Police have discovered an iPod nano attached to a cash machine being used as a spy camera to steal PINs from unsuspecting members of the public.
Thieves had taken the small iPod, which is an old version that is no longer sold, and used its built-in camera to spy on the cash machine’s keypad. It had been crudely shrouded in a small plastic box and attached to the cash machine with sticky tape.
It also included a small plastic piece attached over the slot where cards are inserted, which was designed to snare bank cards and stop them from being ejected.
This would allow fraudsters to return once the customer had given up and retrieve the card themselves, which they could then use because the camera captured the associated PIN.
Crafty devices designed to steal your credit card information are getting increasingly compact and difficult to spot, with the latest “razor thin” models able to slip totally out of sight inside the card slot.
Our latest from the Inspector Rob Bryan, direct from the email received. Please email the Inspector if you wish to receive this information directly :
I hope you have all had a pleasant Christmas and have an equally enjoyable New Year. Our Festive Open Day at Ruislip Police Station was a great success again this year with over 300 children and their families in attendance to see Santa and many other treats. Organising the open day is a labour of love undertaken by the volunteers who work at Ruislip Police Station. Without them it simply would not happen. One of our volunteers, Sandra, was rewarded for her hard work on this event by receiving the David Brough Community Safety Award. Very well done.
Whilst on the subject of volunteers, I wan to acknowledge the brilliant job they do opening the police stations at Ruislip and Northwood for additional hours above what the police do. But their numbers are dwindling which makes it harder to keep those front offices open. If you want to volunteer with the police, or know of anyone who does, please drop me an e-mail and I will ensure your details are passed on.
Designated Ward Officers:
I am often told that the bobby on the beat is rarely seen anymore. The Local Police Model which replaced the Safer Neighbourhoods Model a few years ago has reduced the number of officers on each ward. That is a fact that will not change. But it should not have completely wiped out our local visibility so it is a concern to me to hear that my officers are not seen all that often. I can assure you that our Borough Commander, Nick Downing, is keen for that visibility to exist and he ensures your Dedicated Ward Officers are not abstracted for other work. There have been a few changes of personnel recently so this is a good opportunity for me to let you know who your DWOs are:
2 PCs are currently sick or on light duties. Where that is the case I have put the PCSOs e-mail address above.
I encourage you all to e-mail your local DWO and let them know about local issues, or just let them know that it would be good to see them in your area. They do patrol and may be able to tell you when they were last in your area. Alternatively, your e-mail may prompt them into visiting your area.
I have been concerned about the “lag” in burglary stats that are presented on the monthly NHW newsletter. I am working with Hillingdon NHW to make these numbers a bit more relevant. Instead of presenting the last two months figures, I hope to be able to present the last thee or four weeks figures (prior to going to print). It is a work in progress so watch this space and please let me have your feedback once it is up and running.
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Please see below Inspector Rob Bryan’s police newsletter in full. We hope you find this of interest.
After last month’s circular, I received a lot of positive feedback about how hard the local police officers and PCSOs are working. Thanks very much for that feedback. I will return to the theme of highlighting all their good work every few months. Today I will just mention PCSO Paul Brighton who covers West Ruislip ward. Because of his hard work and dedication (he is the one you see out on the pushbike all the time) he has won a Hillingdon Police Excellence Award. He will be awarded this by the Borough Commander later in the month. Well done Paul.
Last month I also raised a topic about doing my best to squash rumours that you often hear from a friend of a friend. I offered to look into any grapevine rumours and provide the facts. I received no requests all month. A cynical person might assume that gossip is more interesting than fact! But I will take it to mean there are no wild stories currently circulating that require a correction.
There have been stories on the news recently about police under recording crimes so I thought you would like to know the facts as I see them.
Violence with injury (GBH, ABH and robbery) have seen a 20%+ increase across London and the UK. This is primarily due to a change in recording standards. In the past, if we were called to a pub fight and it was all quiet on our arrival, no crime was recorded. That was contrary to the National Crime Recording Standards and we have now corrected that error. From what I see, police in Hillingdon are extremely ethical in how crime is recorded. Stats from the London Ambulance Service and hospitals show a reduction in persons they see as a result of violence. Nevertheless we cannot just put this increase in violent crimes down to changes in the way we record crime – those acts of violence have always been there, just not recorded. I can reassure you that this issue has been gripped at the highest level and extra resources are being put into combating violence. The London-wide plan is called Operation Equinox and involves increased late night patrols in town centres, more licensing visits and test purchases and increased proactivity in arresting those who commit acts of violence.
