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Pensioners could get free call-blocking technology

PENSIONERS might soon be able to block cold calls with new Government screening technology. Culture and Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said free devices could be given to those at higher risk of "financial damage and personal distress".
It comes after a law change making it easier to impose fines on cold calling companies came into force in April.
It also follows tens of thousands of complaints about cold calling to the Information Commissioner's Office.
Complaints reached 18,594 for live calls and 22,072 for automated messages between April and June this year.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer body Which?, said he supported the government's plan to offer free call-blocking technology to those at risk. "It's good news that the government wants to do more to protect vulnerable people from the everyday menace of nuisance calls," he said. "It shouldn't only fall to consumers to block these calls though.
"Regulators need to come down hard on firms that break the rules and senior executives should be held to account if their company makes unlawful marketing calls.

Police launch new unit to beat cyber crooks

POLICE in Norfolk and Suffolk are about to get tougher on cyber criminals who use the internet to commit fraud and other crimes.
A new joint Norfolk and Suffolk Cyber Crime Unit was launched in June. The unit will be based in Halesworth and aims to combat the rising number of cyber and cyber enabled crime.
The unit will be responsible for investigating all offences where networked computers or technology have been used to commit crimes, from child pornography, human trafficking, drugs and contraband and the increasing problem of online fraud.
Nationally on-line fraud is on the increase. In 2014 there were 3,815 fraud and Cyber reports in Norfolk and 3,102 in Suffolk; however, it’s believed 80 per cent of all cyber-crimes and fraud is preventable.

News in brief......

Community walkabout to offer advice

BRAINTREE police officers along with emergency services and partners from the Braintree District Community Safety Partnership have been out and about offering crime prevention advice to residents and businesses as part of a special event.
The Braintree Crime Prevention Day, which involved partners such as the Essex Fire and Rescue Service, St. John Ambulance, Braintree District Council and Safer Places to name but a few, were on hand to speak to residents and offer community safety advice.
Police officers and staff were also found in Braintree Library, Natwest Bank and local supermarkets to advise on issues such as online and personal safety, as well as fraud prevention

Be alert in the warmer weather

WITH the warmer weather arriving there have been a few instances of property being taken from insecure vehicles across the country. Here are a few simple steps to try and keep your vehicle and property safe.
• If you’re going out for the day or simply shopping in town please remember to lock your car, close windows and sunroofs as an open window is the ideal opportunity for a thief to reach in and take items within seconds.
• Remove or put items in the boot or glove compartment - i.e. Don't leave handbags, sat navs or mobiles on display.
• Very simply, please lock your vehicle. Many thefts occur from vehicles that are insecure. Opportunist thieves will often try door handles to see if they are insecure.

Be Sure at the Door campaign is launched

A NEW campaign has been launched to protect the elderly from rogue traders. Essex County Council has teamed up with Essex Police and Age UK Essex for Be Sure at the Door.
It follows frauds totalling more than £1million when 18 pensioners in Colchester and Tendring were targeted.
Five members of the co-ordinated gang were subsequently jailed for a total of more than 27 years, but many more appear happy to take advantage of the elderly.
As part of the campaign special “community agents” will visit homes to offer advice on cold callers and how to spot genuine traders.
Fridge magnets will also be handed out, including contact details of who to call if you have concerns.
People are urged to only use traders registered with the Buy With Confidence scheme.
For details, visit buy with or call 08454040506.

TWO thousand websites selling fake luxury goods have been removed by police since the start of the year. They include Burberry, Longchamp, Abercrombie and Oakley, and jewellery designers Tiffany & Co and Thomas Sabo, just some of the brands offered for sale on the sites taken offline by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), part of City of London Police's economic crime directorate.
The goods people were receiving were "cheap and inferior counterfeits" of items including clothes, handbags, sunglasses, shoes and jewellery, detectives found. The raids were the result of a collaboration between brand-protection groups and internet registries.