Seer Green Alert
Ringmaster Messages - Archive 2003
We have received reports of two men attempting to sell
electrical goods and DVDs, at the Chiltern Hospital
in Great Missenden this morning Tuesday 2 December.
A Silver Ford Transit Van, registration D*Z
8**6 or similar is believed to be involved. URN 827 dated
2 December refers.
Please contact the Police on 08458 505505 or Crimestopper on
0800 555 111 if you have any information.
There has been a report of an Italian male wearing a
dark suit and driving a small black saloon car offering
clothes for sale from a Trade Show.
This occurred at around 10am in Gregory Road, Hedgerley
yesterday Tuesday 18 November.
Be aware that these items are not always what they seem and any
further sightings should be reported to the police on 08458 505505
quoting URN 1073 dated 18 November.
General Burglaries Alert
Now that the seasonal clock change has taken place
and you may be coming home from work or late-night shoping in the
dark, stop and think how your home may appear to the opportunist
It may be welll worth investing in a couple of time clocks in
order to turn on at least one light and maybe a radio in your
When buying Christmas presents, keep a note of the make and serial
numbers - you could even postcode them with a UV pen which would
prove the crime and could ensure you get your goods back if a
burglary takes place.
A recent survey of burglars in prison revealed that they would
target Neighbourhood Watch areas which appear inactive. A tell-tale
sign would be if your street signs are looking dated, damaged
or dirty. Are your door stickers up to date and easy to spot?
We aim to encourage neighbours to look out for each other and
would suggest that kerbside recycling boxes should be put away
before dark as this could be another sign to the burglar that
homes are unoccupied.
If you need any crime prevention advice, please contact the Crime
Reduction officer on 01494 736643.
There have been many reports in the area of doorstep callers/pedlars
referred to as the Nottingham Knockers, usually
young men with large holdalls selling kitchenwares.
There would also appear to have been an increase in burglaries
and the police would ask that you report all sightings of these
people by phoning 08458 505505 immediately.
Trading Standards would like to warn you of a company called
J & D Paving who have recently been working
in the Princes Risborough area but are known to travel
As with all doorstop sellers follow these simple rules:
1. Do NOT agree that they can start work immediately. Make sure
there is a 7-day right to cancel clause included.
2. Insist on a written quote for any work offered.
3. Always get at least 3 quotes for the work required.
As NHW members keep an eye out for elderly, vulnerable neighbours
who may fall prey to unscrupulous salesmen/traders. If door stop
salesmen call at your door, warn your neighbours and recommend
they do not answer the door.
If you have any questions or concerns about doorstop salesmen
call Trading Standards on 01296 383212 or the police if they are
seen in your neighbourhood on 08458 505505.
Bogus - Protection Registration Services
As part of the SAFER HOMES
currently in force Thames Valley police are asking us to keep a
close watch on our elderly neighbours
and to support
them in keeping their home security up to date.
Although the police and media are constantly giving out warnings
about distraction burglaries, as do our Ringmaster messages, elderly
and vulnerable people still continue to fall prey to these criminals.
Distraction burglars 'cruise' and target homes which they believe
are occupied by the elderly. They look out for signs of neglect,
handrails and ramps outside front and/or back doors and they have
even been known to sniff through letterboxes. Rogue tradesmen
who offer driveway, tree or other repair work on spec, share information
with distraction burglars about potential targets.
Perhaps you could consider implementing an 'early warning' system
in your scheme to alert your neighbours when you receive suspicious
or unwanted callers at your door. Also offer elderly neighbours
contact telephone numbers they can call if they are being harassed.
Please be vigilant and proactive by recording full descriptions
of suspicious callers and vehicles at the time they are in the
area and notify the police immediately on 08458 505505 or if an
emergency 999. Such reports are taken seriously by the police
who will check these people out and move them on if necessary.
It will also increase police intelligence about the movements
of these potential criminals.
The HANDY VAN scheme is available to fit safety
and security products - free of charge - to people who are over
60 years and with less than £16,000 in savings. Contact
01255 473999 for further information.
