Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Bad behaviour within the Triangle

With lockdown restrictions eased last weekend we unfortunately had to witness some bad behaviour within the Triangle from non residents visiting the North Pole bar along Greenwich High Road and D’Luxx in Blackheath Road. Complaints were received of large groups inhaling nitrous oxide gas and also arguments which led to a fight. Cars were also driven at speed up and down Ashburnham Place at approx 1.30am on Sunday 5th July. Local residents also witnessed loud music and social distancing generally not being adhered to at the North Pole and D’Luxx bars.
In order to deal with bad behaviour I am looking for residents help.
If you witness any issues of crime, disorder or anti-social behaviour call 999 for an emergency, i.e., if the issue is currently in progress, otherwise contact 101 and report what you have seen.
For issues with noise, please contact the Council’s noise team and ask for the noise to be witnessed – 020 8921 8921. Please also take photo’s or video clips — if safe to do so — as this type of evidence is paramount when trying to prove a case.
Cllr Maureen O’Mara is personally going to oversee any complaints with these establishments and has also asked for any evidence to be forwarded to her at: Maureen.O'Mara@royalgreenwich.gov.uk
We really do need your help on this. Just receiving complaints about noise or disturbances days after the event will not result in any effective solution, so if safe, please do take photographic or video evidence. But above all, please report everything.
With thanks in advance for your help.

Tina Pugh
ATA Security / Police Liaison
Email: ata.secureteam@gmail.com
Emergency dial 999
Non Emergency dial 101
Greenwich Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8284 5494 (not 24 hour)
Email: westgreenwich.snt@met.police.uk

Monday, 6 July 2020

Gardening again in the Triangle

The ATA Green Hub is going to go back to its monthly gardening sessions. The next one is on Saturday 18 July at 2pm. They will meet outside Barnstable House on the corner of Egerton and Devonshire Drives. Please bring a rake/s if you can and if you have an empty green bin it would be useful.
It's easy to keep a distance from people when gardening and it's a sociable way to get exercise. New volunteers always welcome.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Devonshire Drive Incident

On Friday 19th June at approx 11pm there was an incident on Devonshire Drive outside Barnstable House.
A 70 year old man was taken in his own car and driven against his will. Three males were demanding money from him and managed to obtain £100. The victim sustained cigarette burns to his arms and other bruises. He managed to escape and a passing motorist called the police.
CID Lewisham are dealing with this crime and our Safer Neighbourhood Team are also assisting with enquiries.
If you were in the area and saw anything unusual please contact our Safer Neighbourhood Team.
Tina Pugh
ATA Security / Police Liaison
Email: ata.secureteam@gmail.com

Emergency dial 999
Non Emergency dial 101
Greenwich Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8284 5494 (not 24 hour)
Email: westgreenwich.snt@met.police.uk

Friday, 12 June 2020

Parking in the Triangle

Don't forget that parking enforcement will restart from Monday 15th June, so you or any visitors will be liable to pay a penalty charge notice if parked illegally.
The Council will continue to recognise the London Health Emergency Badge (HEB) temporary permits issued by the NHS to their healthcare and other key workers while that system is in place. Any other temporary permits issued during lockdown are being withdrawn.
Parking enforcement officers will continue to advise motorists as to where they can park. It is not acceptable to abuse council staff and any reports of this kind will be taken very seriously. More information on changes to parking enforcement.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Celebrate your neighbours

Neighbourhood Watch Week,  7th - 13th June 2020 

We’ve seen a surge in neighbourliness as people look out for the vulnerable and talk to those next door more than ever before - a silver lining to the cloud COVID-19 has cast over our daily lives. We think now is a good time to say thank you and celebrate those actions our neighbours have taken no matter how small or big. There are many ways to join in:

Take part in the Big Virtual LunchOrganised by Eden Project, on the 6th and 7th June, the Big Virtual Lunch have put together ideas of small things you can do to celebrate community connections with your neighbours such as: making your own bunting and hanging it out for all to see, putting together a lunch for someone or a small food parcel and leave it on a doorstep, joining in with The Big Lunch from your doorstep, hosting a Big Virtual Lunch online from the comfort of your own home, or hosting a Big Virtual Lunch over the phone.
Display a poster in your window or gifting a postcard to a neighbour.
Award winning British cartoonist, Tony Husband, has created bespoke cartoons depicting kind neighbourly actions in lockdown. Tony’s cartoons can be downloaded via the ourwatch website for you to display as posters in your window, or postcards to pop through a neighbour’s door. 

