Suffolk Village of the Year 2023

Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter

A Cockfield resident was expecting a call-back from BT regarding his broadband service. Unfortunately, that same morning he received a call from a criminal claiming to be from BT about his service. Giving the thief remote access to his computer lead to the loss of £200 from his bank account. Fortunately, his bank stopped a second larger withdrawal and refunded his first loss. However, with his son’s help, he had to ‘rebuild’ his computer, reinstall all his files and change all his passwords. This took a considerable time and no little heartache.

Electronic theft is the current preference of the criminal world. The following are a few examples of recent attempted criminal activity:

– online shopping websites advertising vehicles and drones for sale at competitive prices which do not exist

– emails offering holidays at incredibly low prices from bogus travel companies

– phone calls offering phone upgrades on low monthly payment contracts.

Obviously be vigilant of phone calls and emails that purport to be from genuine companies and never reveal your personal details.

Typically, a telephone scam will often:

  • Give extravagant promises – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Ask you to pay for something upfront, e.g. ‘just pay this fee to claim your prize’
  • Put pressure on you to make a quick decision, e.g. ‘this investment opportunity will end soon’
  • Ask for bank account details, so they can steal your money.

It may feel rude to hang up on someone, but remember, you have the right not to be harassed to buy something, answer a survey, or give out your personal details.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has noticed an increase in fraudsters placing fake letter boxes on properties in an attempt to harvest the mail and gain the residents personal financial data. If you know of anyone affected in this way, please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Chief Constable Gareth Wilson and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Tim Passmore are visiting the Arc Shopping Centre in Bury St Edmunds on Wed 31 Aug from 11am until 2pm to discuss any community policing issue. The local Safer Neighbourhood Team will also be there to offer personal safety and crime reduction advice.

Finally, in the warmer weather there is a tendency to leave windows open to let the breeze in. Be aware however, that open windows are an opportunity for burglars. When going to bed please check that vulnerable windows are shut.

Remember ‘crime cannot flourish in a community that cares’, so be on the alert and be watchful in looking after yourself and your neighbours.

Gerry Blake
Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator
Scheme 180: Dukes Meadow, Cockfield


P.S. If you can cope with even more info, Neighbourhood Watch sponsor, the Co-op Insurance, gives these ‘Top 10 tips to keep safe this summer’:

  1. Take your keys out of the window locks so they can’t be seen from the outside.
  2. Keep track of your keys. Some insurers may want to see evidence of forced entry before deciding whether or not to pay out on a claim but most would expect to see that you have taken reasonable precautions.
  3. If you lose your key or it’s stolen and you have good reason to believe that it could be traced back to your home address (e.g. your handbag’s stolen with your address in the bag as well as the keys), then you should have your locks replaced.
  4. If you have smaller, high value items in a shed or outdoors, think about bringing them indoors.
  5. Make sure outbuildings including sheds and garages are locked. Keep back gates locked and check fencing is secure.
  6. Secure outside ladders so they can’t be used as a tool to help break into your house.
  7. If you have a burglar alarm use it – it’s an extra level of security.
  8. Report a theft to the police as soon as possible and obtain a crime reference number. This makes it easier for your insurer to deal with a claim and increases the chances of the police making a recovery / arrest.
  9. Be sensible about the information you post online and be especially cautious if you plan to go away. Update your privacy and security settings on a regular basis.
  10. Take photographs of valuables and keep receipts or valuations and record serial numbers as this may help the police recover items following a theft. Consider registering on – this is supported by most UK Police forces.


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