There are reports of at least three different sorts of local crime recently:
Young men selling products door to door
Nottingham Knockers are usually young men who go door to door, selling household products. They are dropped off early in the morning in a particular location by a large van and are then transported around that area throughout the day until about 9pm. They will offer to show an ID which will likely be ‘Hawkers Work Creation’ and say they have just been released from prison. This company does not actually exist and is purely a laminated piece of card with their picture on. They will be carrying a large holdall style bag which contains various household items at high prices and they will try hard to sell so as to make money. They will also tell you about how they are trying to make a better life. The Police have received calls from the public who state that, upon declining the products, they have been subjected to verbal abuse and threats to cause criminal damage from the sellers. LESSONS: whenever you get an unexpected knock on the door, check to establish who is there before opening the door and find out what they are there for. Apparently, if these cold caller sales are unsuccessful, they are unlikely to return in future. If you do experience any verbal abuse and feel intimidated, the advice is to call 101 and tell the Police what was said and provide a description of the person.
Threats to pay fictitious parking fines
Action Fraud and the Police have reported an increase in incidents where elderly victims are approached, whilst they are parking, by individuals pretending to be police officers or traffic wardens. The victims are told that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car ‘for evidence’. They are told that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt to pay the smaller fee are then directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN. These parking meters have been tampered with and retain the card but, by this time, the victim has entered their PIN which has been noted by the fraudster – leaving the fraudster with everything that they need … LESSONS: (1) if you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council; (2) always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, and never share your PIN with anyone; (3) if your card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.
Thefts of garden plants and hanging baskets
A number of villagers have had bedding plants (such as bizzie lizzies) dug up from accessible parts of their gardens and hanging baskets stolen. Wouldn’t it be nice to catch these green-fingered thieves red-handed?