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Our Newsletters keep you abreast of news and events from sources such as Bromley Council, Action Fraud and the Met. Police Cyber Crime Unit. It’s a time consuming task so please forward them to your Watch members, friends and family. We don’t expect you to go to the expense of printing but collecting e-mail addresses from Watch members shouldn’t be asking too much.
A MESSAGE FROM COLIN SMITH – LEADER OF BROMLEY COUNCIL
I very much hope that this newsletter reaches you and your loved ones safe and well. As the Spring and Summer, which will long be remembered for all the wrong reasons, pass slowly into Autumn and with our shops, pubs, public transport and schools increasingly operating as ‘normal’, there will be an increasing temptation for some to assume that the peak of the Covid crisis has passed.
Hopefully it has, and if we all continue to obey the rules and guidelines set in place it might very well have done so but I write to you out of very real concern that the fight against this vile disease isn’t over yet and to urge continued caution as you go about your daily affairs. Despite the hardships of the past five months, and I know I speak for everyone when I extend my thoughts once again to those who have suffered personal tragedy, unemployment, disruption to their businesses and schooling in recent times, as well, of course, as acknowledging once again the supreme efforts and bravery of so many people from all layers of public services over the same period, the sobering reality remains that Bromley is now recording four new infections per day, up from virtually zero in July.
The virus hasn’t gone away. It still lurks dangerously amongst us. With the darker, colder evenings of Autumn now looming large and the outside venues of Summer increasingly becoming unavailable, the reason that so many health professionals remain very seriously concerned about an impending ‘second wave’ is surely obvious for all to see. As one giant Community, we’ve done some really great things across the Borough between us over the course of the past five months, things we can all look back on with real pride. So please, let’s not allow all of that bravery, effort and commitment count for nothing by failing to continue following the simple basics.
Little things such as not shaking hands or kissing on both cheeks when meeting friends or family. Washing hands regularly. Wearing masks where instructed to do so as well and not just for ourselves, but also out of respect and courtesy for others we encounter too. We’ve been through an extraordinary period together as residents of our Borough and we now sit at a crossroads. We absolutely must go out, enjoy ourselves, support local businesses and help to rebuild the local economy wherever we possibly can. Heaven knows they need our help. But please, we are all in this together, so minimising risk at all times and following the guidance of the day, remain critical essentials too. We are winning this battle and we will win this battle, but it isn’t over yet. Please don’t drop your guard, stay safe and well.
MULLET OVER PHISHING AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
We’ve been advised by the Met Police Cyber Crime Unit that the ‘#MulletOver’ phishing awareness campaign launched this week. Phishing attacks are a common problem that individuals and businesses face on a regular basis. The National Cyber Security Centre’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) received over 1.7 million reports of phishing e-mails between April and August 2020 with the most commonly faked brands being TV Licensing, HMRC and GOV.UK. The Met, in conjunction with government, law enforcement and industry partners, is delivering an anti-phishing campaign, launched this week, culminating in National Fish and Chip Day on 4 Sep 2020. Please help spread the word about phishing and how people can protect themselves from it.
You wouldn’t let a thief into your home but, what if the thief was masquerading as someone familiar, such as a postman, and tricked you into opening the door? Phishing works in a similar way – criminals use legitimate-looking messages and websites to trick people into opening doors to personal data that can be used to commit fraud and cyber crime. Many phishing scams have one thing in common, they start with a message out of the blue. Whether it’s an email asking you to “verify” account information, or a text message claiming to be from your bank, the goal is the same – to trick you into revealing personal and financial information. Criminals are experts at creating fake e-mails/texts that look genuine so some simple advice:
- No official organisation, including your bank, will ask you to share personal information over e-mail or text. If you need to check it’s a genuine message, call them directly. Don’t use the numbers/emails in the email, visit the official website.
- If you receive an email you’re not sure about, forward it to SERS: firstname.lastname@example.org. If it turns out to be malicious, your report will help prevent others falling victim to it.
- If you receive a text message you’re not sure about, perhaps asking you to “verify” personal/financial details, such as a bank password, forward it to 7726.
- If you lose money or provide personal information as a result of a phishing email, notify your bank at once and report it to Action Fraud: www.actionfraud.police.uk
LOCAL FIREARMS AND DRUGS OPERATION
In the early hours of 9 Sept, officers from across the Met undertook a significant operation targeting possession and supply of firearms and drugs. The operation took place in Star Lane, Orpington, Bromley and started as a result of work carried out by the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team. Officers launched a proactive operation that led them to identify a series of crimes believed to be carried out by suspects linked to this location. Due to the serious and organised nature of the criminality believed to have been committed, specialist officers from across the Met were drafted in, including from Specialist Firearms Command and Territorial Support Group.
Over the course of several months, a package of evidence was developed around the suspects at the centre of the investigation and the activity was the culmination of those many months of work. At approximately 02:45hrs, hundreds of officers in more than 30 vehicles carried out a number of search warrants at the site. The operation involved highly trained Counter Terrorism Specialist Firearms Officers, teams from Territorial Support Group, Dog Support Unit and specialist search officers. Dozens of officers from our Basic Command Unit were also deployed.
Due to intelligence suggesting the presence of firearms on the grounds, a number of distraction techniques were used to enter the site and detain the suspects. Due to the size of the site and intelligence around where firearms may be stored, specialist search officers will remain present at the site for approximately two days carrying out a thorough search. Seven people have been arrested for offences including possession with intent to supply drugs, handling stolen goods and burglary. Two individuals found at the site are being supported by the Met’s Modern Slavery Team. A total of 17 dogs were seized from the site.
CODE OF ETHICS
Finally, a reminder Neighbourhood Watch aims to build safer, stronger and more resilient communities. To ensure public confidence, members should adhere to the ethics and polices produced by our national body, Neighbourhood Watch Network (funded by the Home Office) and adopted by BNWA:
Honesty and integrity – be truthful and trustworthy;
Fairness, respect and courtesy – act with self-control and tolerance, treating everybody with respect and courtesy;
Leadership, objectivity and openness – lead by good example; make choices based on facts and your best judgement;
Selflessness – act in the public interest;
Responsibilities and accountability – be diligent in exercising your responsibilities;
Confidentiality – treat information with respect, and in accordance with the law.
Equality and diversity – act with fairness and impartiality;
Conduct – behave in a manner that does not bring discredit on Neighbourhood Watch or our partners or undermine public confidence.
Bromley Neighbourhood Watch Association
Find us on the Web at: www.bnwa.co.uk