Neighbourhood Watch Messages

Friday 29 April 2016

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Within the past 24 hours a number of businesses throughout the UK have received extortion demands from a group calling themselves ‘Lizard Squad’. 
Method of Attack:
The group have sent emails demanding payment of 5 Bitcoins, to be paid by a certain time and date. The email states that this demand will increase by 5 Bitcoins for each day that it goes unpaid. 
If their demand is not met, they have threatened to launch a Denial of Service attack against the businesses’ websites and networks, taking them offline until payment is made.   
The demand states that once their actions have started, they cannot be undone.
What to do if you’ve received  one of these demands:

  • Report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or by using the online reporting tool
  • Do not pay the demand
  • Retain the original emails (with headers)
  • Maintain a timeline of the attack, recording all times, type and content of the contact

If you are experiencing a DDoS right now you should:

  • Report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 immediately.
  • Call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) (or hosting provider if you do not host your own Web server), tell them you are under attack and ask for help.
  • Keep a timeline of events and save server logs, web logs, email logs, any packet capture, network graphs, reports etc.

Get Safe Online top tips for protecting your business from a DDoS:

  • Consider the likelihood and risks to your organisation of a DDoS attack, and put appropriate threat reduction/mitigation measures in place.
  • If you consider that protection is necessary, speak to a DDoS prevention specialist.
  • Whether you are at risk of a DDoS attack or not, you should have the hosting facilities in place to handle large, unexpected volumes of website hits.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have noticed a rise in the reporting of victims being recruited via Facebook to sell items for suspects on eBay – often stating that it is a quick way of making money.

The items are said to be bankrupt stock, purchased via auctions, and need to be sold on quickly. The majority of the items reported have been Apple Mac Book Pro/Electrical Items.

The victim places the items on eBay and once the items are sold, the victim will get paid and transfer the funds to the suspect/recruiter.

Once the suspect/recruiter gets the funds, the purchasers are claiming that they have received empty cereal boxes or often no goods at all, leaving the victim being reported as the actual suspect, and leaving them out of pocket as their account will be debited.

Protect yourself

  • Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller, for example: a mobile phone number or email address could alert you to negative information associated with the number/email address online. 
  • Be very cautious of unsolicited emails or approaches over social media promising opportunities to make easy money. 
  • When accepting offers, verify the company/entity details provided to you and check whether they have been registered in the UK. 
  • If you think the deal or offer is too good to be true then it probably is! 

 If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting

Saturday 23 April 2016

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters are texting members of the public offering a tax rebate. The text message contains a link to a website and requests to provide personal information, such as bank account information, to claim the nonexistent rebate. 

Protect Yourself

  • Don’t click on web links contained in unsolicited texts or emails.
  • Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication.
  • Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication.
  • HMRC will never use texts or emails or tell you about a potential rebate or ask for personal information.
  • If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration.



Friday 22 April 2016

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

A new investment fraud trend is targeting members of the public who are seeking to sell their wine investment.  Fraudsters agree to purchase the victim’s wine, but instead transfer the stock into their own account without paying the victim.  The fraudulently obtained wine is then believed to be sold on to other, unsuspecting victims.  
How does it work?
Fraudsters set up fake companies and websites as well as exploit the names of legitimate, established companies to facilitate this fraud.  They cold-call the victims and offer to purchase their wine for significantly more than the actual market value.  
Fraudulent documents, such as purchase agreements, are used to facilitate the fraud and are sent to the victims via post and email.  Some fraudsters have gone as far as setting up fake escrow services in order to fool the potential sellers that the payments have been transferred.    
The fraudsters send the victims instructions to transfer their wine into storage accounts held within legitimate bonded warehouses.  The victims are informed that upon doing this they will be paid the agreed amount.  The use of storage accounts held within legitimate bonded warehouses adds an air of legitimacy to the process but in actual fact these storage accounts are controlled by the fraudsters.      
Once the wine is transferred into the new storage accounts the suspects break off all contact with the victims.  The wine is then moved again, normally within days and often abroad, and, needless to say, the victim never receives the money from the agreed sale.

Protect Yourself

  • Never respond to unsolicited phone calls – if in doubt, hang up
  • Always check that the details of the organisation or company contacting you (such as website, address and phone number) are correct – the fraudsters may be masquerading as a legitimate organisation
  • Never sign over your wine (or any other investment) to another party without first checking they are authentic
  • Don’t be fooled by a professional looking website, as the cost of creating a professional website is easily affordable
  • Escrow services are regulated by the FCA under the Payment Services Directive 2009.  Only deal with a registered Authorised Payment Institution.  You can check the FCA register online
  • Consider seeking independent legal and/or financial advice before making a decision
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting

Friday 22 April 2016

Tony Murray (Police, Officer, Durham)


Smishing is when fraudsters obtain personal details of a victim through SMS text messages.
Phishing is a method used by fraudsters to access valuable personal details, such as usernames and passwords.

These can have a monetary value to criminals. Phishing can also involve sending malicious attachments or website links in an effort to infect computers or mobile devices. Criminals send bogus communications: emails, letters, instant messages or text messages. Very often these appear to be authentic communications from legitimate organisations. Embedded links within the message can direct you to a hoax website where your login or personal details may be requested. You may also run the risk of your computer or smartphone being infected by viruses. 
Once your personal details have been accessed, criminals can then record this information and use it to commit fraud crimes such as identity theft and bank fraud
Fraudsters can go on to use this personal information to commit fraud you will be at risk of financial loss.


A report has been received today in County Durham of an attempt by fraudsters to access the banking details of a customer of Barclays Bank. This has now been reported to ActionFraud.

In this instance fraudsters have sent  a text message to a customer of Barclays Bank, hijacking the thread of messages sent by Barclays Bank and informing customer that the debit card had been used to purchase products at Apple Online Store for £1976.00. The customer had not made any purchases of this type and the text message asked the customer to call Barclays Fraud URGENTLY , providing a telephone numbers and a website link.

The phone number connects through to fraudsters,  who immediately forwarded the call onto the real Barclays Fraud Dept. but the fraudsters were able to listen/record the call. This allows fraudsters to steal personal data and the data they could obtain on this occasion was all the customer security answers, confirming name, date of birth, sort code account number, direct debits and passwords. If the customer had internet banking it would also have given the PIN code to access internet banking.

This technique is highly alarming and would give fraudsters enough personal customer details to fool the bank they were the genuine customer. This would clearly expose the customer to a risk of financial loss. The customer on this occasion acted quickly and no monies have been lost.

Advice and tips

If you receive texts, even if it purports to be from your bank, or any company you have an arrangement with, then do not click on the link or call the number.

If you need to call the bank then do it on a number you know and trust or call into the branch. At this stage you have not lost any money SO STOP AND THINK.

Treat every text as a suspicious. If a fraudster happens to access your bank account with no human action by you then your bank WILL BE LIABLE. If you have clicked a link or rang a number which enables fraudsters to access your bank accounts and take your money, then your bank may not refund and YOU will lose money. This could have a devastating effect on you and your family.

If you’ve lost money or been targeted by fraudsters then please report to or call 0300 123 2040, this site also has tips and advice. Another great information site is

Please inform other and encourage people to sign up for This system provides an invitation for you to participate in the exchange of information with Durham Constabulary and Neighbourhood Watch and I use it to send fraud alerts.

