Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire
In this Crime prevention in Lincolnshire blog you’ll find information and tips on how to prevent and/or identify scams, abuse, fraud, slavery and much more. Together we can report it and help stamp it out.
In an emergency dial 999 to get through to the Lincolnshire Police control room. If it’s an emergency but you’re unable to talk, add 5 5. For non-emergency calls to Lincolnshire Police use the 101 number.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! We all love a bargain and the majority of us would welcome some extra money but be cautious because there are a lot of fraudsters around. If you didn’t enter a competition, you didn’t win it! Never give your bank details, password or PIN away. Fraudsters will do their best to trick you into giving them up so be on your guard because it’s you’re private information. Don’t share it.
Crime Prevention in Lincolnshire
The title speaks for itself of course. However, ‘Identifying’ crime in the first place is key to understanding how to prevent it. Let’s start with a list of crimes:
- Theft (that’s a big subject)
- Assault (sexual/racial/physical/verbal)
- Bullying & Hate Crime (physical/verbal/cyber)
Too many subjects to cover in detail here so let’s focus on ‘prevention’ for now.
Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire – Property Security
Think like a criminal to prevent crime! If you’ve gone out and forgotten your keys would you be able to get into your home to unlock the door from the inside? It sounds obvious but by properly securing your property or vehicle you’re already helping to prevent crime. Therefore, before leaving your property make sure the doors and windows are closed and locked. If you are ever locked out, you’ll be able to contact a good locksmith or vehicle breakdown agency to help you regain access.
Crime prevention is all about making life difficult (or impossible) for criminals. Leaving car windows open during the summer or the engine running and car unlocked to defrost during the winter are obviously asking for trouble. Likewise, house windows left open during hot weather and doors left unlocked are open invitations to an opportunist thief.
Theft isn’t confined to vehicles and homes though. Businesses are susceptible to opportunistic thieves too. Simple security measures include ‘not wedging doors open’. Regardless of the weather, there is a good chance that a wedged open door is an invitation to a thief. As a result it may also result in business insurance being void! The chances are that the door is also a fire door so leaving wedged open isn’t the best use of your preventative measures!
Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire – Theft – Remove Temptation
We’ve all heard stories of Christmas presents being stolen from under the tree. Using this example and expanding on it we can help prevent this type of theft by simply removing the temptation. If you really want to leave Christmas presents out, make sure they aren’t visible from outside. Use this idea for anything in your home at any time of year. Vehicle crime is obvious. Don’t leave valuables on display. Take them with you or lock them out of sight.
Don’t Help The Thief
An opportunist thief will always look for the easy access point so leaving an unlocked window open (even if it’s upstairs) isn’t recommended. Firstly, ensure ladders aren’t left unsecured in your garden. Secondly, ensure that anything a burglar can use as a platform to gain access to your property is removed or secured.
Security lights are a good deterrent too. While the thief can see their way around your property, they are aware that they are visible too. CCTV and video doorbells are really useful tools for you too. Even a ‘dummy’ CCTV camera will make a thief think twice. As a result, I recommend that a visible deterrent is worth the investment.
Make sure garden fences are secure, garden gates are locked where possible, outhouses and sheds should also be locked when not in use. Linking outbuildings to your house alarm is good for security. A remote PIR could be linked to your house alarm system. If in doubt, ask your alarm installer/service engineer. It’s not always possible to do that of course so a good ‘off the shelf’ security alarm from your local DIY store is a good alternative.
Being vigilant simply means keeping your eyes and ears open. If there are people or vehicles acting suspiciously in your neighbourhood let your neighbours know. Local Facebook groups are particularly useful for this and as a result of your quick thinking your neighbourhood could be safer. Posting your suspicions to your neighbours could help prevent garden or lead thefts as well as many other scams. Just because someone is wearing a high vis jacket, it doesn’t mean they are legitimate. As a result you’re urged to be vigilant and suspicious. Make sure your neighbours are aware and take your concerns seriously. Your local police force will be interested too so pick up your phone and give them a call on 101
Door To Door
Finishing that title you probably think of door to door ‘sales’. Think a bit broader to include scams because scams can include rogue tradesmen/women. Here are a couple of scams that I’ve been made aware of recently:
A man in a green sweatshirt with a logo that is conveniently illegible knocking on your door. Clutching a nicely printed batch of glossy leaflets to show how he will clear your garden, lawns, pond, patio, cut your trees, paint your fences etc. He’ll offer to give you a quote and will do the work immediately.
