For information on how the Metropolitan Police Service delivers policing in our Borough, visit the Metropolitan Police website.
The site contains details of Police Stations and opening times, news, appeals, events and meetings. If you live in Hillingdon, you can visit the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) pages and identify the officers responsible for your area.
The SNT's hold drop-in surgeries where you can speak to them about any concerns that you have about crime or anti-social behaviour in your local area.
|HILLINGDON NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH - OWL
Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch continues to grow the number of residents signing up to the new Borough-wide system called OWL (Online Watch Link), which went live in May 2018, and over 17,000 residents are now receiving messages directly from the Police and NHW.
OWL allows the Police to quickly alert you to crimes in your immediate area, and crime prevention messages can be sent to you by both the Police and Neighbourhood Watch. It is a huge leap forwards in enabling the Police and the public to work together in closer partnership.
We invite you and your neighbours to sign up to OWL today at the following address:
Simply enter your Postcode, fill out your details on the screen, and submit. You will then receive an email with a confirmation link, and your login and password. If you have a domestic CCTV system (or a video doorbell) you can also join CCTV Watch which will allow the Police to see that you have a system that they can ask you to search if a crime happens in your locality.
OWL is a secure system, it is free to use, and your details will never be sold on for marketing purposes - it is the ONLY secure communications system in the UK that is Police approved under the "Secured By Design" scheme. Your contact details are only visible to the Police, your Watch Coodinator (if one exists for your road) and senior Community/Ward Coordinators.
You won't need to log in to OWL to see alerts - they will come straight to your email or mobile phone inbox - the system is very simple to use.
If you're already on OWL then try setting yourself the objective of signing up at least ONE new member on OWL in the coming month - just ask them to register on the OWL website linked above.
There's also a new OWL APP available in both the Google Play and Apple Store, search for "OWL Crime Alerts" and give it a try to receive OWL messages on the move.
If you need to contact your local Police Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) for your Ward, then you can find a list of direct SNT landline numbers, mobile numbers and email addresses HERE
Remember to use the Police SNT contact details in an appropriate manner - if a crime has taken place then you should report it first via 101 or online HERE, which you can then follow up with your Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) using the CAD number (from 101) or reference number (from online) that will be given to you when you complete the process. For emergencies you should always use the 999 service immediately.
WWW ONLINE Reporting
|KEYLESS CAR CRIME - NEW PRODUCT AVAILABLE
If you have a keyless car, you are in danger of what is termed "Relay Theft" where the signal from your key fob inside your house is relayed via a device to your vehicle on the driveway, at which point the vehicle thinks the key is in close proximity and the vehicle can be driven away.
The majority of vehicle thefts on Hillingdon Borough take place using this method.
There is a new product that uses microelectronic sensors that has recently been Police Approved and which is so small that it fits into the battery compartment of your key fob (see image). When you put your fob down the device detects that it has stopped moving, and after 20 seconds it prevents the fob from transmitting a signal until you pick it up again and ready to go - you don't even notice that it's installed, it works entirely automatically.
You can read more about the device here on the manufacturer's website: Hard-Off Security Ltd.
|LITTLE BOOK OF BIG SCAMS - 5TH EDITION - UPDATED
The popular publication The Little Book of BIG Scams contains a number of hints and tips to stop you becoming a victim of fraud and the newly updated 5th Edition has been released.
Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch gets to hear about many real cases of residents who unfortunately fall for the scams which are described in the book, and the best advice is to start out by suspecting cold callers at the door, or on the phone, to be fishing for ways to make you part with your money.
Some residents have given away their credit card an PIN number to someone calling at the door pretending to have been sent by their bank. These scams really do happen,
and the scamsters are very plausible, so we can all play our part in making sure that we don't fall for them, and that we make sure that we keep an eye on our elderly neighbours.
Whether it's someone calling at your door to ply for trade, or someone calling you on the phone to say that you owe money or have had an accident, or perhaps an email telling you that your TV licence payment hasn't gone through, then the same advice always, always applies:
If it's unexpected - reject it!