For people who do not meet this criteria, a new scheme called
ANCHOR is being introduced in December. Clients
will be asked to pay a nominal fee of about £10 plus the
cost of materials. Further information is available on 0800 587
The Help The Aged website at www.helptheaged.org.uk
gives information about these and other schemes available to the
4 Scam Schemes
1) We have had reports that Tesco's car park in Loudwater
is being used by unregistered salesmen with Italian accents offering
"leather" jackets. These jackets are in fact plastic
and the salesmen usually say they are on their way back to Italy
from a trade show. Any sightings should be reported to Trading
Standards on 01296 383212.
2) Again in supermarket car parks there have
been reports of shoppers being distracted whilst loading their
shopping into cars and handbags being stolen. Males with foreign
accents have engaged the shopper by asking for directions whilst
an accomplice steals their bag which has been placed in the car.
Keep your valuables in sight and secure at all times. URN 814
dated 8 October refers.
3) If you use the local Recycling Centres we
advise you not to leave the keys in your car as there have been
reports of cars being stolen from these sites whilst the owner
is out of their vehicle.
4) There have also been reports of a Bogus Official
from Aylesbury Vale District Council saying the council have received
complaints about the bad state of the property or garden and he
has been given permission to carry out maintenance work but at
very inflated charges. The man has a bogus ID and there is the
possibility that this may occur in other areas. Please check any
such person's credentials before authorising work or entry to
Any suspicious persons should be reported to the police on 08458
505505 with as much detailed description as possible.
1) Last week it was reported that two young girls aged approximately
15-16 years were calling door-to-door in the Totteridge
area claiming to be home carers. They stated that 'Barbara'
had sent them. They were unable to provide identification but
were still able to gain entry into properties.
2) We have had a number of reports regarding the 'Nottingham Knockers'.
On Friday, 26 September an incident took place
in Wallington Road, Chesham. Two males were selling
household items, ie cloths, dusters, etc. and gained entry to
the home of an elderly gentleman. He agreed to buy a sponge, 2
pairs of gloves and a calendar, then told the callers he only
had 40 pounds, which they accepted and said they would return
later for the balance of 110 pounds. The males are said to be
driving a white Transit van, with a registration similar to L811
3) Also on Friday in Blind Lane, Bourne End a
male barged into the home of an elderly lady and stole 100 pounds
from her handbag after claiming he was selling household items.
He is described as white, aged between 20-30 years, approximately
5'2" tall with dark curly hair and either an irish or scottish
accent. He was wearing a navy anorak and jeans.
Thames Valley Police would ask that you pass the following information
to your friends and family, especially the elderly.
* Official visitors should always arrange an appointment with
* Always use a door bar or chain when answering the door.
* Check your callers credentials before allowing them into your
* Never agree to have work carried out by 'passers by'.
* If you believe a bogus caller is at your door, report it to
the police immediately, dial 999. Tell the police what has happened
and try to give a description of the caller.
If you require further information, please contact us and request
a copy of the Home Office pamphlet 'HOW TO BEAT THE BOGUS CALLER',
issued January 2003. Our telephone number is 01494 736642 or by
Graffiti can be reported online on www.chiltern.gov.uk
- reporting forms. There are also forms for reporting
abandoned vehicles and fly-tipping or
you can contact Jamel Oueslati on 01494 732177.
Utility boxes (usually green), electricity substations, bridges
(including railway bridges), train stations are NOT covered as
they all have their own team for the removal of graffiti.
Chiltern District Council will remove graffiti for businesses
free for the first time but will ask that they look at a proactive
way of ensuring they reduce the risk of it happening again. A
disclaimer needs to be signed before removal can take place and
we aim to remove the graffiti within 28 days once this has been
signed, unless it is racial or distressing in any way.
2 Scam Schemes
Trading Standards have received information from members of the
public about unscrupulous traders in the area.
1) The first is a report of a lady cold calling telephone sales
wanting to visit to check householder's security arrangements,
supposedly following new EU legislation about Home Security. Whilst
this may be a legitimate company, please be aware of your doorstep
/ cold calling rights. There is a website which is of interest:
2) Also reports have been received of a gang of men who started
work on a driveway, without permission, after
quoting £300. This quickly rose up to £4,200. The
police were called to deal with this incident. This type of gang
often preys on the vulnerable people living in isolated houses
in rural locations, so again, be aware of your rights.
