Business Watch January 2021

Business Watch

Police Scotland Business Advice

January 2021


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NHS Vaccine Scam

Scammers continue to take advantage of people during the Covid 19 pandemic. Sadly, we are receiving reports that these criminals are resorting to issuing fake text messages to mobile phone users stating that they are eligible to apply for the Covid-19 vaccine. A link is included, which once clicked on, takes the recipient to a genuine looking NHS website where they are asked to input banking & personal information. The banking information is subsequently used to access the recipients accounts and steal money from them.

We would like to remind residents that the NHS will not ask you for payment or bank details if you are identified as someone eligible for vaccination. If you receive a text message like this, please ignore, block and delete it.


Theft of Medicines

During the week leading up to Christmas a group of seven males and females were suspected of high value bulk theft of medicines, shaving products, alcohol and Nicorette products from stores in Inverurie, Huntly and Keith. They are part of a large organised crime group and are travelling extensively.

The group are entering the stores individually, approximately one minute apart, and making their way to the medicine aisles. Shops are reminded to be vigilant and to ask their staff to pay particular attention to their 'red routes.' To obtain a copy of the North East Division Crime Reduction Unit's Retail Crime Guide please reply to this email.


Vehicle Security

Police Scotland are reminding motorists not to leave valuables in their vehicles overnight following a number of thefts from motor vehicles in the Aboyne area between Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 December 2020 and Laurencekirk on Friday 08 January 2021.

PC Donald Macleod of the Ballater Community Policing Team said ‘It sounds simple but always remember to lock your car. This is the simplest way to keep your car safe. Get into the habit of locking the car every time you leave it. Also, make sure windows are properly closed. If possible, don’t leave belongings in your car. Take them with you if you can. If not, lock them in the boot out of sight.

Cars fitted with immobilisers can’t be hotwired. This means that keys are needed to drive your car. Keep your keys safe. Don’t leave them in the lock of your front door, or on the kitchen counter. When you are out, keep them with you at all times. A key is used in 70% of car thefts. By keeping your keys safe, you’re reducing the risk of your car being stolen by more than two thirds.


Shed Security

Following a number of break-ins to sheds and garages in Aberdeen over the weekend of 9 and 10 January 2021 here is some advice to help keep your property secure.

How easy can you access your rear garden? Protect the boundary and access of your garden with a hedge or fence at a height of 2 metres is a good barrier. Fit a strong, lockable, high gate across the passageway to stop a thief getting to the back of your home. Consider additional sliding bolts to enhance security. Thieves don't like gravel, it's noisy to walk on.

Keep your shed or out building secure, use a good quality padlock / hasp or mortice lock on the door. If using a hasp, ensure the screws are covered and cannot be accessed by a screw driver. Alternatively use non-returnable security screws or coach bolts instead. A closed shackle padlock is less easy to access and cut with a bolt cutter. If fitting a mortice lock ensure the door panel and frame are strong enough to hold the fixtures. Having protected the locking side of the shed door ensure the hinges cannot be easily removed, again use non - returnable security screws or coach bolts. Consider using steel backing plates behind the hinges to reduce the likelihood of them being prised off.

Make sure the doors and panels of the shed are strong enough not to be kicked in or forced by bodily pressure.

Deter window shopping by placing a screen, net curtain or even a bin bag over the inside of the window. Lock ladders inside your shed or garage to stop a thief using them to reach an upstairs window.

Use a ground or wall anchor to secure your bike or other valuables in the shed. Lock valuables together to prevent them being easily removed. Consider a lock fast cabinet secured within your shed for additional security storage of expensive tools. Mark your property, UV marker pens and Security DNA products can also be utilised. It helps identify items as yours and makes them less desirable for a thief. Register tools and bikes online. Photograph valuables and note all details of makes, models and serial numbers. This makes items easier to identify should they turn up at a later date.

Why not invest in a battery-operated shed alarm? These battery powered and remote operated alarms are available from £12 online and are an effective deterrent.

Check your home insurance policy to ensure that all your items are covered if stored outside.

More information and advice is available from your local Police Scotland Crime Reduction Unit


Cyber Security for Farmers

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has partnered with the National Farmers Union (NFU) to produce a guide to help the Farming Community protect themselves from the most common cyber attacks. The NCSC is the UK Government's national technical authority for cyber security and its aim is to make the UK the safest place to live and work online. To help it achieve this the NCSC works closely with key companies and organisationsof all sizes and sectors of business including Agriculture.


Time to Talk

Has there been a more important time to talk about mental health? Conversations have the power to make a big difference, however small those conversations are – even in circumstances where we have to be socially distanced.

Can you help get people joining in this Time to Talk day, on Thursday 4th February?

Time to Talk day is running across the whole of the UK and Ireland. In 2020, over 600 workplaces, schools, universities, football teams, youth clubs and others joined the conversation about mental health in Scotland alone. While, on social media, #TimetoTalk was trending at number 1 in the UK and number 2 worldwide.

It’s going to be a bit different this time around. Many of us won’t be able to get together like we normally would. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help create millions of conversations and show that talking about mental health is even more vital than it ever has been.

You can get involved by downloading materials, along with Communications and Activity ideas pack, to start you thinking about how you can do Time to Talk virtually.

During lockdown getting little gifts and cards from our friends and family can make a huge difference. So this Time to Talk day, why not send a Time to Talk post card to someone you haven’t seen in a while, and ask ‘how are you’?

Get everything you need to download, activity packs, and resources to order here.


Online Safety - Parents and Carers

This week has brought significant change, especially with schools being managed the way they are and our children and young people will inevitably be more focused on living their lives in the online world, viewing, sharing, gaming and communicating. It can be difficult to find a balance of how much time is to much time spent online but as parents and carers if we can enhance our knowledge to better protect our young people online and share that with them, that gives us some confidence that if they do experience something unpleasant or untoward, they know they can share that and be better able to deal with it.

The attached information provides useful links to some sites with information on activity packs for being online from early years throught to teens. There are also links to NSPCC and Internet matters, again these sites are all full of excellent support informatiion and guidance.

As usual, please feel free to circulate this information with your wider contacts.


Sign Up for Neighbourhood Alert for free

A great way in which Police can share information is via the Neighbourhood Alert system, which is delivered by Neighbourhood Watch Scotland. This enables us to send out e-mail messages relating to local crime trends and share crime prevention advice quickly and effectively to a wide audience. The information can also be targeted to particular groups, streets, or communities as required.

Anyone can sign-up to receive these e-mail messages, either individually or as a community group. The sign-up process allows you to specify the type of information you are interested in and from what source. This is co-ordinated by our partners in Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, who work with a range of partners in the public sector to provide information not only on crime, but also about community safety and resilience. We only send out messages which contribute to keeping you informed and safe.

In these uncertain times, Neighbourhood Alert is recognised as a trusted source of information. Please consider taking a moment to sign-up for Neighbourhood Alert e-mail messages, and encourage family, friends and neighbours to do the same. Over 23,000 people across Scotland have joined so far, with more joining every day. You can join too, without setting up a Neighbourhood Watch.

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