Monday, 12 December 2011

Olympics Boost for "Tourism" in ILFORD

This made the BBC TV & Radio local London News and also the Daily Mail as here

On the BBC TV News they filmed in the High Road around the Town Hall and "The Mall" (or "The Exchange" if you prefer) and also in and around Valentines Mansion. The Park was described by the reporter as "looking beautiful". One woman, interviewed in the High Road, commented that "It's all the immigrants bringing their families over" (!!).

What features of Ilford would you show "Tourists"?

Sunday, 11 December 2011


The following letter appeared in yesterday's Daily Telegraph:
The report of a wind turbine exploding in the severe weather (December 9) was most apposite during the EU summit. One is an almost useless human invention, about which a lot of hot air is generated, and which explodes under stress. The other is a wind turbine.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Lidl supermarket chain is currently consulting fairly widely over a proposal to turn the long disused former Volvo showrooms at 250 Fencepiece Road into a store.
Lidl proposes "replacement of ageing premises with a modern energy efficient building, which will incorporate a Ground Source Heat Pump renewable energy system capable of reducing the building's carbon footprint by 20%."
The development will create up to 30 jobs for local people, as well as regenerating a long-standing vacant site that will be subjected to thorough decontamination.
They also say that deliveries to the site will be limited to a maximum 2 HGVs a day during daytime using a purpose built loading ramp, and that there will benumber on-site parking for 57 cars to avoid parking in nearby residential streets.
Fine - all very friendly. But the car parking provision says quite clearly that they anticipate significant numbers of car-borne customers adding to the alreay existing severe traffic congestion on Fencepiece Road. The proposed development might also sound the death knell for the already difficult trading conditions in the nearby shopping parades - and those currently working there could lose their jobs.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

TfL Consults - Routes 66, 145, 366 and N8

Bus service proposal: routes 66, 145, 366 and N8


The London bus network is kept under regular review. As part of this, we develop proposals for changes to services.

Why we are consulting
Eastbound buses on routes 66, 145, 366 and N8 currently run in a loop via Redbridge station forecourt to stop outside the station entrance. This gives convenient access to and from the station but the loop can take several minutes depending on the traffic situation.

We are proposing to divert eastbound buses on routes 66, 145, 366 and N8 so that they run directly from Redbridge roundabout to Eastern Avenue without the double run via the forecourt. Route 366 towards Falmouth Gardens would continue to serve the station.

This stopping arrangement was temporarily in place during the construction works at Redbridge roundabout in June. Around 1,200 passengers per day board or alight in the forecourt, of these around 400 interchange from or to the Underground. These passengers would be required to walk a further 150m to or from the station. However some passengers do already continue to walk to this stop when they do not see a bus at the station.

The existing eastbound bus stop "Evanston Gardens (RH)" on Eastern Avenue would be relocated west to be in the lay-by near the station. It will be compliant with accessibility guidelines.

The lay-by already has double red lines as parking restrictions. The new stop will also include a bus shelter adjacent to the fence of the London Underground car park.

We are also proposing to widen the footway outside the shopping parade to 3 metres to improve the area for pedestrians and cyclists.

The final arrangement will see the parking bays slightly relocated and the space for loading extended.

Please see map below which shows a plan of the proposed bus stop and amendments to the footway and the loading and disabled bays on the A12 Eastern Avenue.

The changes to the bus services would be introduced in 2012 subject to comments received and completion of the necessary traffic management works.

Give Us Your Views

Online consultation

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Be a Witness


Over the past couple of weeks we have seen an increase in burglaries and motor vehicle crimes across the borough, so please be vigilant especially when leaving for work or taking your children to school.

Neighbourhood Watch covers a large amount of the population of Redbridge giving us more eyes and ears to see what is happening but your assistance at this time would be most helpful.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Wiil the real Morris Hickey please stand up?

It has been stated elsewhere on this blog that Morris's e-mail account has clearly been hacked.

However, I don't think that is really the case. There is no doubt that his Contacts file has come into the hands of miscreants but that is not the same thing.

The important thing here is that the e-mail referred to did NOT come from Morris Hickey's e-mail account! It came from an entirely different account which had been deliberately set-up with Morris's name and e-mail address as the sender.

If you still have both the spam mail and a real 'MorrisMail™', you can check this for yourself.

Looking at the spam first, select 'View Source' or 'View Headers' (it will vary depending on which mail client you use on your PC). In the page that follows you will see a lot of information, including several lines which start 'Received: ' - the important one is the very last 'received' entry, which is just above the normal Date/From/Subject/To entries that you normally see, like this:

Received: from [] by via HTTP; Fri, 18 Nov 2011 11:58:59 GMT
X-Mailer: YahooMailWebService/
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 11:58:59 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Emergency
To: undisclosed recipients: ;

It is the IP address in this line - - that identifies the source of the e-mail. If you do the same thing with a real 'MorrisMail™', you will come up with or similar.

Using a Whois? web look-up service to identify these addresses gives BT Internet for the 'MorrisMail™' but the spam comes from here:

Areti Internet Ltd.
Seymour House
South Street
United Kingdom
phone: +44 870 950 5950

Not BT, is it? In fact, Areti now trade as Alentus UK and the IP Address record uses a mixture of both names, including both and for complaints!

As for complaints, I used the excellent service to report the spam when I first saw it.

The email address on a mail you receive does not have to agree with the service used to send it - in fact, I have several e-mail accounts set up on my PC (using Thunderbird) which uses one server as the default, irrespective of which account I select for identification/return mail.

Anybody who has mail from me sent using a address can easily check this out as above!

I have to be careful if sending mail to large organisations such as Redbridge Council, for example, which bounces my mails because the mail server used does not agree with the return address! Unfortunately, I don't know of anything that can perform similar checks on a home PC.

Morris changed his mail password as soon as he found out about the spam but, as his account wasn't used for the spam attack, that will achieve nothing!

Morris is using a brand new computer, I believe, which begs the question of what happened to the old one? If he no longer has it, or it has recently passed through the hands of a third party, the source of the spam is clear: some lower life form simply copied his Contacts folder from the hard drive!

Hopefully, this attack was a one-off - I certainly haven't seen any more spam in the past week - but the concern now must be that the culprits will sell the address list on. In that case, a lot of us can expect to see masses of spam in the future - from a variety of senders ...

And from servers much further away than Bromley ...!

Monday, 14 November 2011


Our wonderful award-winning forum is removing posts by regular contributors that are critical of a particular councillor - Councillor Keith Prince.

