any dash-cams in case they may have captured anything that may assist the investigation.
“Anyone with information can make a report by calling 101 or making a report online, quoting reference 43220091981.”

4) Witness Appeal (Magdalen Street) (CCTV attachment)
At around 4.05pm on Saturday 15 January, at Wendy’s in Oxford, the victim was approached by a group, who made offensive comments and threw drink over them. The victim has then stood up and been subjected to an assault.
The victim required hospital treatment but has since been discharged.
Investigating officer, PC Alexander Benjamin, based at Cowley police station, said: “We are appealing to anybody who recognises the individuals in these images to please get in touch as we believe they may have information in connection with this assault.
“You can get in touch by either making a report online or by calling 101 quoting reference number 43220020941.
“Alternatively, for 100% anonymity, you can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Full release & images https://orlo.uk/Y2qY7

5) Witness Appeal (London Road)
We are appealing for witnesses in relation to an assault that occurred on Thursday 24th February 2022 around 10:50 am at a bus stop on the London Road close to the Green Road Roundabout in Oxford.
The incident involves the victim being approached by a suspect who has shouted at them before physically assaulting them.
If you have any information please contact us on 101 quoting reference number 43220084100

NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING TEAMS
Blackbird Leys 

1) Policies and people
This current policing year between May ‘21 and May ‘22 the Blackbird Leys neighbourhood policing priorities are as follows;
1)      Disruption of Organised Crime Groups (OCG) and their drug related activity – PC Gunner
2)      Knife and violent crime – PC Snowdon
3)      Protecting the vulnerable, specifically children at risk of exploitation – PC Snowdon

Additionally all PCSO’s have their own priorities regarding community engagement including;
1)     Primary school initiatives and youth engagement – PCSO Osborne and PCSO Guzinska
2)     Engagement with hard to reach communities – PCSO Shahab
3)     High demand individuals – PCSO Guzinska
4)     Traffic issues – PCSO Jones
5)     Open space management – PCSO Shahab
6)     Improving the quality of service to our businesses and Neighbourhood Watch dedicated          PCSO–   PCSO Jeffrey

Alex Penn – Sgt
Bethany Snowdon – PC
Ehab Shahab – PCSO
Leighton Jones – PCSO
Anna Guzinska – PCSO
Megan Osbourne – PCSO
Shaun Jeffrey – PCSO

Cowley and East Oxford
1) Misuse Of Drugs Warrant (attachment)
The Cowley and East Oxford Police Team have conducted a Misuse Of Drugs Warrant this morning in Foresters Tower, Wood Farm.
A quantity of cannabis has been seized from the address. One suspect has been identified and is currently under investigation.
If you have any concerns of drug supply please report to 101 or alternatively this can be reported to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Marston
1) Cannabis cultivation
On the 4th March the Marston Neighbourhood Team secured a cannabis grow inside an address on Milne Place. One male was arrested and has been charged with cannabis cultivation. Thanks to your help we will disrupt organised crime in your neighbourhood.

Rose Hill
1) Operation Belgium (attachment)
Throughout February, Rose Hill Neighbourhood Team with support of additional officers have been running Operation Belgium. Officers have focussed on drug use and dealing in the area with the aim to reduce drug use and serious violence within the neighbourhood.
Operation Belgium has resulted in:
14 arrests (6 have been released under investigation, 2 on police bail and 4 have been charged)
31 stop searches conducted
98 intelligence submissions
4 vehicles seized
8 educational talks
Dedicated ANPR van to ensure all vehicles are being legally driven.
A ‘Have Your Say’ community events with the local PCSOs to gather intelligence and community concerns.
A joint event with ‘Turning Point’ around harm reduction involving substance misuse.
The Rose Hill Neighbourhood Team cover Rose Hill, Littlemore and Iffley and are based in Rose Hill Community Centre.

Wood Farm (attachment)
1) Have Your Say
After months of continued work on Wood Farm.
The team have been dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour in Foresters Tower and Atkyns Road.
We have also executed a Misuse of Drugs Warrant and will be holding a Have Your Say on Saturday 12th March to engage with the Community.

CRIME PREVENTION
1) Burglary Prevention Campaign
From Neighbourhood Watch Network
Our research shows two thirds (67%) of people are worried about their home being broken into, yet there are simple, proven measures we can all take to reduce our chances of becoming a victim of burglary by up to 50%.

To help you be and feel safer at home, we are running our Think WIDE(N) burglary prevention campaign (1st-31st March), highlighting the simple, evidence-based WIDE measures which can be taken in any home on a variety of budgets.