Burglary has also seen an increase in the north of the Borough. At this time of year when the clocks change, opportunist burglars do strike. The spike we are seeing is bigger than previous spikes, but I also want to reassure you that it is not an epidemic. Ironically even with this spike, because of low numbers earlier in the year, Hillingdon may still see a decrease in burglaries compared to last year. Operation Bumblebee runs each year to combat this spike. In the north that includes cocooning (visiting addresses around a burglary to provide crime prevention and seek out leads), additional resources from the Borough Tasking Team and TSG and proactive targeting of suspected offenders. I would ask that you circulate the crime prevention advice below as widely as possible.
Crime Prevention advice:
A third of residential burglaries show no signs of forced entry suggesting either a door or windows were not properly secured. The following tips, if followed by everyone, would make it so much harder for burglars to operate in our area:
Don’t leave your keys within easy reach of doors, letterboxes or windows (the burglar can fish them out with a coat hanger).Close and lock all doors and windows. If you have multi-locking door handles, lift the handle, lock it with the key and remove it. Remember – LIFT – LOCK – REMOVE. Put the key in a safe place out of sight in case of fire (This should be done when you go to bed too, not just when you go out. Entry via improperly locked doors counts for a high proportion of our break-ins). Lock garages and sheds so garden tools and ladders can’t be used to break into your home and keep side gates locked. Use timer switches linked to lights and a radio so it appears that someone is at home (that extra hour of darkness since the clocks changed makes it very easy to spot which house is empty). Install a visible intruder alarm system – burglars don’t want to be seen or heard. Keep side and rear boundaries high to restrict access and front boundaries low to remove hiding places. Photograph and mark valuables and sentimental items with your postcode and house number. Register items with serial numbers at: www.immobilise.com
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Inpsector Rob Bryan who visited our last SRRA Quarterly meeting on 22nd October has written a newsletter which details what the police have achieved locally recently. The email interesting reading and we wanted to share this with you….
Welcome to my second monthly circular. I e-mail this circular to about 100 people and many of those forward it to NHWs and Residents Association so I believe there is a wide readership. Any feedback or comments greatly appreciated.
I have now had time to settle in to my new role and there are two things I want to cover in this circular:
Publicising good work:
I have been taken aback by how busy and enthusiastic some of my officers are. There is such a wide range of interaction between the local officers and the community which goes unnoticed and I wanted to take this opportunity to showcase just some of it. I have asked my sergeants to write about the good things their teams are doing.
PC Dave Butler attended the Ruislip Manor Synagogue for a VIP Visit from the Chief Rabbi from South East England. PC Butler met with the local Jewish Community, reassured them with a visible police presence and spoke with community elders regarding issues surrounding security and a safer community. Over 200 people attended the event and this was professionally managed and policed with only PC Butler and PCSO Jo Witt. The Rabbi was most grateful and impressed with the professionalism shown by both officers
Local officers helped to run a Jail & Bail Event at Ruislip Police Station. This was a charity event to raise money for the Michael Sobell Hospice in Mount Vernon. The fundraisers were “arrested” by PC Janine McCormack, before being brought into custody and having their fingerprints taken by PCSO Paul Brighton. The “prisoners” were then locked in one of the cells and could only get released once they had raised £1000 each for the Hospice. Thankfully the officers were able to release all of the “prisoners” and over £8000 was raised for a very worthy cause.
PC Rebecca Lord and PCSO Witt spent a morning at Breakspear School. Firstly with the ‘walking bus’ and then talking to all classes in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 as part of community engagement.
PCSO Paul Brighton and PCSO Gemma Robinson helped the local community with “the big tidy up” on Eastcote and West Ruislip wards. The Hill Lane Crew and the River Pinn Volunteers led the clean up of the streets in Eastcote and Ruislip, with Gemma and Paul on hand to provide a visible and accessible presence at this well attended event. Paul was particularly proud of the “Big Tidy Selfie” that has made it’s way onto several twitter and facebook sites!
PC Allan Webster and PCSO Jo Witt attended the 1st Troop South Ruislip Brownies evening at St Mary’s Church The Fairway Ruislip and gave a presentation on personal protection and burglary protection as part of the scout’s tasking in obtaining their Badges for Crime and Personal Protection badges. The evening consisted of ‘Stranger danger’, Protecting your home and valuables whilst out and about on their normal daytime routine. The evening was well attended and informative for those that attended.
Sgt Eleanor Charlston and her team carried out a joint operation with MHRA, a government medical regulations agency at an address in Eastcote. The warrant was executed at the address and 30,000-35,000 prohibited tablets were found and seized during the search. The suspect returned to the address while it was being searched and was detained and interviewed. The suspect has been charged with the sale and supply of an unlicensed drug. Further investigation is being carried out into the suspect’s finances, with the aim of seizing monetary proceeds from the suspect’s illegal activity.