In January [2011] some comments were submitted to, and questions asked of, Councillor Prince on behalf of the Redbridge Mayors' Association about proposals contained in the draft budget affecting parking and other highways matters. Councillor Prince has consistently failed to respond to those questions.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

How Safe is your Car?



Redbridge as well as many other Boroughs have seen an increase of overnight house burglaries with the target being the vehicle on the driveway. Both high and low value vehicles are being stolen.

Burglars normally use entry to the house by ‘forcing’ the front door open and then finding the car keys nearby; this enables them to steal the car from outside the house.

Many of these crimes could be prevented with some simple steps taken as a precaution. By preventing a crime from taking place is reduces the risk of you becoming a victim!

1. If you have a UPVC exterior door make sure you deadlock it before going to bed. That means lifting the handle up then using the key to lock the door. I know it can be a pain doing it every night but, if you do that, there is a 90% chance they won’t get in

2. If your vehicle is parked on your driveway and you have gates, lock the gates before you go to bed. If you have no gates consider extending a chain across the entrance and padlocking that in place.

3. Most Car shop’s sell a steering wheel lock for about £80……well worth the investment if your car is worth thousands!

4. Hide your car keys in an unusual location. If the thieves don’t find them in the first 30 seconds they normally give up and leave.

5. If you have a burglar alarm fitted where you can isolate the ground floor of your house when you go upstairs to bed USE IT. Most of the victims visited who have this facility have been burgled because they haven’t used it.

We need to be making it as difficult as possible, not as easy as possible if we are to reduce crimes from taking place!


Thursday, 20 October 2011


Halloween and Fireworks Events!

As you may know this is an area where we have a large amount of activity within the Borough. I must remind everyone that it is illegal for persons under the age of 18 years to buy or use fireworks in a public area. If you suspect shops are selling to children under this age then please report to Police. Please take every precaution to ensure safety not only to yourselves but to others around you. Please circulate to families how dangerous fireworks can be and that it is illegal for children to buy or play with fireworks.

It is an offence to:

◦possess adult fireworks (all fireworks except party poppers and sparklers) in a public place by anyone under the age of 18
◦possess category 4 fireworks (professional display fireworks) by anyone other than a fireworks professional
◦it is illegal to supply adult fireworks to those under 18
◦Curfew on the use of adult fireworks between 11pm to 7am


· Bonfire night 12midnight to 7am
· New Years Eve 1am to 7am
· Chinese New Year 1am to 7am
· Diwali night 1am to 7am

Fireworks can be used between 7am and 11pm but you could also commit offences if you were to use them in such a manner as to cause a nuisance.

It is an offence to throw or set off fireworks in any highway, street, thoroughfare or public space.

Hopefully we will have a peaceful and safe time over the next couple of weeks. More information can be found on either the Met Police website or the Redbridge i website.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Redbridge Borough Police is the latest Metropolitan Police borough to launch an innovative community messaging service to provide the public with news and information from their local police.

Called Neighbourhood Link, it is a free service that enables local residents, businesses and those who work in the borough to regularly receive information from the police.

Those signing up to Neighbourhood Link will receive emails and text messages about crime and safety in the areas they sign up to.

Through Neighbourhood Link, Safer Neighbourhoods Teams will keep recipients updated with local police activity, crime prevention advice and what they are doing to address community concerns and make Redbridge borough one of the safest boroughs in London.

Redbridge Borough Police Borough Commander, Sue Williams said:

“I’m delighted to launch Neighbourhood Link in Redbridge Borough”

“Feedback from other boroughs using Neighbourhood Link has been extremely positive and I would encourage anyone living, working or visiting Redbridge Borough to sign up to Neighbourhood Link and receive information about local police activity and what we are doing to address community concerns."

Neighbourhood Link will also be used by other Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) units to keep recipients informed in the event of a major incident impacting on London.

In order to receive messages, individuals will need to register their details. Registering is free of charge and will enable the police to send messages relevant to the areas where they live and work.

To register please visit

Saturday, 8 October 2011


The London Neighbourhood Watch Association (LNWA), the Metropolitan Police, Home Office and the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (NHWN) are all anxious that information reaches the "grass roots" so please ensure that AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE in our Borough reads this Newsletter which is also accessible via this website,


Neighbourhood Watch is 30 years old in 2012 and NHWN is hoping to plan something significant to celebrate this milestone. Watch this space!

Next year's Neighbourhood & Home Watch Week will run from 16 - 24 June. The focus will be on the 30th anniversary and being the largest voluntary movement in the UK with particular emphasis on linking with police support volunteers and the Special Constabulary.

NHWN will continue to work with the Big Lunch so if you are planning a lunch to warm up for the Week” (next year's Big Lunch will be on 3 June) do visit the website where you can find all sorts of handy tools and ideas.


The Home Office has released guidance notes and an application process for a £10 million Community Action against Crime Innovation Fund with £5m available this year and a further £5m for 2012/13. The purpose of the Fund is to stimulate creative, new approaches to tackling crime by empowering local groups to develop innovative projects to tackle local community safety problems. For details, go to

The Home Office is keen to attract applications from grassroots community activists who are not traditional recipients of government grants and also for the voluntary sector to work more closely with Community Safety Partnerships and other statutory agencies to drive, co-design and co-deliver services and community safety projects.

Applications can be made between £1,000 and £15,000 (small grants) and from £15,001 to £50,000 (large grants) in each of the two years. The application process is open and runs until 1 December 2011. Grant panels are locally based and have a rolling allocation process, meaning that grants will be assessed in date order and awarded on a first come first served basis if they meet the criteria. If you plan to apply for a grant, please do so as soon as possible.

Speak with your Neighbourhood Watch Members to identify any areas of work that could benefit from additional funding or new funding. Areas that could secure funding include developing Junior Neighbourhood Watch, developing schemes in new housing developments or alongside residents associations, working with other partners to create schemes in high crime rate areas or with a high population of Black and Minority Ethnic Groups (BME). Visit for some ideas and toolkits.

Speak to your Community Safety Partnership regarding your ideas and to see if they have any ideas you could become involved in.

For further help, contact the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (England & Wales) enquiry line on 0116 229 3118 or email: here. If you need assistance on the application process, please contact Community Development Foundation directly by calling 020 7833 1772 (option 3) or email: here.


It’s easy to confuse the replacement cost of your property with its market value. The rebuilding cost is not the same as what you could sell your home for since this price takes into consideration the land and location. Your buildings insurance policy should cover the full cost of rebuilding your home if it were totally destroyed. This includes any outbuildings plus any additional charges that could be incurred in rebuilding, such as demolition costs, architects and surveyors fees and complying with the requirements of local authorities. The value of the land under your home isn't a factor in replacement.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Planning Ahea ....