'Together we can beat fraud'

Tony Murray

Durham Fraud Team

Wednesday 20April 2016

Rachel Banks (Police, Business Apprentice, Darlington)

Our colleagues in Cleveland police have alerted us to a crime that took place in their area yesterday. The victim was a vulnerable elderly lady who was duped into letting a caller into her home. The caller gave her a leaflet about buying jewellery and asked if she had any jewellery in the house. She allowed him in and he took some of her jewellery away with him, saying that he would call back. When he failed to return, the victim became concerned and called the police.
If you know someone who might be easy prey to this kind of crime, please take a few moments to chat with them about the dangers of letting someone you don’t know into your home. 
There are many reputable means that people can use to sell unwanted items, and we would strongly recommend that you never engage with people who you don’t know who try to buy or sell goods around doors. If you suspect that a caller to your home is not genuine, please call us on our non-emergency number, 101. If you notice any vehicles associated with such callers, please note down the registration number as this may help us with our enquiries.


Wednesday 20 April 2016

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has recently received an influx of reports that fraudsters are targeting the public, via social media, in relation to football tickets.
Fraudsters are posting pictures or statuses online telling members of the public to contact them via Direct Message for football tickets. This then leads to a mobile messaging conversation. During the conversation, bank details are provided by the suspect so that the tickets can be purchased.
After the victim has paid for the ticket the fraudster blocks them to stop further conversation, leaving victims without the tickets and out of pocket. 
Protect yourself:

  • Check the security of the website and validity of the post
  • Avoid taking the conversation offline to private messages
  • When purchasing any products over the internet always try to make the payment via PayPal or a credit card where you have some sort of payment cover

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police


Wednesday 20April 2016

Susie Blake (Police , Partnerships Officer, Durham Constabulary)

Illegal tobacco roadshows

Visit one of three roadshows planned to raise awareness of illegal tobacco, and how it's dealt with by sniffer dogs...

Visit the roadshow this week to see detection dogs show off their sniffing skills and learn how illegal tobacco harms our communities. All events will run 9.30am – 4.00pm

·        Wednesday 20 April - Bishop Auckland Market Place
·        Thursday 21 April - Stanley Market
·        Friday 22nd April 2016: Castlegate Shopping Centre, Peterlee
To find out more about the roadshows call 03000 261 016 or
Roadshows organised by The County Durham Tobacco Control Alliance and B.W.Y Canine Ltd.
To report suspected sellers of illegal tobacco , please contact the Tobacco Team on 03000 261 016  or by e mail at

Tuesday 19 April 2016


A rogue trader who conned an 81 year old woman into paying hundreds of pounds for shoddy work on her roof has been handed a suspended jail term.

The work done by Doyle Shaun Doyle, 30, of West Rainton, cold called at the woman's home and tricked her into paying over £300 to fix loose tiles.
The work was later found to be not fit for purpose and Doyle has now been given the 20 week suspended jail term as well as a bill for over £2,000, community service and a Criminal BehaviourOrder (CBO.)
The prosecution, brought by our consumer protection, heard how Doyle, of Fair View, called at the woman's home in Ebchester, near Consett, in May last year.
Doyle told the woman that ridge tiles on her roof were loose.
Work was then carried out on the roof and the resident was asked for £337, which she paid in cash.
Expert examination commissioned by our consumer protection team found that the work carried out was inadequate and not fit for purpose.

Cancellation rights
Doyle had also failed to provide the woman with written details of cancellation rights - a legal requirement in which a consumer is given 14 days to change their minds.
The defendant was charged with fraud by false representation, failing to provide information regarding cancellation rights, engaging in a commercial practice which was misleading and which contravened the requirements of professional diligence.
Doyle pleaded not guilty at a trial in March at which he disputed the amount he charged the woman.
He also claimed he had done the work to the best of his ability and at what he believed was a fair price.
He was found guilty of all charges and appeared before Peterlee magistrates for sentencing on Thursday.
Doyle was given the suspended sentence which will be in place for 18 months and ordered to pay the woman the £337 in compensation as well as prosecution costs of £1,710.67.
He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid community work and given the CBO for two years.
This bans Doyle from cold calling call at residential premises for the purposes of selling goods or services, except by prior appointment with the controller or occupier.
It also bars him from engaging or inciting any third party to undertake those activities.

Be cautious
Owen Cleugh, our consumer protection manager, said: "We would urge residents to be cautious when visitors call unannounced at their doorstep and would advise people not to do business with them.
"If you're unsure about whether your home needs repair work it is always sensible to ask family or friends for recommendations about reliable tradesmen.
"Legally, cold callers are required to give you cancellation rights and a cooling off period of 14 days in most situations for you to think about the contract and if necessary change your mind. If you are in any doubt just don't do business on the doorstep.
"We are pleased with the outcome and we hope it serves as a warning to others to be vigilant when visited by cold callers.
"Don't be rushed into agreeing to work and the best decision is usually to just say no.
"Any traders operating in County Durham should ensure that they comply with their legal obligations, providing consumers with cancellation rights and not making any misrepresentations as to the work they will or have done."


Monday 18th April 2016

Tony Murray (Police, Officer, Durham)

Fraudsters can be clever and can use a number of methods to build trust before asking for money for a variety of emotive reasons. 

Fraudsters are using dating sites purporting to be a genuine person looking for companionship , they are doing this online and from another country. 

They may claim to be someone and somewhere different to who and where that are. The person is not who they say they are . In fact, you have probably been in contact with and organised criminal group. 

The claim to need money, e.g I'm stuck abroad, I need money for travel hotel, family funeral bills or medical costs etc . This list is endless. 

Be careful how you build relationships online and do not send money. Fraudsters have targeted a Durham vulnerable female and scammed her into losing thousands of pounds. 

This was enabled by the Internet ( dating site and then telephone and Skype as the fraudsters built trust). She was asked to send money via money gram, but fraudsters also ask for payment via western union and bank transfers. 

Once you send money they keep coming back for more with more reasons to send and don't stop until there is no more contact from the victim or no money left. A County Durham victim lost in excess of £5000 and this initially left them with no money or food in the home and debt as a result of sending cash. 

Fraudsters are well scripted, are sophisticated operators and will use use social ego erring to manipulate victims. 

What should you do if you've been a victim of fraud? 

Report it to action fraud 03001232040 
Break off contact immediately 
Do not send any more money 

Protect yourself against romance/dating fraud 

Trust your instincts when something feels wrong 
Guard your privacy 
Never send money , documents ( personal details)or credit card /banking details. 
Never send money to someone abroad you have never met. 
Communicate with people locally and not from overseas, be aware people may tell you they are in the UK when they are not 
Never reply to communications from someone who you meet on a dating site or chat room and then wants to continue the communication by email. 

If you need further advice and have suffered loss then contact Durham police as soon as you recognise the problem. 

For more information and great crime prevention advice on this and more cyber and fraud prevention safety log onto or 

Don't become a victim of fraud , learn to SPOT IT and STOP IT. 

Please help Durham Fraud Team help others in our community by spreading the word and encouraging people to sign up to this email alert system. 

Thank you 

Durham Fraud Team 

Please use the buttons below or click these links to reply to the message or rate this message.

Monday 11th April 2016

This is a message sent via Keep In The Know. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)
(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)
Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters are targeting members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters, via email, will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer and once payment is made the victims of the fraud soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services.

Protect Yourself:

  • Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact.
  • For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.
  • Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.
  • Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer some protection and avenue for recompense.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online at: or by telephone on: 0300 123 2040.