Enter our 'Neighbourliness in Lockdown' competition
Why not have a go at creating your very own cartoon depicting kind neighbourly acts and enter it in a competition to be judged by Tony himself. You can download blank posters and blank postcards as a template for your cartoons. Full details of the competition can be found here.

Facebook Live Quiz
Put your general knowledge to the test on 12th June at 7pm for a light-hearted Facebook Live Quiz, to be hosted by Neighbourhood Watch Network's CEO, John Hayward-Cripps.  To take part simply visit Ourwatch Facebook page at 7pm on the 12th June, ready with paper and pen.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Historic England's London History Day this Sunday 31 May

If you have a bit of time this Sunday 31 May you might want to check out or get involved with London History Day hosted by Historic England.
This year, in what are very difficult and challenging times for many, we are celebrating London’s resilience on Sunday 31 May. We will come together, virtually, to celebrate London’s resilience and share stories that remind us of the incredible strength, courage and community spirit Londoners have shown, today and throughout history. It’s a day to reflect, create, connect with each other and have fun.
Here’s the link:
https://historicengland.org.uk/get-involved/visit/london-history-day/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=lhd

The ATA's own Spring Wildlife Census needs more volunteers

We all know the Triangle is green. But how green? Lock Down has made London a quieter, cleaner place. And it's given us time to pay more attention to what this means for the wildlife in our own neighbourhoods. A group of Triangle residents are using this extraordinary opportunity to find out - and they want more help with recording what's moving, and what's growing, all around us.
There's definitely something exciting in it for kids - show them this video of Ashburnham Grove's fox cubs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwaXIbBpLyM
But whatever your interests - birds, blossoms or insects - there's plenty more to see: here are some of Egerton Drive's busy bees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSbkAcT3LeA
Each week those helping with the Spring Census are sending in a short record of what they have seen - in words, or in pictures like these - to Census co-ordinator, Mick Delap. They've been at it since April. And the Census will continue to gather information until the end of June. We already know which birds are most often seen in Triangle gardens (can you guess? Answer below *). But the Census needs more help, to capture everything that's going on this Spring, day, and night. As well as the night time foxes, we know there are bats in the Triangle - but we don't know how common they are, or what species. Help us find out this - and much more.
The target is to have enough data by the end of June to write up a detailed account of the Triangle's wild life. You don't need to be an expert to contribute - everything helps. And there's a new website which provides basic information, and allows you to use your phone to record what you are seeing: www.trianglewildlife.co.uk . You can also get to the website by pointing your phone camera at the image below.

 

Alternatively, Mick Delap has a Spring Census Starter Pack he can send out. Contact him on mick@delap.plus.com to join in, or just to hear each week how the Spring Census is progressing.
It's easy to contribute - and it's fun. Be part of this exciting new project. (* And the commonest Triangle birds are Blue Tits, Great Tits, Blackbirds and Pigeons).

Friday, 22 May 2020

Volunteers wanted by the ATA History Hub

Barbara from our History Hub writes:
I can’t say yet when we’ll be able to have another History Hub meeting but in case anyone has a bit of free time on their hands I’m flagging up something that you might want to take part in. Margaret Luce has been helping to trace the Charles Booth's Poverty Maps of London and more volunteers are needed. It’s something you can easily do at home. Booth’s Poverty map has poverty classifications for different buildings, but there has been no way to read the locations as data. You can help trace the colours and label them, so that researchers can use the data in the future. The London School of Economics library developed a website on Charles Booth’s London which includes his maps and notebooks. You can find out more here
All the information about the project and a demonstration of how to do the tracing and colouring is on a YouTube webinar produced by Layers of London
You can do as little or as much as you like because the maps are divided into small squares. You can take an area of London that you are familiar with and get to know it better or choose an area you don’t know. There’s something soothing as well as informative about the activity.
The Layers of London website has other new features and user feedback has been taken on board so do take another look at it www.layersoflondon.org