Does anyone notice a problem for this newly built double "Garage"?

Thursday, 8 September 2011


There has recently been renewed activity by Criminals posing as Police Officers and arranging to collect Credit Cards as "evidence" in an investigation.

If you are approached or telephoned in this way DO NOT surrender your credit cards or even details of them without contacting the Police (on the 101 number) and your credit card issuer (phone number on your credit card statement).

Genuine Police Officers would never approach you in this way.

Please tell your elderly relatives and neighbours not to open the door to anyone they do not know and not to hand over any cards or money on the doorstep.

Incidents of this nature can be reported to Crime stoppers on 0800 555111, where your call will be taken in confidence and you do not have to give your details.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Water, Water, Everywhere ....

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
S.T. Coleridge 1798

A friend of mine has an elderly and vulnerable parent who has recently had a particularly upsetting experience with Thames Water

It seems that the Government is introducing new legislation regarding the ownership and liability for upkeep of sewers and water services (between service providers and property owners) and it seems that there is a flurry of activity to try to get matters in order before the legislation comes into force. Thus, the more that service providers can lumber property owners (or Insurers) with costs, the better. The 'flurry of activity' has included surveys for "Customer Side Leaks"; the property owners being liable for fixing leaks and returning a “Leak Fixed Form”.

There is a particularly unusual arrangement of Stop-valves for this property and its neighbours.

A Contractor turned up unannounced and repaired the Stop-valve on the pavement outside this particular property.

Daughter of said property owner phoned and e-mailed Thames Water pointing out that the Stop-valve outside the property was not unique to that property and that Thames Water should already have known this.

The 60-year old (may be even be older than that) Stop-valve on the footway had thus been leaking and was replaced by a brand-new one of modern design, since when it has not leaked.

Thames Water totally failed to grasp the point about the layout of the services to this group of ten houses and the possibly distressing nature of the demanding letters that were sent.

Following further exchange of e-mails a cheque for £75 has been sent to the property owner as a gesture of goodwill.

One would hope that Thames Water employees would have learned something from this but one somehow doubts it ....

Back to the Ancient Mariner:

(S)he went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser (wo)man,
(S)he rose the morrow morn.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

COMMUNITY SAFETY MEETING - Town Hall, August 11th. 2011

A community meeting, chaired by the Police Borough Commander, Sue Williams, was convened at a few hours notice for Thursday August 11th. at Redbridge Town Hall to discuss the recent civil unrest and its impact in Redbridge. Some of the following information, having been disseminated by e-mail, is a few days out of date.

The general tenor of the meeting was that people were not given sufficient information, particularly regarding safe evacuation, and there were complaints that the Town Centre had been secured at the expense of Ilford Lane.

The Borough Commander gave up the information that Redbridge was not 'on the radar' as regards potential trouble and so Redbridge Police Officers had actually been redeployed to assist in other 'hotspots' leaving Redbridge short-handed.

The Redbridge Safer Communities Partnership (RSCP) [confusingly, there also appears to be a Redbridge Community Safety Partnership, RCSP] would like to take this opportunity to tell you what they have done following this meeting.

• You Said "You wanted more information on what was happening."
• RSCP Have "Put up more information on our ‘Redbridge i’ web pages"
Including information provided by the Police Borough Commander, which can be found here

• You Said "You wanted a community statement published on behalf of the community"
• RSCP Have "Worked with a number of community organisations to write a community statement"
This statement was written and published on ‘Redbridge i’. You can view the statement here
You can also endorse this statement by clicking on the following link:

• You Said "You wanted to see the Youth Bus out engaging with Young People."
• RSCP Have "Arranged for the Youth Bus to be out in a number of different locations initially everyday for both this week and next week with youth workers, youth advisors aged 14 - 17 and PCSO's to engage with Young People and hear their views"
The locations of where the Youth Bus is can be found by clicking on the following link

• You Said "You wanted more work carried out with Young People."
• RSCP Have "We have commissioned the Active Change Foundation to carry out Engagement work with Young People in the Borough"
• You Said "You wanted more work carried out with Young People."
• RSCP Have "We are working with Street Pastors to carry out engagement work with Young People in the Borough who are out late at night"

For further information please visit the ‘Redbridge i’ web pages or Redbridge Police Home Page

Redbridge Police Appeal:

Redbridge Police have put together a list of people they are keen to trace. Residents are asked to see if they recognise any of the faces and give the police any information they have as soon as possible.

The images can be viewed by clicking on the following link

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

"CIVIL UNREST" August 2011- from the Borough Commander

[Advice for the public can be found here]
[Advice for Businesses can be found here]

Update from Borough Commander - Redbridge Borough - Chief Superintendent Sue Williams

Yesterday (Monday 8th. August) Ilford High Road was subject to large scale "copycat" disorder. We received information that there might be an attack on The Exchange Shopping Centre in Ilford. Police were sent to the High Road to increase the presence and reassure the local community.

From 4pm Police observed small groups of young men gathering on the High Road. The small groups merged into larger groups and headed towards the police station and the end of the High Road. This was caught on CCTV and by Police on video. Police stopped and searched many of the youths.

The groups were dispersed by the Police however a number of shop fronts were damaged and shops broken into.

The local community will not tolerate this mindless criminality and we are doing everything in our power to take quick and decisive action to take control of the streets. The targets of this criminal behaviour have been phone shops, sports stores and jewellers.

There have been 10 arrests to date and 3 charged but we would ask the community to bear with us while investigations are underway to identify the suspects. We are currently using CCTV and will ensure all the culprits are brought to justice. Rest assured we will use all means available to identify offenders and deal with them. I have utilized all my resources today to tackle any further disorder should it occur and we will deal with normal policing across the Borough to keep our community safe.

I am encouraging the Business Groups and our Partners to work with us to resolve this situation.

We urge our local communities to join us in condemning the actions of this violent minority and report any information about those responsible to police. Information can be passed to police anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Kind Regards
Sue Williams
Borough Commander


Saturday, 30 July 2011


This is from Epping Forest District:

Although we get our fair share of bogus officials targeting mainly the elderly and vulnerable residents in the District, the following incident is a somewhat unusual ploy which may fool even the most alert if unaware of it.

Last Sunday evening a man called at a ground floor flat in the Loughton area which was occupied by an elderly couple. Although disabled, the man of the house is extremely alert and unlikely to have been tricked too easily.

