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Monthly Walks – March 2024

Free guided walks along our footpaths and bridleways taking 2-3 hours, off the roads and into the countryside.

Everyone welcome but sorry no dogs allowed.

MARCH  2024   

  • Thursday 07.03.24 starting at 10.00am
    Just off the B4194 KINLET Village Hall,
    Kinlet DY12 3AS
  • Thursday 21.03.24 starting at 10.00am
    Rock Village Hall,
    Porchbrook Road
    Rock DY14 9SD

For further details and any other announcements or changes please visit website www.rockpathfinders.uk

email: mdsskev@rockpathfinders.uk

Or ring Alan on 01299 400304

Flood Barriers to be Installed Today as Precautionary Measure

We’ve been notified by the Environment Agency that flood barriers will be installed today as a precautionary measure in response to the heavy rainfall.

For the latest information about flooding in Bewdley, please visit:

https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/location?location=bewdley

WEEKLY FRAUD UPDATE FROM WEST MERCIA POLICE – ECONOMIC CRIME UNIT – 06/02/2024 [#215036264]

ROMANCE FRAUD

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, romance may be high on many people’s agenda as they seek an appropriate way to celebrate the day. However, at the same time criminals are using this as an opportunity to devise new scams to defraud their victims on dating Sites and social media.

At this time of the year there is a rise in Romance Frauds as the fraudsters draw their victims into false relationship, gain their confidence, before the requests for money start to come in. These are accompanied by heart rending pleas about personal or family problems, and emergencies which need finance.

Are any platforms safe?

Fraudsters continue to target users of popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, as well as dating sites such as Tinder and Plenty of Fish.
Messaging sites such as Google Hangouts and WhatsApp may also be used to find unsuspecting victims.

As well as conventional dating platforms, online Gaming platforms may be used to seek potential victims since there are fewer protective measures in place.

Who are their targets?

Females over 40 years are common victims as well as younger males, but users also need to be aware on age related dating platforms too.

How does it work?

Basically, criminals will go to great lengths to gain the victim’s trust by claiming they are in a genuine relationship which is built up over time

  • They will manipulate and exploit the victim to the extent they are persuaded they are in a real and genuine relationship
  • Then, when they ask for money, the victim is convinced there is no problem with the request
  • The requests can be very emotive citing reasons such as medical emergencies, travel costs, payment of fines or taxes, or even claiming their bank account has been frozen
  • Tell-tale signs a friend or family member is involved in a Romance Scam
  • They may be very secretive about their relationship or provide excuses for why their online partner has not video called or met them in person.
  • They may be unwilling to discuss their online relationship
  • They may express very strong emotions and commitment to someone they have only just met
  • They have sent, or are planning to send, money to someone they have not met face-to-face. They may take out loans or withdraw from their pension to send money.

Stay safe

  • Never send money to someone you have never met in person
  • Never part with your bank or personal details to strangers online however genuine they claim to be
  • Always seek advice from somebody trusted before parting with any money in any format, whether it is bank transfers, PayPal, Gift Cards or bitcoin currencies.
  • Profile photos are very often fake, you can research any image by doing a “Reverse Image” search to find photos that have been copied from elsewhere.
  • Never share images of yourself that you would not want your own family and friends to see

                                          Take Five to Stop Fraud

STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
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’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud

ALWAYS REMEMBER:

  • Avoid disclosing security details
  • Emails, Phone Calls and Texts may not be authentic
  • Always make direct contact with any organisation by using a genuine phone number
  • Stop and Challenge any unexpected requests
  • Protect others by reporting Fraud and Scams

If you’ve fallen for a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk

Scam Text messages can be forwarded to 7726 to help phone providers take early action and block numbers that generate spam on their networks.

Forward Fake Emails received to report@phishing.gov.uk

If you think your bank account or personal banking details have been used fraudulently, then use the short phone number – 159 – to contact the Fraud Prevention Department of most major UK banks.