Look at the leaflet carefully. It will look legitimate at first glance but there is no website or Facebook page. Be suspicious! If you have time to search for the business name you’ll probably discover that it doesn’t exist! You’ll no doubt find that a van or lorry is nowhere to be seen. It’ll be parked elsewhere waiting for his call. The van could even be manned by modern-day slaves!
If you agree to the quote (let’s say £100.00 to keep it simple) he’ll call his men who will do the job. It won’t take long but you may get a bill for £500.00. Refusing to pay more than the agreed £100.00 will be met with hostility and threats of violence. He failed to mention that his quote was £100.00 per person! Intimidation and the threat of violence isn’t nice. Avoid this scenario by politely declining the offer in the first place. Don’t be bullied into accepting, just politely decline the offer and close your door. If you feel threatened call Lincolnshire police on Tel 101
You get a knock on your door by someone saying they’ve been doing some work locally for the council or highways agency. Fortunately they have some tarmac left over! The caller offers to tarmac your drive for a very reasonable price. You’re on the spot – they have the tarmac and the offer is only available now!
This is almost identical to Scam 1. If you accept the quote it’s guaranteed to be hugely inflated by the time the job is done. Failure to pay is met with the usual hostility and threats of violence and intimidation. Follow the advice here to avoid these problems:
Crime Prevention – Get A Proper Quote
DON’T hire people you don’t know following a knock on your door. ALWAYS get three independent quotes for the work or employ someone you know and trust. A laminated card on a lanyard doesn’t make the owner official so don’t be fooled. It doesn’t matter how convincing the person is, be prepared to shut the door and leave them outside while you check with the relevant authority (Gas, electric, water, council etc) to see if they have workers in your area. DON’T use the number that the person at the door gives you as it may be part of the scam. If you suspect foul play CALL LINCOLNSHIRE POLICE and let your neighbours know through the usual online (Neighbourhood Watch, Nextdoor or Facebook) channels.
Theft And Burglary
Denying criminals easy access to your property is probably your first step in crime prevention. However, if a thief has broken in and stolen property what can be done? Lincolnshire police recommend that you have your property post code marked with invisible ink.
Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire – Neighbourhood Watch
Neighbourhood Watch does exactly what the title suggests. If you have a community with an interest in personal and community security it’s worth taking a look at their website.
Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire – The ‘nextdoor’ App
If you are considering setting up a community watch system take a look at the ‘next-door’ App which is supported by Lincolnshire Police. Click on the picture below for a link to download the App. It will actually do you a favour!
Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire – Lincolnshire Alert
Have a look at the Lincolnshire Police Lincolnshire Alert page to learn how to get up-to-date information about crime and scams in your area. You’ll find all sorts of information there from Bike marking times and locations to Street Safe and much more.
Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire – Bike Registration
Registering your bike is free and there are additional security measures that can be included at a small cost. Click on the picture above to find out how to register, mark and secure your bike. A few simple steps could prevent your bike from being stolen which will prevent a lot of heartache and expense in the long run. Lincolnshire Police often carry out free bike marking events around the County so keep your eyes open for the next event near you.
Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire – Rural Crime
The Lincolnshire Police Rural Crime Action Team are keen to hear from you if you have any information about instances of fly tipping, hare coursing, church/farm property theft etc. Have a look at the video above to get a bit more of an insight into what they do. If you see crime happening in our rural are ‘REPORT IT’ straight away.
By clicking on the ‘Subscribe’ button on YouTube you’ll be able to see video updates from the team and keep up to date with how they are trying to keep us safe in rural Lincolnshire.
Are Lincolnshire Streets Safe?
“StreetSafe is a service for anyone to anonymously tell us about public places where you have felt or feel unsafe, because of environmental issues, eg street lighting, abandoned buildings or vandalism and/or because of some behaviours, eg being followed or verbally abused.”
Take a look at the link below if you would like to report areas where you feel unsafe:
Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire – Cyber Crime
Fraud, scams, theft, personal injury. Can we really avoid it?