Prior to knocking on the door it transpires that caller had cut the victim’s telephone line outside the house. When the victim answered the door, the caller explained that he was a BT engineer and was calling to repair the line which was faulty. The caller produced some ID which, of course, was fake.

The victim would not have allowed the bogus engineer in at this point but the engineer pointed out to him that he could check he was genuine by checking his phone. When the victim checked his phone of course, he found the line was dead. This made him believe the caller was genuine and he allowed him in. Even if the victim had thought to check the caller out with BT at this point he couldn’t because the line had been cut.

Having got into the house the caller resorted to the usual modus operandi. Before moving away from the front door to check the phones in the company of the victim, he pretended to close the front door but actually left it ajar for his accomplice to come in and search the house whilst the victim was kept busy by the caller.

On this occasion, the fact that the telephone line was dead was enough additional circumstance to convince the householder that the caller was genuine.

If you are faced with a similar situation regarding a telephone fault that you were unaware of, don’t let the caller in! Use your mobile phone or a neighbours phone to contact your service provider and make an appointment for one of their engineers to call

Crime Reduction Officer
Epping Forest Police District
0300 3334444 ext 319383

Also, an alert from the Office of Fair Trading:

A Company trading as "SAS Fire & Security Systems Limited" has had its operating licence revoked due to dubious sales methods.

Do not allow anyone claiming to work for this Company access to your premises.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Hold very tight, please ...

Last Thursday, Transport for All organised a meeting with TfL and local bus operators at the Central Library to discuss bus accessibility, to which I was invited.

In fact, I was invited three times - twice by letter and once by e-mail! It appears I was not alone in the multi-invite stakes, as others I spoke to had similar experiences - Weggis even trumped mine with a total of four!

Unfortunately, it clashed with Barkingside 21's Coffee Morning but I finally decided to swap Fairtrade coffee at Fulwell Cross Library for unspecified 'Refreshments will be provided' at the Central Library ...

There was a reasonable crowd but the top table wasn't so well supported. Empty seats marked the places reserved for the representatives of Stagecoach and the Go-Ahead Group (Blue triangle and Docklands) - presumably their buses were cancelled ...!

There was no sign that First had been invited but they were probably too busy getting their newly acquired 25 route working smoothly and, apart from that, they only have one other route (179) in Ilford anyway. However, Arriva turned up mob handed - three of them - and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes, who'd only turned up as a spectator before heading off to another meeting, found himself temporarily promoted to the panel.

The meeting itself was a bit shambolic with most people (me included!) having their own personal agenda and I couldn't help feeling that a pre-submitted list of topics/questions might have encouraged more productive responses from the panel on a wider range of subjects, particularly considering the limited time (90 minutes). Only having one bus company represented was a problem as they could only respond on the basis of how they did (or would) handle a particular problem. Their difficulty was beautifully explained as being like expecting Tesco to handle complaints about Sainsbury's ...

Much discussion inevitably centred around wheelchairs and ramps and so-called baby buggies which, so often these days, are really heavy duty goods wagons with a baby perched on the top ...

Both King George and Queens hospitals featured in the discussions - for similar reasons. In the case of King George it is because passengers on the 362 have to walk ¼ mile to the hospital and, at Queens, from the only direct route from Redbridge, the 128, the walk is probably even further.

These are both good examples of the reason that accessibility is important to everyone as the reason that many otherwise able bodied people visit a hospital is because of a loss of mobility! It is a pity that this wasn't mentioned at the meeting.

What came out of this is that the NHS don't consult TfL when designing and building these hospitals. This is obvious from the 362 problem - to which I was able to provide the answer - quite simply, the NHS didn't allow enough stand space for the routes terminating there and the parked buses were obstructing the access of emergency ambulances to the hospital, so one of the buses had to go ...

As for the 128, Arriva were able to field comments on one of their own routes for a change! When the route was last tendered by TfL, Oldchurch Hospital was still open and the route was designed to serve it by stopping virtually outside the main entrance. TfL might address the problem when the route comes up for tender again. Obviously, Arriva can only run the route as TfL tells them to and, if there was any reason why TfL couldn't modify the route mid-contract, the TfL guy wasn't saying - one way or the other. Unfortunately, he wasn't asked ...

We learned a lot about driver training, how driving quality is monitored and problems handled but, of course, only from the Arriva point of view. Mention was made of Arriva's 'spy in the cab' (actually a device to encourage driving economically) which monitors acceleration/braking/cornering and displays the reult to the driver by means of a 'traffic light' display on the dash. Although the device also records the data it produces, the agreement reached with the union prevents it being used for disciplinary purposes ...

One of my pet moans is about the drivers who seem to have been trained to drive a new breed of 3 metre wide buses from the way they insist on stopping two feet out from the kerb, so it was interesting to hear this phenomenon mentioned three times by various people - I didn't get my chance to make it four!

One very conspicuous object on the top table was the Big Red Book - it's not that big, actually - which is the driver's 'bible', issued by TfL to every bus driver in London - TfL have even won an award for it! It was used a lot to clarify exactly what drivers are supposed to do - or not do - in particular circumstances. It's a great pity that it isn't more widely available. As it is, the passenger has no idea if the driver's behaviour is right or wrong ...

After the meeting, there was a short time to question individual panellists. I posed a couple to the TfL man with surprising results! Why, I asked, do TfL refuse to allow reversed-out blind panels for 'Not in Service', to make it clearly visible from a distance? Mr TfL was obviously flummoxed by this ... Black text on yellow, I explained, rather than the normal yellow on black ... But Mr TfL still didn't understand what I was talking about - 'blind' (technical term) was obviously the stumbling block, so I pointed out that it was the large thing on the front of the bus that told passengers where it was going ...

To my complete astonishment, Mr TfL declared that all London buses are now fitted with electronic indicators! No, I said, TfL refuse to entertain electronic indicators! I also pointed out that the 'Spirit of London', the bus built to replace the one destroyed in the 2005 bombings, had been delivered with electronic indicators but had been retro-fitted with conventional roller blinds.

Still the man wouldn't budge but I noticed that the Operating Manager from Edmonton Garage was between questions and asked him to clarify. When he basically re-iterated all that I'd said - including a reference to 'Spirit of London' - he didn't have much choice! Needless to say, the question (which he still didn't seem to understand, anyway!) remained unanswered! If anybody else is still confused, look at this, which demonstrates my point:

You did notice that there are two 'Not in Service' panels on that blind, didn't you?

