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Police advice about fraud

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YOUR HELP is NEEDED at Neighbourhood Watch

To help build and develop our online support, and engage more broadly across Avon and Somerset, as well as making much better use of social media and social apps, we are looking for volunteers with social media and IT skills to join us. We are also looking for volunteers to lead and develop the support for Neighbourhood Watch, Rural Watches, and the new Community/Keep Safe Schemes.

These are exciting developments, and if you would like to help and take up a leading role, please get in touch at info@asnwa.org.

It does not matter where you live in Avon and Somerset, as long as you have an internet connection and are willing to help develop our online support – we would be delighted to hear from you.

Dr. Egils Praulitis Avon and Somerset Watch

Revamp for Neighbourhood Watch

Plans to integrate and expand the promotion and awareness of Neighbourhood Watch communities across Avon and Somerset have been announced.

“We have been working with the police Rural Affairs Unit to provide support for Farm Watch and Horse Watch – alongside our existing Neighbourhood Watch commitments and our representation of NW on the national NWN body,” says Dr. Egils Praulitis of
Avon and Somerset Watch

“Bringing Watches closer together makes a lot of sense, as it not only strengthens crime prevention, it also raises public awareness – and reflects the approach already adopted in other police regions.”

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Warning on loft insulation scams

Neighbourhood Watch coordinators based in Churchill and Langford are warning that once again loft insulation scams are doing the rounds.

These people will call you to advise that you may be entitled to a free quote or a government grant or that you may have recently had your loft insulated and they may offer additional services. There is a reason they are contacting you, please do not be drawn in. 

If they were a genuine good company they would have enough work without the need to cold call you; furthermore if you needed their services you could contact them in your own time when it is convenient to you. A call back on one of the numbers used proved it was unobtainable.

Do please remain vigilant to this and advise your friends and neighbours where possible, observing government guidelines on social distancing.

Burglary in Southside

An outbuilding has been burgled in Southside, Congresbury between 2pm and 9:30pm on May 22. The outbuilding, described as a lodge, is located in the rear garden of the property and had been left insecure while the occupant went out.

Upon returning a Nintendo Switch and laptop computer were noticed missing the following morning and a window handle was pointed in the upright position.

A footpath runs behind the lodge to Southlands and Well Park with may prove to be an access route for the offender. 

If you contact the police about this incident, please call 101 & quote Reference number: 5220111813 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Travel disruption expected as bridge transported to Bath

We’re alerting road users to potential disruption on Tuesday 19 May when an abnormal load travels through our area.

Sections of a bridge are being transported from Belgium to Bath.

On Tuesday morning, 19 May, two loads will be escorted by police along the M4, M32, A4174, A4, A36 and A367 to Corn Street, Bath.

Each is 5.2m wide and 34m long and is expected to travel no faster than 12mph.

Road users should expect disruption and ideally avoid the route between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

Bath and North East Somerset Council has more information about the bridge on its website

Big names boost mental health charity

The hunt is on to uncover the hidden artistic skills of the South West and beyond, with the launch of a new online talent competition by the North Somerset mental health charity Vine Counselling Services, based in Congresbury. 

Unlock Your Talent is an online talent festival created by multi-award winning musician and songwriter Rachel Mason in collaboration with the charity. 

Launching this week, top prizes include platinum recording packages and singing, art, dance and photographic masterclasses. Internationally renowned artists including Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Karen HauerDeke Sharon, the musical director of the Pitch Perfect movies, Ruti (winner of The Voice 2018) and Hamilton cast member Aaron Lee Lambert, to name but a few, will be joining the judging panel. 

Contestants of all ages are being invited to demonstrate their abilities across a broad spectrum of artistic platforms including dance, music, drama, art, photography, film making, graphic design, make up, poetry and short story writing. 

When Rachel learned that the charity’s finances had been seriously affected by the covid-19 pandemic, she decided she would do something to help. Calling upon her celebrity contacts through her work as one of the top vocal teachers in the UK and a judge for Sky One’s Sing: Ultimate A Cappella, she has organised the Unlock Your Talent Festival with the aim of raising funds for the charity whilst at the same time inspiring people to embrace art during these stressful times. 