Monday 4th April 2016


Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

This alert is a reminder to be aware of emails that appear to have been sent from a legitimate organisation. Fraudsters often use fake email addresses designed to encourage recipients to open attachments or links. You are advised that if you are in any doubt as to the origin of an email, do not open it. Consider that emails can be spoofed and used to generate spam to recipients far and wide. If you receive a spam email, you MUST NOT open it. Instead, delete it from your email system to avoid infecting your device. If you have opened an attachment from a spam email, you should get your device checked over by a professional and change the passwords for all your bank, email and online shopping accounts.
Protect yourself:

  • Do not click or open unfamiliar links in emails or on websites.
  • Make sure you install and use up-to-date anti-virus software.
  • Have a pop-up blocker running in the background of your web browser.
  • If you have opened an attachment and ‘enabled macros’ it is very likely that all your personal data will have been breached. You MUST change all your passwords for personal accounts, including your bank accounts.
  • Ensure Adobe, Flash and any similar software is up to date on your computer.

If you think you have been a victim of this type of email you should report the email to Action Fraud, the UK’s 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.


Monday 22nd Feb 2016

Action Fraud has been receiving reports of an advanced fee fraud whereby suspects phone a member of the public and claim to be calling on behalf of the UK (or British) Government Grant Department.

They go on to state that the individual has won a Good Citizen Award – of typically £8,000 – and that the grant can be released for a fee (of around £210).
Fortunately, very few members of the public have lost any money as a result of this scam but have reported to Action Fraud in order to help build a picture of this fraud and protect others from falling victim to it.

Protect yourself:

  • There is no genuine ‘Good Citizen Award’ scheme in the UK that operates by cold calling “winners” and asking for an upfront fee to release a grant.
  • If you receive a call that claims to represent such a scheme, it is a scam. End the phone call – do not give out any personal or financial data.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting

Tuesday 16th Feb 2016

A scam has been used in Durham where a fraudster becomes a friend on facebook claiming to be a relative or friend of mutual relative or friend, the fraudster then slowly works way into life of victim and appeals for small amount of cash to help with funeral arrangements abroad or travel/hotel expenses. They ask money to be sent by Moneygram or bank transfer and have even tried to convince victim to travel and give money. BE AWARE THAT FRAUDSTERS HAVE NO MORAL COMPASS and will prey on any victim regardless of their vulnerabilities.

Additionally Durham Constabulary are promoting crime prevention advice around the enablers.
Enablers to commit fraud are the home telephone, smart phones, computers and mail scams through your letter box.
80% of all fraud is preventable but that does not mean the methods used by fraudsters are not clever and complex.
If you receive a call from a business or person that you do not know or that you had not instigated yourself then HANG UP, saying simply that you do not do business on the phone. Don't fill in any junk mail competitions, lottery share schemes , share schemes that have been posted through your door ( and you had not asked for it).
Don't click on attachments in emails that you were not expecting and be wary of ANY email that purports to be an invoice or bill that you were not expecting and best advice is not to open email but to contact the company on a telephone number you trust and question directly.

Durham Constabulary are doing a lot of good work and give you information to make your life a safer one, please use the internet safely and enjoy



 Friday 5th Feb 2016


In December 2015 the UK was hit by three severe storms resulting in widespread flooding across the North of England and Scotland.
The NFIB would like to make flood victims aware of the possible threat that Rogue Traders and Bogus Trades People pose to them. Buying on your doorstep can be convenient. However, a salesman who uses clever tactics can pressurise you into buying something you actually don’t want or something that’s poor value for money.
Protect yourself against bogus trades people fraud

  • Always ask for identification before letting anyone you don't know into your house.
  • Check credentials, including a permanent business address and landline telephone number. The mobile phone numbers given on business cards are often pay-as-you-go numbers which are virtually impossible to trace.
  • Take control by asking the questions. Ask for references from previous customers or to see examples of their work.
  • Don’t sign on the spot – shop around. Get at least three written quotes to make sure you’re not being ripped off.
  • If in any doubt, ask the person to leave or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

If you do decide to buy:

  • Always get any agreement you make in writing.
  • Beware when filling in forms or when speaking to the salesperson, and ensure you don’t reveal confidential details that a fraudster could use to assume your identity or take control of your finances. This may allow a fraudster to steal money from your account or order goods and services in your name.
  • Usually, you have a seven-day cooling off period. So if you decide to cancel the contract, act fast.
  • Think very carefully about having any work done or goods delivered during the cooling off period. You may have to pay, even if you change your mind.

Never pay for work before it has been completed, and only then if you are happy with it.

Monday 1st Feb 2016


Fraudsters are sending out virus infected emails that claim a package has been seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom. The official looking scam emails claiming to be from Royal Mail contain a link to a document which will install malicious software on your computer designed to steal credentials like account names, email addresses and passwords.
An example email reads:
Title: Your parcel has been seized
Royal Mail is sorry to inform you that a package addressed to you was seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom.
A close inspection deemed your items as counterfeit and the manufacturers have been notified. If your items are declared genuine then they will be returned back to you with the appropriate custom charges.
You may have been a victim of counterfeit merchandise and the RM Group UK will notify you on how to get your money back. Please review the attached PDF document for more information. 
Document (RM7002137GB).Zip
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
To help the spread of the virus, the email also says: “you will need to have access to a computer to download and open the Zip file”. If you receive one of these emails, do not click on any links or download any attachments and report it to Action Fraud.
Protect Yourself

  • Royal Mail will never send an email asking for credit card numbers or other personal or confidential information.
  • Royal Mail will never ask customers to enter information on a page that isn’t part of the Royal Mail website.
  • Royal Mail will never include attachments unless the email was solicited by a customer e.g. customer has contacted Royal Mail with an enquiry or has signed up for updates from Royal Mail.
  • Royal Mail have also stressed that they do not receive a person’s email address as part of any home shopping experience.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online: or by telephone: 0300 123 2040


Thursday 28 Jan

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is warning people of the dangers of Recovery Room fraudsters targeting former victims of Timeshare fraud.
Recovery Room Fraud refers to a scam whereby fraudsters contact the victims of previous frauds, often by way of cold calling them, and claim to be able to recover previously lost funds. In July 2014 the Financial Services Authority (FSA) estimated that 30% of people who had lost money through Investment fraud would also fall victim to a Recovery Room fraud.

When Recovery Room fraudsters target victims of timeshare frauds they usually claim to be a legal professional or a representative of a government agency (normally within the country where the original timeshare property was based) in order to legitimise the scam. The fraudsters know personal details about the victim and their previous investment which gives them credibility. They claim that the advanced fees requested are for ‘local taxes’ or ‘litigation costs’ incurred during the recovery of the funds. It is suspected that the persons behind Recovery Room frauds are often the same people involved in the original scams even though these crimes may have occurred years earlier.

Initially, a small fee, typically in the region of £200-400, is requested by the fraudsters which they often claim is refundable as part of a ‘no-win no-fee’ basis.  The fraudsters rely on the victims seeing this as a nominal fee compared to the amounts lost, which often run into the tens-of-thousands of pounds, and therefore worth paying if it facilitates the return of their money. Once paid, various excuses are made by the fraudsters to explain delays in the recovery of the funds.  Subsequently, further larger amounts are then requested by the fraudsters.  Needless to say, no refunds ever materialise and no money is ever recovered.