Cash Machine Scam
There have been reports of bank card fraud at HSBC Bank
in Penn Road, Beaconsfield.
On Saturday 5th July between 4pm and 5pm a victim
unknowingly had details of his bank card read by a device placed
in the card door entry system of the exterior doors. Once inside
at the cashpoint machine the fraudster was able to overlook the
transaction obtaining the victim's PIN number. This information
was passed on to criminals in London who were able to produce
a card which enabled them to withdraw funds from the victim's
Please be extra vigilant when using this automatic door entry
system which will only be in use outside of normal banking hours.
Check that there is nobody hanging around when carrying out your
So far this has only been used at HSBC branches.
If you have any information or know of any other incidents, please
contact PC Chadd at Beaconsfield police station on 01494 431133.
This is a message from Chief Inspector David Colchester
warning car owners to hide their car keys, This warning follows
a spate of burglaries where car keys have been taken and then the
This trend is developing because improved vehicle security these
days makes it much harder for thieves to steal a car by other
means. There is no point locking and setting immobilisers and
alarms if the keys are left in obvious places where they can be
easily found and taken. Keep them out of sight and somewhere secure.
Since April this year 35 cars have been stolen in this way across
the Chiltern Vale and South Bucks Police Areas. Any vehicle can
be the target, but so far the majority have been BMWs,
Mercedes and Volkswagens.
Further advice can be obtained from Mike Levine in the Crime
Reduction Office on 01494 736622.
HM Customs & Excise have asked for your help in dealing with
fuel laundering whereby cheaper agricultural fuel is illegally
processed for re-sale to the public.
They need information on where people are operating out of such
as lock-ups in business areas or remote agricultural sites.
The process would involve road tankers regularly visiting such
sites, dumped tanks, acid sludge which is a by-product of the
process, and diesel/acid fumes particularly noticeable on a hot
If you see cheap fuel for sale, in unusual places or out-of-hours
deliveries to petrol stations or vehicles taking in fuel directly
from lorries or tankers, please note down all possible information
including descriptions of people and vehicles, notably registration
numbers, dates and times, etc.
Do not become involved, do not buy goods or think that any information
is trivial. Please call the Customs Confidential Hotline
on 0800 595000 if you can help.
Bogus - Protection Registration Services
We would like to notify you that a bogus company
is sending out forms to register with the Data Protection Registration
Services. They may in some cases call at business premises and have
been known to produce identification cards and receipt books.
Other than paying the annual statutory notification fee of £35
on which no VAT is payable, there is no charge made by this Office
to any data controller wishing to notify.
However, this company is charging £95 plus VAT. The Commissioner
advises those approached in this way not to make any payment and
to notify the local police.
Please contact the Trading Standards Office on 01296 383212 to
report any incident.
Further information about this scam is available on the Data
Protection website - www.dpr.gov.uk or by phone on 01625 545740.
Bogus Callers - Water Board
Sadly, distraction burglaries are on the increase
and the criminal element are finding varied and plausible methods
of gaining entry to peoples' homes in order to commit crime. A common
method used is for the offender to say they are Water Board
The police have a list of vehicles currently being used by a known
group of criminals who are thought to be active in this area. They
are as follows:
|Red Toyota Van
|Red Proton saloon
|Blue Transit Van
||03 KE 2**4
|Maroon Nissan Patrol 4x4
|Red Ford Transit
||01 D 1**7
|White Ford Transit
||03 TS 6*6
If you see any of these vehicles, please phone the Burglary Team
at High Wycombe police station immediately on 01494 465888.
Thames Water has produced a new guide to advise customers of the
dangers of bogus callers
and to give peace of mind
to customers who may feel vulnerable when answering the door. The
pack includes a Password scheme registration form and a reminder
of what to do when receiving a door caller.
If you are a Thames Water customer, please call 0845 9200 800 for
your free pack.
If you are a Three Valleys customer, they operate a similar scheme
called Safeguard and information
can be received
from them by calling 0845 782 3333.
Don't forget the services of the Handy Van scheme
- they can fit door chains and/or door-viewers for residents over
60 years old. Their telephone number is 01255 473999.
