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LOCAL NEWS UPDATES
Last updated Tuesday 13th February 2018

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Sponsor your local Volunteers Awards

After last year's successful Staffordshire Moorlands Volunteers Award, Support Staffordshire is now planning this year's award for the Moorlands and initiating a new volunteers' award for Newcastle-under-Lyme. Volunteers are involved in so many aspects of community life and this is a great opportunity to thank them for their amazing contribution and dedication. To show the winners just how much they are appreciated, it is lovely to be able to give them a prize and some nice refreshments at the award giving events in June.

Support Staffordshire is looking for sponsorship from local businesses for the prize and refreshments. So if you would like to offer some sponsorship – perhaps a voucher for a meal or other activity – and help to celebrate our unsung community heroes in Moorlands and Newcastle, Support Staffordshire would love to hear from you.

In 2017 Moorlands resident Sarah Gregory was announced as the Moorlands Volunteer of the Year after a panel considered 30 nominations, from which they picked the top 4, followed by an online vote by over 400 individuals. Sarah volunteered for Headway, a charity offering essential rehabilitation for adults who have sustained or acquired a brain injury.If you are interested in sponsoring or getting involved in either the Newcastle or the Moorlands volunteer awards, please contact Kathryn Bentham on 01538 381356 email Kathryn.bentham@supportstaffordshire.org.uk or visit our online giving page https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/supportstaffordshire

Join us in celebrating our unsung heroes and making North Staffordshire volunteers proud.

For more information about Support Staffordshire please call into the Moorlands branch reception at Bank House, 20 St Edwards Street, Leek or call 01538 381356 and follow @supportstaffs and @suppstaffsmoor for the latest updates.


Fraud Alert: Flight Ticket Fraud

Fraudsters are attempting to entice victims who are looking for cheap flights abroad.

Victims have reported booking tickets via websites or a “popular” ticket broker, only to discover that after payment via bank transfer or electronic wire transfer, the tickets/booking references received are counterfeit. In some cases, all communications between the company or broker and the victim have been severed.

Fraudsters are targeting individuals who are seeking to travel to African nations and the Middle East, particularly those wishing to travel in time for popular public and religious holidays.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it us on 101 or to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 , or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk .

 


Car Safety

A message to all readers please ensure that when leaving vehicles unattended that all valuables are taken away from the vehicle or placed out of sight and ensure that they are securely locked.

There have been a number of incidents whereby people have been seen peering through car windows and also trying to gain entry by trying the handle.

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Fraud Alert: Phantom Debt Fraud

We are aware of an increase in the number of calls to members of the public by fraudsters requesting payments for a "phantom" debt. Please share this information with elderly and vulnerable.

The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a debt collector, bailiff or other type of enforcement agent. The fraudster may claim to be working under instruction of a court, business or other body and suggest they are recovering funds for a non-existent debt.

The fraudsters are requesting payment, sometimes by bank transfer and if refused, they threaten to visit homes or workplaces in order to recover the supposed debt that is owed. In some cases, the victim is also threatened with arrest.

We would always advise the following:

  • Make vigorous checks if you ever get a cold call. Bailiffs for example, should always be able to provide you with a case number and warrant number, along with their name and the court they are calling from; make a note of all details provided to you.
  • If you receive a visit from a bailiff, they must always identify themselves as a Court Bailiff at the earliest possible opportunity. Ask to see sight of their identity card which they must carry to prove who they are, this card shows their photograph and identity number. They will also carry the physical warrant showing the debt and endorsed with a court seal.
  • If you work for a business and receive a call or visit, be sure to speak with your manager or business owner first. Never pay the debts yourself on behalf of the business you work for; some fraudsters have suggested employees make payment suggesting they can then be reimbursed by their employer when in reality the debt is non-existent.