Garden waste collections

Wyre Forest District Councils popular garden waste collections are restarting later this month (week commencing Monday 26 February).

Wyre Forest District Council collect your unwanted garden waste from your home saving you time, money as well as helping the environment. Everything we collect is composted into soil conditioner.

The first week will be for customers who have their garden waste bin emptied on the same week as they have their recycling bin emptied.

You can sign up at anytime during the year and still receive a year’s worth of collections.

https://www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/rubbish-and-recycling/garden-waste-collections/

Bringing local history to life

If you are looking for something fun, free and local to do this half term, try our heritage trail app.

It will give you a new dimension to visits to Bewdley, Kidderminster and Stourport town centres.

The app will take you to GPS location checkpoints around the three towns.

You will hear stories and see the lives of local characters who will appear in-situ on your device thanks to the latest augmented reality technology.

Free Energy Home Improvements now available to residents in Worcestershire

The Home Upgrade Grant scheme (HUGs) is designed to tackle colder homes that do not have mains gas central heating. Homeowners and tenants in Worcestershire could benefit from a variety of measures to help reduce energy bills including: internal and external wall insulation, loft and cavity wall insulation, air source heat pumps, solar panels, draught proofing and many more.

Worcestershire County Council is working in partnership with Redditch Borough and Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils and Act on Energy to deliver this programme.

Worcester City Council and Wyre Forest District Council are administering their own HUG2 scheme and information can be found on their websites.

To qualify, households must not use mains gas to heat their home, have a gross annual income of less than £31,000 with a current Home Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D to G.

Funding is also available for landlords in the charity and private rented sector.

Those who qualify for the scheme will undergo a free technical survey to determine the most suitable energy efficiency measures.

For more information, including full eligibility, and to register your interest visit: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/home-upgrade-grant-scheme-hug2  OR  contact your local energy charity Act on Energy on their free advice line 0800 988 2881

All projects must be completed by March 2025.

For more information, email retrofit@worcestershire.gov.uk

Free Driver Awareness Sessions [#213329611]

Could you do with brushing up on your Highway Code knowledge? Do you know what all the road signs mean?

PCC John Campion is committed to making West Mercia’s roads safer. As part of this commitment, he has relaunched the Roads Focus campaign in partnership with local authorities.

Working together with West Mercia Police, which includes local policing teams and the Road Safety Team, local councils and council highways teams, the PCC’s ‘Roads Focus’ campaign will see drop-in and driver awareness sessions take place across West Mercia.

The driver awareness sessions, ran by TTC, are open to everybody and will give you an opportunity to refresh your knowledge of the Highway Code and improve your overall driver behaviour.

Two free driver awareness session will be taking place 6pm – 7:30pm:

Thursday 15 February – Via Zoom – Book your spot here

Wednesday 28 February – Via Zoom – Book your spot here

Logo for Neighbourhood Matters and the crest of West Mercia Police

Crime prevention [#213287464]

Burglaries:

Burglars often target the rear of the address in order to gain access.  Consider fitting locks on rear gates and security lighting. Fitting trellis to the top of fences or gates that can be easily climbed can prevent access.

For detailed crime prevention advice to help protect your home and property, please visit the West Mercia Police website:

https://www.westmercia.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/

LOCK SNAPPING

The security issue of lock snapping is a growing concern. It involves offenders using basic tools to snap the lock in your door, therefore giving access to the locking mechanism and entry into your house.

What are Anti-Snap Locks?

Anti-snap locks are cylinders that are designed and tested to protect against lock snapping, stopping a thief from breaking the lock into two parts.  This type of cylinder is usually found on uPVC doors.  You may find people refer to Anti-Snap locks as ‘Snap Safe Locks’ as well.

In order to ensure maximum protection against lock snapping, they should be tested against and approved to certain standards. The two most popular rating standards for a lock to be considered “anti-snap” (as some may say) are SS312 Diamond and TS007 3 Star.