If you get those emails or text messages congratulating you on the BIG Bitcoin win, the multi million pounds win, the ‘it’s too good to be true’ win; It really ‘is’ too good to be true! A simple question to ask yourself before opening that message is ‘did I enter a competition’? We pride ourselves on being far too smart to be conned. However, the reality is we are vulnerable and the criminals know it.
I hate to admit it but the criminals can be clever and devious. They are convincing so it’s up to us to be on guard, day in and day out.
Did you know that Lincolnshire has a dedicated cyber crime prevention team? I had an incident where I had to call the team for advice as I thought my computer had been hacked.
Two members of the team arrived at my office and started searching through the ‘ransom’ emails. The emails demanded payment in Bitcoin by a given date. Failure to pay would result in me being locked out of my computer with my email addresses being used to distribute further ransom messages. Any attempt to contact the police would result in…. You can guess the tone I’m sure!
STOP! Think. Don’t be fooled by these intimidating tactics. Firstly they try to put us under pressure so that we make mistakes. Secondly they threaten and thirdly they bully.
Despite being frightened and intimidated I made the call to the cyber crime team.
Within minutes of arriving the team had logged into my computer, identified the emails and confirmed the country of origin. Each one was removed safely and my computer was checked for malware. We both finished the appointment with new information. The team gained some information from the emails and as a result of the visit I learned something new about ‘phishing’ emails and the ‘dark web’.
What is it and what should you to to protect yourself?
Our computers are continually at risk so don’t wait for the ransom note to arrive. You can protect your computer with off the shelf software (Norton, McAfee are two that spring to mind). There are also free antivirus packages by AVG and Malwarebytes (the latter being good for Apple devices). If in doubt, contact a reputable computer shop for advice.
Action Fraud – WhatsApp Scam
We need to be on our guard every single day. This is a copy of a message posted by Action Fraud on 28 Mar 23 but it’s relevant every day as scammers and fraudsters are always busy. Have a read and keep a mental note to be permanently vigilant:
If in doubt, ‘report it’.Action Fraud are always looking for new scams and fraudulent accounts to close down and prosecute.
Crime Prevention – Passwords
Using the same password for everything is very helpful as it makes remembering it easy. However, if the criminals discover your password (they use computers to help them) they will be into everything that you thought was secure. DON’T DO THAT!
DON’T be tempted to use one password for everything. Instead, use different passwords to keep your information secure. If you need to write the password down to remember it, make sure your password book is kept secure. There are various Apps that will generate and keep your passwords secure for you but only use the police approved ones.
‘Password’ isn’t a good word to use for your passwords as it’s too easy to guess. Don’t use family members names, pets names, hobby names etc. as these are all words that are likely to pop up on your social media posts. Hackers computers will easily guess them. Creating random passwords work because they aren’t words that are usually associated with you.
Use three random words to make life even more difficult for the hackers. In addition use symbols ($, @, %) in your passwords to make guessing them even more difficult. Some computers will even generate complicated passwords for you but those passwords are difficult to remember and type. Frequently used passwords need to be memorable for you.
Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire – Trust The Police
Goodness knows what those emails would have done to my mental health if I had ignored them or paid the ransom. Despite being frightened by the emails, my trust in the police paid dividends. Moreover, they proved to me that my computer was clean and secure. They introduced me to some additional security measures and subsequently saved me a lot of money and heartache.
Crime Prevention In Lincolnshire – If It Seems Too Good To Be True…
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! We all love a bargain and the majority of us would welcome some extra money. Be cautious because there are a lot of fraudsters out there. Consequently, the chances of you being targeted by fraudsters is high. As a result, you need to always be on your guard.
NEVER give your bank details out. If fraudsters contact you posing as your bank and ask for your PIN and/or bank details to ‘pass the security’ rest assured that it’s a SCAM! Your bank or credit card company will never ask for those details.
Be one step ahead of the fraudsters by setting up security measures with your bank or credit card company. Contact them to discuss your telephone and online security measures.
Holiday Romance, Romance & Family Fraud
The worst thing about these types of fraud are that the victims sometimes feel too embarrassed to report the crime.
Have a look at this Lincolnshire County Council video on this YouTube link for an insight into Romance Fraud.
