Warwickshire Rural Hub
New farm worker app to help combat modern slavery
The Farm Work Welfare App (FWWA) is a new tool to help rural employers tackle labour abuse and modern slavery. The app will provide farmers and growers with guidance to help them strengthen their recruitment processes and prevent labour abuse and exploitation within their operations. For pickers, it is designed to help them understand their rights and know what they can expect from this type of work. The Farm Work Welfare app was commissioned and funded by The Clewer Initiative and developed in partnership with the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), the National Crime Agency (NCA), the Fresca Group, the Modern Slavery Helpline (MSH)/Unseen UK, National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the Church Commissioners for England. The app’s content has been translated into seven foreign languages – Albanian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Polish, Chinese (Mandarin) and Vietnamese.
The app can be downloaded now from Google Play and is coming soon to iOS App Store.
Rural Crime Team Expansion
Warwickshire Police and PCC Philip Seccombe have announced an expansion of the rural crime team with an additional four dedicated rural crime officers to be recruited. This team was launched in October 2019 and has been a huge success in the fight against crime in the county. Should you wish to contact your local rural crime officer please contact George.Bostock@nfu.org.uk who can forward through details.
Landowners asked to be vigilant about large gatherings of people in fields
Warwickshire Police is aware of concerns around the county of large gatherings of people in rural areas acting in an anti-social manner and affecting the local communities. Landowners and farmers are asked to be vigilant, protect access to their fields and report anyone who is acting suspiciously. If you are aware of a gathering or rave being organised or see one taking place please contact Warwickshire Police on 101 or report online at www.warwickshire.police.uk
Business Against Scams free training and advice
Businesses Against Scams has been set up by the National Trading Standards Scams Team and includes a number of resources that companies can share with their employees which can educate them on a variety of common business related frauds. By completing a questionnaire you will be given access to a training session that takes around 10 minutes to complete and provides information on these frauds, what to look out for and how to prevent your company from falling victim to them. You will also get a number of Fact Sheets that can be used as a refresher for staff members, along with a number of infographics/posters that can be used on social media or within your team. Visit this page for full information.
Land Registry free property alerts
By signing up to the HM Land Registry property alert service you will receive an email each time there is significant activity on the property you are monitoring, such as if a new mortgage is taken out against it. The alert will tell you the type of activity (such as an application to change the register or a notification that an application may be due), who the applicant is and the date and time it has been received. Signing up to Property Alert won’t automatically stop fraud from happening. You will need to decide if the activity on the property is potentially fraudulent and act quickly if so. The alert email will tell you who to contact. Read more here.
Could the uWatch cube help with your security concerns?
The uWatch Cube is a little weather proof box that can be sited anywhere that has a mobile signal. If the cube is moved, something moves in front of it, a Bluetooth Tag activates it, the temperature is outside a range you have set or the internal clock has told it to activate you will receive an alert on your smartphone in less than 30 seconds. The uWatch Cube could therefore be used for a variety of situations including security and as such the device has Police “secured by design” approval for preventing and solving crime. To view full information on wWatch Cube please visit this website.
Rural Crime Reporting
As part of their ongoing work to tackle the serious issues surrounding criminal behaviour on farms and in the wider countryside, the NFU has partnered with the charity Crimestoppers to launch the Rural Crime Reporting Line, a service through which information about four rural crimes can be given anonymously. Rural crimes often go under-reported and their true extent remains unknown. Anyone who has experienced, witnessed or has any information about these rural crimes is encouraged to come forward and call the line – your information could be extremely valuable.
Contact number: 0800 783 0137
Beware of fraudsters targeting farmers who receive subsidy payments
In the past, banks have warned that fraudsters pretending to be from their bank’s fraud department may try to target farmers who receive subsidy payments. Remember:
• Your bank will never ask you for your full online password
• Your bank will not ask you to make a payment over the phone using your online account.
• If you get a call from someone claiming to be from your bank (or any other organisation), make sure it’s genuine. End the call then wait 5 minutes and call them back on a number you know is correct (not a number they’ve given you).