Sunday, 17 May 2020

ATA Plant Swap


The annual ATA Plant Swap is ‘going walkabout’!
Saturday, 23rd May 2020 11.00 – 12.30 
Come and find new plants at the following
addresses:
16 /17 Egerton Drive 
75 Ashburnham Grove 
38 Greenwich South Street
Plants to swap can be dropped off at the same time
Look out for the logo and please don’t forget social distancing – stay two metres apart

Friday, 8 May 2020

Safer Neighbourhoods April update

Earlier this week the Safer Neighbourhoods Panel had a telephone conference call to discuss Greenwich West. Here is a summary of that call:
Within the Triangle
Over the last 6 - 12 months there have been numerous reports of drug dealing within some of the blocks of flats in Devonshire drive. Together with residents help the police believe they know who the dealer is and have now identified most of the users. They are currently collating evidence.

Antisocial behaviour was reported prior to the lockdown involving the North Pole Pub and mopeds using the pavement via Norman Road. No more incidents more recently.

In fact the only real crime still being committed within the Triangle is theft from or theft of motor vehicles. There has been an alarming rise in theft of items from parked cars. When questioned by police amazingly some of these cars were not locked. Even during a pandemic there are opportunist thieves and if you leave your car unlocked then anything of value inside will not be there for long!

Remember:
  • Do not leave unattended items on display in your vehicle
  • Always lock your vehicle 

Theft of bicycles and mopeds /motorbikes is also on the rise. The police had started patrolling the Triangle in an effort to reduce vehicle crime but unfortunately since the lockdown and with police resources stretched to the limit this is currently not happening. They will resume these patrols as soon as they are able to. 

They have asked for all crime to be reported even if you don’t think it’s necessary. The Met Police use a system called “Crime Mapping” - a simple system that reports crime type, crime location, date and time and then based on past crime data it generates a hotspot map identifying areas where crime is most likely to happen. This is why it is essential to report EVERYTHING. Officers will be deployed into hotspot areas to catch criminals in the act. For non emergency crime report to 101 or complete the online form.  For any crime in progress Always 999.

Outside the Triangle
Car crime is not exclusive to the Triangle. There has been a spike in thefts from vehicles along Crooms Hill and Hyde Vale and the police suspect it's linked to the crimes within the Triangle. 

The theft of catalytic converters is rising rapidly within the borough. The catalytic converter is part of your car's exhaust system, and works to convert the toxic gases your motor produces into less harmful substances to be emitted. They are stolen as they contain precious metals and are sold for scrap. Catalytic converters (CATs) have been fitted in the exhaust of the majority of petrol cars manufactured since 1992 and diesel cars since 2001. Taller vehicles (4x4s) are particularly vulnerable as the converters are more easily accessible. 

Ikea car park in North Greenwich was the target of such thefts and before Christmas the police patrolled the area with plain clothes officers. Dartmouth Row has recently seen a spike in the these thefts. Using the Crime Mapping system police will be deployed to patrol areas that are seen as vulnerable, so once again it is really important to report this crime.

You will know if you are a victim of this type of crime as the muffler gets disconnected when a catalytic convertor is taken making your vehicle sound really loud once turned on together with a stronger smell of toxic fumes. Police suggest fitting a protection device made specifically to cover the converter – known as a cat lock. A Thatcham-approved alarm should also detect and activate if the vehicle is tilted or lifted.

Prior to the lockdown there were a few robberies within the Town Centre together with antisocial behaviour in Greenwich Market.  At the moment this has calmed down.

The council made sure they found shelter and accommodation for any homeless person in the borough during the pandemic. However there are still beggars in the Town Centre as they have refused any help. The police try to move them on as many are not practising social distancing.

Greenwich Park
During the lockdown thankfully Greenwich Park has remained open. However the park has been seen to be very busy at certain times. As you may know all the Royal Parks have their own Park Police to patrol them during the day. Greenwich Park Police has had to ask for the help from Richmond Park Police to carry out these patrols and make sure everyone is acting as per government guidelines to social distancing. 
As at the 5th May, our Safer Neighbourhood Team has issued 4 fines in breach of Covid-19. They emphasised that they prefer to talk and guide anyone not following government guidelines and will only issue fines as a last resort.

