July OUR NEWS – The newsletter for all Neighbourhood Watch supporters
We are pleased to share with you othe national July newsletter – click here to view it as a PDF or scroll down to read it as a web document.
In a world where we have become more dependent on using technology and being digitally connected, we are increasingly aware that the downside to using is the increase of scams, amounting to a staggering 41% of crime is now either on the phone or online. To help tackle this issue, we have launched a SLING YOUR HOOK scams awareness campaign to run on our social channels during July. Our newsletter contains more information on this campaign and a link to our website’s dedicated scams section, which includes clear guidance on protecting yourself and others from becoming a victim.
On a brighter note, we have some great new partnership opportunities to share with you, including our new partnership with Deliveroo to train riders in community safety, discounts from Patlock for our members and supporters, and the chance to win a fun-filled Croods 2 inspired family vacation.
With all this and more, we hope you enjoy this month’s edition.
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NETWORK, Central Support Team
Despite the unfortunate delays to the re-opening of England and Wales, we all feel positive that we are heading towards brighter times this summer. However, the pandemic and successive lockdowns have sadly led to an increase in scams. In response we are launching our SLING YOUR HOOK campaign (page 2) to run throughout July on our social channels, helping people not succumb to scams and reminding them it is ok to be firm in telling scammers you
are not interested. As part of this campaign we are running four free online talks open to anyone to attend
- details and how to book your place can be seen below.
We are also excited to announce our new partnership with Deliveroo, training their riders in community safety and spotting signs of vulnerability to address crimes such as modern slavery, domestic abuse and hate crime (page 4). We believe this is a great opportunity to help identify those who may need support. This month we also look at ways in which you can better connect with and support your neighbours, through neighbour mediation (page 5) or with a home fire safety checker (page 4).
Thank you to everyone who completed our first ever Insights Survey 2021. The findings can be seen on page 6. We hope you enjoy this newsletter and as always, share with us the great work you are doing in your communities by emailing email@example.com.
Tell scammers to SLING THEIR HOOK!
As part of the launch of our SLING YOUR HOOK! new social campaign to tackle scams (more on page 2) we are delivering a series of scams awareness online talks in partnership with the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), the National Trading Standards Scams Team (NTSST) and Avast. Anyone can attend, but book soon as places are filling quickly!
The topics are:
- 6th July, 5pm: Exploring the psychology behind scams and how scammers are so effective at their crimes
- 14th July, 5pm: Insights into how a fraud case is investigated and how not to be the next victim
- 23rd July, 5pm: Scams awareness training from the Friends Against Scams initiative
- 30th July, 5pm: Don’t get hooked by scammers! What you need to know about flubot and phishing scams
WIN A FUN-FILLED TREEHOUSE ADVENTURE STAYCATION
The Croods 2: A New Age, which is in cinemas on 16th July, celebrates community, neighbourliness, inclusivity, and working together – values that are close to the heart of Neighbourhood Watch supporters. The Croods faced their biggest threat when they left their cave – another family – and now we are offering an opportunity to leave your cave behind and experience a very different treehouse adventure with your family! To be in with a chance to win this amazing prize, be sure to visit our Facebook page and enter the prize draw. Terms and conditions can be found here.
HOW TO SUPPORT THIS OPPORTUNITY
Through Neighbourhood Watch’s partnership with this film we have a great opportunity to promote the importance of neighbourliness and community spirit to new audiences and across diverse communities.
We know many young people and their families share the values that we stand for and this partnership gives them an introduction to the great work of Neighbourhood Watch and our role in neighbourhoods, and we hope they will become supporters for life.
We rely on our wonderful volunteers to help us promote Neighbourhood Watch as the first step for people to connect with their neighbours and community for mutual support. We hope that you will share this campaign within your community and use it to reach more young families across your area. In addition to the incredible top prize of a week’s family staycation we have some fantastic Croods 2 goodie bags to give away!
To support this campaign, you can:
- SHARE: Follow us on Facebook and share our posts on the prize draw
- INFORM: Share this kids activity pack via email, WhatsApp or in your local newsletter
- WATCH: Go and see the film when it comes out on 16th July. See the trailer here.
Partnership with Deliveroo launched to train riders in community safety
On 10th June during Neighbourhood Watch Week, we launched a new project partnership with Deliveroo, providing their riders training to help keep communities safe across the UK. The optional training, created by Neighbourhood Watch and verified by the Metropolitan Police, will cover six topics over as many months, in the form of animated videos and simple quizzes.
