Be on your guard against Council Tax scams

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Council tax, Crime and safety, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Residents are warned to be on their guard against a recent Council Tax scam.

Council tax scam warning

Cold caller scam

We have been made aware of a cold call scam in which a resident received a call from a person that falsely presented themselves as an employee of a company called GFM, claiming they can the resident a Council Tax refund of £5,000 for an upfront cost of £150.

This is a scam.

GFM are a legitimate Marketing company based in Colchester and are not responsible for any of these calls. GFM are now aware that they are being impersonated.

Be alert

Be mindful of cold callers that contact you, especially if they ask for money up front to get a refund or cash back and be especially vigilant if you have vulnerable relatives, friends or acquaintances.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Report it

If you are unsure whether a call is genuine, please report them to Action Fraud

  • Call the Action Fraud team on 0300 123 2040

Paying for policing, the PFCC needs #yourviews

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Council tax, Crime and safety, Democracy, Emergencies, Epping, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Do you want to increase the levels of policing in Essex? Willing to pay more Council tax to do so? The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC) want your views.

Police car

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex is asking Essex residents to fill in an online survey to gauge whether or not residents would be happy to pay more, so more resources can be invested in policing across the county.

Essex Police’s Funding comes from two sources

  • Central Government
  • Local Council Tax

Essex Police receives the lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has the sixth lowest council tax for policing.

Have your say

The survey will be live from 01.00 am Monday 6 November to 00.00am on Sunday 19 November.

The PFCC want you to join in the conversation on social media by using the #yourviews.

Providing the best service possible

PFCC Mr Hirst said: “I want to provide the best service possible for the people of Essex and increasing investment will help me deliver this. I’m not expecting any increase in central Government funding for this year but I can raise the police precept. However, before I make that decision I want to know what the views of the public are so I can take them into account.”

He added: “At every public meeting I attend I hear that the residents want more police on the streets and whilst both Essex Police and I are doing everything we can to make that happen, we don’t have the money or resources to deliver it in the best way that we want to. The demand on the police service is rising. New crime types are emerging and existing crime is rising in its complexity, this is against a backdrop of an unprecedented shift in the national security environment. My question to the public is this – do they want to pay more for those extra resources?”

Waltham Abbey business fined over £4k

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Owners of R&A Waste Removal Limited of Pick Hill, Waltham Abbey were prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council on 14 September 2017 for storing an estimated 100 – 150 tonnes of waste, when only licensed by the Environment Agency to store 10 tonnes.

Pick Hill - R&A Prosecution

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

Directors prosecuted

Alfie Smith and Richard McGuire, directors of a waste removal company in Waltham Abbey were prosecuted for depositing waste without a permit or an exemption and falling in their duty of care.

Over 10 times the limit

Portfolio Holder for Environment, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ”R&A Waste Removal Limited was registered with an exemption administered by the Environment Agency, allowing the company to sort up to 10 tonnes of mixed recyclable waste at any one time.”

”However, following an investigation by the Council’s Neighbourhoods team, it was found that the company was storing an estimated 100 to 150 tonnes of waste, ten times the amount they were licenced to store. They were also sorting significant quantities of non-recyclable waste that was not covered by the exemption either.”

”Storing large piles of unregulated waste is not only illegal, it also poses a fire hazard, presents pollution risks, and looks unsightly. The Council will not tolerate the growth of unregulated waste disposal site”.

Guilty

The defendants each pleaded guilty to depositing waste on the site without a permit or in accordance with an exemption administered by the Environment Agency. R & A Waste Removal Limited also pleaded guilty to failing their waste duty of care.

Fines in excess of £4,000

Alfie Smith and Richard McGuire were each fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the Council’s prosecution costs of £500 and a Victim Surcharge of £120. Their company R & A Waste Removal Limited were fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the Council’s prosecution costs of £1,000 and a Victim Surcharge of £170.

Further information

The PFCC wants your views

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Democracy, Emergencies, Epping, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Concerned about crime in our community? Want to know more facts about the way the district is policed? Come and talk to Roger Hirst the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC).

PCC meeting 20 November 2017

Talk to your PFCC

This is an open meeting and all members of the public are welcome.