At the meeting we all thanked the police for their continuous hard work during these difficult and challenging times.


Tina Pugh
ATA Security / Police Liaison

Emergency dial 999
Non Emergency dial 101
Greenwich Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8284 5494 (not 24 hour)

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Be careful when switching energy supplier

It has come to our attention that some residents within the Triangle are having their energy suppliers - Gas, Telephone, Electric etc - switched without their consent. One particular resident is continually having these problems and this matter has now been referred to the police as it is believed to be a malicious act by causing continuous inconvenience.

However, most cases are in error; perhaps a new resident gave incorrect address details. Please do be careful when switching energy suppliers that you do give correct information. Otherwise it can take hours of unnecessary calls to energy suppliers to rectify the procedure. Also vulnerable and elderly occuplants can become very confused when energy supplies are switched without their consent. 

Here is what you should do if you receive an unexpected final bill or welcome letter from a new energy supplier. 

Why is this happening?

This could happen if:
  • a supplier made a mistake, for example by confusing your address with someone else’s
  • The wrong address was given to the energy supplier by a new resident moving into the area
  • you were misled by a salesperson
Contact the supplier
You’ll need to contact both your old supplier and the new one. Let them know that you didn’t agree to the switch, and ask them to cancel it if it’s still in progress. If the switch has already happened, ask them to reverse it.

Make a note of the date and time you call, and who you spoke to. You might need to refer to this later if you need to complain.

What happens next
Once you’ve contacted the supplier, they should write to you within:
  • 5 working days to explain what they plan to do, and when
  • 20 working days to confirm they’re reversing the switch or explain why it was correct
These deadlines are part of the ‘erroneous transfer customer charter’, which all suppliers need to follow. You'll be entitled to £30 compensation if:
  • the supplier takes more than 20 working days to reply 
  • your old and new suppliers take more than 20 working days to agree whether your switch was correct (they both owe you £30 if this happens)
  • your old supplier takes more than 21 working days to re-register you once they know about the mistake
If you’re entitled to compensation the supplier should pay you within 10 working days, otherwise they’ll owe you an extra £30 in compensation. If they haven’t paid, you should make a complaint and ask for the money you think they owe.

When you’re switched back you’ll still get bills from your original supplier, and won’t have to pay anything to the other supplier.


Monday, 27 April 2020

Coronavirus-related frauds increase by 400% in March


Law enforcement, government and private sectors partners are working together to encourage members of the public to be more vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing their financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations (e.g. your bank or HMRC) and the police.

STOP
Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe

CHALLENGE
Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

PROTECT
Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Social Engineering
Social Engineering is defined as “The clever manipulation of the natural human tendency to trust.” It’s easier to trick you into opening an infected email than it is to hack into your account. Due to this, social engineering has become much more prominent, and cyber criminals are trying more diverse ways to get people to undertake tasks, provide information or hand over money using these techniques.

Types of social engineering;
  • Phishing – fraudulent emails sent by cyber criminals pretending to be someone else, for example a bank, NHS or government department. The aim of the email is to install malicious software on your device or obtain Personal Identifiable Information including login credentials.
  • Spoofing – is the act of disguising a communication from an unknown source as being from a known, trusted source. This can apply to emails, phone calls and websites.
  • Smishing – fraudulent text messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to get individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords or financial details.
  • Vishing – criminals making phone calls or leaving voice messages pretending to be from reputable organisation in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information such as bank details and credit card numbers.
How to protect yourself:
  • Don’t assume a call, text or email is genuine.
  • Never provide financial or personal details to a caller.
  • Don’t click on website links or download attachments in unexpected texts or emails.
  • Phone numbers and emails can be changed (spoofed) and are not proof of identity.
  • Challenge every request for your information, money or details.
  • Double check requests for your details and verify via a trusted source.
The police can’t stop crime if it doesn’t know it's happening
Even if you didn’t lose money, you should still report every instance of fraud or cyber crime you’re targeted by. Every report assists police investigations, disrupts criminals, and reduces harm. Reports are also used to identify crime trends and create awareness campaigns to help protect people against them.
Report online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Useful websites:

Don’t assume your friends and family know the latest scams. Tell2 of them offline and play your part in disrupting criminals!