You may be interested to note that BBC1
a series of programmes on Rogue Traders
this Thursday, 12th June from 8pm to 8.30pm. These programmes will
offer sensible advice when dealing with potentially fraudulent companies.
1) ATM Scam
An employee from Tesco Stores in Old Amersham reported
that her cashcard had been swallowed by the Cashpoint machine
outside the store. On closer inspection it was ascertained that
the machine had been tampered with and a metal loop installed
which caused the failure of the withdrawal. When the loop was
removed the card was found.
This is a known method of criminals in obtaining money illegally
from Cashpoints. They watch the victim try their PIN number
again and when they go into the store to report the machine malfunction,
the criminal steps in and using the PIN number, withdraws cash.
If you have had any similar experience or have any information,
please contact the police at Amersham on 01494 431133 quoting
URN 489 dated 23rd April.
This scam has been reported previously, eg with regard to NatWest
2) Bogus Caller
We have received a report of a bogus caller in Arbour View,
Little Chalfont. The incident occurred around 4 pm on Thursday
1 May, when a man, claiming to be from the Waterboard tried
to gain access to a neighbours house. When he was challenged he
ran to his car and drove off.
The man is described as being white, in his mid 20's and wearing
a yellow fluorescent jacket, trainers and dark trousers. The vehicle
was a small black car, - Focus type with registration starting
If anyone has any information about this incident please contact
Amersham Police Station on 01494 431133 quoting URN 975 dated
5 March 2003
Beware of unsolicited telephone calls and DO
NOT PRESS 90 on your key pad if requested by the caller. This
enables them to make calls which will be charged to your account.
Beware of replying to unsolicited faxes starting with 090
numbers. These are premium rate fax machines, programmed to transmit
slowly and which will cost you £1.50 per minute.
Beware of bogus invoices from a company called Universal
Books, Post Office Box no 36907. This company is sending bogus
invoices in an attempt to defraud.
If you receive one of these invoices please telephone Sergeant
Tim Cox on 01494 881915.
Gift Voucher and Phone Scam
We have been informed of the following scam, which is targeting
females in particular. They receive a phone call from the Post
Office asking them to confirm their postcode. When
this is given, they are told that they have become eligible for
some gift vouchers for their co-operation and are asked to provide
their home address and postcode in order to receive the vouchers.
So far 90% of the women who have provided this information have
been burgled, as it is assumed that their homes are empty during
office working hours. The police are aware of this scam and the
Post Office have confirmed that they are NOT conducting any postcode
Also, it has been reported if you receive a telephone call from
an individual who identifies him/herself as being an AT & T
service technician who is conducting a test on that line,
or if anyone else asks you to do the following DO NOT. They will
state that to complete the test the recipient should dial nine,
zero (90) then the hash key and then hang up. This will give them
full access to your phone line, which allows them to place long
distance, international or chat-line calls. These are then billed
to your account.
The information which the police have, suggested that many of
these calls are emanating from local prisons. The information
has been checked out by the police and is correct.
DO NOT PRESS 90 FOR ANYONE.
Would anyone reading this please pass it on to friends and colleagues
etc. - otherwise it could cost someone a lot of money.
Police would like to warn you of a possible bogus official reported
today in the Chesham area.
The male, described as white, tall, with dark hair, in his 30s
and wearing a black top and trousers tried to gain entry by asking
the elderly occupant for access to turn off her water supply.
He was unable to provide ID.
Thames Valley Police would advise that you take the following
action for doorstep callers:
If you have a door chain, please ensure this
is used before opening the door. The Handy Van scheme
(01255 473999) will fit these free of charge for senior citizens.
Do not be afraid to inconvenience the caller
- genuine officials will be willing to wait while their identification
Where possible, make use of the Password safety
system with Public Utility Companies.
If you feel the caller is suspicious, or you
feel threatened, please do not hesitate to contact the police.
If you have any information regarding the above incident, please
call 01494 736736 quoting URN no 413 of 13th January.
A resident of Seer Green has recently received
a hand-written por-nographic letter. If anyone else has been sent
such a letter it is important that they contact Sgt Tim Cox on 01753-881915