At Neighbourhood Watch, we also believe neighbours keeping an eye out for each other is key to reducing burglary, so we've extended the WIDE acronym to WIDE(N):

WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTING YOUR THINGS, TAKING THESE SIMPLE ACTIONS CAN MAKE YOUR HOME UP TO 50 TIMES MORE SECURE*

W: WINDOWS: Keep your windows locked
I: INTERIOR: Put inside lights on a timer/smart bulb
D: DOORS: Double or deadlock your doors
E: EXTERIOR: Put outside lights on a sensor
(N): NEIGHBOURS: Keep an eye out for your neighbours
To learn more about WIDE(N) and burglary prevention measures, visit ourwatch.org.uk/thinkwiden.
* Research published in the Security Journal in 2017 about the effectiveness of burglary security devices concluded that combinations of security devices, in general, afford up to roughly 50 times more protection than no security

2) Get Safer Online 
How to invest in cryptocurrency safely (attachment)

3) Spiking drinks
If your drink has had a greater effect on you than  it should, inform staff and call the Police.
Make sure you watch your drink being poured and be careful about accepting a
drink from someone you don’t know.
Plan your nights out and travel arrangements using only recognised travel routes and providers
Have a good night and remember to drink some water!
Report drink spiking: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/

CRIME INFORMATION   
1) Victims First
If you live in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire and have been a victim of crime or abuse, we would like to hear from you.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, Matthew Barber has launched a survey inviting views on the support needs of victims to help inform possible options for the future commissioning of services. 
The survey covers areas such as feedback on current provision including the PCC’s Victims First service, access and potential barriers to support, and gaps in services. 
For a chance to help shape future service delivery, please give us your views by completing the survey at www.thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk/victims-survey.  We encourage you to complete the survey regardless of whether or not you have chosen to access support in the past, reported the crime to the police, or gone through the Criminal Justice System.

The survey will close at 12pm on 6th April.   We are seeking a wide range of views to help address the differing needs of Thames Valley’s diverse communities and would also appreciate any support in sharing the link to the survey across your own community and networks.

SCAMS
1) Ukraine
Times of crisis can bring out the best in people, but they are a magnet for scammers, and sadly right now is no different.

Fraudsters follow the headlines and have already been working overtime to create ways to encourage people to part with their cash and personal information. We saw this with the Australian bush fires in January 2020 and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you are looking to help people in Ukraine, please donate wisely – do your research first so you give without getting scammed.  One such scam that is circulating is saying that they are from the Red Cross.

Please protect yourself with the following information:

Scammers will pretend to be legitimate well-known charities, creating their own charity names, and impersonating people impacted by the war in Ukraine.

Scammers will be cold-calling, direct messaging and creating fake websites and pages on social media to raise funds. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments in unsolicited emails, texts or social media messages. They may attempt to lure you into unwittingly downloading malware onto your device or take you to a fake website to steal your money and personal information.

Do not donate via fundraising pages on platforms that do not verify the legitimacy of the fundraiser or that do not guarantee your money will be returned if the page is determined to be fraudulent.

Be careful about crowdfunding requests as these may be fake and also come from scammers. Check the terms and conditions of funding platforms and ensure you are dealing with official organisations. If you are unsure, make your donation to an established charity instead.

If you think you have paid money to a scammer, please contact your bank immediately.
If you have received a contact which you believe to be a scam you can also report it to Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

2) Parents
Criminals are still targeting parents via WhatsApp by pretending to be a child in need of financial help. Consumer magazine Which reports that this sinister con is already thought to have parted £50,000 from the pockets of concerned parents across the UK. 

Other variations of this WhatsApp scam are: “Hi Dad (or Mum) new number changed from provider. Will you save this one?  Let me know when you’ve saved it.”

3) Buying pets online (attachment)
Paws for thought before buying a pet online.
More than £2.5 million was lost to criminals through fake pet adverts in the 2020/21 financial year.Find out more about how to protect yourself from pet fraud: http://actionfraud.police.uk/petfraud

4) Courier Scams
Courier fraudsters will typically call you pretending to be a police officer or bank official.
Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone, or to pick up your bank card by courier. https://actionfraud.police.uk/courierfraud

5) Suspicious emails
Have you spotted a suspicious email? You can report it by forwarding the email to: report@phishing.gov.uk 
As of January 2022, your reports have led to the removal of 135,000 scam URLs

6) Which? Scam Alert Service
This service is free and you can join this on 
https://campaigns.which.co.uk/scam-alert-service/
Six new travel scams to watch out for in 2022 
1) Sham refunds
2) Charging for free travel forms
3) Free vaccine passports
4) Scam social media ads
5) Brexit copycats
6) Rogue travel companies

OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
1) Library Home Services
https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/leisure-and-culture/libraries/find-library/home-library-service
Do you know someone who can't get to a library and would benefit from home library service deliveries direct to their front door? It's free of charge and can also be used on a short-term basis.

