In The Know – Action Fraud – Block scam callers – Protection for Dementia Sufferers

Do you know somebody with dementia or do you care for somebody with the illness? Stop scammers targeting them with Trading Standards’ call blockers.

Following the launch of my #beScamWise campaign earlier this year I have now joined up with the National Trading Standards team to become a Scambassador, I am committed to cutting scam-based crimes here in Lancashire.

As a Scambassador I have been informed that The National Trading Standards Scams team have secured government funding to provide free call blocking technology called trueCall Secure. This is to protect those in the most vulnerable circumstances from nuisance and scam calls.

Criminals purposely set out to target vulnerable people and for those living with dementia, it means they are extremely susceptible to being targeted with repeat attempts to steal their money and life savings.

Cold callers will prey on vulnerable people and I am committed to making sure that these criminals are stopped in any possible way. The average victim loses about £1,000, with older victims suffering more, losing around £5,000.

I want to highlight the fact that these trueCall boxes are there to help vulnerable people. The system lets a trusted caller ring the person as normal, but if the caller isn’t recognised or is flagged as a common scam caller then it acts as a personal assistant, intercepting the call and stopping it being connected.

This process blocks around 95% of unwanted calls without the phone ever ringing.

A limited number of these are available. Visit www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk to apply for a call blocker.

In The Know – Action Fraud – Police launch Christmas drink and drug driving campaign

This year’s drink and drug campaign, in conjunction with Lancashire Road Safety Partnership, was launched on 1 December in St John’s Square, Blackpool. The theme was ‘Which direction will you take?’ A hearse, police car, ambulance and taxi all be lined up in the square to remind revellers of the consequences of their decisions when going out.

The festive crackdown, aims to educate drivers about the dangers of drinking and taking drugs before driving and asks them to think about how they will get home after a night out.

Inspector Andy Trotter said: “If you’re out partying this Christmas then please plan ahead and book a taxi, check public transport times or don’t drink. If you know of someone who is driving under the influence of drink or drugs then please do the right thing and call us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously before they kill themselves or somebody else. Nobody wants to end up in a police car, ambulance, or in the worst instance a hearse.”

Sector Manager for Lancashire at North West Ambulance Service, Dave Rigby said: “Ambulance staff see first-hand the devastating impact of serious road traffic collisions and the life changing injuries, not only for the victims, their family and friends but also other road users and pedestrians. People should understand the benefits of safe driving and that they have a responsibility as both a driver and a passenger to help prevent more tragedy on our roads.”

“We know that driving under the influence of drink or drugs is still an issue, particularly at this time of year. We hope by reminding people of their responsibilities to themselves and others we will reduce the number of people involved in collisions on Lancashire’s roads this festive season,” added Rhiannon Leeds, Lancashire Road Safety Partnership Coordinator.

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Christmas and the holidays are a time for people getting together and enjoying themselves, but the message is clear, don’t let drink or drug driving ruin your life or anyone else’s.

“Anyone prepared to drive with drink or drugs in their system must prepare to face the consequences, with those making the choice to get behind the wheel while over the limit at night, or even the morning after, are putting themselves and everyone around them in danger.

“The launch of this year’s campaign highlights that drink and drug driving will not be tolerated and the police will be out and about carrying out targeted checks to keep our roads safe this winter.”

In The Know – Action Fraud – Shopping Online Safely

How To Shop Online Safely

Check the web address
Always check you’re on the correct website. Criminals can set up fake websites that have a similar design and web address to the genuine site.

 Is it a secure connection?
Web pages you enter personal or financial details into should display a locked padlock sign and have a web address that starts with https. This means your connection to the website is secure.

Phishing
Don’t click on links or attachments within unsolicited emails. The number of online shopping related phishing emails increases significantly during the holiday period.

Bank transfers
65% of Action Fraud reports during the 2016 Christmas period were linked to online auction sites. Don’t pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.

Creative Writing Course

The course got off to a flying start with 21 people attending many more than had been expected.

We were asked by the tutor Marion McCraith what experience we had in creative writing and what we wanted to get out of the course.  Some participants had written  plays, short stories, magazine articles and a few had even published novels.   Others found their experience was restricted to writing for themselves or perhaps family members.  Everyone wanted to develop their writing skills and hoped the course would encourage them to be more ambitious.

Family History Course. Possible change of date from 11th to 18th January

Due to building works Hornby Institute may be closed  during the first and  the second week in January 2018  which means moving the start date of the Family History Course from the 11th to the 18th January ( at the time of writing this is not certain).

 Therefore If you are interested in the Family History Course please register with Hornby Institute  on 015242 22227 and check the start date.

In The Know – Action Fraud – Your Chance To Surrender Unwanted Firearms

People in Lancashire are being urged to hand in guns and ammunition as part of a nation-wide firearms surrender which runs from 13-26 November 2017.

The surrender will run for two weeks, during which weapons can be surrendered at six Lancashire Police stations – Blackburn, Burnley, Blackpool, Lancaster, Skelmersdale and Preston.

During the last gun surrender in April 2016, 139 firearms were handed in; amongst them shotguns and rifles as well as high powered air weapons and ammunition. Officers are hoping for a similar success this year.

They say some people may hold firearms in innocence or ignorance of their illegality; or they may have older items in their homes which have been overlooked or forgotten. These can still be lethal if they get into the wrong hands so officers are encouraging people to take this opportunity to dispose of any firearms or ammunition they may have, however old.

Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place.

Anyone handing over firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.

Superintendent Julian Platt from Lancashire Constabulary said: “Our aim is to keep Lancashire safe which we will do by working with partners and our local communities to prevent and detect crime.

“This nationwide surrender is a very good example of how members of the public can directly help us prevent harm to our local communities by removing the risk of weapons getting into the wrong hands.

“We want as many weapons as possible and would encourage people to use this opportunity to hand them in. We’d also encourage anyone who knows about weapons being kept illegally to tell us anonymously where there are and potentially help save a life.”

Supt Platt concluded: “One weapon off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities. We will use all of the powers and information available to us to locate this criminality and put a stop to it for good.”

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I fully support Lancashire Constabulary in their campaign to remove dangerous firearms from our streets

“There are a number of reasons that people may find themselves with a firearm they should not have, whether through inheritance or legally owned guns they have no more use for, and this is an opportunity to dispose of them safely.

“I am committed to tackling violent crime and ensuring residents feel safe and secure in their communities. Handing in these potentially fatal weapons is an important step and I would urge residents to make the right decision and hand over any illegal firearms they are in possession of.”

Weapons and ammunition should be surrendered at the designated local police stations but people are advised to check opening times first by visiting Lancashire.police/uk. Anyone who is physically unable to get to a station can call 101 for advice.

If you know of people involved in illegal firearms call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, report it online at Lancashire.police.uk/report it or call 101.

To find out more about the surrender please visit our website

Flower Club – 7th December

Our last session before Christmas is on Thursday 7th December at 7.30pm in Hornby Institute.  Our demonstrator is Ros Harrison who is going to ‘unwrap Christmas’  sounds interesting.  Do come along and enjoy the evening.

Cost £4.00   Refreshments.   Raffle

The Hornby Singers

Meet every Tuesday evening at 7.00pm – 9.00 pm in Hornby Institute. New members always welcome.   No audition, ability to read music not necessary just come along and have fun.

Further information from Pat on 015242 21449