  • Do you care about the way your community is policed?
  • Do you want to know the facts about crime in your area?

Come along to Roger Hirst’s public meeting and have your say

When

  • 20 November 2017

Time

  • 6.30pm to 8.00pm

Where

  • Council Chamber
    Civic Offices
    High Street
    Epping
    CM16 4BZ

Ask a question

You can ask PFCC Roger Hirst a question at the meeting.

Can’t come to the meeting?

Email your question to pfcc@essex.pnn.police.uk

Watch

Working together for a safer future

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Sam Kane said: “If you have a concern or wish to know more about the way our district is policed these meetings are a great opportunity to ask your questions.”

“The district has such a strong sense of community, and events like these are vital in ensuring we all feel safe and protected.”

“So come along and help the police understand the issues you’re facing, let’s work together to make our district a safer place to live.”

Take care not to scare!

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Halloween is a fun time of the year for many people but not everyone wants to take part. We ask trick or treaters if they see a poster similar to the posters below not to disturb that house.

  • To print a poster, download by clicking on a poster and right click save image as.

Not for everyone

“Trick or treating at Halloween has become increasingly popular and for most people it’s harmless fun. While many love to dress up as a ghost or zombie, it’s not for everyone” said Sam Kane, Safer, Greener and Transport portfolio holder.

“Some people would rather not have trick or treaters call at their home. They may not want to open their door to strangers at night time. They may have pets who are afraid of strangers, or small children asleep inside. We know that some elderly or vulnerable people can get distressed by unexpected callers.”

Respect their wishes and do not disturb

Councillor Kane asked trick or treaters: “If you’re out trick or treating and see a poster like this, please respect their wishes and do not disturb them. I hope that everyone taking part has a fun and safe Halloween, but not at the expense of those who wish to ignore it.”

Halloween advice

Darker nights, turn on your lights!

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

During the winter months, burglary increases by 12.8%. Most burglars are opportunists and will look for ways to enter your home where they find an insecure point.

Burglary campaign 2017 poster

Actions

These are just a few actions you can take to make your home more secure.

  • Close and lock all windows and doors every time you leave your house or go to bed
  • Make sure your door is locked properly ie lift the handle, turn the key and then remove the key
  • Do not leave your keys by the front door or in view of windows but ensure they are easy to access should you need to get out in an emergency
  • If you have a burglar alarm, use it at all times, even when you’re just popping out or zone off areas before going to bed
  • Secure your boundaries and ensure access to your garden is not easily obtained
  • Secure your sheds and garages as they contain valuable items and tools that can be used to break into your home
  • Leave lights on, or on timers to give the impression your house is occupied
  • Don’t leave valuable items on display
  • Mark your property and register your items free on www.immobilise.com
  • Do not ‘check in’ on social media, as this identifies your house is empty

Secure and protect your home

Sam Kane, Safer, Greener and Transport portfolio holder said: “This is an extremely timely initiative from Essex Police, with the nights drawing in, our Community Safety Team would encourage every resident to secure and protect their homes by means of a few simple tips to help prevent household burglary.”

Let your friends and families know

“All the tips can be found on www.essex.police.uk/secure and we would like as many people as possible to take a few minutes to check out the advice. Small steps really can make a big difference to your home security” advised Councillor Kane.

“We are working with Essex Police to spread the word, so please do visit the website and let your friends and families know about these important home security checks.”

Keep your home safe

Councillor Kane ended with: “These are excellent tips for residents to employ, but if you’re concerned about security and want advice on how to keep your home safe, contact Ross Brazier, our Epping Forest and Harlow Crime Prevention Tactical Advisor. Call 101 or email crimepreventiontacticaladvisors@essex.pnn.police.uk.”

“If you see someone acting suspiciously call the police on 101 or if you see a crime in progress call 999.”

Woman fined £1,451 for failing duty of care

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Rachel Cooper of Lushes Road in Loughton, was found guilty of a waste duty of care offence for giving 10 bags of household waste to someone who fly-tipped her waste at the junction of Bushfields and Parkmead in Loughton.