I then asked about what I call the suicidal straight staircases demanded by TfL. His face lit up at this as he pointed out that the 'New Bus for London' has two staircases and they're both bent! I did point out that we haven't got any of those yet but there are already 8,500 buses in the London fleet! He did accept that (TfL) might have got it wrong ...

A quick check at random check shows that no fewer than 169 new double deckers (some for 169 route, as it happens) - with straight staircases - went into service in one week at the end of June ...

ITV London were in attendance, shooting lots of material both during and after the meeting - including 'borrowing' Arriva's Assistant Training Manager from me for an interview.

I overheard him later saying that he'd been asked to do one bit again but including the word 'disabled' in it - obviously ITV London have a problem with the concept of Transport for All ...

He declined, which is probably why the interview - for London Tonight - didn't appear! In fact, none of the material they shot was used. Instead, they took their wheelchair bound reporter outside and shot a different story - which didn't mention the meeting or Transport for All - of her travelling by bus - Arriva, of course! - to Walthamstow ...

Finally, the refreshments. Cups, saucers, biscuits, stirring sticks, a jar of instant coffee and two large teapots. On inspection, one contained hot water for the coffee and the other seemed to have had a whole packet of tea bags tipped into it, which was reflected in the colour and taste of the liquid it now contained. Oh yes! No spoon to measure out the instant coffee!

Perhaps I should have gone to Barkingside after all ...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

MET FORWARD - Safer Neighbourhood Teams

The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) has for some time been working on the future of Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs):

The purpose of this report is to provide a snap shot of the progress being made to deliver Met Forward Two. Met Forward is the Metropolitan Police Authority’s (MPAs) three year strategic mission outlining the priorities it wants the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to focus on and key areas of development for the Authority to improve policing in London.

A key commitment in Met Forward was to undertake a Safer Neighbourhoods scrutiny. In Met Forward it was outlined that the MPA would consider whether Safer Neighbourhoods resources are being deployed effectively and ensure maximum impact is being achieved from the investment made. It is possible to condense the MPA scrutiny findings into two key points:

1. Safer Neighbourhoods policing has been a huge success for the MPS. Safer Neighbourhoods teams have brought a change to how Londoners relate to and perceive their local police.

2. A wholesale revision to how Safer Neighbourhoods policing is delivered in wards is not required. Rather a majority of the participants requested the flexibility for borough commanders alongside local authority partners and residents to devise a Safer Neighbourhoods response that best met the needs of their boroughs.

To view the findings in full please visit:
this is pdf for which you will need Acrobat Reader

The MPS also carried out a review of Safer Neighbourhoods teams which focused on what Safer Neighbourhoods teams deliver, the location and structure of the teams and their demand. The findings correspond closely with those of the MPA scrutiny with both highlighting:

 Strong support for the concept of Safer Neighbourhoods;
 A desire for even closer partnership working with local authorities and other strategic partners with improved sharing of intelligence, tasking, service provision, accommodation and procurement; and
 A high demand by boroughs for flexibility within central parameters to deliver ‘Safer’ services (whatever that means).

To read the proposals in full please visit:

Thursday, 14 July 2011


The following is a delivery scam whereby the a householder ends up footing the bill. Please forward to other interested parties.

1) A delivery company drops an expensive item (TV in one of the incidents), to the victim's house.

2) The Victim here is a little surprised that she/he received something they didn't order but takes it in.

3) After a while, another knock on the victim's door by a person saying "Sorry, we dropped an item to your house by accident, we apologise for this mistake, if you don't mind, we'd like to collect the item back",

4) The victim then allows the person to collect the item which seems logical at the time.

5) A large bill/Invoice comes in from whichever company the item was ordered from into the Victim's house asking to pay the amount of the ordered item.

6) The item apparently was ordered by a fraudulent person into the Victim's house (at random), who then collects the item leaving the Victim to pay the bill.

The advice the police give to any person that receives an unordered ("unsolicited") item is to contact the company it came from and ask them to collect it. If however you have taken delivery of an item which you have "given back" and you receive a bill/invoice, please report this to the police using the 101 number. This is a crime know as false representation.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

BT SCAM - looking for your Credit Card info -

This is from SUSSEX POLICE

I received a call from a 'representative' of BT, informing me that he was disconnecting me because of an unpaid bill.
He demanded payment immediately of £31.00 or it would be £ 118.00 to re-connect at a later date.

The guy wasn't even fazed when I told him I was with Virgin Media, allegedly VM have to pay BT a percentage for line rental!

I asked the guy's name - he gave me the very 'English' John Peacock with a very 'African' accent - & phone number - 0800 0800 152.

Obviously the fellow realized I didn't believe his story, so offered to demonstrate that he was from BT. I asked how & he told me to hang up & try phoning someone - he would dis-connect my phone to prevent this. AND HE DID !!
My phone was dead - no engaged tone, nothing - until he phoned me again.

Very pleased with himself, he asked if that was enough proof that he was with BT. I asked how the payment was to be made & he said credit card, there & then.

I said that I didn't know how he'd done it, but I had absolutely no intention of paying him, I didn't believe his name or that he worked for BT.

He hung up.

I dialed 1471 - number withheld
I phoned his fictitious 0800 number - not recognized.
So I phoned the police to let them know. I wasn't the first! It's only just started apparently, but it is escalating.

Their advice was to let as many people as possible know of this scam. The fact that the phone does go off would probably convince some people it's real, so please make as many friends & family aware of this.

How is it done?

This is good but not that clever. He gave the wrong number - it should have been 0800 800 152 which takes you through to BT Business. The cutting off of the line is very simple, he stays on the line with the mute button on and you can't dial out - but he can hear you trying.(This is because the person who initiates a call is the one to terminate it). When you stop trying he cuts off and immediately calls back.

You could almost be convinced! The sad thing is that it is so simple that it will certainly fool many.

By the way this is not about getting the cash as this would not get past merchant services - it is all about getting the credit card details which include the security number, so that it can be used for far larger purchases.

Police Community Support Officer

Monday, 4 July 2011


Back in March 2011, Local Police received a number of reports from elderly victims where they had received phone calls from people claiming to be police officers. Two new offences occurred on 23/06/11.

These 'police officers' generally inform the elderly victim that they are investigating a fraud and need the victims help as their money is not safe. They ask them to withdraw a large sum of money from their account, which will then be "marked" by police and returned to the victim. Needless to say the money is not returned.

The suspects are very convincing, they provide phone numbers for the victims to verify the suspects are 'police officers'. They will even provide cabs for victims with mobility problems.

