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Dosthill Co-operative (co-op) store

POLICE are appealing for information after an armed robbery at a local Co-operative store.

The incident happened at approximately 1025pm on Saturday 22 July.

Three males entered the store armed with a crow bar, kitchen knife and a metal bar.

The three men  stole cigarettes from the counter and money from the tills before speeding off from the locationin a red 63 plated Audi, possibly an S3 or an A3.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 0902 22/07/2017.

You can also report crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

online safety

CYBERCRIME and online fraud are on the increase but recent figures suggest that company directors are twice as likely to become the victims of identity theft as members of the general public.

Cifas, the organisation that operates the National Fraud Database has highlighted the fact that a great deal of personal information about company directors is available via the Companies House register, leaving directors vulnerable.

Responding to a report in the Financial Times last month, Companies House stated that they were working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to review the availability of personal information on the register.

Identity fraud is said to cost around £5.4bn a year according to research undertaken by Portsmouth University.

The Deputy PCC, Sue Arnold, has today written to the Right Hon Greg Clark, the minister responsible, asking for an urgent update.

DPCC Sue Arnold with Detective Superintendent Amanda Davies, Staffordshire Police lead on Cyber Crime

DPCC Sue Arnold with Detective Superintendent Amanda Davies, Staffordshire Police lead on Cyber Crime

‘There were 173,000 recorded cases of identity fraud in the UK last year. Cybercriminals and online fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated but it’s clear that Companies House has failed to move with the times. Here in Staffordshire, we are working with our partners to reduce the levels of online crime but we need to be assured that the government is doing all it can to reduce the number of incidents.’

The Police and Crime Commissioner is leading a coalition of partners from businesses, banks, law enforcement and public safety agencies who are sharing their expertise in a concerted effort to protect residents and businesses from all forms of online fraud.

‘Online fraud often targets the vulnerable but we all need to be vigilant to prevent what can be a costly and deeply upsetting form of crime.’

police cell

A TAMWORTH man was charged on Saturday (15 July) with attempting to meet a boy under 16 following grooming and assault after a sting by ‘Silent Justice’ on Friday night, 14 July.

Paul Bryant was charged with attempting to meet a boy under 16 following grooming, and assault, and appeared before magistrates in Cannock today, 7 July.

‘Silent Justice’ have today revealed on their Facebook page that 49-year-old Bryant, from the Hockley area of Tamworth has been remanded in custody by the Court.

He will now appear at Stafford Crown Court on 18 August.

Following an investigation by detectives he has been charged and remanded in custody to appear before magistrates.

High-visibility patrols have been increased in the area today to reassure our communities following last night’s arrest.

Officers were called to the location following reports of an altercation between the man and several members of the public.

During the disturbance a member of the public sustained slight injuries; it is understood that one of the ‘Silent Justice’ team was bitten.

‘Silent Justice’ describe themselves as ‘a dedicated team of sexual predator hunters trying to keep the young and vulnerable children of today safe.’

Staffordshire Police say anyone with information should contact them on 101, quoting incident 889 of July 14.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedA Staffordshire Police spokesperson has said: “We remind the public of the importance of not taking matters into their own hands or do anything that could hinder or jeopardise this investigation following the man’s arrest.  Show restraint when commenting on certain individuals or circumstances.

“This case is owned by specially trained investigators and speculation is not only highly dangerous but can be damaging to the investigation process.

“Acts of retaliation will not be tolerated and we will take swift and appropriate action to deal with any offenders accordingly.”



Parents can get advice on preventing grooming at on the NSPCC website here.

If you have bee affected by sexual abuse, please contact SARAC here.

Police cell block

A MAN has been charged with attempting to meet a boy under 16 following grooming and assault after a sting in Tamworth by ‘Silent Justice’ on Friday night (14 July).

Paul Bryant has been charged with attempting to meet a boy under 16 following grooming, and assault, and will appear before magistrates in Cannock on Monday 17 July.

Paul Bryant is a DJ that has worked on a number of radio stations; including Walsall Hospital Radio/Radio Lions, BRMB, Xtra AM and Buzz FM. In 1994, he was one of the original line-up at 100.7 Heart FM where he remained until 2005

The 49-year-old, from the Hockley area, was arrested last night (Fri).

Following an investigation by detectives he has been charged and remanded in custody to appear before magistrates.

High-visibility patrols have been increased in the area today to reassure our communities following last night’s arrest.

Officers were called to the location following reports of an altercation between the man and several members of the public.

During the disturbance a member of the public sustained slight injuries; it is understood that one of the ‘Silent Justice’ team was bitten.

‘Silent Justice’ describe themselves as ‘a dedicated team of sexual predator hunters trying to keep the young and vulnerable children of today safe.’

The post placed on the 'Silent Justice' Facebook page.

The post placed on the ‘Silent Justice’ Facebook page.

Staffordshire Police say that a detailed investigation into the incident is now underway and anyone with information is asked to contact them on 101, quoting incident 889 of July 14.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedA Staffordshire Police spokesperson has said: “We remind the public of the importance of not taking matters into their own hands or do anything that could hinder or jeopardise this investigation following the man’s arrest.  Show restraint when commenting on certain individuals or circumstances.