“I was thinking about how I could support people during lockdown – and it suddenly occurred to me that I could create one big event that would tick lots of boxes including supporting young people and encouraging good mental health,” said Rachel. As the UK’s current Freelancer of the Year, she also wanted to help self-employed people who are suffering at the hands of covid-19. 

As a vocal teacher and mentor to young musicians, Rachel, who often works from her North Somerset studio, is also aware of how many young people are feeling bereft having put so much effort into their art, music, media and dance GCSE, A Level and degree coursework, only to be told that it will not be marked by teachers or examiners. She is hoping that the festival will encourage them to enter and show off their work to industry professionals from all over the world. Participants will be asked to make a small donation of £5, £10 or £20 for each entry via Just Giving. 

Vine Counselling Services offers donation-based professional counselling to people in the community who are struggling due to bereavement, stress, anxiety, abuse, isolation, loneliness, family problems and other issues. During the covid-19 lockdown, Vine has set up a video and telephone service to enable the charity to continue to offer support during this difficult time until face-to-face counselling can be resumed. 

Liz Linnitt, Director of Vine Counselling Services, said: “We know many people are experiencing immense pressures and different challenges during these unchartered waters of lockdown and others may need more support when we are navigating a new ‘normal’. We’re doing our very best to continue to provide our crucial services but our fundraising is being seriously impacted because we’ve had to cancel many planned events. We hope the Unlock Your Talent Festival will encourage people to explore the joy of art and at the same time, bring in some much-needed additional funds for the charity. We’re extremely grateful to Rachel for supporting us.” 

Go to www.vinecounselling.org for more information about entering plus the prizes, judges, and categories. Participants must submit their work via a video or photograph.  Closing date is 31 May 2020.

The night the Luftwaffe dropped in on Congresbury

This Friday the country will celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the allied victory in Europe.

VE Day in Wrington Lane, 1945. Picture courtesy Clive Burlton

Our picture, courtesy of Clive Burlton, shows residents of Wrington Lane celebrating VE Day in 1945. 

Clive says that this Friday, they are going to attempt “a safe distanced replication as a doffing of the cap to that generation…”

Clive and Chris Short of Congresbury History Group have also updated the story of ‘The Night the Luftwaffe dropped in on Congresbury’. It ended up with the crew of a Heinkel bomber who had to bail out being captured near Kent Road – where Tesco Express is today – by members of the Home Guard; another behind Wrington Lane near where Verlands is today and another near the Star Inn on Rhodyate Hill by another Home Guard from the Congresbury Platoon. You can read the full account here.

Have you seen this man?

Wanted: David Broad

Police are appealing for the public’s help to locate wanted man David Broad. 

Broad, aged 32, from Banwell, is wanted on a recall to prison and also in connection with two burglaries – one in Edinburgh and one in Twickenham. 

He is known to frequent the Weston-super-Mare area and is described as white, 6ft 4ins, of proportionate build, with blue eyes, short ginger hair, and he has tattoos on his wrists/arms. He has an Irish accent.

If you have information which could help locate him, please call Avon & Somerset Police on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5220040970.

A brief history of Broad Street

Chris Short of Congresbury History Group thought this would be of interest to all of us during lockdown. As he notes, this is not a definitive history, but “a light-hearted attempt to rekindle memories and provide a bit of diversion during this difficult period.” Click here to read it.

Fair Day in the early 1900s. Picture courtesy Congresbury History Group

Internet Security

The Parish Council has advised us this letter has been circulated widely in Congresbury. It is linked to an app. Concerns have been raised regarding the security of products and services sourced via this app. Users submit their real names and addresses which can be accessed by other users including commercial enterprises. Please read, research and make your own judgement. Stay safe on line.

Two comments were made about this on Facebook. Dave Robins There is nothing wrong with this social Media App… it has 285 people in congresbury and 444 people in Yatton and 80 in Kingston Seymour alone using it daily as we speak… 

it has been live in this area since 2018 and world wide since 2008….
Facebook and Apple have tried to buy it but were refused…. 
the person who has posted this has just followed the misinformed local rumour mill like Chinese 
whispers…the letter may or may not be a scam as described but the App is international…. 
maybe Google the App and have a look on wikipedia….or the recent BBC article which described the App as the Facebook that Mark Zuckerberg wished he had made.