Fly-tipping Loughton

Failed to attend hearings

Rachel Cooper failed to attend two court hearings and was arrested on 29 September 2017. At court Ms Cooper pleaded guilty to handing over 10 bags of household waste to someone, who then fly-tipped them at the junction of Bushfields and Parkmead, Loughton on 30 November 2016.

Fined and prosecuted

She was fined £170 for the offence and failing to attend an interview with the council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods team. She was also ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £1281.33.

So easily avoided

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ”This is a situation that could easily have been avoided. Ms Cooper admitted that she had asked for the waste to be removed for cash, without first checking to see whether the person was licensed.”

”Ms Cooper’s decision was particularly foolish as over 80% of the waste could have been recycled using Epping Forest District Council’s normal doorstep collection. If she had used this, or simply checked the licence of the person removing the waste, she would not have been arrested or fined.”

He continued: ”Householders and business must make reasonable checks to ensure that they comply with their waste duty of care. You must only give your waste to a person authorised by the Environment Agency. Businesses who produce commercial waste must also keep waste transfer notes”.

#CrimeNotToCare

Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, has launched its #CrimeNotToCare campaign to inform residents they could unwittingly end up with a criminal record and face an unlimited fine, if a rogue trader dumps their waste illegally.

Protect yourself and help us catch fly-tippers

To protect yourself from legal action, we advise you check, consider and record

  • Check the person you are asking is licensed with the Environment Agency
  • Consider whether you think the person is legitimate. Be mindful of cold callers, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • Record as much information as possible, including licence/vehicle and contact details and what you are asking to be disposed of

If you suspect someone is disposing of waste illegally, tell us. Contact us on 01992 564608 or enofficers@eppingforestdc.gov.uk for help and advice.

Help us catch fly-tippers.

Further Information

Watch out for deer, the rutting season is here

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Media, Residents, Your area, Your community

Motorists and dog walkers are being warned that the deer mating season, also known as the rutting or breeding season, has begun.

During the rutting season male deer can become highly aggressive as they attempt to fight off rivals to attract female deer. This makes them less aware of dangers around them, such as cars and bikes on the roads.

Wild animals (deer) road sign

“Accidents on the roads involving deer increase at this time of year and motorists should take extra care when driving though the forest and rural parts of the district” says Councillor Sam Kane, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener and Transport.

“The rutting season has begun and goes on until late November. Deer are particularly active at dawn and dusk. Unfortunately this coincides with commuting hours which are often the busiest times of the day on our roads.”

Deers are wild animals

“Deer are pack animals and often move in groups, if you see one, others are likely to follow. They can appear without warning and present a greater risk than other wildlife because of their large size.”

Cllr Kane has advice for dog walkers: “Keep your dogs on a lead. Deers are wild animals and can behave unpredictably if they feel threatened, so don’t get too close.”

Be deer aware

“Please read the safety advice and be more ‘deer aware’ during this time of year” says Cllr Sam Kane, “Whether you’re driving in our district or walking in our beautiful forest, I want everyone to complete their journey safely and without incident.”

Find out more

Run, hide, tell campaign for kids

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

Counter Terrorism Police launch their first ever safety campaign aimed at children and teenagers.

Designed to teach 11-16 year olds how to act in the unlikely event they are caught in a gun or knife attack. The ACT for YOUTH campaign reinvents the RUN, HIDE, TELL public information for a new generation.

ACT for Youth poster Bear Grylls

The advice

Kids will be taught to

  • RUN if they are able to
  • HIDE if they are not
  • TELL police of the threat only when it is safe to do so

They will also be advised to warn others about an on-going threat, and crucially told NOT to stop and use their mobiles phones until they are safely away from danger.

Find out more

V Festival advice

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community

V Festival takes place at Hylands Park in Chelmsford from 19 August to 20 August 2017. Find advice on getting to the festival, staying safe at the festival and even avoiding the festival.

Information

You can find lots of useful information on the V festival website including what you can or can’t bring, staying green, disabled access, personal safety, and more.

Staying safe

If you’re attending this year’s V Festival, Essex Police has advice so you can have a free-from-crime time.

Avoid V Festival congestion

Drivers are being warned to expect delays as thousands of festival-goers head to the Chelmsford V Festival.