• Never give your PIN and other passwords to a 3rd party even if you think you are speaking to your bank.
Beware of phishing email with Police branding
Warwickshire Police has been made aware of a phishing email that is using police branding to provoke responses.
The email says that the recipient is being summoned to court as a witness and asks them to follow a link, which could then lead to a virus or malware being placed on their computer.
For full information on the email please visit the link below.
Beware of rogue tarmac gangs
Farmers are warned to beware of rogue tarmac gangs targeting their premises. The gangs either door knock or more recently (and in a new twist to an old scam) phone the farm and claim they have some left over tarmac they want to get rid of. They imply that they would rather tip the tarmac on the farm driveway to cover a few potholes as a favour, rather than have to dispose of it. If the farmer agrees, the rogue gang arrive quickly, spread the tarmac and then demand thousands of pounds with menaces!
If you have been a victim or are approached and threatened please report to the police on 101 or 999 if immediately concerned for your safety.
Report a wildlife crime anonymously
Warwickshire Wildlife Watchers has added a form to their website which will allow the reporting of a wildlife crime to take place anonymously.
Lamping without permission, hare coursing, persecution of badgers, bats and birds of prey and are examples of incidents which are against the law.
Visit the website below if you want to report a wildlife crime.
Consider registering a domain name for your business if you don’t have a website
Online criminals are using a fake website scam to trick customers into paying money for goods that are never received. They do this by setting up a website using the name of a genuine business that does not have a website. The customer then thinks they are purchasing online goods from a genuine business but never receives the goods that they pay for.
If you are a business that does not have a website consider registering the domain name of your company to ensure that you do not fall victim to this scam.
Request for businesses to remain vigilent
Following a spate of robberies in Kenilworth and South Warwickshire, Warwickshire Police has issued a number of alerts in relation to incidents at business premises in recent days. A request to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to the Police on 101 has been issued. If you’d like to sign up to the Warwickshire Police Community Messaging Service please visit the website below.
Cyber Safety Advice
In the light of the recent cyber attacks on the NHS Warwickshire County Council has produced some cyber safety advice for businesses.
To read the advice in full please use the link below.
New YouTube videos to help businesses avoid cyber crime
A new YouTube Channel has recently been launched which is specifically aimed at businesses. The Channel houses an array of short, useful videos covering cyber crime related topics.
Some of the video topics include Ransomware, Phishing Emails and Password Management. If you’d like to view the videos or look at what other topics are covered visit the YouTube Channel below.
Scene it. Herd it. A new Crimestoppers campaign
Theft of livestock, farm tools, oil, diesel, quad bikes, trailers and burglaries from farm buildings remain top targets of thieves in the Warwickshire countryside, prompting independent charity Crimestoppers to launch a new campaign tackling rural crime across the county.
There has been a sharp increase in the theft of expensive tractors and recent intelligence suggests that organised criminals are specifically targeting British farms and machinery dealers. The problem affects communities, businesses, farmers and manufacturers.
Crimestoppers is working closely with agencies such as NFU Mutal, Horse Watch, and Rural Watch to spread the word that there is a safe, anonymous way to report crime.
Beware of storage scam
Following recent increases in fly-tipping there have been a number of incidents across the country where farmers have been paid cash to store material, for example road planings. Farmers are then discovering wrapped bails of landfill refuse stored instead, often in very large quantities and facing an equally large bill to clear the rubbish up. Please be aware of this and contact the police on 101 if you receive such requests for ‘storage’.
The excellent Warwickshire Horsewatch is also open for horse owners in the West Mercia area. Warwickshire and West Mercia forces also recognise that with rural and equine crime, thieves do not respect borders and what happens in one county soon moves across to another. Therefore, alerts from many other counties are included on their Facebook page and in their Bulletins. You are invited to join the Warwickshire Scheme. To join, please visit the Warwickshire Horsewatch website: www.warwickshire-horsewatch.co.uk
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Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
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