The partnership forms part of Deliveroo’s new ‘Full Life’ campaign which launched last month, in which the company pledged to ‘use [their] network as a force for good’, and is in response for calls amongst their riders and staff to increase education in community safety. The topics are:
rider vehicle safety, street harassment and female safety, domestic abuse, handling confrontation and bystander training, modern slavery and human trafficking, and county lines and drug dealing.
Alexandra Holmes, a Deliveroo rider said: “I am really pleased that Deliveroo is offering this free training for riders and hosting roundtables to discuss female safety. As a female Deliveroo rider it is really important to me that I can share my experiences with Deliveroo and personally get involved with Neighbourhood Watch in my local community.” Find out more here.
A new way to help your neighbours
Many of us have a neighbour that we like to check in on, whether that’s picking up some shopping for them or taking their bins out. Now there’s a new way you can help, and this could make the biggest difference of all.
London Fire Brigade has created a new tool – the Home Fire Safety Checker – and it’s designed to help people spot fire risks in their own home, or the home of anyone who they feel may be at risk.
The free tool asks a few simple questions about the household, and then guides the user around each room in the home pointing out which fire hazards to look out for. They’re then provided with tailored advice and practical tips, which you can email to yourself or the homeowner to refer back to.
So please, check your own home, and then help a neighbour check theirs – you may well be surprised at what risks you’ve been overlooking for years. Click here to access the tool.
How much of your time is spent dealing with neighbourhood squabbles and disputes?
Mediation can help.
Neighbour mediation is an effective way of resolving disagreements quickly without
involving the police or solicitors. It has proven to help deal with a range of issues including noise, children, harassment, boundaries, parking, pets and anti-social behaviour.
Local community mediation services provide mediation, and the exact details will depend on each service. At Wandsworth Mediation Service for example, we offer free neighbour mediation, and we allocate two trained mediators to each dispute.
First, the mediators meet each neighbour separately and confidentially. If both neighbours agree, a mediation session follows, when the mediators ask the parties to agree to “ground rules” to ensure safety, confidentiality and respect.
What is mediation?
At its essence, mediation is a conversation. Mediators help participants to listen to
each other’s point of view, and discuss the challenges of living next to
each other, often in close proximity. Mediators will not take sides, make judgements, or tell the participants what to
do. Instead, they act as neutral guides, helping those in conflict get the issues out in the open and develop mutually agreeable solutions.
Why does mediation work?
Mediation is empowering as it gives the responsibility back to the people involved.
Participants work together to find new ways of living alongside each other respectfully, and they themselves are responsible for ensuring that their side of the agreement is kept.
How do I find out more?
Search “Community Mediation” to find your local service or ask your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.
Thanks to Wandsworth Mediation Service for this helpful guidance.
Our first ever annual ‘Insights’ survey results
In June we ran our first ever INSIGHTS survey asking members and non-members alike about how they perceive Neighbourhood Watch, and how satisfied our members are with the support and information they receive and over 6,000 people responded and gave us their thoughts..
When asked to choose from a selection of words which best describe Neighbourhood Watch currently, the four words chosen the most were: NEIGHBOURLY, COMMUNITY- FOCUSED. INFORMATIVE and PREVENTATIVE.
When asked what words people would like the charity to be associated with, we received similar responses but SUPPORTIVE replaced PREVENTATIVE in the top four.
82% of respondents were either members already or would definitely or probably join if there were a scheme in their area. 67% would recommend joining to friend, neighbour or relative, with just 11% unlikely to do so. Of the people who would not recommend joining or weren’t sure, the main reasons they gave were that they did not know enough about us (53%) or that they did not think we understood the issues affecting their community (28%).
Overall the majority of respondents agreed that Neighbourhood Watch is effective at building
community spirit (70%), preventing crime (68%) and supporting vulnerable people (62%) and is representative of their community (64%).
Our volunteers were generally satisfied with the support they received (70%). However, they were slightly less satisfied with how easy it was to contact someone to help them in their role (58%). Unfortunately only 23% said they feel well-valued for what they do, 19% said they felt
moderately valued and 10% said they didn’t feel valued at all, so we know we have work to do here.
Some of the lessons we have learnt from this survey are:
- we need to raise public awareness of what we do, our focus within communities and the impact that we can have
- we need to improve recognition of volunteers and ensure they feel valued for what they do
- we should continue to listen to our members and integrate them into our strategy
For more information contact Jayne Pascoe on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer seminars: Actions speak louder than words
We are delighted to announce our annual Summer Seminars will be held on 17th, 18th and 19th August. This year’s theme is ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.
