September: News from your Avon & Somerset PCC
We must not waste the sacrifices of the last six months
OVER the summer months we’ve seen plans to ease restrictions come and go, local lockdowns enforced in some parts of the country and changes to guidance for those travelling abroad. I’m sure, like me, many of you welcomed the return of restaurants, hairdressers and gyms. However, we’ve also seen some of these establishments close again, due to positive coronavirus cases. This is a stark reminder that we must continue to be cautious, act with common sense and ensure that the sacrifices of the last six months do not go to waste.
As the regulations continue to change, so does the police response, and business as usual has certainly returned for officers. Avon and Somerset Police continue to face multiple complex crimes and make difficult decisions to keep local people safe. Although they should be commended for their hard work, unfortunately, our emergency workers also face threat of physical or verbal abuse. This is not acceptable. During the height of the global pandemic we were all celebrating our emergency workers for their hard work, so let’s not forget their efforts as we emerge into our new normal.
One of the crimes that officers continue to face is cybercrime and fraud. Unfortunately criminals have exploited recent changes to the TV licence requirement for over 75s and used it to target vulnerable users with a text message scam.
The National Cyber Security Centre has told police that victims are asked to enter various pieces of personal information, including their name, date of birth, home address and banking details, which are then stolen. During the global health pandemic, officers have seen an increase in cybercrime reports so it is more important than ever that we all remain vigilant.
To keep yourself safe from fraud, take a moment to think before parting with your money or information, challenge any suspicious demands and be sure to take some time to check any requests for money or information. Always remember: the police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money, transfer it to a different account or reveal your full banking password or PIN. If you have been a victim, please report it to Action Fraud: www.actionfraud.police.uk.
In my regular catch-ups with the chief constable we regularly discuss concerns around speeding and anti-social driving, which continues to blight our communities. Avon and Somerset Police has a dedicated unit of 55 roads policing officers supporting our neighbourhood teams and, as part of their role, they gather evidence and collate information from local people to identify and target drivers who present the greatest harm to our communities. If you witness any road-related incidents, please do report to the police by calling 101 or reporting online. Reporting your concerns provides the police with a wider picture of information that allows them to target repeat offenders or people who present a significant risk to our communities.
I look forward to meeting you all again soon. In the meantime, remember we are still here for you and we are all working hard to ensure you are safe and feel safe.