“This case is owned by specially trained investigators and speculation is not only highly dangerous but can be damaging to the investigation process.

“Acts of retaliation will not be tolerated and we will take swift and appropriate action to deal with any offenders accordingly.”



 

A MAN is in custody today after being arrested in the Hockley area of Tamworth last night, Friday 14 July.

Officers were called to the location following reports of an altercation between the man and several members of the public.

It is now understood that a group called ‘Silent Justice’ were involved in the incident.

The group describe themselves as ‘a dedicated team of sexual predator hunters trying to keep the young and vulnerable children of today safe.’

The 49-year-man was arrested on suspicion of attempt sexual grooming of a child and taken into custody for questioning. No child was present.

During the disturbance a member of the public sustained slight injuries.

Staffordshire Police say that a detailed investigation into the incident is now underway and anyone with information is asked to contact them on 101, quoting incident 889 of July 14.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedA Staffordshire Police spokesperson has said: “We remind the public of the importance of not taking matters into their own hands or do anything that could hinder or jeopardise this investigation following the man’s arrest.  Show restraint when commenting on certain individuals or circumstances.

“This case is owned by specially trained investigators and speculation is not only highly dangerous but can be damaging to the investigation process.

“Acts of retaliation will not be tolerated and we will take swift and appropriate action to deal with any offenders accordingly.”



We remind readers not to name the person involved in this investigation at this time.

THE Police and Crime Commissioner’s office has won a bid for vital funding to tackle the heinous crime of female genital mutilation in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The Home Office pledged £15 million across England and Wales over the next three years to tackle violence against women and girls and organisations were invited to bid for specific projects.

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s office (PCC) led a bid on behalf of partners, including the police, county and city councils, health and key voluntary women’s groups, to secure funding to tackle FGM.

This was not because of the high prevalence currently of the issue across the county and city, but a desire to prevent it from escalating.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold, who led an awareness campaign on behalf of PCC Matthew Ellis, welcomed news of the successful bid.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth Informed‘This is a great result for the county and in particular the women and girls of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

‘Female genital mutilation is a hideous practice and it’s a crime. It invariably goes unreported and results in tremendous psychological, as well as physical, pain and suffering, which can and does traumatise girls for life.

‘This isn’t just a problem for women in affected communities – it’s an issue which we all need to face and it’s why I’m delighted the PCC’s office has been successful in securing this important funding, which could really change young girls’ lives for the better.’

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold

FGM, sometimes called female circumcision, involves the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It usually happens between the ages of four and ten and can have serious consequences for a woman’s health and in some instances lead to death.

It is practised in 28 African countries and some in the Middle East and Asia and affects migrant communities in the UK.

The OPCC-led project hopes to work closely with the National FGM Centre model and learn from the good practice and evidence base they have produced.  It will involve project officers, who will support and work closely with social workers. Working with parents to prevent FGM will be a key aspect of this role.

The funding will also help create ‘community champions’, who will forge trusting relationships and foster changes in attitudes and practices within the community. There will also be training to improve knowledge, skills, referral practices and give confidence to those who do and may come face to face with individuals they suspect have undergone or are at risk of FGM.

Specialist services will take a victim centred approach and will support, through counselling and other therapeutic interventions, potential victims and/or actual victims of FGM. There will also be campaigns produced in collaboration with survivors and professionals.

STAFFORDSHIRE police have a dedicated proactive online child abuse investigation team, Operation Safenet, to protect vulnerable young people.

The team actively pursue those who present a risk to children online across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Such is the team’s success that Operation Safenet was adopted across the region and is now a well-established part of everyday policing.

Since its creation in July 2015 the team have been involved in 532 incidents, these are made up of criminal investigations, intelligence gathering and safeguarding.

Each week the team uses the latest digital investigative techniques to identify where illegal images are being viewed, then using this intelligence apply to a magistrate for a search warrant, to allow the police and digital forensic experts to raid the home address to seize evidence and arrest those involved.

Since its launch 183 warrants have been obtained from the courts and actioned across the county.

The 532 incidents the team have been involved in have led to 168 arrests, with an additional 41 suspects being interviewed under police caution.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedDS Steve Chadwick, from the team, said: “The investigations have led to 106 offenders being convicted with offences against children with a further 58 suspects still being currently investigated.

“My officers have gained significant skills in this area of policing and working with Digital Forensic Experts and the Crown Prosecution Service have been able to present evidence to such a standard that we have achieved a 100% conviction rate at court.

“Furthermore the efforts of my officers have identified 75 suspected offenders who reside out of Staffordshire with this information being passed to colleagues to action.

“Whilst we hope these figures reassure the public that those individuals who pose a risk to children are being rooted out and held to account, without doubt the most important aspect of this work are the children who have been safeguarded as a result of our proactive approach.

“Of those suspects dealt with, 275 children were identified as being in direct contact with the suspect and were therefore referred to children’s services. What we cannot measure, but equally as important, are those children that we have prevented from becoming future victims.”

