Fake Letter Boxes
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has noticed an increase in reports of fraudsters placing fake letter boxes on residential properties in an attempt to harvest the mail. Residents are sometimes unaware of the fake letterbox as the fraudsters will periodically remove the item, which may leave notable markings. The mail is then used to open various lines of credit with financial providers in the name of the innocent resident.
- Be vigilant and check for any suspicious activity, tampering of your post/letterbox or for suspicious glue markings on the wall.
- Check all post received from financial institutions, even if it appears unsolicited.
- Consider reporting theft of mail to your local police force and any cases of identity fraud to Action Fraud.
- If you have been a victim of identity fraud consider Cifas Protection Registration (https://www.cifas.org.uk/protective_registration_form)
- If you, or anyone you know, has been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Team effort to dampen fly-tip fires
Residents are being urged to report illegal fly-tipping to help prevent a seasonal spike in fires this summer. Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service want the public to alert local councils quickly so they can remove the rubbish along with the opportunity for arsonists to set light to it. The call follows a meeting of members of the Blue Light Integration project, which is looking at ways 999 services, and wider partners, can work together even more effectively. The theory is that the more people who are alert to the dangers of fly-tipping and how fires can spread, the safer our communities will be.
During last year Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended 559 fires involving fly-tipped material (281), abandoned cars (223) and motorbikes (55). Thanks to swift council enforcement, offenders who dump hazardous waste face unlimited crown court fines and a prison sentence of up to five years. Cases that go to magistrates carry a fine up to £50,000 and/or 12 months’ imprisonment. The main legislation enforced is the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the recent Clean Neighbourhoods Act 2005 makes extra provision for tackling fly-tipping. BFRS’s Community Safety Arson Officer Andy Martin and the Force’s Chief Insp Neill Waring said clean streets and public spaces help to provide the backdrop for strong communities. Mr Martin said: “Unsightly rubbish damages the reputation of an area, discourages people from living there, encourages crime and antisocial behaviour and brings unwanted guests such as rats and mice. It puts significant demand on the emergency services and can put lives in danger if set on fire.” Mr Waring added: “It is important to understand that local authorities are only responsible for investigating, prosecuting and clearing up fly-tipping on public land. However, landowners are responsible for clearing fly-tipped waste on private land.” Deputy Mayor and Portfolio holder for Environment Councillor at Bedford Borough Council, Charles Royden said: “Fly tipping is an unacceptable and dangerous crime, and we always prosecute it whenever possible in Bedford Borough. Working with Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service will allow us to take action against those who illegally dump their waste even more efficiently and effectively.” Central Bedfordshire Councillor Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Community Services, said: “Fly-tipping is a deliberate and thoughtless act that causes a blight on the environment. It can be a potential fire risk, source of pollution, a danger to public health and a hazard to wildlife. “We want Central Bedfordshire to remain a great place to live, which is why we have a zero-tolerance attitude toward fly-tipping. Failing to dispose of your rubbish properly is simply not acceptable and we will take action against anyone caught - regardless of the quantity of discarded waste.” Alex Constantinides, Service Director for the Public Realm at Luton Borough Council said: “We want everyone to take pride in Luton and keep the town looking good. We’re calling on all residents to report fly tips as soon as possible so we can deal with them swiftly to avoid any arson attacks. Together, we will keep on improving Luton making it a safe, great place to live, work and enjoy.” To make a report about fly-tipping on public land contact:
- Bedford Borough Council Street Care and Cleaning Team on 01234 718060 or visit their web page
- Luton Borough Council Environmental Planning Department by logging a fault report on www.luton.gov.uk or calling 01582 510333. Likewise, you can now log onto ‘MyAccount’ via www.luton.gov.uk and log an environmental report