A problem family was evicted from an address in Ruislip after 9 months of evidence gathering By PC Dave Butler.
The new North High Visibility Team (HVPT) have made a number of excellent arrests. On their first shift they arrested a man for possession of heroin and crack cocaine. He tried to swallow the drugs but their quick action ensured he could not swallow the evidence. A few days later they were arresting a suspected cannabis dealer. His money and his drugs were seized.
Sgt Charlston’s team secured the arrest of a male who was wanted in connection to a linked series of thefts and drive outs from across the north of the Borough. This was a complex and lengthy investigation with extensive CCTV trawls and witness enquiries. The suspect went to great lengths to avoid capture by disguising and distorting his registration plate. The male was charged with three theft related offences with further charges to come.
A prolific offender was charged with motor vehicle interference. A good job by DS Glyn Jones and PC Lindsey Beverley from my local investigations team. Once charged and remanded to court, DS Jones ensured he attended the magistrate court to oppose the bail hearing. This lead to the man changing his plea to guilty and getting an immediate 3 month custodial sentence.
A warrant was executed under the Dangerous Dogs Act at an address in Northwood. The dog had been terrorising the residents for some time and the owners had become unable to control it. This resulted in the dog causing a serious injury to one of their elderly neighbours in a vicious and unprovoked attack. PC Dave Bell secured the warrant and with the assistance of PC Peter Kalinowski, PC Bill Tucker and a dog unit, the dog was seized and taken to the kennels for assessment. The owners are currently under investigation for offences under the Dangerous Dog Act.
The North HVPT continue to seize every illegally ridden moped and motor bike they can.
Excellent work by officers on West Ruislip SNT in putting a stop to prolonged ASB and criminal damage in and around the open space on Tweeddale Grove. Working with the council and the ASB team over the last 6 months, Sgt Eleanor Charlston and PCSO Paul Brighton secured funding for CCTV, signage and other crime prevention initiatives. The local councillor sent Sgt Eleanor Charlston and PCSO Paul Brighton a personal letter of thanks, praising their hard work and perseverance. There have been no more reports of ASB and the team received a big thank you from residents in the area.
These really are just a snapshot, with many other stories not making the cut. Alongside these are our longer term initiatives which are ongoing and aimed at targeting illegal motorbikes in Harefield and drivers who insist on speeding or using their phone whilst driving. As you can see, there is a lot of work going into enforcement as well as our community engagement work.
I myself have also attended many meetings with NWH members, Residents Associations, Ward Panels and Councillors with loads more in the diary. My aim is to be a recognisable face in the community so if you have a public meeting you would like me to attend please let me know.
I know we have a long way to go to improve confidence and satisfaction, but it is also right to thank the officers for their continued efforts during changing times.
You heard it on the grapevine:
The second topic I would like to cover is how to deal with stories that travel on the grapevine, and occasionally become something more than what they started as. I am often asked about a particular incident or event, and the person asking usually has details or a version of events that is helpful to the investigation and which I can pass on to the right officer to deal. On other occasions, the version I am presented with has gained momentum and just needs a correction or some added detail to help reduce the fear of crime.
So I would like to use this forum as a means to address stories you hear on the grapevine. I propose that if you hear a story you would like some clarity on that you e-mail the details to me. For example:
Q “I hear there is a group of Eastern European men actively targeting old people using cash machines in Joel Street”.
A “There were two offences close together in location and time. No further offences have occurred. The North HVPT has been tasked with increased patrols in the area”
Q “There is a spate of shopliftings taking place in Boots and other pharmacies in Northwood. What are the police doing about it?”
A “A dedicated officer has been tasked with investigating all the offences that have occurred in Boots and other local pharmacies. Officers have spoken to staff in Boots and confirmed they are having CCTV installed and are changing the lay-out of the store to discourage bulk thefts. I have e-mailed local residents groups and as a result a witness has contacted me and provided further information about CCTV images of the thief. The investigation is progressing, thanks to local help. Further good news – a gang who were targeting pharmacies in Eastocte have been arrested and charged”.
I will e-mail you individually about the issue you raised and also highlight those concerns and replies in the following month’s circular. Let’s see how it works, if no one contacts me then I shall leave it and try something else instead.
Inspector Rob Bryan
firstname.lastname@example.org + Ruislip Police Station, The Oaks, HA4 7LE
The website of the South Ruilsip Residents Association