So, the message is clear - read the book and stay alert!
Click here to view The Little Book of Big Scams.
|USE OF DOMESTIC CCTV SYSTEMS
A reminder that it is perfectly legal for a household CCTV system to film beyond the boundary of your property and into a public area (such as the road or footpath).
There is no need to register with the ICO in these circumstances, however you should display a small sticker telling people that your property is protected by CCTV, which should be visible from the boundary of your property.
This rule also applies to video doorbells that film down your path and into the road, for example. Stickers are available online, for example at popular auction sites, and examples are shown here..
The rise in the number of video doorbells across the Borough is proving to be of huge assistance to officers investigating crimes, and they are providing images of evidential quality.
If you live on Hillingdon Borough and are signed up to OWL (see article at the top of this page) then if you have a domestic CCTV System or Video Doorbell then you can advise the Police that you are happy for them to contact you in the event of a crime near you to view your footage, by emailing the central inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org with your Ward, Postcode and House Number. Only Police Officers and Senior Coordinators on OWL will be able to see the fact that you are willing to allow the Police to contact you in relation to potential CCTV evidence.
UPDATE: Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch have been working with the Police to produce a Factsheet to assist residents in preparing a download from their CCTV System ready to hand to the Police, along with a template Statement.
You can access these documents below:
|HNW PUBLICITY LEAFLET
Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch has updated its publicity leaflet which tells you how to start a new Watch and what is involved.
You can view a PDF copy of the leaflet HERE, or printed copies are available from Ruislip Police Station - you can contact us via the Contact Us page of this website.
Why not email a friend in a road that has no Watch and ask them to visit our website and read the leaflet?
The more Watches we have on the Borough the greater our chances of preventing and detecting crime. Don't let them get away with it - Join a Watch, Start a Watch and be an Active Good Neighbour!
|VEHICLE CRIME - THE FACTS
Acting Police Sergeant Tristan Brown from Team 3 North SNT updates us on some useful facts regarding vehicle crime:
Recently I have viewed CCTV footage of suspects stealing a four week old car. Top of the range and full of all the latest security features the manufacturer provide. It took them a whole 40 seconds to steal the car and drive it away. WITHOUT THE KEY. Time for a reminder of my security advice of a few months ago. Please read and digest, particularly if your vehicle is fitted with keyless entry.
Over the last few months there has been an increase in the number of 'theft from' and 'theft of' motor vehicles. Many of these crimes have been reported where there has been no sign of forced entry to the vehicle or the vehicle has been stolen with the lawful owner still in possession of the keys. I have made contact with PC Pick of Thames Valley Police who has been in contact with an expert at the vehicle testing centre in Thatcham. He has offered the following information;
There are currently two main locking systems for vehicles. These are key fob and keyless entry. Both can leave your vehicle vulnerable to crime if certain precautions are not taken.
Key Fob entry
The system works by sending random combinations of code to the vehicle each time the fob is pressed. Therefore, thieves copying the code is useless so they have come up with another way to prevent you from locking your vehicle.
Thieves are overcoming this by jamming the signal from your key fob to your vehicle by using a number of different devices. These devices can be purchased from as little as £2 from the internet and come in many forms such as garage door openers and house light controllers/dimmers. Many of these devices act to block your key fobs when you attempt to lock your vehicle.
Thieves are able to block signals in whole areas such as car parks or streets by hiding these devices in bushes with a clothes peg activating the device for long periods of time and without the need for them to be in the vicinity.
There is a solution. Once you have activated your key fob, YOU MUST ensure the lights have flashed indicating the car has received the signal, and then check the vehicle is locked by lifting a door handle.
Keyless Car entry
The signal for a vehicle with keyless entry cannot be jammed so thieves will simply smash a window to steal your property.
The signal used for vehicles with this form of security system is unchanging and broadcasts continuously between the fob and the vehicle. IT CAN BE COPIED.