Protect Yourself

  • Never respond to unsolicited phone calls – if in doubt, hang up.
  • Always check that the details of the organisation or company contacting you (such as website, address and phone number) are correct – the fraudsters may be masquerading as a legitimate organisation.
  • Don’t be fooled by a professional looking website as nowadays the cost of creating a professional website is easily affordable.
  • Be wary of any firms or individuals asking for advanced fees.
  • Consider seeking independent legal and/or financial advice before making a decision.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online: or by telephone: 0300 123 2040


Thursday 14th Jan 2016

Telephone fraud can take make forms and are enabled through your home telephone and are preventable . Reports have been received today that fraudsters pretending to be calling from 'HMRC' and 'PPI' are conning people out of there money by convincing them they either owe money to a HMRC or by stating that they have been awarded a sum of money via PPI and must pay an advanced fee to claim the money. 

One resident lost in excess of £5000 , confirmed on 14th January 2016 ,via a combination of these methods, the male was asked to send the money via 'Moneygram' , other methods used include asking victim to send funds to another bank account or via 'Western Union Transfer'.
The fraudsters are extremely plausible and well scripted and the only way to be assured of not losing money is to 'Hang Up On Fraud' , don't give or even confirm or correct personal details on the phone. Simply hang up. These scammers may already know your personal details and this should not be taken as a sign of trust as is a common method to initiate a fraud.
If you receive a call the best advice is to state you do not do business on the phone and hang up,if you are asked to call back or need to make another call to check if genuine then use a different phone line(mobile) or call a friend or family member first to ensure you have control over your phone. This is because fraudsters can keep the phone line open and when you think you are calling your bank or police etc you are still I the phone to the fraudster.

We wouldn't let a burglar into our homes so don't let a fraudster in through the telephone! 

Please spread this this message and help prevent people in our community becoming victims of crime


Friday 4 Dec


Overnight 01/12/15 & 02/12/15 a silver Audi A3 was damaged on Salisbury Terrace, Darlington. The vehicle was parked at the roadside, secure and unattended from 9pm 01/12/15, the driver has discovered damage to the roof, bonnet and drivers wing which is being treated as malicious on the morning of 02/12/15.


Anyone with information relating to this crime is requested to contact Durham police on 101 quoting crime reference DJ1507372.   



Wednesday 2 Dec 2015


There has been a recent series of incidents whereby fraudsters either phone or attend the home address of elderly members of the public, claiming to be police officers.

The fake officer/s will claim that they are investigating a fraud which they believe the elderly person to be a victim of. The fake officer/s will then request the bank cards and personal identification numbers (PIN) of the victim and claim these are needed for investigation purposes. If the first contact was made by a phone call, the fake officer/s will tell the victim that someone will be over to collect the evidence. In one case the victim was instructed to attend their local bank and withdraw all of the money from their account. The suspect was left alone in the victim’s house whilst the victim carried out the instructions.
Protect Yourself

  • Before letting anyone into your home who claims to be from any law enforcement agency, ask to see their identity card and check it by calling 101.
  • Ask if they can attend at a pre-arranged time when a family member or friend can also be present.
  • If you receive a phone call from a police officer,  ask for their name and force and tell them you will call them back. Wait a few minutes and then use 101 to call them back through their force’s switchboard and verify their identity.
  • The Police will never ask for your PIN or passwords. Do not give this information to anyone.
  • The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online or by telephone 0300 123 2040.


Tuesday 1 Dec 2015

This is a Police message for Neighbourhood Watch.


Between midnight and 0700hours 28/11/15 a Silver Toyota Rav 4 sustained damage to the driver’s side rear door whilst parked by the roadside unattended in Harrison Terrace, Darlington. From the damage it appears as though another vehicle has collided with the car and left the scene.


Any persons with information regards this collision are requested to contact PC 2564 EDWARDS on 101.



Tuesday 3 Nov 2015



On Friday 27th of October a customer of Talk Talk who resides in County Durham was contacted on her land line by a man purporting to be from the company. The man apologised to the victim for the trouble she was having with her services and convinced her that her router had placed a virus on her computer. The man informed the victim that the company would like to reimburse her £50.00 for the inconvenience and assured her that he would fix the virus if the victim gave him remote access to her computer. The victim agreed and was asked to press a combination of keys on her keyboard, this gave the man full access to the victim’s PC.

The man then informed the victim that in error he had transferred £5000 into her account instead of £50.00 and asked her to check. The victim checked and sure enough there was £5000 in her account with the reference Talk Talk. The man asked the victim if she would mind transferring the funds back or he would get into trouble, so she did. The man the victim was talking to was a fraudster.


The man had taken control of the victims bank account using the remote access and the £5000 that appeared to have been transferred from talk talk was in fact money that the fraudster had transferred from the victims own savings account into her current account. The victim’s hard earned life savings were now in the hands of the fraudster.

Sadly yesterday we have had another report whereby a gentleman has been scammed by a fraudster using the exact same method; he has had £3000 stolen.

Please be aware that these Fraudsters are in a different league, they are educated and sophisticated and we can all be caught out, they can have as much information about you as a real “Talk Talk” customer advisor so if you enter into conversation with them they can be extremely convincing.

Our advice is to Hang Up on cold callers, Fraudsters cannot convince anyone to do anything if you don’t engage in conversation so just HANG UP. If you want to check whether the call was genuine then wait 10 minutes ( to ensure the telephone line between you and potential fraudsters has been disconnected ) or use a separate line eg. Mobile, and then call the companyyourself and ask if they have tried to contact you, this way you are in control.


Monday 26th Oct


This is a Police message for members of Neighbourhood watch.


We’ve had reports of a number of scam emails going around. Below is one of our latest. If you receive this email please DO NOT OPEN ANY ATTCHMENTS and report it to our Action Freud team.

Do not be tempted to open the attachments or reply.



The following email below is one of the scam emails sent in to us:


The contents of this email and any attachments are confidential, applicable and copyright in these reserved to HM Revenue and Customs.
Unless expressly authorized by us, any further dissemination or distribution of this email or its attachments is prohibited. if you are not the intended recipient of this email, please reply to inform us that you have received this email in error and then delete it without retaining any copy.
I am sending this email to announce that you are eligible to receive a 289.79 tax refund from annual calculation of your fiscal activity. You have attached the tax form with the TAX REFUND NUMBER ID: 591915621. complete the tax return form attached form attached to this message.
After completing the form please submit the form by clicking the SUMMIT button on the form and allow 5 - 9 business days in order to process it.
Our Head Office address can be found on our web site as HM Revenue & Customs http:/
HMRC Tax Credit Office




I have been on the HMRC website and got a list of scam email addresses. Please see list below!





Wednesday 21st Oct

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has been alerted to a pension scam whereby cold callers continue to target members of the public aged 50 to 60 years old to release and transfer their pension early. Suspected firms who advertise and arrange pensions are offering investments in alternative commodities such as hotel developments or property in Cape Verde, and operate as unregulated collective investment schemes.
Often, the cold calling ‘pension companies’ involved are neither regulated nor qualified to give financial advice and classify themselves as a ‘trustee’, ‘consultant’ or an ‘independent advisor’ and offer exceptionally high return rates for investors.  
Some victims have signed documents that authorises a limited company to be set up using their personal details, including utilising a Small Self–Administered Scheme (SSAS). Whilst SSAS accounts and limited companies are essential for legitimate schemes, the fact that victims are unaware that this will happen suggests that the scheme may not have been fully explained to them, increasing the likelihood that there may be an element of fraud involved.
Protect yourself:
Further advice can be found at:
Ensure that you request that the risks and growth rates are explained and that you fully understand them before transferring your pension
Check whether the pension arrangement company is registered with the FCA. Registered companies can be checked using the FCA register online at: 
Remember that if the offer seems too good to be true, then it generally is
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online or by telephone 0300 123 2040.