If you have been a victim of fraud call us on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 www.actionfraud.police.uk

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Alert: Bogus Officials across Stoke-On-Trent

We are urging residents, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, to be on their guard as we received several reports yesterday (31 January) of bogus officials and distraction burglaries across Stoke-On-Trent.

We are reminding residents to never allow any unsolicited visitors into their home, however convincing they may sound.  Always check the identity of callers first and, if you are unsure, or suspicious about their intent, please contact us immediately on 999.

Also known as distraction burglars, bogus callers trick their way into people's homes to steal money and valuables. They make themselves seem genuine and plausible while your attention is elsewhere.

Reports included people claiming to come from the council and water-board claiming that the property or garden needs essential/urgent maintenance.

They often work in pairs; one to keep you talking at the front door while the other tries to access your house from a back door or window. Some might even plead for help, such as asking for a glass of water.

Remember - it's your home and you can say 'no' and ask them to leave.

These types of criminals often target the elderly and vulnerable so we ask that you also remind your relatives, friends and neighbours of the need to be wary of these types of callers.

We take this type of crime very seriously and are working hard to catch these criminals, which is why it is important that anyone with any information is asked to contact us on 101 quoting incident number 668, 615 413,414,568,664 (31 of January)

Further information support and guidance can be found on our website https://www.staffordshire. police.uk/article/2321/Bogus- Officials

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Businesses- Free Cyber financial crime training

Do you require assistance in training staff on cyber-crime? I can attend your business and deliver an input to your staff regarding online financial crime. A free service that can help protect your company from fraudulent activity. Staff awareness regarding cyber crime and fraud has been identified as low and I can help to improve this. A couple of hours could help prevent your business from becoming a victim of fraud or hacking.

Contact me via digital.pcso@staffordshire. pnn.police.uk or 07970700342 for further details and to arrange an appointment.

Digital PCSO Matthew Hough-Clewes

Staffordshire Police


Hate Crime online surgery

We will be holding an online surgery this Thursday 1 February 7:00pm onwards  for residents across Staffordshire who wish to discuss with officers issues and concerns about hate crime.

Hate Crime are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that persons disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity. This online surgery will focus specifically on hate crime which is targeted  at an individual's sexual orientation. We are hoping to hold further surgeries discussing other aspects of hate crime over the coming weeks.

To take part in the live surgery please visit our website https://www.staffordshire. police.uk/hatecrime or use #staffspolicelivechat

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Theft of a 16ft trailer from Oakamoor Road area of Cheadle

26th January 2018 1:37pm - A large 16ft flat bed Ifor Williams trailer has been stolen from the Oakamoor Road area of Cheadle on 24th January 2018 between the hours of 17:00 and 18:00.
Can anyone with information please ring 101 quoting incident number 150 of 25/01/18

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Criminal Damage

At approximately 10.30pm on 23/01/2018 criminal damage was caused to a window at an address on Princess Avenue in Leek.

Anyone with any information please contact Staffordshire Police on 101 and quote serial 864 of the 23/01/2018

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Advice: Safeguarding - Be activity wise - Advice for parents


When we talk about safeguarding, lots of people think about schools being responsible for children whilst they are there.

But the classroom isn't the only place it's important to make sure that children are safe and well-cared-for.  Children may attend a range of activities outside of school and home.

Safeguarding is everyone's business. It's important that parents know of the checks they can make to help keep children safe when taking part.

It's okay to C.H.E.C.K . with the people leading the activity:

  • Are you confident they are qualified to lead the activity?
  • Do you have a history of leading activities?
  • Do you have experience of working with children and teens?
  • Have you undergone any necessary police checks ?
  • Do you have knowledge of your safeguarding responsibilities?

It's also useful to ask:

  • Do you have a photography/social media policy? (such as getting parental consent before taking any photos, posting on social media etc)
  • Do you have a safeguarding policy?
  • Have you done any safeguarding training?
  • Are you, or any of the adults involved, first aid trained?
  • Are you insured to run this activity?