Fobs made by different manufacturers use different ranges and the signal can vary in terms of strength and useable distance. This is the distance between the vehicle and the range in which the vehicle will be unlocked. This can be up to 30 feet from the vehicle. For many people this could be less than the distance between your vehicle and where you leave your keys once inside your home. YOUR VEHICLE MIGHT NOT BE LOCKED. Alternatively, if your fob is transmitting continuously, the distance between where the device is in your home and the pavement, driveway etc. may be sufficient for a potential thief to copy the signal. Once copied the thief can not only enter your car but also steal it or any property within it.
The advice from Thatcham is as follows;
If you have a vehicle with a keyless entry system, keep the key in a 'Faraday Cage' where the signal cannot escape. This is the same advice as given to us in relation to tap credit and debit cards. You can now purchase small metal credit card cases at an affordable price. You can then remove the plastic card holders and keep your key fob in there. Search for RFID blocking case/wallet.
DO NOT leave anything on display that a thief may find attractive. This includes any electronic/valuable items such as phones and sat navs, but also be aware of other items such as bags, child seats and clothing.
Editor's note: Also remember to fit those physical barriers that add an additional level of visible frustration for the car thief, such as locking wheelnuts and a sturdy steering wheel lock, as shown in the images within this article.
|CYBER CRIME update
A Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch member has written in to tell us about a useful Cyber Crime guide that he has put together in a specific format, so that it can be printed out and given to an elderly relative of his who has no access to a computer.
The guide covers a useful range of topics and supplements the work already published on this website in powerpoint and booklet format.
This guide gives the facility to be able to print out a list of key points on a few sheets of paper with minimal ink usage, and our contributor has given us permission to share this with you in the hope that it may prove useful.
To view the guide please click HERE.
|ON YOUR BIKE
The Metropilitan Police are asking bike owners to focus on bike security. If you own a bike, remember to get it security marked and registered at BikeRegister. Getting your bike security marked and registered is a visible deterrent to bike thieves.
They know that if they are caught in possession of a registered bike, the rightful owner can be traced and they will be arrested. Find out if your local Met Police Safer Transport Team has any marking events planned.
|ROGUE TRADERS - ARE YOU ALERT?
Hillingdon Police have asked Neighbourhood Watch to publish an urgent warning about the increased appearance of Rogue Traders operating on the Borough.
Rogue Traders continuously trawl the streets looking for suitable victims, with the intention of persuading them that work is required to fix a problem with their property, when in fact there is absolutely nothing wrong at all.
Some Hillingdon residents have literally been taken for thousands of pounds, as the rogue traders return time after time to escalate the need for more work, and more money.
The rogue traders pictured here didn't get away with it - having conned an elderly gentleman into parting with thousands of pounds for unnecessary repairs, Neighbourhood Watch, Trading Standards and Hillingdon Police joined forces with the help of covert CCTV installed in the victim's porch by local residents.
Shortly after this image was captured, the two men concerned turned around to discover Police and Trading Standards Officers were standing right behind them.
Look after your elderly and vulnerable neighbours - if you suspect rogue traders are conning someone then don't approach the conmen, but talk to the resident and inform the Police on 101. If possible, discretely take down registration numbers of any vehicles that they use, along with the date and time.
Remember - ONLY use reputable traders, preferably those recommended by neighbours, friends or family.
Vehicle crime is more than just a nuisance, it can affect people's livelihoods if tradespeople are unable to travel or unable to work at all because their specialist tools are stolen from their van.
Although many people think that advice on vehicle crime is stating the obvious, it is clear from incidents around the Borough that many of these could be prevented if only that advice was followed every time.
This month we publish the Metropolitan Police Vehicle Crime Leaflet. Please take time to read it and follow it every time you leave your car.
With the move towards "keyless" cars seen as a selling point by motor manufacturers, this technology gives thieves yet another way to break into your vehicle. Fitting a mechanical lock that fits to the steering wheel (devices that were previously popular but which fell out of fashion with the advent of immobiliser systems and deadlocking) will put off many potential vehicle thieves as it is just one more barrier to delaying them.
Hopefully all of this will help you to avoid your car ending up like the one in our picture.