How it works
Contact us to discuss the kind of books, DVDs, music CDs or audio books that you like to read or enjoy.  We then arrange for a library volunteer to deliver these to you in your home.
Our volunteers wear identification badges and provide a helpful and friendly service.  Whenever possible, we try and arrange for the same volunteer to visit you each time.
Your library materials will be delivered and collected every 3 weeks.  The Home Library Service is free of charge, and there is no charge for requests or late returns.

2) Fix My Street
https://fixmystreet.oxfordshire.gov.uk/

How to report a problem
Enter an Oxfordshire postcode, or street name and area
Locate the problem on a map of the area
Enter details of the problem
Confirm the report and Oxfordshire County Council will investigate

OXFORD CITY COUNCIL
1) Can I get help with my Council Tax?
The UK Government has confirmed a new £150 Council Tax rebate which will apply to bills from April

It will affect homes in council bands A, B, C and D in England, which is around 20 million households, including 95% of rented properties.
Households not covered by the rebate may be able to get a discount if you claim certain benefits, are on a low income, are single, or have caring responsibilities.
Discounts range from 25% to 100%, but the amount will depend on where you live.
- Whether you are entitled to help through a Council Tax Support scheme will depend on: - Where you live - Your circumstances - for example your income, number of children, benefits, residency status - Your household income - this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s income - If your children live with you - If other adults live with you
You can contact your local council to find out if you are eligible and apply for a council tax reduction directly

GENERAL INFORMATION
1) BT to phase out landlines 2025
BT to phase out traditional landline phones sparking fears for millions of elderly
A new 'digital' phone will be favoured instead of a landline which will force all homes online when the switchover happens in 2025.
BT will replace traditional landline handsets as part of a huge digital changeover.
A new 'digital' phone will be favoured instead of a landline which will force all homes online when the switchover happens in 2025.
The phone will be powered by electricity and will require an internet connection to make calls.
BT has moved to reassure customers that the rollout will be slow and landline customers will be supported every step of the way.
The telecoms giant has pledged to contact the customers being upgraded well ahead of time to keep them as informed as possible, making sure their needs are met.
However, there are fears millions of elderly people who rely on traditional landline phones to communicate will be left isolated.
Pensioners groups have criticised the move by BT to force all homes online, 

Around six percent of households – roughly 1.5 million homes – do not have access to the Internet, according to watchdog Ofcom.
Those homeowners may need an engineer to visit their to get them set up and those with older phones could need to buy a new handset.
But experts fear millions more do not have a mobile phone or do not know how to use one properly.
BT's switchover, branded 'Digital Voice', began two years ago and has so far converted two million landlines.

But with an end-of-2025 deadline for switching 29million home landlines, there are fears that the new system's flaws will be increasingly exposed.
Under guidelines laid down by Ofcom, BT must ensure customers can contact emergency services in a power cut that lasts more than an hour. But how this can be achieved if you lose access from an internet phone line or do not have a mobile phone – or signal – is not clear.
In addition, charity Age UK is fearful the changeover could attract criminals claiming to be involved in the switch.

2) Road closures
 A34, from 9.30am March 7 to 3.30pm March 18, slight delays (under 10 minutes): A34 northbound and southbound, Peartree Interchange, Lane closures on exit slip roads for Oxfordshire County Council works.
• A34, from 6am to 10am on March 13, slight delays (under 10 minutes): A34 southbound, Kidlington to Peartree, Lane closure for Cherwell District Council works.

3) International  Women's Day
March 8th is the day we dedicate to celebrating the contributions that women make in our world every day.
International Women's Day (IWD) is a global awareness day where we shine a light on the achievements that women have made in the cultural, political, and socioeconomic spheres.

4) Age UK Oxfordshire Care Awards 2022
Do you know a friend, an unpaid carer, a colleague or a company who are providing great care in Oxfordshire?
If the answer is ‘yes’, then please make a difference by nominating them for an Oxfordshire Care Award  - bringing their largely unseen and unsung work into the spotlight and celebrating it.

There are ten categories of award, for:
Newcomer to Care
Care Home Worker
Unpaid Carer
Community / Home Care Worker
Care Team
Care Employer
Long-term Service
Leadership
Inspiration
Josie’s Award

The nomination process is simple: you can complete online: The Oxfordshire Care Awards 2022 Inspiration for All! 
https://oacp.org.uk/features/oxfordshire-care-awards-2022-inspiration-for-all/

The closing date for nominations is Friday 18th March.

5) Royal Mail
Royal Mail reveal first-class stamps will go up by 10p in April
Royal Mail has announced that first-class stamps are set to go up in price by 10p in April.
Second-class stamps will also increase by 2p to 68p, with the new prices coming into effect on April 4.
Royal Mail said there has been a long-term decline in letter usage, coupled with rising inflation which led to their decision to incorporate a slight rise in price.
Letter volumes have fallen by more than 60% since their peak in 2004/5 and by around 20% since the start of the pandemic.
 
Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (Neighbourhood Watch Network, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford LPA)
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