Thursday, 23 April 2020

ATA Spring Census

This week, as lock down continued, the Triangle turned green. Spring has arrived in full glory. Can you help the ATA residents who have already started tracking what that means along the different streets - and back gardens - of the Triangle? 
A small group of us are three weeks into recording the birds and bees and bugs we see, and when and in what numbers shrubs and flowers are blooming. We are saving our weekly accounts, exchanging pictures, and comparing notes. Some of us with just a few lines a week, others in more detail (depending on exactly what they are most interested in). It is already helping to build up a better idea of exactly how green the Triangle is. 
But we need more help, urgently, if we are to achieve our ambition. By the end of June, after three months observing, we want to be able to piece together a well informed picture of what Spring means for the Triangle. We are calling it the ATA Spring Census. But so far we have only recruited eight observers. And we are largely concentrated along the strip of gardens and trees between the east side of Egerton Drive, and Catherine Grove. There are others scattered along Greenwich South Street, and a lonely observer on Ashburnham Place. They need your help, if we are to reflect the true nature of the whole Triangle, what we all share in Spring, but also where there are differences. All it takes is a commitment to reporting weekly - in a few lines, or in more detail, or with a picture - what you are seeing and hearing in your part of the Triangle. It doesn't matter how much or how little you know about birds and insects and plants. 
Mick Delap is organising the Spring Census, and we can help you with basic information, a useful format for your weekly reports (which you can decide to use, or not), and suggestions as to where to find out more. We are also exploring possible ways of using the ATA website to share pictures, and weekly highlights. If you are interested in joining in, please email Mick: mick@delap.plus.com

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Free meals for vulnerable residents on Devonshire Drive

The Seventh Day Adventist Church wishes to offer free meals to residents of Devonshire Drive:
During the Covid-19 crisis we endeavour to support our community as needs arise within our capacity and capability.
We would like to extend our supportive care to all the residents on Devonshire Drive SE10.
We plan to offer a cook meal on Sundays to our vulnerable members, and we would like to extend that support to any vulnerable persons living on Devonshire Drive SE10.
If you would like to benefit, kindly let us know by calling
Veron – 07401 880 009
Pastor Esson – 07985 408 669
Or by the contact information
https://www.greenwichadventist.org.uk/contact-us/pastor/Information needed by end of Friday each week

Monday, 13 April 2020

Hi Everyone, local resident Mick Delap has composed a poem for Easter which I've loaded to YouTube.   The link is here https://youtu.be/-j5CTGRAjlc
:-)

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Important update for residents during Covid-19

The Met Police have provided a special reporting page to report any non-emergency incidents - see below link to a reporting page. For all emergencies continue to call 999.


The police have also asked us to highlight a rise in commercial burglary crime and a rise in Domestic Abuse with injury during this pandemic. Neighbourhood Watch Network has teamed up with Women's Aid - see below link for more info. 


There has also been an uptake on doorstep scammers pretending to be volunteers. If you arrange a volunteer make sure you know what time they are due and create a password for ease of identification. 

Cancer Research has also asked us to share some important information. If you or a member of your family is currently living with cancer you need to take extra precautions during this time. Cancer Research has made a web guide containing the latest information so you can keep up to date with caring for yourself and others. Please see link below.



Bin Collection this Easter Bank Holiday

Please note that all refuse will be collected on Monday over this Easter Weekend instead of a day later which is normal practice over a bank holiday.

So please remember to put your bins out as usual on Monday. 

Monday, 6 April 2020

IMPORTANT: Greenwich Foot Tunnel

Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of Greenwich Council writes:
On Sunday we had to close the Greenwich Foot Tunnel as there were crowds of people walking and cycling through where it’s impossible to keep two metres apart. The tunnel is an important route for essential workers travelling to and from work, so it’s open again now for key workers only. We’ll be keeping a close eye on it and possibly closing it again   over the Easter weekend, or sooner if it gets too crowded.
Greenwich is a popular tourist destination for lots of good reasons, but this is a national emergency, not a holiday. There is a real risk that the Government will ban outside exercise if people don’t stick to the rules, so only use the tunnel if you’re an essential worker getting to and from work.

