For Your Information

    Countywide Domestic Abuse Line now OPEN at Weekends


    A free and confidential telephone support line for those affected by domestic abuse in Hertfordshire is now open seven days a week.

    The Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline 08 088 088 088 is now open between 9am and 4pm on a Saturday and Sunday, as well as from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday.

    Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline is an independent charity and the line itself is staffed by volunteers.

    It provides confidential advice to anyone affected by or concerned about any form of domestic abuse. This includes concerned friends and family, perpetrators and professionals, as well as victims themselves.

    The helpline staff can provide information over the phone or refer callers to relevant agencies and service providers for further support and guidance.  The helpline is free to call and will not show up on any landline telephone bills.

    Coming soon FIXED PENALTY NOTICES FOR FLY TIPPING

    EHDC are going to adopt a £300 Fixed Penalty Notice for small scale fly tipping offences from the end of December. Although is no definition of fly tipping other than ‘the illegal disposal of controlled waste’.

    To improve the level of consistency in relation to black bags, it has been recommended that incidents such as plastic bags placed next to a bin on collection day should not be defined as fly tipping.

    However, incidents which may still be considered fly tipping include:

    • plastic bags left out on non-collection days;

    • plastic bags/sacks left out next to a bin where it cannot be reasonably determined that the sacks and bin belong to the same premise;

    • those who regularly leave out excess waste as a result of refusing to engage with the recycling services now offered by the district;

    • plastic bags/sacks left out by commercial customers contrary to their contracted waste
    arrangements.

    The above incidents can be treated as either fly tipping or as ‘Duty of Care’ offences

    AIRCRAFT NOISE COMPLAINT FORM

    If you have been bother by aircraft noise you can complete a form on the STOP Stansted Expansion
    website which will be delivered to the Stansted Airport for you. The form is simple to complete, the link is http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/noise_complaint_form.asp

    Stansted Airport Noise Reporting Contact Details are:

    Web: www.stanstedairport.com/noise   

    Email:stanstednoiseline@stanstedairport.com   

    Tel:  0800 243 788

    Report It -who can I call/contact?

    There are many things that may concern you such as Abandoned Vehicles, Anti-social Behaviour, Broken Street Lights, Uneven Pavement, Dead Animals, Drugs Paraphernalia, Empty Houses, Flyposting, Fly tipping, Graffiti to name a few.

    EHDC can help you either call on 01279 655261 or use the link www.eastherts.gov.uk/report

    Can we help

    If you do have any concerns which you think the PRA may be able to help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please take note that the PRA does not comment on planning applications for development which are less than 5 properties.

    Take Five - Prevent Financial Fraud

    “Take Five” is a new campaign, backed by major banks and financial service providers across
    the UK, aiming to put consumers back in control with straight-forward advice to help prevent financial fraud.  It also reminds people that it pays to “stop and think”.

    Fraud can affect anyone and incidents are on the increase. That’s why we are supporting the campaign and urging everyone to help take back control. If you receive any calls, texts or emails out of the blue asking for your personal or financial details, always stop and think.

    Katy Worobec of FFA UK, the campaign’s creators, said: “The industry is already taking action on fraud, criminals are using increasingly sophisticated tactics and that’s why we are launching Take Five. We want everyone to take a moment to pause and think to help stop fraud.”

    Protect yourself following this simple advice:

    1.  Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full password - it’s never okay to reveal these details.

    2.  Don’t assume an email request or caller is genuine - people aren’t always who they say they are.

    3.  Don’t be rushed – a genuine bank or organisation won’t mind waiting to give you time to stop and think.

    4.  Listen to your instincts – if something feels wrong then it’s usually right to pause and question it.

    5.  Stay in control – have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information.

    Increase in Scam Calls from Persons Claiming to be from BT

    Over the past few weeks the police have received numerous reports from Hertfordshire Neighbourhood Watch members concerning scam telephone calls from persons claiming to be from BT.  In most cases, the caller claiming to be from BT has told them that other people have hacked into their home internet and are misusing it and have possibly stolen their credit card or bank
    details.  In some cases, they have told the resident that they are going to disconnect their service.

    Please beware anyone who calls or emails claiming they are from BT or any other telephone or internet service provider, particularly if they ask for access to your computer and/or if they ask for personal or financial details.

    If you are in doubt about any cold callers, just hang up.  If you wish to check with the company to see if the call was genuine, then using a different phone (this is important), call the number that you have on your contract or utility bill to check it out with the genuine company. Sometimes the scammers can hold your line open in order to trick you into thinking you are calling another number, so if you don't have an alternative phone to call from, it is a good idea to phone someone you know first before calling the company to make sure that they have not held your line open.

    Herts Trading Standards – Cold Calls

    One scam which is conning residents over the phone, is the sale of extended warranties for electronic devices such as televisions and washing machines. The salesman says that because the resident hasn’t made a claim in the last 12 months, the price will be reduced, say from £75 to £40. The
    salesman says he knows the first 4 digits of your card but needs you to confirm the rest of the number. Payment is taken and a warranty for goods that are too old or different from those owned, and hence useless, is provided.

    The other scam involves callers claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or similar sounding company, phoning residents and trying to extract money for registration or for call blocking devices. This cynical scam targets people who are trying to protect themselves or vulnerable
    relatives.  A UK director was recently imprisoned for a similar call blocker scam.  Please remember that the genuine TPS never cold calls people and its service is always free.  Visit www.tpsonline.org.uk

    Never buy anything over the phone as a result of a cold call. Never give bank or card details to a
    telephone caller, whatever they say.

    Please look out for elderly and vulnerable residents who may be targeted by these scams.

    For advice or to report complaints to Trading Standards, contact Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 and/or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.