Wednesday 14 Oct 2015

This is a Police message for Neighbourhood Watch.



We’ve had a Neighbourhood Watch member ring us today to say she has received a bogus call from someone claiming to be from Nationwide Bank. They gave the Neighbourhood Watch member the correct name but the our Neighbourhood Watch member has never banked with Nationwide. The called then tried to asked our Neighbourhood Watch member for personnel details, which our member did not disclosed and then terminated the call. The call came from 02031 988 101.


If you receive any calls from this number please by no means offer any of your personal information across as there is no telling who you are sharing that information with. Personal information of this nature can be fraudulently used to access your bank account.


Please report any calls like this to our non-emergency number 101 and share the information with your neighbours, friends and family. The more people who know how to deal with this situation in the correct way means less people will become a victim of fraud.


Stay Vigilant!


Kind Regards

Lucy Palmer


Thursday 8th Oct 2015

This is a Police message for NHW in the Haughton East area of Darlington.


Between 4:20pm and 4:35pm 1 October a grey ‘Focus’ mountain bike which was chained to the fence of a property on Salters Avenue was stolen. If you saw or heard anything suspicious or have any information which would help with enquiries please call our non-emergency number 101 and quote DJ1505915. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you to lock your bike up when leaving it unattended, if possible with a D lock as these are most secure. If possible, keep your bike in a locked shed or garage. If you need advice on preventing such crimes please contact Darlington SNU on 01325 406788.


Rachel Banks 7888

Business Administration

Durham Constabulary




Wednesday 16th September 2015


Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and the City of London Police are working in partnership with the Rugby World Cup 2015 organise to stop those seeking to sell Rugby World Cup 2015 tickets without permission from the official provider.


We would like the general public to be aware that they should only purchase tickets from official sources and avoid being scammed.


England Rugby 2015 Limited (“ER2015”) is the organising committee of Rugby World Cup 2015, due to take place in England and Cardiff from 18 September 2015 until 31 October 2015. Rugby World Cup Limited (“RWCL”) is the Tournament owner of Rugby World Cup 2015.

RWCL/ER2015 wants to ensure that the public is not misled, by unauthorised ticket sellers, into believing they have purchased genuine Rugby World Cup 2015 tickets.

This is the hyperlink to purchase tickets via the official website:

To check whether a company or a certain website is an official Rugby World Cup 2015 channel, use the ‘Official Checker’ tool which is located at www.rugbyworldcup/buyofficial.

To report the sale of unauthorised general public tickets, please contact ER2015 at

To report the sale of counterfeit Rugby World Cup 2015 tickets or the unauthorised sale of ticket-inclusive supporter tour/hospitality packages, please contact

Tickets purchased or obtained from any other source shall be void and may be seized or cancelled without refund or compensation.





Wednesday 16th Sept 2015


This is a police message for Neighbourhood Watch members and coordinators in Darlington.


I would like to bring to your attention that there is a new approach being used by scammers, they have been phoning victims saying that they are letting them know that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and are entitled to a rebate.

Once they have gained the victims trust, the fraudster will tell them that they need to pay an administration fee in advance in order to receive the rebate; the fee they ask for varies between £60-£350. The victim then provides the details to make the payment but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to.

After making contact with the council they have then been told they know nothing about it and that they have been contacted by fraudsters. They have mainly been targeting both male and female victims aged 60 and over and live in the Sussex area, but it is likely they will start targeting other areas.


How to protect yourself:

Never respond to unsolicited phone calls

Your local council won’t ever phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate, if you receive a call of this nature, put the phone down straight away.

No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advanced fee in order receive money; so never give them your card details.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, hang up the phone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open. Then call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud. Where it is possible use a different phone line to make the phone call.


To report a fraud call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or the non-emergency 101 police number.


More information is available on



Monday 17th August



What is child sexual exploitation?

CSE involves offenders, normally adults, targeting a victim and grooming them with the intention of raping and/or sexually assaulting them.  It is a crime that can affect any child, anytime, anywhere – regardless of their social or ethnic background.

In some cases, perpetrators are known to use younger men, women, boys or girls to “be friend” the exploited child or young person. Children and young people, who are themselves the victims of exploitation, may introduce other young people to their abusers in an attempt to deflect the abuser’s attention from them.

It is very common for children and young people who are sexually exploited not to recognize they are being abused, particularly young people aged 16 or 17 years who can legally consent to sexual activity. These young people are still defined as children under the Children’s Act of 1989 and 2004 respectively and can still suffer significant harm as a result of sexual exploitation.

Who does it affect?

The victims are children and young people who may be:

• Vulnerable
• Have suffered disrupted childhoods
• Unsupportive family networks
• Other factors which make them more susceptible to adults taking advantage

 Where does it happen?

Offenders are known to target areas where children and young people might gather without much adult supervision, such as:

• Shopping centres
• Cafes
• Takeaways
• Sports centres
• Cinemas
• Local parks / playgrounds
• Bus / train stations
• Internet

These include children and young people who have a history of running away or going missing from home, those with special needs, those in and leaving residential and foster care, children who have disengaged from education and children who are abusing alcohol or drugs.


If there are immediate concerns in relation to a child or young person, ring the police on 999.

If you know a child or young person, or suspect a child or young person, to be suffering, or is likely to suffer child sexual exploitation, this should be referred to the police on 101, or Social Services Initial Response Team.

If you have information about suspected offenders, vehicles and locations of interest, please complete the attached form. Child Sex Exploitation report.

Information and Advice:

Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre

CEOP is the UK’s national police agency for dealing with child protection, particularly tackling offenders who use online technology to abuse children. If you are worried about someone’s behavior towards a child online you can report this to CEOP at the web address shown above.



Lucy Palmer

PCSO 7852

Community Liaison Officer

01325 406788




DURHAM CONSTABULARY – Protecting Neighbourhoods, Tackling Criminals, Solving Problems…Around the Clock


Tuesday 11th August


An emerging trend has been identified in other force areas where suspicious markings have been located outside dwellings. These are possible ‘victim indicators’ and are a sign post for suspects to carry out bogus official type offences. We need your help to protect vulnerable victims in our communities so if you see any of these signs outside of a house we would like you to report it on the 101 number.


The following types of markings have been identified:

    Chalk marks on front of the dwelling

    Circles chalked/painted outside the address

    Several tippex type marks at bottom of bay windows

    Chalk marks by front door


Please do take a look at the attachment and pass the information on.

 Click here for symbols

Thank you,


Lucy Palmer

PCSO 7852

Community Liaison Officer

01325 406788


Tuesday 11th August


This is Police message for members of Neighbourhood Watch.


The suspect has approached a secure garage on Salters Avenue and forced open the UPVC door and window to gain entry. They have removed a Scrambler and Vesper motorbike and also some electric power tools, making off with them. This incident occurred on the 09/08/2015 at about 04:00.


If you have any information about this incident please call us on our non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference numberDJ1504665.



Lucy Palmer

PCSO 7852

Community Liaison Officer

01325 406788


Thursday 9 July 2015

This is a Police message.