Please can you warn friends & neighbours especially those that are elderly and/or vulnerable

More Local information here

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Crime & Safety Roadshow Coming To Redbridge

Kit Malthouse

Residents will have the chance to discuss the changes to London’s police service as Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse hosts a special Crime and Safety Roadshow at Ilford Town Hall on Monday 11 July 2011.

The event, which will take place between 7pm and 9pm, is part of a series of events being held around the capital giving residents the chance to discuss the future and get an update on the Mayor’s key strategies. Mr Malthouse will be joined at the events by either Assistant Commissioner for Territorial Policing Ian McPherson or Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Kavanagh.

To find out more and book your place visit: website here

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Central Line

More here. Some of them are a bit beyond me, but see what you think......

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Redbridge Life


WEDNESDAY JUNE 8 2011 IS REDBRIDGE HATCHET JOB DAY - the first stage of four leading to the total disbandment of the borough's Parks Police.

To those now facing unemployment I say: residents of the borough appreciate the work you have done for us even if the ConLib coalition of councillors does not. Residents hope that you will find what you are looking for.


Saturday, 4 June 2011



Free Micro Chipping – you’d be lost without it !!

Redbridge Council is working in partnership with the Dogs Trust to provide a free dog chipping service throughout June.

Micro chipping provides the security of knowing that, should your dog stray, the chances of being reunited will increase significantly. Whilst every dog owner is legally obliged to ensure that their dog is wearing a collar and tag, these can get lost or be removed: a micro chip is permanent.

Microchipping is now recognised as the most effective and secure way of permanently identifying a pet. A unique identification number is registered to the animal and the owner's details are placed on a national database.

Sadly, the reality is that, of the many thousands of dogs that go missing each year, it is estimated that less than half of them are reunited with their owners. Don't wait until it's too late. Get your dog microchipped and have the assurance that, should your pet become lost (or be stolen), it is more likely to be returned to you safe and sound.

To take advantage of this free service, please telephone the Redbridge Council Customer Contact Centre on 020 8554 5000, to arrange an appointment.

Burglars are stealing Technology and CAR KEYS!!

A resident in the Barkingside Area suffered a break-in recently while all five occupants of the house were asleep. A door was forced; some easily portable items were stolen and the keys to a brand-new car parked outside the house. Another nearby property was targetted but the thieves were unable to gain entry.

Police-work to reduce crime, identify and successfully prosecute offenders is relentless.

Success is most often achieved when Police have the help of Redbridge residents. Help includes making it harder for the offender to break into your property.

Redbridge Police ask that everyone considers and reviews the safety of their home.

When securing your premises with UPVC doors and windows remember they are only properly locked and in accordance with the insurance company's expectations if you have lifted the handle and turned the key. It is evident from many burglaries that this has not been done.
Your home is not properly secure or insured if you have not locked it. Then remove the key to a place where it is not accessible by an intruder.

If you have WIFI connection it is detectable from outside your home and easy to identify the specific home that is connected. Always disconnect WIFI when not in use. Do not name your network connection with a name that is identifiable, i.e. your family name.

Consider downloading a software tracking device to your laptop or etching your postcode to the back. This makes it possible to trace the owner when we have recovered property.

Keep car keys hidden and in a safe place in your home. Never keep car keys by the front letter box.

A high value vehicle outside your home makes an attractive target for burglars.
Consider having a tracking device installed in your vehicle.

Never leave property in view, this includes bikes in your back garden. Alarm and lock property in your garden.

Always call police when you see people acting suspiciously, day and night. Please make a note of vehicles, registration plates and description of suspects. Police need the call that gets officers to the scene quickly.

Most people are aware of most of the above, yet every day Police see victims who fail to take one of the above precautions.

Together we can reduce crime. Look after your property and by calling Police to suspicious incidents you will also be looking after your neighbours property.


Owners are being urged to assess the security of their sheds. If you have high quality power tools, hand tools, road bicycles and mountain bikes please secure them.

The Police are urging shed owners to ensure they are secure and are offering some practical steps that can be taken to stop shed burglary which include :-
• Ensuring that the shed is in a good state of repair and that any damaged or rotten sections which could make it easier for a thief to gain access are replaced.
• Use quality close shackle padlocks which cannot be easily levered or cut.
• If you have a window in the shed consider whether you actually need it and if not consider boarding it over securely. Otherwise, make the window opaque or cover windows to ensure the property inside is not on display.
• Consider fitting key operated locks to any opening windows or screwing them shut.
• Consider lining the shed with plywood sheeting to make it more difficult for a thief to get through without proper tools and lots of time
• Consider fitting an alarm to the shed, these are readily available from DIY stores or local locksmiths.
• Inside the shed, chain any tools through their handles to large heavy items such as lawn mowers or cultivators. If you have neither of these fill a bucket with concrete and, using a masonry fixing, chain your tools to this.
• Mark all valuables within your shed with your postcode and house number; record serial numbers of all equipment and keep the records safe.
• Ensure sheds and garages are securely locked and never left unlocked.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Friday, 27 May 2011

The Goose and the Gander

Pictured left is the front cover of the most recent edition of Redbridge Life. If you click on the image it will open up the whole edition but BEWARE if you have a download limit - the PDF file is nearly 9Mbits even though it is advertised as 6Mbits here.

Why they need a resolution that could be blown up to cover the entire Town Hall is known only to the Techies at Redbridge-i.

This publication comes under the remit of the Head of Communications who is also responsible for the council website - Redbridge-i.

Now I want you to tell me what you see. I see.....

Text in Different sizes
Text in Different fonts
Text in Different colours
There is even text in white on different colour backgrounds


If fact all the things that are deemed to be BAD MANNERS or SHOUTING, and are banned to the users of the Redbridge-i forum by the Head of "Communications". 

We can't even use the proper English Language word for a female dog without it being automatically removed.

The result is a "forum" that is bland, lifeless, colourless, humourless, expressionless and DULL! It is grey regulation 10 point Arial text enforced with an authoritarianism reminiscent of the Soviet Union. There is no scope for individuality there.

Neither can a user amend or delete their own posts nor delete their own profile ID from the system. Once you register you are trapped forever - there is no way out. But we can say:

Thursday, 26 May 2011


I was alerted to this by a Local Councillor.

Info may be found here

Forest Farm will be known to many of you as the "Farm Shop" and there is occasionally a Circus in the adjoining field.

The "official" music will finish at 10 p.m. on the Saturday (18th. June) and at 9 p.m. on the Sunday (19th.). There is a rumour of "extended entertainment" i.e. a "Rave", allegedly taking place overnight on the Friday and Saturday at a "secret" venue.