“Don’t take anyone at face value…” Scammers will try to befriend you, will often get very personal with their conversations very quickly. They’ll be keen to get you away from the social media platform (if that’s where you met them) because they want to talk privately without fear of intervention. Stories include ‘hard luck’ instances where they need money quickly. As a result you may feel panicked into sending cash. Don’t be tempted! STOP the conversation. I recommend that you talk to family and friends.
Talk to the police if you have suspicions of a romance fraud. Firstly, DO NOT SEND MONEY to anyone you have never met or don’t know. Secondly, take time to think about the conversations rationally. Thirdly, never feel ‘silly’ for having fallen for the charms of the scammers. Finally, do contact Lincolnshire Police if you have concerns.
Family fraud can happen very quickly and out of the blue. Because of this it’s important to share some basic information to help prevent you from becoming a victim:
Getting a text, Messenger or WhatsApp message from a ‘family member’ who is urgently in need of money and help will obviously make you concerned. They may be calling from an unusual phone number but explain it away as (part of the scam) having their phone stolen or confiscated…
STOP! THINK! These are probably the words of a scammer who is trying to get you to send money. STOP! THINK! Take a minute to think. Don’t be panicked into making hurried decisions. STOP! THINK! Instead of panicking, call the number of your family member (the number that you know to be true) to see if they answer. The chances are that they are fine and have no idea someone is trying to contact you on their behalf! It’s a scam. Above all, don’t send money, STOP! THINK! Call the police because they will help and they want to get as much detail as they can to make the appropriate arrests.
Be aware of ‘good deals’ so make sure you check and check again before booking. Have a look at the full blog by Action Fraud by clicking/tapping on the picture above.
Domestic abuse doesn’t have age limits or gender preferences. If you know someone who is suffering call the police today. You’ll find some useful numbers here but if there is an immediate threat of harm call 999. They’re here for us 24 hours a day.
GET HELP if you are suffering. Use the numbers above or 999 if you’re in immediate danger. CLICK ON THIS PICTURE for more information and to discover more about ‘Clare’s Law’ to find out if your new partner has history of domestic abuse.
Don’t Put Yourself In Danger
If you are unable to speak during ‘any’ emergency simply dial 999 and add 55. The operator will immediately see that you are in need of help but are unable to talk. Your call will be tracked and you’ll get the help you need.
Bullying And Hate Crime
Religious, race, sexual and homophobic abuse has no place in our society so don’t tolerate it. If you are aware of religious, race, sexual, homophobic or any other related abuse REPORT IT. Call 101 to report hate crime and call 999 if you fear imminent danger. Your action could result in an organised network being uncovered and prosecuted. Let’s all be more tolerant of each other. Employers have a duty of care for all staff and visitors so if abuse is happening in the workplace, report it there too.
“The role of our Prevent Officers is to help people vulnerable to radicalisation move away from extremism.” (Lincolnshire Police 2023).
Crime and radicalisation is always best ‘prevented’ rather than trying to fix an existing problem. With that in mind, you can visit the Lincolnshire Police Prevent website for tips on how to spot the signs of grooming for radicalisation and report it to the right authorities. It could be a loved one or someone close to you who is vulnerable and in danger of radicalisation by extremist groups. The best way to help them is to report them. They’ll receive the proper care and attention that they deserve.
There are several signs to watch out for but generally, if something doesn’t feel right, ‘report it’. You can find more information on how to spot the signs from the Act Early website. Alternatively, call freephone 0800 011 3764
Be Alert And Save Lives
If you only read one paragraph in this blog, make it this one. If you only watch one video in this blog, make it this one because your observations and actions could save lives. “Life has no rewind button”
Safer Lincolnshire Partnership: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk
“I know my blogs normally focus on the good things, the jolly things, the brighter side of life but some things need to be brought out into the open. Perhaps you can help to make someones life that little bit happier again. If you have doubts or suspicions make the call. Are we tolerant enough in Lincolnshire? I hope so!” (Martin 2020 ‘Be Tolerant’ blog)
Additional Blogs By LincsConnect:
Take a look back at some of the previous blogs to see what you might have missed. Click on the picture to go straight to the blog:
That’s It For Now
If you have anything that needs to be added to this blog please let me know.