Please could you be aware of a stolen Apollo Feud mountain bike which was stolen from the town centre of Darlington on 02/07/2015. The picture below is of the same style of bike, however, the one stolen had some unique features:


  • Extra seat welded onto the frame for a child to sit on.
  • Footrests bolted onto the frame for the child’s feet.
  • A metal plate had been welded onto the main seat column which the IP used to tow a trailer.

If you have any information regarding the where about of this bike, please contact us on 101 quoting the crime reference number DJ1503814.



Friday 19th June 2015

This is a police message for Neighbourhood Watch members in Darlington.


Bogus callers and rogue traders often use creative and cunning ways to get in to your home or obtain your personal details.
Anyone can be fooled - but they often target the over 60s.


Our top tips:-
Use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise who's at the door
Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry an identification card with their photograph on. Check this carefully. If you're unsure, telephone the company the caller claims to represent.
Don't pay upfront for goods and services which you may never receive.
Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere which may encourage you to leave your house
If you're not convinced of the identity of the caller, don't let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return or ask the caller to contact this person.


We have a limited supply of 'no cold caller' stickers available to Darlington residents who are members of Neighbourhood Watch.

Please email for more details


Monday 1st June 2015

Between 20:00 on 29/05/2015 and 04:50 on 30/05/2015 someone approached a property on Aintree Court. They entered the property via unknown means and carried out a search. They stole several items from within and left unseen.

If you saw or heard anything unusual around these times, or have any information which may help police with enquiries into this crime, please contact us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number DJ1503071.


Thursday 21 March 2015

This is a police message for neighbourhood watch members in the Haughton East area of Darlington.

Between 11:00 on 18/05/2015 and 06:00 on 19/05/2015 someone approached a secure vehicle parked on Welbeck Avenue. They removed all four wheel trims from the vehicle before leaving unseen.

If you saw or heard anything unusual around these times, or have any information which may help police with enquiries into this crime, please contact us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number DJ1502876


Thursday 9th April 2015


This is a police message for neighbourhood watch members in the Haughton East area of Darlington.

Between 18:25 on 02/04/2015 and 20:40 on 02/04/2015 someone approached a secure vehicle parked in a car park on Salters Lane South. They used an unknown implement in an attempt to force open the passenger door and smashed the window in the process. This allowed them to reach into the vehicle and steal a purse before making off unseen.

If you saw or heard anything unusual around these times, or have any information which may help police with enquiries into this crime, please contact us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number DJ1501863.


Monday 23 March

This is a police message for Neighbourhood Watch members in Darlington.  We have been made aware that over the past week local residents have been receiving calls from persons claiming to be from A&J Garden Services.  Follow-up appointments have been made for persons to then attend their addresses.  A&J Garden Services are a legitimate company in the area but confirm their staff have not been arranging these appointments. 


Please be aware in case you receive a similar telephone call. 


If you wish to report anything suspicious please contact us on the non-emergency number 101.



Darlington Safer Neighbourhoods Unit,

Durham Constabulary

Tel: 01325 406788




Monday 16th Feb 2015

This is a police message for neighbourhood watch members in the Haughton East area of Darlington.


Between 07:00 11/02/2015 and 21:57 12/02/2015 someone approached a house on Brecon Side. They entered via an insecure door to the rear and carried out an untidy search of the house before stealing property from within and leaving unseen. 


Monday 2 Feb 2015


This is a police message for neighbourhood watch members in the Haughton East area of Darlington.

Between 11:45 30/01/2015 and 15:30 30/01/2015 someone entered an insecure, unoccupied dwelling. They stole a 50” TV and left unseen.

If you saw or heard anything unusual around these times, or have any information which may help police with enquiries into this crime, please contact us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number DJ1500602.


Wednesday 28th Jan 2015 

 This is a police message for neighbourhood watch members in Darlington.

Dear All,

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) are currently conducting some research into police forces use of their powers to stop & search people in public and are keen to gain the views of members of the public. This is an important issue as it has the potential to materially affect public confidence in policing.

To assist with the research, HMIC have created a survey that can be completed at The survey is relatively short and it closes on February 6th 2015.


Monday 26 Jan 2015

Between 19:50 23/01/2015 and 20:35 23/01/2015 someone entered a property on Latimer Road via an insecure rear door. They made their way upstairs and carried out an untidy search. They were disturbed and left unseen.

If you saw or heard anything unusual around these times, or have any information which may help police with enquiries into this crime, please contact us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number DJ1500420.


Thursday 22nd Jan 2015

This is a police message for neighbourhood watch members in the Haughton East area of Darlington.

Between 22:00 20/01/2015 and 10:20 21/01/2015 someone approached a property on Cottage Mews and entered a shed by forcing open the wooden door using an unknown implement. They stole various items from the shed and left unseen.

If you saw or heard anything unusual around these times, or have any information which may help police with enquiries into this crime, please contact us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number DJ1500371.


Tuesday 20th Jan 2015

This is a Police message for Neigbourhood Watch members in Darlington.

With a growing awareness of cybercrime among the public and an increase in press coverage, HMIC (along with the Home Office and the College of Policing) is carrying out research to try and  understand more about the experiences of victims of this kind of crime.

They are particularly keen to hear from people who have been a victim of cybercrime but haven’t reported it to the Police or Action Fraud.

Full information about the research can be found by visiting


Tuesday 13th Jan 2015

This is a police message for neighbourhood watch members in the Haughton East area of Darlington.

Between 05/01/2015 and 11/01/2015 someone approached a property on Stockton Road and stole a motorhome from a lockup via unknown means.

If you saw or heard anything unusual around these times, or have any information which may help police with enquiries into this crime, please contact us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number DJ1500221.



Tuesday 13th Jan

This is a police message for neighbourhood watch members in the Haughton East area of Darlington.

Between 04:00 12/01/2015 and 12:00 12/01/2015 someone approached a secure motorhome on Salters Avenue and removed all four wheel trims. They left unseen.

If you saw or heard anything unusual around these times, or have any information which may help police with enquiries into this crime, please contact us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number DJ1500214.



Monday 5th Jan 2015

This is a police message for neighbourhood watch members in the Haughton East area of Darlington.

Between 01/01/2015 and 02/01/2015 someone entered a property on Beadnell Close via an insecure rear door. They made their way through the kitchen into the living room, from where they stole various electrical items. They left via the entry point unseen.

If you saw or heard anything unusual around these times, or have any information which may help police with enquiries into this crime, please contact us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number DJ1500014

Friday 2nd Jan 2015

This is a police message for residents in Darlington.

This is a message to let you all know there has been a recent increase in lead thefts in Darlington, so continue to be alert to your surroundings.

If you see or hear anything unusual or suspicious in your area, or have any information which may help police with enquiries into such crimes please contact us on our non-emergency number 101.


Sat 18th Oct 14

This is a police message to Neighbourhood Watch members of Darlington. With bonfire night vastly approaching please could you keep an eye out for any potential illegal bonfire sites or fly-tipping zones that could cause a potential fire risk. If you see any please could you report it to Darlington Borough Council’s Streetscene as they will clear the area up. Streetscene are contactable on 01325- 388777. Thank you.


Friday 17th Oct 14

This is a police message to Neighbourhood Watch member of Haughton East and West. We are pleased to inform you that a male has been arrested and charged for offences relating to interfering with motor vehicles in Haughton Green and St Albans Green. Thank you to Neighbourhood Watch members for your continued support.


Friday 17th Oct 14


This is a police message for Neighbourhood Watch members of Haughton East. Lead flashing was stolen from a property on Stockton Road on the 5th October.