What door types are anti snap locks fitted on?:                                                                                     

As well the standard front door on your home, anti-snap locks can also be installed on other types of doors such as:

  • Front, Back and Side Doors
  • Patio Doors
  • Wooden & Composite
  • uPVC (most common)
  • Aluminium Doors

For further Crime Prevention advice, please visit the West Mercia Police website.

https://www.westmercia.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/

Vehicle crime

Don’t let thieves get an easy ride. Follow these simple rules to protect your car.

1 Locking your vehicle when unattended and remove any valuables from within, even empty bags as the potential thief will not know it’s empty.

2 If you go on holiday and leave your vehicles on your drive, consider taking the car keys to a friends or family member’s house.

3 Purchase a signal blocking bag to house the key fob when your vehicle is not in use (Keyless style vehicles) this will prevent thieves using a relay and replicating the signal given off from the fob and stealing your car. ** Also get the signal blocking back for the spare**

4 A full faced steering wheel lock can act as a very good deterrent to a potential car thief.

More information can be found on:  https://www.westmercia.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/keeping-vehicles-safe/preventing-car-vehicle-theft/

Emily being presented with her prize by the Mayor, surrounded by Emily's brother and the Mayors consort.

Emily Wins Unlimited Severn Valley Railway Season Pass in Nutcracker Trail

We are excited to announce Emily as the winner of the Christmas Nutcracker Trail.

Having successfully deciphered all the trail clues, Emily was randomly chosen by Mayor Cllr Sarah Billett to receive an unlimited Severn Valley Railway season pass.

Congratulations, Emily, on your well-deserved prize!

Logo for Neighbourhood Matters and the crest of West Mercia Police

News from West Mercia PCC: PCC reinforces commitment to community priorities in latest budget

Please see below recent news from Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion:

PCC reinforces commitment to community priorities in latest budget

PCC John Campion has reinforced his commitment to ensure crime falls further, more offenders are brought to justice and victims get the support they need in his latest budget proposals.

The PCC’s budget proposals for 2024/25, which he will present to the Police and Crime Panel next week, are focused on building on the investment that he has made in West Mercia Police. Recognising the financial challenges the country continues to face, the PCC wants the tax-paying public to feel the impact and increased focus on key areas of concern:

Improved visible and accessible policing – communities will see an increased presence through the creation of town centre-based policing teams and 100% of Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) PC posts occupied.

Better investigations and outcomes – victims will be kept informed throughout an investigation and improved file quality will result in quicker and better justice outcomes.

Improving public contact – the public will be able to access the police in an emergency and non-emergency through improved call response times, and technology will be improved to allow digital evidence to be uploaded by the public.

PCC John Campion said: “My budget for 2024/25 sets out a positive plan for the communities of West Mercia. I recognise how important receiving a quality level of service from their police force is for the communities of West Mercia. Therefore, despite the financial challenges we continue to face as a nation, I am focused on delivering what the public have told me they want.

“This budget is focused on realigning resources within policing to best meet community priorities and what really matters to them. I am building on the investment I had made to date in West Mercia Police and working with the Chief Constable to ensure resources are directed to these areas of concern. This includes protecting police officer numbers, developing town-centre policing teams, improving response times for 101 and 999, and seeing better investigations and outcomes for victims.

“These proposals are another step forward in delivering my Safer West Mercia Plan and ensuring communities, and their priorities, remain at the heart of policing.”

Temporary Chief Constable Alex Murray said: “Over the last year we have made a huge amount of progress in improving the service we deliver; we’ve seen crime reduced, more crimes solved and ultimately fewer victims across the counties we serve. These budget proposals will continue delivering improvements for the public and it’s right that we prioritise and focus our resources on the issues that matter most to the communities we serve.”

The PCC will present the following proposals at the Police and Crime Panel on Wednesday 7 February:

4.91% increase in the council tax element for policing. This equates to £277.50 for an average Band D property (25p per week).