Image: Chris Talbot
More and more residents are signing up to form Watches to help the police to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in their area. It's easy to join or to form a Watch, details are on the "Our Watch" page of this website.
Many thanks to the residents of Alandale Drive for sending in these photos of the new signs being put up to mark the opening of their Watch.
Signs are provide by the HNW Office and can be erected on lamp-posts - again see the "Our Watch" page for details and regulations.
We look forward to news of more Watches!
|The Key to UPVC Security
In Hillingdon we see burglaries where entry has been gained through uPVC Doors simply because they have not been closed properly.
Doors and windows are the primary route of entry and exit for most burglars, so itís vital you secure them effectively.
It is important to remember these tips when buying, installing and using uPVC doors and windows:
If your house is fitted with uPVC doors make sure you always lock the door with a key. Simply closing the door and pushing the handle up will not prevent someone entering. Ensure that you engage the multi-locking mechanism and that the door is securely locked.
Patio and French doors
Patio doors should have a minimum of three locking points, with an anti-lift device to prevent them from being lifted from their runners. Always remember to lock your patio doors with a key, and remove the key from the lock.
|Mind how you go
Heading off for the summer sunshine? Don't forget to take some basic security precautions to avoid coming home to a burgled house.
You can read more in the Home Office leaflet Peace of mind while you're away
|Don't make it easy
In a typical year, some 25% of burglaries in London are committed through an open door or window.
When you are at home, securely close all accessible windows, unless you are in the same room and fully awake.
Click here to view the publicity leaflet: leaflet.
|Pedalling stolen goods?
Across London there has been a growing trend of stealing cycles from garages and sheds. Hillingdon residents should be aware of the benefits of two good quality locks placed on cycles (as thieves generally carry only one type of tool) and securing them to an immovable object. Audible sheds alarms are also a great deterrent, and please lock away tools.
To successfully deal with this type of crime the MPS seeks information as to where these stolen cycles are being taken to and sold from. We would ask HNW co-ordinators and members and cycle clubs / enthusiasts to contact police if they become aware of any premises (residential or other) where different cycles are being regularly seen there.
A recent arrest found a male with 3 stolen cycles in the living room of his flat and he was busy filing off the serial numbers. Many stolen cycles are being sold through the Internet. Cycle enthusiasts who regularly visit specialists sites can help the police combat this type of crime by reporting web activity and adverts which lead them to believe stolen cycles are being sold. It is the cyclists with specialist knowledge who can assist police by being our eyes and ears against crimes being committed against your community
Anyone having information or concerns should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please see below Fraud prevention advice sent to Hillingdon police by the The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has received the first reports from victims of a new type of email containing an attachment which will, once opened, download malware onto the victimís computer.
We are raising awareness of this type of email in order to help people to stop themselves from becoming victims.
The NFIB has recently recieved a high volume of reports about emails containing a piece of malware purporting to be an invoice or details of a transaction which has taken place.
This alert is disseminated because the specific wording of the email is new and convincing. It contains details of a fake order which appears to have been sent by a legitmate company (the email address of this companies is ďspoofedĒ).
The payment method is always described as having taken place by credit card, with details of a fake transaction number.
The email will state that you can find more detailed information on the purchase in the attached file, many people fall victim to opening the attachment because they can not remember placing an order and wish to find out more. Opening this attachment may infect your computer with a virus.
The telephone numbers being provided at the bottom of the email are not genuine and are often connected to people that have no knowledge of the email or that their number is being used.
An Example of this is email is detailed below:
Thank you for using our services!
Your order #1190618185 will be shipped on 30.08.2014
Date: August 27, 2014. 03:36pm
Payment method: Credit card
Transaction number: 43000F36A771
Please find the detailed information on your purchase in the attached file (order_2014-08-27_14-56-37_1190618185.zip)
Sales Department ******
The NFIB advises people to take the following steps to reduce the potential for falling victim to this type of virus:
-- Do not click on any attachments or links within emails unless you are sure that you know who has sent them.