If you have any information that may relate to this crime or recall hearing or seeing anyone acting suspiciously please report this to police on 101.


2nd Sept 2014

This is a police message to Neighbourhood Watch members of Redhall.

An attempted shed burglary occurred on Headingley Crescent on the 28th August.

An attempted garage burglary occurred on Bramall Lane on the 30th August.

We encourage residents to consider taking reasonable steps to ensure that garages and sheds are kept secure. Please consider using a solid lock such as a closed hasp padlock, which is difficult to break off with bolt cutters. Please use outdoor lighting during the darker hours such as dusk till dawn lighting.



20th August


This is a police message to Neighbourhood Watch members of Haughton East and Haughton West.

A number of vehicles have been targeted in the area where items have been left on display.

Sat navs were stolen from vehicles parked on Gisland Crescent and Haughton Road over the last few days. A wallet, money, keys and driving licence were stolen from a vehicle parked on Baltimore Way. Windows were smashed on all occasions.

Please ensure all of your valuables and personal belongings are removed from your vehicle before you lock it up. Please do not leave any temptation there for a thief. You may want to consider marking up your sat navs and other property with either a UV pen or Smartwater kit which makes your property traceable. These items can be obtained from the Safer Neighbourhood Unit on 01325 346832.




19th August 2014


This is a police message to Neighbourhood Watch and Farmwatch members of Darlington.

We are pleased to inform you that a 43 year old female has been arrested and charged with the theft of a pedal cycle in the town centre. The bike was marked up for free through Operation SPOKE and was successfully reunited with its owner.

The next FREE bike marking event will take place in the Market Place in Darlington Town Centre on the 29th August between 11am and 4pm. Please feel free to bring your bikes along and we will mark and register them for free for you. We look forward to seeing you there.





15 August 2013

This is a police message to neighbourhood watch members of Haughton East. On the 9th August between 11.15am and 1.15pm someone has attempted to remove the small rear window of a vehicle that was parked in the church yard car park. If you saw or heard anything that may relate to this crime please contact the police on 101.





11 June


This is a police message to Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators of Darlington. The next Darlington Neighbourhood Watch Association meeting will take place on Thursday 19th June at 6.30pm at St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, Darlington. This meeting will also be the AGM where elections for the committee will take place. There will be no guess speaker for this meeting.

Below the minutes from the last meeting and the Agenda. If you require a hard copy in the post please contact myself Louise Buckley on 01325 346832. Thank you


Neighbourhood Watch












Minutes from Monthly Meeting held 15 May 2014:


 S Phipps (Chair), C Wilson, V Allan, P Allan, M Sinclair, S Sinclair,

P Duguid, M Moore, S Heed, D Heed, S Crowther, J Moorhouse, L Walton,

M Jackson, A Metcalfe, L Buckley, A MacConachie

Welcome and Introduction

Chair Sandra Phipps, welcomed members and guest speaker Alasdair MacConachie, Managing Director of Sherwoods.

Guest Speaker – Alasdair MacConachie (AM)

AM introduced his talk as being about Darlington Partnership and all that it does and its effectiveness in the community.

AM explained that Darlington Partnership was set up in 1992 by the MP of the day; Alan Milburn and Mr Tony Blair. Partnerships were compulsory then but are now not obligatory. The aim of the Partnership was to bring public and private sectors together.


AM explained that Sherwoods has been going for 92 years and that he has been the owner Sherwood for 35 years of those years. He has 200 members of staff. He explained that Vauxhall closed Chevrolet overnight as there was too much cross branding over vehicles.

He said that he has a good team and that he wants to help Neighbourhood Watch members get more funding.

AM was born in India. His father was a brigadier for the Ghurkhas. His father’s tutor was trained by General Montgomery.

Education –

AM advised that he has strong members in the private sector. He has regular meetings with Chief Executive Seth Pearson to look at the education of children in Darlington and for those who go to university. He is Chair of Darlington College and has just appointed new principal Kate Rowe. He also has a good relationship with the University of Teesside.

AM questioned what the college could do for Neighbourhood Watch and stated that we need to engage with the youth.

AM Chairs Durham School and informed us that the school gives £4 million in bursaries every year.

Health -

He supports the local hospitals and the aging population and achieves a lot. He encourages the private sector to get involved as he states they don’t engage enough with the community.

AM explained that he felt the leadership for Cummings is second to none as it is very community orientated. Cummings also has a pot of £70 million and 80 factories in 16 countries.  He had a meeting with the Chief Exec and 12 apprentices and they went round the table asking what they did and what support could be offered to help develop their careers. They have just recently taken on 2 new apprentices. Cummings doesn’t give out big amounts of money only small amounts.

AM is the Chair of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) for the Army School of Infantry.  The group looks after under 18’s. He set it up with the Chairman of the bank, the Chief Exec of the College, a retired head, the director of Children’s Services and the Assistant Chief Constable.

AM stated that the Rotary Club could do more to help Neighbourhood Watch.

Darlington Partnership -

AM explained that Seth Pearson runs Darlington Partnership.

The Partnership runs Action Points –

-       They manage harm caused by alcohol

-       Occasional opportunities for young people – police apprentices, employs mechanics, has employed 1 in marketing and 1 in accounting.

-       Stimulating the community to support elderly and vulnerable people

-       Darlington Foundation for Jobs – the Archbishop of Canterbury supports, he said it’s done great work as it has created 231 internships for under 24’s.

-       Encouraging people to listen to children read in the Rotary and Partnership. AM informed us that the Managing Director of Lingfield Point spends 2 hours of his week on a Monday listening to children read.


AM praised Age UK and The Good Friends Scheme, which manages 621 volunteers (figures provided by Lynn Walton). He explained that The Police & Crime Commissioner is also supportive of it.

Lynn Walton said that it was a lovely partnership and that she gets good referrals from the police for both those wanting to volunteer and those needing the support.

AM also praised Darlington Cares which was set up by the college and ran through Katie Blundell looks at the environment, community and elderly from a practical point of view.

AM informed the meeting that a new Arts Centre was set up on Haughton Road  following the closure of the Arts Centre on Vane Terrace. This received a lot of support from local businesses and was decorated by 4 community officers during a support project. He advised that he has co-ordinators who could support organisations like NHW.

In conclusion AM said that Good Friends is an outstanding organisation and supports NHW in particular. He said he will support NHW financially and has offered to pay for the stall the Association will be holding at the Carnival in June. He said to get young people involved and have a trip around all the schools. He said that we can use his facilities at work to support NHW.

AM said that the Chief Constable Mike Barton has a keen interest in NHW and that he will give us all the support we need.

Sandra Phipps gave thanks to AM for his informative talk and for the support he has given. She also thanked AM for his donation of tea and coffee for the Police Station Open day that will take place on the 24th and 25th May.


V Evans, R Beaumont, T Hudson, D Trees, J Allen, L Bedocs, M Rennison

Previous Minutes & Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting were circulated and accepted as passed.

Sandra Phipps added that the telephone numbers and emails are now on the bottom of the agenda and minutes should anyone have any apologies or enquiries.

Sandra Phipps and Cassie Wilson added that their stall at the Easter Eggstravaganza went really well where £72 was raised.

Treasurer’s Report

Peter Allan presented a statement of the current funds. The balance for the Smartwater account stands at £1651. He added that the Smartwater stock will always be replenished with funds in this account. The general account balance currently stands at £550.37; however a full treasurer’s report will be given at the AGM which takes place next month.