The Campsite will be open from 3 p.m. Friday 17th. (until Monday a.m. 20th.)

Key questions for local residents would seem to be:

What is the impact on public transport, traffic and parking of 15,000 people entering and leaving the area over two days?.

Where is the "nearby off-site car park" for the park-and-ride shuttle bus to the site?

From what distance will it be possible to hear this event?

Saturday, 21 May 2011


A CRIMINAL GANG is approaching bank customers directly at home under the pretence of being a bank courier. They present the customer with a package which they say is their new bank card and ask for the old one back. As you'll appreciate when they open the package they find that it is empty and they are without a bank card. One bank alone has lost over £300k. The victims being targeted are in the main elderly.

A MALE contacted a elderly victim who stated he was called “STEVE” and that he worked for BT. He stated that a friend of the lady had called him using a mobile number reporting the victim's phone as not working. The victim said she did not know that this had happened. The MALE then stated that the problem had been fixed, and kept apologising for the trouble and offered the victim £20 off her next bill. He asked her for her name and address which she gave him and they said goodbye. She then checked the number of the person who he had said called to report the phone as faulty and she realised no one had. She then phoned BT who explained there were no reports of her phone being reported faulty and prompted her to call the police which she did.

The caller withheld his number and had a normal English accent

Please be aware and do not give any information over the phone if you are unsure about your caller, please hang up the phone!

IF YOU HAVE A SATNAV in your vehicle, do not program in your home address. It is believed that Burglars are using this information to target homes with valuable property in them.

THIEVES who have stolen a person's bank cards AND their mobile phone are sending text messages to numbers that are in the Contact List under "Wife", "Hubby", "Mum", "Dad", "Daughter", etc. claiming to have forgotten their Pin number and could they text it back please. It is advisable not to give away the nature of a personal relationship in a phone contact list .... AND don't give away a Pin number!!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Stop & Account

NeighbourhoodWatcher attended a Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) Consultation Event at City Hall ("The Gherkin") on May 11th. on the subject of "Stop & Account".

At present in London a stop and account is recorded when a police officer or Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) stops a person and asks them to explain why they are in a particular place, why they are carrying something or why they are behaving in a particular way.

The time, date and place where the stop happened are recorded and a copy of the record given to the person stopped. The person stopped does not need to give their name or address but their ethnic background is recorded. In return the officer provides a receipt or a business card so the person stopped knows the identity of the police officer.

It is felt that "Stop & Account" is used disproportionately "against" Black & Asian Youth.

The government has proposed that recording "Stop & Account" should cease, and no receipt should be given. Changes were made to stop and account in the Crime and Security Act 2010. The Home Office legislation gave police services the option not to record stop and account to reduce the paper work police officers are required to complete. Some police forces in England and Wales have already made the decision to discontinue recording stop and account.

There is an on-line questionnaire here that you can complete and you have until the 8th. June to do so.

This will be almost the final act of the MPA as was because the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Bill 2010 proposes the introduction of elected Police Commissioners, except in London where the elected Mayor shall appoint the Commissioner. However, the Lords have voted down these proposals.

Panel members: Reshard Auladin (MPA deputy chair) Doreen Lawrence (Stephen Lawrence Trust) Dr Richard Stone (Stephen Lawrence Inquiry) Commander Tony Eastaugh (MPS lead for Stop and Search) Professor Ben Bowling (King’s College London) and Mike Ainsworth (National Policing Improvement Agency).

Youth panel members: Sarah Edoo (Youth Engagement Panel) Akeem Edwards (Chair Brent Stop and Search Community Monitoring Group) Kanjay Ibrahim Sesay (NUS Black Students Officer) Lara Cranshaw (Catch 21) Tariq Chowdhury (Independent film maker) Danni Briggs - self-confessed school drop-out- (Independent Academic Research Studies) and Tarek Chaudhury (Reprezent 107.3 FM Youth Radio - canvassed over 250 young persons on this subject).

Facilitator: BBC TV News Correspondent Kurt Barling

Monday, 9 May 2011


Despite all the Redbridge Council cuts, increased charges, and proposals to charge for just about everything except the air we breathe, if you are a regular user of the Redbridge-i Forum you will observe that the blue pencil brigade and the censorship they impose are flourishing and in rude good health.

Yours truly expects censorship - and is sometimes baffled to discover that it has not happened. Is it the case that Mrs Blue Pencil runs out of equipment to impose it? Why is it that Municipal Censorship has not suffered from "t' cootts"?

For 6 deletions this morning from posts made during the weekend no reason is given for 5 of them. I am in contact with another user who has similarly suffered deletions. None of hers was off topic; none was personally offensive; none was directed at anybody's political views, sexual orientation, religious views, or in any way racially offensive.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Quote of the Day

From yesterday's gathering of Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators from the north section of Redbridge:

"My next door but one neighbour has had 11 attempted break-ins in a fortnight.... but he's now given his wife a key".

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Friday, 8 April 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011

"SmartPhones" Security

If you have a Blackberry or an iPhone/iPad (or you have younger family members who do) there are some apps that you can download to locate your device if it is lost or stolen.

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone is now free for anyone with an iPhone 4, iPad, or 4th generation iPod touch (and older iPhones - iOS 4.2 required). Just sign in with your Apple ID on your qualifying device and turn on Find My iPhone to enable your device to be located. Then use the same account to enable Find My iPhone on your other iOS 4.2 devices including iPhone 3G, 3GS, or iPod touch (2nd generation or later). Find My iPhone is also included in the paid MobileMe subscription.

If you lose your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch while on the go, simply install the Find My iPhone app on another iOS device, launch it, and sign in with your Apple ID (Find My iPhone must already be configured on the missing device).

You’ll see your device’s location on a map and you can choose to have it display a message or play a sound, remotely lock the device, or wipe it to permanently delete all of your data if you think that it won’t be returned. For added security, the app will automatically sign you out after 15 minutes, or you can manually sign out at any time.

• Locate your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch on a map
• Display a message and optionally play a sound for two minutes at full volume (even if your device is set to silent)
• Remotely set a passcode lock on your device, or lock it using your existing passcode
• Remotely wipe your device to permanently erase all of your personal data

Please note that you must first set up and turn on Find My iPhone on each device you want to locate (installing this app is not required).

iOS 4.2 and iPhone 4, iPad, or iPod touch (4th generation) for free Find My iPhone
iOS 3.1.3 or later for paid MobileMe accounts

Find my blackberry

Software: E-GPS (via blackberry app world)
An application for the BlackBerry(R) Smartphone. If you have ever lost, misplaced or had your phone stolen, or want to cover yourself in case it happens in the future, then this is the app for you.