For more advice, visit your local safeguarding children board website:

https://www.staffsscb.org.uk/ ParentsCarers/Be-Activity- Wise-advice-for-parents/Extra- curricular-activity-advice- for-parents.aspx

or call the First Response Team on: 0800 1313 126  email: FirstR@staffordshire.gov.uk

Emergency Duty Service – Out of Hours: 0345 604 2886

National helpline numbers (free of charge)

NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000

Child line: 0800 1111

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Advice: Safeguarding - Be activity wise - Advice for activity leaders

As the safety of children is everyone's business, the voluntary sector, Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Board and Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board have put together some advice for anyone working or volunteering with children and young people so that they are:

  • are able to recognise child abuse and be alert to potential indicators of abuse or abusers
  • have greater confidence in their ability to communicate appropriately with a child or young person
  • share information with others to help inform a good understanding or assessment of a child's or young person's circumstances
  • know how to work together and communicate well with parents or carers.

There is lots of information and training available on safeguarding children that would help support you in your role as an activity leader.

If you lead activities with children and young people, don't forget to C.H.E.C.K . your safeguarding responsibilities:

  • Are you confident that you're qualified to lead the activity?
  • Do you have a history of leading similar activities, and any supporting references?
  • Are you experienced in working with children and young people?
  • Have you undergone any necessary police checks ?
  • Do you have a good knowledge of your safeguarding responsibilities?

For more advice, visit your local safeguarding children board website:

https://www.staffsscb.org.uk/ Professionals/Be-Activity- Wise-Activity-Leaders/Advice- to-be-safegurading-reading- this-summer.aspx

or call the First Response Team on: 0800 1313 126  email: FirstR@staffordshire.gov.uk

Emergency Duty Service – Out of Hours: 0345 604 2886

National helpline numbers (free of charge)

NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000

Child line: 0800 1111

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Alert: Appeal - Leek

We are appealing for help to trace relatives of a man who has died.

66-year-old John Steel from Barngate Street in Leek sadly passed away on Friday 12th January. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

HM Coroner for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire needs to trace Mr Steel's next of kin.

Any family members of Mr Steel, or persons who can provide information as to possible relatives, are asked to contact Hartshill Coroner's Office on 01782 234794

 


Appeal: Did you witness a road collison in Mill Lane, nr Hulme End?

We're appealing for witnesses following a fatal road traffic collision in the Staffordshire Moorlands on Friday night (5 January).
Officers from our Collision Investigation Unit were called to the B5054 Mill Lane, towards Hulme End, at around 10.35pm after a Grey BMW 1 series left the road to the offside and collided with trees.
The driver of the vehicle, a 35-year-old man from Cheddleton, sadly died at the scene as a result of his injuries.
The man's family have been informed and are receiving the appropriate care and support from specially trained officers. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
A road closure was in place for six hours whilst officers carried out a detailed investigation into the circumstances of the collision.

If you witnessed the incident or saw the BMW beforehand please contact us on 101 quoting incident 813 of 5 January.

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Fraud Alert: Fraudsters impersonating Police officers

We have been made aware of a reoccurring crime where fraudsters are cold calling victims purporting to be police officers with the intention of obtaining personal/financial information and money.

Please share this information and advice with vulnerable family and friends

Victims have received a phone call from a fraudster who tells them they are speaking to a police officer from Greater Manchester Police and that they need them to assist in an undercover investigation.   Victims are requested to withdraw cash from their bank accounts which is then collected by a courier later that day.

We would always advise the following:-

The police or your bank would never ask someone to aid an investigation by withdrawing or transferring money.

Never give out or confirm personal and/or financial information to anyone over the phone.

If you receive one of these calls, end it immediately and call us on 101 if they have stated they are coming to collect the money or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 .