If you have any concerns about a young person, or wish to report a crime, please call police on 101.

For help and advice please see the following websites:

https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/operationsafenet

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk

https://www.nspcc.org.uk

save a life, surrender your knife

AS part of efforts from Staffordshire Police to reduce knife-related crime, they are launching a new Knife Amnesty for 2017 that they are hoping will take more bladed items off the streets.

If you carry a knife or have a dangerous or illegal knife at home, they’re asking you to “bin it”.

Staffordshire Police say they their Knife Amnesty, which will take place 10th-16th July, will see knife bins located across the county enabling members of the public to get rid of any knives that are either illegal or surplus to requirements.

All knives collected will be given to the British Ironwork Centre for them to use as part of a sculpture they hope will appear on a Trafalgar Square plinth.

The presence of the knife bins will be complemented by sessions in schools to help educate school children on the dangers of carrying knives. Local Youth Offender Teams in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will be engaging with young people to discourage them from carrying and using knives. Plus Trading Standards will also be educating and inspecting businesses that sell knives to ensure they are doing everything possible to prevent a sale to an under-18.

This is the second knife amnesty to be carried out by Staffordshire Police in recent years, with their first taking place in June and July last year. In 2016 the public gave up close to 1,000 knives and police in Staffordshire saw knife crime drop 18% during the dates of the amnesty. However, the use of knives in all crimes has continued to increase nationally between April 2016 and April 2017.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedChief Superintendent Wayne Jones, head of local policing and operations at Staffordshire Police, said: “We would like to repeat the successes of last year where we reduced the likelihood of people carrying or using knives throughout the amnesty period. Sadly there are still some people who believe carrying a knife or storing a knife as a weapon in their home is a good idea and something that they need to do to fit in or be seen as tough. The truth of the matter is that you are far more likely to be hurt if you have a knife with around 70% of all people admitted to hospital with knife injuries stabbed with their own knife. It makes no sense whatsoever to carry a knife – so don’t, take the opportunity during the amnesty to get rid and save yourself and your family from the senseless pain that knife carrying can bring.

“Play your part in reducing knife crime by reporting people who you know or suspect may be carrying a weapon illegally. Call your local police on 101, or dial 999 if a crime is in progress or a life is in danger. If you can’t talk to police, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or using their online reporting form (https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online/) and give information about crime anonymously.”

A full list of the knife bin locations can be found at www.staffordshire.police.uk/bintheblade.

police car crimes numberplate

POLICE need your help to track down those responsible for an attempted attack on the cashpoint at Tesco on High Street, Dosthill.

Officers were alerted to suspicious activity at the store at around 12.30am on Friday morning, 30 June.

Inquiries so far have established a stolen Land Rover Defender was used by offenders as they attempted to attack the ATM.

Damage was caused to the vehicle and the store front, but it appears the offenders were disturbed and fled the scene. It is believed they left the area in a vehicle parked nearby. The Land Rover was left at the scene.

Fortunately nothing appears to have been stolen from the store and the cashpoint is still in situ.

An investigation into the incident is now underway and anyone with information is asked to contact us on 101, quoting incident number 26 of June 30.

You can also report crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

scam awareness month

PEOPLE across Staffordshire are being urged to spot the signs of scams and to report them as part of a national awareness month in July.

Scams Awareness Month 2017 aims to inform people of the types and extent of con tricks which pose a threat to people’s finances and wellbeing. The county council wants people to spot tell-tale signs online, on the phone, through the post or on the doorstep. Led by Citizen’s Advice and backed by trading standards teams, the campaign is reminding people to take a moment and trust their gut instinct so that they get advice, report scams and tell others about their experiences.

Every week throughout July, the campaign focuses on different age groups and the types of scams they’re more likely to fall victim to.

Tips to avoid phone scams include:

• If you suspect a phone scam, hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call your bank.
• Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.
• Only buy event tickets from recognised and reputable outlets and be wary of sales of goods which may be counterfeit.
• Contacted out of the blue? Be suspicious.
• Reject cold calls offering investments or pension advice.

Each year millions of people in the UK fall prey to scammers though it is thought less than five per cent report them. In addition to the financial cost, scams also cause emotional trauma and loss of confidence to victims.

Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said:

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedScams cause a huge amount of misery to people and criminals will try any method to defraud their victims. We want to make people aware of the many different types of scam so people can more easily identify them. This year, the month focuses on different age groups in the recognition that they may fall victim to different types of scam. Importantly, we want people to
have the confidence to take their time and not be rushed into decisions they may regret. We would always advise that if something appears too good to be true then it usually is, but we understand many scams appear genuine. If people are in any doubt at all they should ignore the offer, hang up the phone or politely refuse doorstep calls. People should always be wary about an unsolicited approach. speech closed - Tamworth Informed

Common scams include doorstep double glazing sales, online investment offers, bogus bank calls asking for personal details, online job adverts asking for an upfront fee, offers for goods and services and fake prize draw winnings.

People can find out more at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or from the national consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.

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