The Parish Councils have all been sent letters in a bid for funding but at present no replies have been received, except from Hurworth Parish Council. Peter Allan suggested that phone calls to the Parish Councils should be the next step if there fails to be any response.  There has also been a bid made to Ron Hogg however there is no news yet. Peter Allan feels strongly that fundraising must be a major factor now.

Crime Figures

Annette Metcalfe gave a detailed analysis of the crime figures with visual graphs. The figures also included anti-social behaviour.

Annette also explained that at present we have 15,776 homes now in NHW with a coverage of 33%. At present there are 179 people who are co-ordinators with which there are no details of which homes they cover, therefore it is expected that this figure will be higher.

Members of the meeting posed questions regarding arson and detection rates for individual crimes in a percentage format.


Sandra Phipps would like to thank the following people for their help with the Easter Eggstravaganza event; Cassie Wilson, Karen & Neil Brumby, PCSO Rachael Small, Lou Bedocs, Geoff Freeman and last but not least Peter & Val Allan.

Sandra also gave special thanks to Cassie Wilson who put in a lot of hard work and also dressed as a bunny for the day.

On June 28th the Association will be holding a stall at the Carnival at Stanhope Park, which is themed ‘Dancing in the Street’. Stalls will be held for tombola prizes, recruitment and police. The association are looking for volunteers who can assist on the day and any donations for tombola prizes.

The Association will be holding a NHW stand at the Police Station Open Days on 24th and 25th May. Lynn Walton from AGE UK has offered to assist on the day.

Survey Results

Sandra worked with Annette to set up a 10 question survey with Survey-Monkey a couple of months ago that has been open for people to complete.

From the results a couple of things that stood out were that people were neutral about assisting with fundraising and that 31% strongly agree and 34% were neutral when asked whether Neighbourhood Watch does enough to help with anti-social behaviour.  A number of people showed interest in attending information / training sessions with Home Security and Scams along with Street, Personal and On-Line Safety being the major requests. Regarding helping co-ordinators develop their schemes they were asked what they think they should be doing and workshops was the main outcome. 49% said they attended PACT meetings and 64% were prepared to help the Police with routine enquiries. From the results concerns were raised regarding PACT meetings potentially being cut. Of the results that came back, the 26 that gave their details will be receiving a phone call.


Next month will be the AGM and the Association are particularly looking for a new Secretary and Treasurer, however all posts will be open for nominations. If yourself or anyone you know has any valuable skills that they could bring to the committee whether it is fundraising, marketing or whether anyone has time to spare etc. please consider these when nominating. Please contact us on the details below if you require a nomination form.

Louise Buckley has produced a list of Summer Nights/Neighbourhood watch events for May and June; if any members wish to come along to assist they are more than welcome. The list was given out at the meeting.

Louise Buckley informed the meeting that a new Allotment Watch scheme will be launched on Saturday 24th May at Bellburn Allotment site. The scheme will be the first one in Darlington.

Closing address

Sandra expressed her thanks to all members for their attendance.

Next Meeting

Thursday 19 June at 6.30pm this location.  There will be no guest speaker at this meeting as this will be the AGM.

*Please note: email contact for Apologies:

Or telephone the SNU on 01325 346 832 or Sandra on 07821 390 768

View our Facebook page through this link:


















St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, Darlington, 6.30pm


  1. Welcome/Open AGM


  1. Apologies


  1. Previous Minutes and Matters Arising


  1. Chair’s Annual Report


  1. Treasurer’s Annual Report


  1. Election of Committee for 2014/2015


  1. Elected Chair and Committee assume posts


  1. Elected Chair’s address


  1. Close AGM/Open Monthly meeting


  1. Crime Figures


  1. Future Events / Fundraising


  1. Any other business


  1. Chair’s closing address and raffle




NEXT MEETING – Date and Venue to be announced


NEW Contact Numbers for Apologies/enquiries to:

Sandra Phipps tel: 07821 390 768  

Safer Neighbourhood Unit 01325 346 832

Email contact:











































This is a police message to Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators of Darlington. It is National Neighbourhood and Home Watch week from the 14th to the 22nd June 2014. The campaign is focused around the prevention of cyber-crime and fraud.

National Neighbourhood Watch has put together an information pack for members, which has useful information on how you can support the campaign. The pack has been sent as an attachment to those of you with email; however it can also be uploaded from the ourwatch website which is The website also has further information and leaflets that you can print out and use.

Darlington Police are hosting NHW roadshows and recruitment events during the week:

Monday 16th June – Pease Monument - community safety van– 10am-1pm

Tuesday 17th & Wednesday 18th June – Door to door recruitment in the West Park area

Thursday 19th June – Hollies café, Darlington Memorial Hospital – 11.30-1.30pm

Friday 20th June – Morrison’s, North Road – 1-3pm

If anyone has some time to spare and would like to assist with any of these events please contact myself Louise Buckley on 01325 346832

Messages from Neighbourhood Watch

29th May


Please be aware of the following scam.

A  member of the public today received a call from a male who advised her that someone was trying to hack into her computer. The male asked the lady to do things on her computer to ‘fix the problem’ and advised that it would cost nothing. The male was told no however he was persistent and called back.

This is a SCAM!  Some callers may purport to be from ‘Technical Support’ and may even ask for money or personal details over the phone. Please do not give any bank details or personal details over the telephone. If you believe you have been scammed please hang up the phone and report this to police on 101 giving as much information as you can. You can also report scams to Trading Standards via Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.

28 th May


Please be aware of the following scams.

A male purporting to be from James Cooper Finance called a member of Neighbourhood Watch today. He wanted a payment of £298 cash in exchange for £5,000 in vouchers. The male said that he would call over later that day to collect the money.

This is a SCAM! Please do NOT give money out on the promise of vouchers. If something sounds too good to be true it usually is!


14th May


Around 12:50am on the 14th May, theft from a vehicle took place on Headingley Crescent. The offender gained access to the vehicle as it was left insecure. Please can people remember to lock their vehicles securely, and ensure that all valuables are locked out of sight. Also, when possible, try and park your vehicle in a garage.

If you have any information regarding this offence, please contact the police non-emergency number, 101, quoting the crime number DJ1402891.


12th May


Thieves are targeting garden ornaments and planters from front gardens.  Good advice is to mark each item with your postcode and house number.  You can do this by using an Ultra Violet pen, a permanent marker, SmartWater or by scratching the underside.  This enables the Police to identify and return any items to their rightful owner.  You can get Smartwater from the Safer Neighbourhood Unit for £10 if you become a member of Neighbourhood Watch. For more information call 01325 346832. Please pass this information to your neighbours – thank you.


2nd May


Between 8am on the 15th April and 10am on the 29th April criminal damage took place on Dodds Street. The unknown offenders approached a block of flats from the rear alleyway and climbed over the boundary gate and entered a rear garden covered walkway between flats 66 and 68. They then used an unknown implement to force open the plastic gas meter cupboard door, which caused it to crack under pressure. They then wrote in graffiti, “TANYA KITCHY” and “JULIE 2K” on the cupboard door and “SAM LEAROYD” and “JULIE LOVES GINNY” on the adjoining cupboard door. “TASHA 2000”, “RICHIE X STACEY” and “TASHA LOVES HARRY” was also written on the walkway brick wall of flat number 66.

If you have any information about this offence, or recognise any of the names, please contact the police non-emergency number, 101, quoting the crime number DJ1402620