It allows you to remotely send a command to your phone that will have your phone email you, its GPS location, your address book with all your contact information, as well as remotely wipe your phone and SD card to protect all of your information. Also if you have misplaced your phone at home or office, you can send an alert command, and have it ring, even if the sounds are turned completely off or set to vibrate. Once downloaded and activated, it runs in the background, and works by command, through email or SMS.

How it works:
Once you Enable the program, you can send remote commands to your phone to make it back up your contacts, send its GPS location, sound an alert even when your phone is muted/on vibrate (so that you can locate it), as well as remotely wipe the phone and memory card.
The commands are as follows:
contactsxxxx (where xxxx is the pin you set) - to back up your contacts to your email.
locationxxxx (where xxxx is the pin you set) - to send the GPS location of the phone.
alertxxxx (where xxxx is the pin you set) - to sound an alert so you can locate your phone.
wipexxxx (where xxxx is the pin you set) - to remotely wipe your phone and SD card.
The commands can be sent via SMS or email.
Other useful software (via blackberry app world) : Where's My Phonee, BlackBerry ER--Recover Your Stolen BlackBerry, Berry Locator, BuddyGuard, Roblock Anti , Theft Recovery, Tyfish Safe and Secure, Cell Seeker, Guppa, PhoneBasics, e-Mobile GPS FindMe

Thursday, 3 March 2011

ASO is coming - and so are the cowboys ...

ASO? Analogue Switch Off, part of the DSO - Digital Switch Over - process which happens in Redbridge next year.

As the ASO/DSO process has moved from area to area around the country, there is evidence to suggest that vast sums of money are being extorted from those most vulnerable - many, but by no means all, elderly - with the veiled threat that they will lose all TV reception if they do not do so.

This example of the kind of thing we can expect comes from Bill Wright, a long established aerial installer 'oop north' and acknowledged expert in the field:

In Yorkshire we have DSO in few months, so all the old people have had a fat and important looking envelope through the letter-box telling them about the help scheme. Although the thing is not worded to cause alarm, it is causing confusion and already the reports of outrageous rip-offs by aerial firms are coming in.

A friend rung me tonight to tell me that his mum and dad had paid £300 for a 'digital aerial', and did I think it was 'reasonable'? I did not, because they live 11 miles from Emley Moor near Barnsley and my memories of the area (I used to fix aerials for Barnsley DER) tell me that you can see the mast from their front door.

Apparently other people in the bungalow complex have also had 'very big' aerials fitted, all by the same local installer. Trading Standards will be informed.

An installer near here has been leafletting all the council bungalows in his village, offering 'digital aerials' at £150. The leaflet does not say that to continue without such an aerial will result in a blank screen at switch-off, but there's a clear implication.

The following happened over the weekend. Having received the fat and important looking envelope two elderly friends of my wife's decided to buy a new TV set. Being old and stubborn they didn't bother to discuss it with anyone. The existing TV set was analogue-only, but perfectly all right. The new TV set arrived and was installed by the delivery man for a fee. Having tuned-in the TV set he demonstrated five channels and said that if they wanted the extra digital channels they would need a new aerial. He then gave them the mobile phone number of an aerial installer and went on his way.

Only then did they ring my wife to ask her what she thought. She told them I'd pop round, which I did. Well, we both did. Little china cups and digestive biscuits...

The new telly was tuned for analogue, but pressing the A/D button gave a message to the effect that the set had never been tuned in. That little squirt from xxxxxxxx must have deliberately done an analogue tune only, so that his mate could go round and sell an aerial. I did the digital install and demonstrated the channels.

Of course the old pair were so wound up they were reluctant to let me escape without replacing the aerial! I had to promise that if they had any problems I would go back and fit a new one, despite the one they had being only two years old. If it hadn't been for the chance that they they were friends with my wife I think they would have shelled out for a totally unnecessary new aerial. They were gagging for it. I wanted to report all this to the head office of the shop, but the old pair pleaded with me not to. Anyway, I now have a nice Sony CRT set sitting in the shed. Any takers?

The government's attitude has always been that rip-offs are 'collateral damage' and are unavoidable. Could you all spread the word about this, warning any vulnerable people you know? It isn't just the elderly; the adult mentally handicapped living independently are also targets.



There is a government help scheme for those aged over 75 but the government's own web site isn't exactly helpful with what must be the smallest print of any web page on the internet!

A 16 page leaflet from Help the Aged, now Age UK, who have recently released an 11 page updated version may still confuse many, who will become prime targets for anybody offering what appears to be an easy way out - at a (substantial) cost.

Nobody in this area who has reasonable reception of the analogue channels but has, so far, resisted the idea of upgrading to digital, should need to spend more than about £20 for a digital set top box and, despite what they might hear, There - Is - No - Such - Thing - As - A - Digital - Aerial, so they won't need one!

If you know any neighbours, friends or relatives who you think might fall into the vulnerable category, now might be the time to broach the subject - before the cowboys start rounding them up!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Yet Another Parcel Delivery Scam

You may receive an e-mail looking like this:


Dear Customer,
We regret to inform you that the delivery of your shipment has been suspended for the following reason.
1. In line with new laws, items transiting through the EU are to be fully taxed and are subject to postal inspection by transiting postal authorities.
Concluding the inspection on the package it has been ascertained that adequate duties was not paid on the package.
Your name and email address were on the package for contact details.
Under new laws any package transiting through the EU is liable to full duties payment. The sender did pay the appropriate courier fee but did not pay adequate duties on the package .We are therefore requesting you pay full duty for the coverage of (?)119 Euros on the package.
To resume delivery, you are obligated to pay the duties on the contents of the package
You should therefore contact your assigned claims Officer, Jennifer Watson to assist with the duty payment in
Spain , where your package is currently being held
Below is her contact information of your assigned claims
Name: Jennifer Watson

Note: Duty coverage fees are payable to authorities through your assigned claims Officer.UPS® does not accept fees on behalf of foreign authorities.
Your old tracking number has been suspended due to non payment of tax.When making contact with your assigned claims officer via email or phone please quote reference Z195156475L13
The status of your package can be tracked as soon as payment has been confirmed
Copyright © 1994-2011 UPS Inc. All rights reserved.

IGNORE IT as it is an attempt to acquire your credit card details.

If you really are expecting a package from UPS their Customer Service phone number is 08457-877-877

Tuesday, 1 February 2011