MESSAGE FROM MET POLICE : CANNABIS FACTORIES
Dear Neighbourhood Watch coordinator
I would be most grateful for a reply to this email.
I have received a request from our Chief Inspector for help from our Neighbourhood Watches in targeting drug crime on our borough.
He is asking for the help of the members of your Watch to gather information on where any drug related activity is happening.
There is a strong link between drugs and crime, with users often committing crimes such as robbery, theft, burglary, fraud and shoplifting to get money to buy drugs. Drugs and crime are also linked a number of other ways, including:
Supply and dealing in drugs.
Violent offences while under the influence of drugs.
Drug related driving offences and accidents.
Violence between drug dealers and rival gangs and users who owe them money.
Cannabis factories are often found in unassuming houses and flats. Quite often electrical meters and fuse boxes are bypassed so that they can get huge amounts of power for lamps and heaters. The temperature within the house can reach 40 degrees centigrade and rooms may contain chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides. Cannabis factories pose a potentially lethal fire risk to the building and neighbouring properties, particularly because they are unoccupied with no means to alert the fire service if a fire occurred.
If you suspect or have witnessed any drug related activity near you, could you please let me know. I would be grateful if you could give me the following information:
(e.g. junction of green street and orange grove or top flat 36 banana avenue)
(e.g. approx 3pm on Tuesday 4th September)
Type of activity:
(e.g. believed drug dealing at location or drug address)
Frequency of activity:
(e.g. every Tuesday between 2pm and 3pm)
Descriptions/names of persons believed involved:
(e.g. White Male approx 25years, about 6ft tall, blonde shoulder length hair, slim build, scar down left side of his face, wearing dark
hooded jacket and blue jeans)
Description of any vehicles involved and if possible vehicle registration numbers:
(e.g. White BMW with blacked out windows with vehicle registration number W123 AB2)
Any other information:
(e.g. two males witnessed exchanging money for a package at the location or property always has blinds closed and a strange smell
coming from location).
I appreciate your help with this request and I assure you that all information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Thank you in advance
Community Neighbourhood Watch Link Manager
( Metphone: 776803
POLICE WARNING FOR BANK CARD HOLDERS
“Don’t give your PIN to anyone!”
Police are warning people never to give their PIN number to anyone, not even to key it into a telephone keypad, following a series of scams targeting bank customers in Haringey.
The offences mirror scams that are becoming increasingly prevalent across London and beyond.
Officers are investigating a number of reports across Haringey in which the suspect, a man or woman, rings up a resident purporting to be from the bank or police. The suspect tells the resident that their bank account has been compromised in some way.
The suspect gains the confidence of the resident that their call is genuine by listing the ‘fraudulent’ transactions. Sometimes the victim is asked to cut the card in half – further engaging the victim’s confidence that the call is legitimate.
The resident may be asked to ring the bank back using the phone number printed on the back of their bank card. This helps to convince them that the call is genuine. However, the fraudster has kept the telephone line open so even though the resident believes they have called the bank, they remain connected to the fraudster.
The fraudster gains the resident’s trust, making out they are answering the phone and saying something like “fraud department”. They pretend to be from the bank and to offer assistance. In many cases the resident is asked to provide their full bank card details and key in their PIN number into the telephone handset so that their existing card can be “cancelled” and their new one “activated” or “authorised.” The fraudster will then explain that the bank will need to collect the card.
The fraudster will then attend the person’s address or send an innocent courier company driver to collect the card. It is believed that once the driver has collected the package, they deliver it at a pre-arranged time and are met in the street outside the drop off address by one of the suspects and are paid cash for the delivery.
Therefore, the fraudster has obtained the person’s name, address, full bank details, the card itself and the PIN. The bank cards are then used fraudulently without the victim’s knowledge.
Please be aware of the following:
Your bank will never attend your home
Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card
Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN
Examples of recent offences in Haringey include:
On 16 August an 82 year-old woman in Bruce Grove was called by a suspect purporting to be from her bank that used this scam. Her card was subsequently used to fraudulently withdraw about £200.
On 16 August a 51 year-old woman in Muswell Hill was called by a suspect purporting to be from her bank. The suspect tried to use the scam but failed because the victim didn’t believe they were from her bank. The resident’s suspicions were raised when she tried to call the bank using the number on the back of her bank card and was reconnected to the suspect following a series of clicks.
On 17 August a 54 year-old woman in Crouch End was called by a suspect purporting to be from her bank that used this scam. Her card was subsequently used to fraudulently withdraw about £500.
On 21 August a 74 year-old woman in Tottenham Green was called by a suspect purporting to be from a police fraud department. The scam used matched that described above in every other way, except that the suspects also got the victims to gather together all of their cash as well as their bank cards so that they could be seized as part of an ‘investigation’ into the supposed fraud. The suspects deprived the elderly woman of her savings, as well as using the bank cards to withdraw £1,200.