Spring Wildlife census

Join Mick Delap in conducting a SPRING WILDLIFE CENSUS in the Triangle over April and May. Help him record birds, bees, butterflies and blossom - as they happen. We will share the results on the ATA website.
Keep a wildlife diary of your garden and encourage your children to do the same. Citizen science at its best.  Guidance and starter ideas available – and more suggestions welcome. See here for more details and let Mick know if you are interested by emailing him at mick@delap.plus.com

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Salute our superheroes


Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of Greenwich Council writes: 
Tonight at 8pm, as they did last Thursday, millions of people will stand on their doorsteps, go onto balconies or open their windows and clap for our carers. It’s a simple way to show appreciation for our health and social care workers, emergency services, shop workers, teachers, waste collectors, cleaners and all those making a difference to our lives.
If you are able to, the we hopes you can take part.
You may have noticed that lots of homes are displaying pictures of rainbows in their front windows  – they cheer up passers-by and offer a message of hope (as well as being a fun  activity  for kids to get  involved in).  You will no doubt have seen that the Government has set up a new hospital at the Excel Centre, NHS Nightingale, which will support up to 4,000 patients. Matthew Trainer, the Chief Executive of Oxleas NHS trust, which is based in Greenwich, has been seconded to run the hospital, which is a huge and daunting task.
We would like to show our support for Matthew and the hundreds of people working away from their families to transform the huge blank space of the Excel Centre into a working hospital that will save thousands of lives. To do this, we want you to join us in creating a wall of rainbows and messages of encouragement.
If you would like to get involved, please tag us into your rainbow pictures and messages on social media and use #GreenwichRainbows so everyone can come together and show our support for the people working so hard to keep us safe over at NHS Nightingale. We’ll share them with Matthew and the team to let them know that we’re all behind them.
You can subscribe to the Council's excellent daily email updates on the local impact the pandemic is having here.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Refuse Collections, Greenwich Park and Military Aircraft

Here at the ATA we are conscious of not overburdening you with endless information. However, in these strange times our daily lives are continually changing and we need to adapt fast. We will continue to deliver important information for both the Triangle and Greenwich in general to help you continue your daily lives. Please see below regarding waste collection, behaviour in Greenwich Park and the possible increase of military aircraft.


Waste Collection & Street Cleaning
Refuse collection is still continuing but with reduced numbers of staff the council have asked for everyone's help to ensure this can continue. 

Waste needs to be kept to a minimum. Now is not the time to spring clean and fill your recycling bins creating extra waste.

Garden waste (grass) should either be composted or bagged up and kept aside until collections are back to normal when you can deposit the grass into your green bin.  

If your bin is not collected on the normal designated collection day, please do not contact the council. They will collect bins as and when they can. Please continue to place bins on the kerbside ready for collection as this speeds up the collection process. 

The Reuse and Recycle Centre at Nathan Way is closed until further notice. 

Street cleaning is currently suspended. PLEASE do not litter if leaving your home for essential reasons or daily exercise. 



Greenwich Park

If you visit Greenwich Park for your daily exercise please make sure you do not congregate in groups, sunbathe, play football or even sit and talk on the park benches. Poor behaviour in the park will have consequences for us all. The park police are regularly patrolling and will be enforcing this too.

City Airport

City airport has temporarily suspended all commercial and private flights, effective from Wednesday 25 March. This is expected to last until the end of April and will be kept under review. The airport has become ‘RAF Nightingale’ and you may see military aircraft and movement around the airport. This is normal and is to support the new NHS Nightingale Hospital at the Excel Centre

Friday, 27 March 2020

Be Alert - increase in Covid-19 Scams


If life wasn't difficult enough scammers are taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis. We're hearing growing reports of a range of new scams you need to watch out for.