-- If you have not recently made an order with the company specified in the email do not open the attachment.
-- Check the legitimacy of the email with the company that have supposedly sent it Ė it is a good idea to find a telephone number for them independently from the email as the phone number provided may be fake or go straight to the suspect.
-- Ensure you have up-to-date anti-virus software and perform regular scans.
-- If you have opened the attachment be extra vigilant when logging on to online banking and consider having your machine checked by an expert.
-- If you think you have been a victim of this type of email you should report it to Action Fraud, the UKís national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.
-- If you do make a report please provide as much detail as you can about the email and any effects it has had on your computer. Additionally if your Anti-Virus software detects any issues in relation to this email please provide us with the details.
If you do become a victim of this type of crime, report it: www.actionfraud.police.uk
|Evidence on a plate
In the past few months, several residents have found discarded vehicle index plates either in their gardens, stuffed into a hedgerow or sticking out of a drain.
Discarded index plates may have been used by criminals in anything from fuel theft (so-called "splash 'n' dash") to major crime. If you see anyone discarding index plates then do not approach them but take the vehicle index number of any vehicle they get into (if you can safely do so) and then call the Police on 101.
If you find discarded index plates please don't touch them, as they may still have valuable forensics that can be recovered. Call the Police on 101 stating the location - and if possible quote the index if you can see that without moving the plates.
|PIN and gone...
A reminder of incidences of residents parting with both their credit card and their PIN to the fraudster.
In essence, the scam involves a very plausible telephone call from someone purporting to be from your credit card company, or in some cases the police, stating that your card has been subjected to fraud and needs to be returned to the card company. They will have lots of details about you including your address, date of birth and sometimes the location of the last ATM which you used - this last element having been gained by following you from the ATM to your home address.
During the call, they persuade you to enter your PIN into the telephone keypad to confirm who you are, and then state that a courier will call to collect the card from you in about 20 minutes. With the card and PIN in their possession, they then empty your account.
Hillingdon residents need to realise that, however plausible the caller may seem, you will NEVER be asked by anyone for your PIN number, the only place you ever enter that number is into an ATM itself or into a POS (Point of Sale) card reader in a shop.
Similarly a courier would NEVER be sent to collect a credit card - in a genuine case of your card being mis-used they would issue a new card and you would destroy the old one.
Let's all work to stamp out this type of fraud in Hillingdon by being aware and alert if called.
|Are you well Sheducated?
A timely reminder to our watch members of SHEDUCATE crime prevention.
When considering your garden, it is important to remember how to protect your property from opportunist thieves. How many of us consider crime when we look at our gardens? To the thief anything can be stolen, whether opportunist or carefully planned. Think how much you have spent on plants, garden equipment, tools and furniture for your garden. Could a thief have their eye on your new lawn mower?
Your garden is your first line of defence against crime. Whilst you are out in your garden, it is well worth checking that your fences are secure and getting any repairs done as soon as possible to ensure there is no easy access for potential thieves.
Make sure your shed is up to the job. Shed doors and door frames can be easily reinforced, especially around the lock.
Remember a thief can get tools from your shed to use on your home, a screwdriver or a spade is very handy to the burglar.
Click to read our summary or to download our leaflet on Sheducate.
The Crime Prevention Website has a wide range of information on how to prevent crime, plus a Home Security Survey which can be taken anonymously. The site is run by retired detective Calvin Beckford who is a Hillingdon resident and who is available to come and talk to local watches on request.
Create a FREE private and secure portfolio of all your personal property using the Immobilise website. The Police always check the Immobilise website to see if they can identify the lawful owner of stolen property..
Crime statistics for the whole of the Hillingdon Borough are available on the MPS Crime Mapping website.
For many years HNW produced a monthly newsletter which was distributed to all members who are part of a Watch. Following the sad passing of our editor we have suspended production of the Newsletter for the time being.
You can view previous editions on our Newsletters page.
|HNW are grateful to the following Residents Associations for linking to us on their websites:
If your Residents Association links to us please email us using the address on the Contact Us page and we'll add you to our list!
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