DC Marysia Temple of Haringey CID said: “These are shocking offences, that are calculating in the way that they target older residents. If you have older family members and friends, please make sure they are aware of this scam and that they know never to hand over their PIN number to anyone, not even by typing it into a telephone keypad.
“Someone knows who is committing these crimes and I appeal to their conscience to contact us with information.”
In an emergency dial 999. In a non-emergency, report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk or contact your local police by dialling 101 and report the matter to your bank.
Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Marysia Temple of Haringey CID on 020 8345 0831.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
BOGUS BUILDER SCAMS UPDATE
Police have issued a number of appeals warning residents to be wary of a scam in which builders say they are working nearby and must gain access because there is a water leak in the roof. They demand cash to fix the problem, usually stating that cash is required as a deposit for ‘drying machinery’.
Since issuing the appeals, more residents have been contacting police with information and we can now confirm that we are linking the following incidents:
At about 12.30 midday on 18 July 2012, in the Fortis Green area of Haringey, it is believed that the suspects lifted tiles and poured water through the hole in order to show the 84 year-old resident water pouring down an internal wall and scare her into believing that urgent work was needed. They demanded a deposit of £4,600 cash to install drying machinery. The resident was so alarmed by the water pouring into her home that, when they refused a cheque, she went straight out to get the cash, and only later found that no machines were required.
The resident said: “The older man was very plausible. I know I should have been suspicious, but he gave me several reasons to believe his story. He kept promising that the deposit would be returned on completion of the work and making appointments to return it, until I found out the truth.”
Only a few miles down the road in Barnet, the suspects are believed to have made an attempt, just an hour earlier on 18 July, to convince an 90 year-old resident that urgent work was needed on his roof. The resident challenged the men’s account and checked with a neighbour to find that no work was being done next door. The men left without taking any money.
An elderly resident from Bounds Green ward told police that on 3 August a man came round stating he was doing some work next door; a pipe had burst and there would be water coming in through the party wall. He told her his ‘governor’ would phone her to explain more and asked for her landline number. She gave it to him then 20 minutes later she received a call from the ‘surveyor’ who said there was a water problem that needed fixing and they would need money. The victim thankfully checked with neighbours and realised it was a scam, and the man hung up.
On the morning of Thursday 16 August an 87 year-old woman was at her N10 home when a white man believed aged in his fifties knocked at her door and stated he was doing some work next door and there was damp coming through her wall. He demanded £4200 in cash, as a deposit for ‘drying machinery’. The woman went to her bank to withdraw the cash, but staff at the bank became suspicious and alerted police. Police attended and returned to the address with the woman but the suspect did not return to collect the money.
On Tuesday 21 August, an elderly resident was at home in the N8 area of Haringey when her doorbell rang. She opened the door to find a well built white man standing there. He explained that work was going to be carried out on next door’s loft that may cause a leak. There would be a lot of dust and vibration, and this may cause a leak. The resident was unaware of any work her neighbours were due to have done and shut the front door on the man. She checked with her neighbour, who confirmed it was a scam and called police. The man is described as white, in his late 30s, early 40s, dark hair, large tummy, well built, tall and eloquently spoken.
On Wednesday 22 August at about 2pm, an elderly resident had just returned to her Highgate home when her door bell sounded. She opened it to find a heavily-built white man standing on her garden path. He told her that he was working next door as there was a leak that was coming through the roof and damaging the party wall. He requested her name and phone number and then left. Moments later, she received a phone call from a man explaining that there was a leak coming from next door through the party wall, and he needed to hire drying machines to dry out the water damage. He asked the resident for £1800 to cover the deposit. She offered a cheque, as she had no cash, but he said it must be cash. The man tried various methods to encourage the resident to go to the bank and take out cash, including reducing the price, but she refused and hung up when the man became cross. Her neighbour confirmed that they had not arranged for any work to be carried out. The man at the door is described as white, about 6 foot tall, aged between 30 – 45, presentable in his appearance, tidy-looking hair, heavy build with a fattish face.
These incidents are being treated as linked and DC Ravenhill continues to warn residents of the scam and appeal to people to come forward with information to help identify the people responsible.
The suspects are described as being two white men, one aged in his 50s and the other in his 30s. It is believed the suspects drive a small white box panel van with a ladder on the roof.
DC Jo Ravenhill of Haringey CID said: “These men are clearly continuing to target older residents with this scam. I urge you to be wary and to call police on 999 immediately if they come to your door with this story.
“I am determined to do all I can to catch these unscrupulous offenders who are targeting vulnerable residents in our community.
“If you need work doing, go on recommendation, seek quotes, pay by traceable means, such as cheque or bank transfer. Don’t let anyone intimidate you into taking them on for work at the door there and then, you just don’t know who you’re letting into your home.
“Don’t answer the door to anyone without an appointment and if you are concerned about the person at your door, call police on 999.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Jo Ravenhill of Haringey CID on 020 8345 0838.
Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.