Don’t believe bogus text messages saying you’ve been fined for stepping outside during the coronavirus lockdown. It is the latest in a series of scams related to the virus that claims to be from the UK Government. This scam claims that your movements have been monitored through your phone, and that you must pay a fine or face a more severe penalty. Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) advises that ‘Anyone who receives this text should ignore it. It is simply another ruse to steal the payment details of users. 

Bogus message from the UK Government
Other bogus messages currently being circulated are:

HMRC goodwill payment. The MET police are warning of a fake message designed to steal your account details that says ‘As part of the NHS promise to battle the COV-19 virus, HMRC has issued a payment of £258 as a goodwill payment’. 

Free school meals. The Department for Eductaion has issued warnings about a scam email designed to steal your bank details saying: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported.’ 

In all of these cases, do not click or tap any links that these messages ask you to.

So what can you do to protect yourself against scams and misinformation? 

The main things to watch out for in emails and other messages are: 
  • Unsolicited emails and texts: be careful of anything you weren’t expecting that claims to be from an organisation such as a bank, BT, Sky, PayPal, Microsoft, the BBC and other large, trusted organisations. And at the moment, particularly watch out for unsolicited emails claiming to come from health bodies such as the NHS, the WHO and the CDC. 
  • An urgent tone: phishing and smishing messages are designed to scare you into clicking on their links.  
  • Grammar and spelling: the phishing email claiming to come from the WHO is clumsily written and has typos such no spaces after commas. 
  • No name: legitimate emails from services you have accounts with will always address you by name. Phishing emails and smishing texts usually start with ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Customer’. 
  • Fake domains: scammers often set up website addresses that look legitimate in order to trick you. Security researchers Digital Shadows says that more than 1,400 domains linked to the Covid-19 disease caused by the coronavirus have been registered in the past three months. While many of those may well be legitimate, others will almost certainly be used to trick anxious consumers into thinking they’re genuine. 
When it comes to claims circulating via social media, there are a couple of things you can check. Snopes is the original fact-checking website: if it’s not true, Snopes has probably written it up. Other fact-checking websites are also worth keeping an eye on: Full Fact is a British website that can be trusted, while Channel 4 News has its own FactCheck website.  

Above all, make sure your computers, mobile phones and tablets are up to date, and for Windows, Macs and Android devices, you should install antivirus software and keep that up to date, too. Antivirus will protect you from threats such as the banking Trojan contained in the Italian emails, and can also warn you if you’re visiting a website that’s been reported for phishing or that contains malware. If you’ve been scammed, report what’s happened to Action Fraud, the UK’s national centre for reporting fraud and cybercrime. 

For further details or advice on coronavirus scams go to either Royal Borough of Greenwich Website or Which? provide a very useful Coronavirus Advice hub

Tina Pugh
ATA Security / Police Liaison
Email: ata.secureteam@gmail.com
Emergency dial 999
Non Emergency dial 101
Greenwich Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8284 5494 (not 24 hour)
Email: westgreenwich.snt@met.police.uk


Thursday, 26 March 2020

Urgent Public Appeal

Cllr Danny Thorpe appealing for donations of PPE
Greenwich Council leader Danny Thorpe has made an urgent public appeal for personal protection equipment for our frontline workers. Can you help? 


"Our PPE equipment for social care staff has not arrived for days. We have flagged up across London and through our command structures and not heard anything.

The situation is now extremely serious. We have at least 1 patient in the QE who could be discharged into a home if the staff had the kit they need to keep safe. They don’t, so a bed is blocked.

We have been told for days it is coming and it doesn’t arrive.
  
We urgently need the following:

  1. FFP3 Face Masks
  2. Aprons
  3. Gloves (Long sleeve and short if possible)
  4. Protective eye goggles

The type of masks we are after are often used in construction, garages, nail bars and spray painting.

I need this to be shared across your networks please. 
Many thanks

Danny"

Councillor Danny Thorpe
Leader, Royal Borough of Greenwich

Tweet: @DanLThorpe
email: danny.thorpe@royalgreenwich.gov.uk
Office: Town Hall, Wellington Street, London, SE18 6PW


The council leader has asked for any messages regarding donations to be directed via his email at danny.thorpe@royalgreenwich.gov.uk