Due to Covid-19 this year the seminars will again be held online. Coordinators will shortly receive invitations to book their place.
Topics will include updates on how we are doing as an organisation, exciting development opportunities for our volunteers, and hearing directly from some of our volunteers on how
they make a difference in their communities. With our big 4-0 anniversary next year, we will be discussing how we will celebrating this fantastic milestone.
PROTECT YOU POOCH campaign a huge success
In May we ran a very successful dog theft campaign, PROTECT YOUR POOCH. The campaign raised awareness about how best to prevent dogs being stolen and lobbied for a change in the law to make pet theft a specific offence to reflect the impact of dog
theft on pet owners and enable the extent of this offence to be better understood through improved recording by the police.
campaign was supported
by the Met Police, Crimestoppers, Dr Daniel Allen (founder of the Pet Theft Reform campaign) and Katy Bourne the Sussex PCC, who we were delighted to welcome as speakers
at our online webinar,
which was watched
people. The webinar covered different aspects of dog theft, with Katy Bourne presenting on the results of a dog theft survey she led on earlier in the year and the new government Pet Theft Task Force, Dr Daniel Allen speaking about the Pet Theft Reform campaign and his research into this subject, Sgt Matt Coe from the Metropolitan Police Service reiterating how best to protect your dog from theft, and Annabelle Goodenough sharing information about how people can report anonymously to Crimestoppers any suspicions or concerns they have about potential offenders.
There was a huge amount of interaction from participants during the webinar and we received excellent feedback.
Emerging and continuing fraud risks
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s (NFIB) monthly fraud update for May has identified that Covid-19 vaccination scams, holiday fraud and job application fraud continue to be likely given the easing of travel restrictions and
the impact of Covid-19 on the job market. In addition, new, emerging fraud threats have been identified to look out for:
- Action Fraud recently received 537 reports in 48 hours relating to fake emails purporting to be from British Gas. The emails state that the recipient is due a refund because of overpayment, and there is a link to a phishing website requesting personal and financial information. Do not
be taken in by this – forward all scam emails to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) email@example.com.
- Fraudsters have been using Covid-19 to solicit donations by impersonating
legitimate charities. With the crisis in India being reported globally, it is likely fraudsters may
use that situation and the reports
of limited access to vaccinations in other poorer countries to scam members of the public wanting to help.
- A new sextortion scam has emerged in Canada where scammers are superimposing a victim’s face onto a nude photo or a video of an individual engaging in sexual acts. The scammer threatens to send the image/video to family or friends unless the victim pays money. Although the reports are based in Canada, we may see cases of this in the UK, and young people should be alerted to look out for and report any instances where they are targeted in this way.
- There has been a reported increase in the volume of young people suffering from mental health problems and a surge in the number being referred to mental health services due to the pandemic. We know through prior research that individuals with mental health issues are more likely to fall victim to scammers.
Cryptominer malware hidden inside online games
Avast Threat Labs report cracked versions of online games such as Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 5, and The Sims 4 that are laced with hidden malware – over 222,000 systems infected worldwide
Avast is warning gamers all over the world that they could be inadvertently helping cybercriminals make money by downloading illegal cracked games hidden with malware.
Versions of popular games such as Jurassic World Evolution, Grand Theft Auto V, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 are being given away for free in forums, however hidden inside these games is a piece of crypto- mining malware called Crackonosh, which secretly generates digital money once the game has been downloaded. So far, hackers have made over $2m (£1.4m) with the scam.
What does Crackonosh do?
When Crackonosh is installed, it automatically starts mining Monero crypto coins
without the users’ knowledge. It also
takes actions to protect itself, including disabling Windows Updates and uninstalling all security software.
The crypto-miner programme, which then runs in the background, can slow down computers significantly, increase the users’ electricity bills and put them at risk of security threats.
Which games are infected?
Crackonosh was found in the cracked versions of the following games:
NBA 2K19, Grand Theft Auto V, The Sims 4 Seasons, The Sims 4, Fallout 4 GOTY, Far Cry 5, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Jurassic World Evolution, Call of Cthulhu, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, We Happy Few.
How to Avoid Crackonosh
The best way to protect against Crackonosh is to avoid it entirely by downloading games and other software only from official websites and stores.
Users are also advised to be aware of illegitimate sources offering paid-for games for free and to avoid unofficial vendors.