For the latest fraud alerts and advice visit  https://www.staffordshire. police.uk/article/8201/Latest- Fraud-Alerts

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Fraud Alert: Private school payment diversion fraud (Parents)

Fraudsters are placing themselves in the middle of transactions between parents and private schools. The fraudster contacts the parents outlining details and payment instructions for the latest school fees. Initial contact appears to primarily be made via email and often from the school's own compromised email system. However the NFIB has also seen instances where the email address used is similar to that of the school (i.e. nn instead of an m).

The victim then makes the required payment into the bank account which is in the control of the fraudster. By the time the fraud has been identified, the funds have already been dissipated.

In several instances there has been a strong social engineering element at play within the email, with the fraudster suggesting a discount on the fees can be obtained if the parents pay early.

Advice for parents:

Always verify email payment changes in respect of payment fees with the school directly using established contact details you have on file, especially for ones which are not expected or for a different amount than expected.

Always review requests to changes for payment requests. Check for inconsistencies or grammatical errors, such as a mis-spelt school name or a slightly different email address.

Don't be afraid to verify details when being asked to make fee payments into a new bank account.

For the latest fraud alerts visit: https://www.staffordshire. police.uk/article/8201/Latest- Fraud-Alerts

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Fraud Alert: Private school payment diversion fraud (Schools)

Fraudsters are placing themselves in the middle of transactions between parents and private schools. The fraudster contacts the parents outlining details and payment instructions for the latest school fees. Initial contact appears to primarily be made via email and often from the school's own compromised email system. However the NFIB has also seen instances where the email address used is similar to that of the school (i.e. nn instead of an m).

The victim then makes the required payment into the bank account which is in the control of the fraudster. By the time the fraud has been identified, the funds have already been dissipated.

In several instances there has been a strong social engineering element at play within the email, with the fraudster suggesting a discount on the fees can be obtained if the parents pay early.

Advice:

Ensure all administration staff are aware of this fraud. 

Ensure staff are aware of protocols regarding not opening links or attachments from unexpected or suspicious emails in the event the email system may get compromised.

Review password protocols and ensure those that are used are strong, as long as possible and contain a combination of letters as well as numbers and symbols.

Review internal procedures regarding how the fee payments are requested and ensure these are relayed to the parents so they can easily identify suspicious requests.

Ensure computer systems are secure and that antivirus software is up to date.

To help combat "typo squatting" the school could consider registering similar domain names.

Ensure required security updates to computer systems are completed.

Consider using a payment gateway for any monies required to be received from parents.

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert


Upcoming roadworks: Hillside Road, St Edwards Road, Cheddleton

On 2 January 2018  works will start for  major footway resurfacing along St. Edwards Road, Westwood Close, and the sections of Hillside Road. 

For more information please see the  Staffordshire County Council website.


CHARITY RECEIVES WELCOME FUNDS

A local charity is celebrating after receiving over £1200 from the Co-op Local Community Fund. Support Staffordshire's Community Transport Scheme was one of three local groups that received the funding through the Co-op donating one per cent to charity on purchases of their branded products. Support Staffordshire's Community Transport Scheme operates three minibuses for local voluntary groups to use to transport their members to regular clubs or special days out. Over the last year the minibuses made nearly 300 journeys, travelling over 5500 miles; carrying some of the most vulnerable members of our local community to meet friends, socialise and have a hot meal.

Sally Bentley, Community Transport Officer for Support Staffordshire, said ‘This money will help make a real difference to our scheme. Keeping three minibuses on the road can be expensive so this funding is very much appreciated. I would like to thank the Co-op and its members for this generous donation.'

If anybody wishes to book our minibuses, would like to become a volunteer driver or has a business and would like to advertise on the vehicles please contact Sally Bentley, Voluntary & Community Transport Officer for Support Staffordshire on 01538 381356 sally.bentley@supportstaffordshire.org.uk
Photo: Sally Bentley, Voluntary & Community Transport Officer for Support Staffordshire, receives cheque from Kristian Stutz, Leek Co-op store manager


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