Love Congresbury As was reported yesterday, the app is genuine and can be used well, but it uses people’s names/addresses without express permissions and can be a site for fraudsters-there are safer ways to help your neighbours during this time.

https://www.insidehook.com/…/nextdoor-is-the-go-to…/amp

Nextdoor Is the Go-To Online Destination for Local Scammers - InsideHook

INSIDEHOOK.COMNextdoor Is the Go-To Online Destination for Local Scammers -…

Show patience and compassion when visiting pharmacies

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens is urging Avon and Somerset residents to be patient and compassionate when visiting local pharmacies, following concerns of violent and threatening behaviour towards pharmaceutical staff across the UK. Click here for more information.

Warning over Tesco email scam

Police have been alerted by a Neighbourhood Watch scheme of a scam email that claims to be from Tesco saying that “You Are Our Winner”. It doesn’t say what you have won, but asks you to click on a link to confirm your identity.

Police urge you not to click on these links as you may download a virus onto your computer. At the very least it will try and get your personal details. The email comes from a company in Kentucky in the United States.

As with any email you get unexpectedly from someone you don’t know, delete this message without clicking on any of the links

Witness appeal after anti-social driving

Police have just released details of an incident last Thursday (April 9) when officers were called to Cheddar Gorge following reports of several vehicles being driven dangerously.

One motorist was stopped after trying to make off from officers.

The male driver was reported for allegedly driving without tax, driving without due care and attention and not maintaining the car to a safe standard due to insufficient tyre tread.

The driver had previously been warned regarding antisocial driving and following this latest incident the vehicle was seized.

The vehicle was searched and the 29-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of a class B drug and possession of class B drug. He has been released under investigation.

Enquiries are being carried out to try to identify other vehicles involved, one of which is believed to be a red BMW 3 Series.

PC James Fowler said: “We take reports of antisocial behaviour and driving in Cheddar Gorge extremely seriously, no more so now than when we are all being asked to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

“We will continue to patrol the Gorge to try to prevent a repeat of this antisocial behaviour.

“If anyone can help us identify the other drivers involved, please contact us.”

Anyone with information can report it online and give reference number 5220079552. Alternatively, if you cannot report it online, call 101. 

Police urge public to report issues online

The majority of Avon & Somerset police enquiry offices have been closed in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Four of them – Bristol, Patchway, Bridgwater and Yeovil – will remain open seven days a week, but should only be used if absolutely essential. To report an incident click here or for more information click here

Middlecombe Nursery closed

In light of the new restrictions that Government brought in to place on Monday night Middlecombe Nursery in Wrington Road has now closed for business and will no longer be operating a delivery service, until further notice.
Nigel, Isy and daughters would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all their customers for supporting them through this very tricky and uncertain situation.

Police response to COVID-19

A major incident has been declared by the Avon and Somerset Local Resilience Forum (LRF) to help with the multi-agency response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

This declaration has been made to make sure all agencies are able to work together more effectively in the event of reduced staffing levels and an increase in demand. It has not been made because agencies are unable to cope.

You can find out more by clicking on this link

Warning from Avon & Somerset Police – be vigilant of ‘caring’ doorstep callers

During this challenging period, it is heartening to hear lots of stories of kindness from friends and neighbours caring for one another. But we must remain vigilant and rely upon those we know and trust. Sadly there have been a couple of incidents where callers have arrived on doorways offering to do shopping, claiming to be good Samaritans. They have taken money and a shopping list but never returned. Unfortunately there are some people who will always take advantage of any crisis to steal from those in need. Please do not fall foul to this and only rely upon people you know or trust to help you.

Food Bank help please

Congresbury Methodist Church have collected food for the Weston Food Bank for quite some time. With the current COVID19 situation many people are self isolating, including the organisers, John & Kath Chaplin. So it is suggested the way forward to help the Foodbank, for the time being at least, is by going online and making monetary donations.  The need for donations &/or food is getting greater daily. John & Kath thank everyone, on behalf of the Food Bank, for the donations over recent years, but are sorry they personally cannot deliver any produce at the moment.

Is there is anyone who feels that they can take over the deliveries,? If so that would be great – please email John or Kath on jandkchaplin@hotmail.com or phone 01934 830128