Messages from Colchester's Community Safety Delivery Board
1. In the previous two lockdowns, Colchester Police have used verbal warnings to break up gatherings as these gatherings threaten to increase the transmission of the COVID virus to others. As of now, no verbal warnings will be given, only fixed penalty notices. Of particular concern are gatherings near to coffee shops, skate parks and children's playgrounds. Additionally, town centre visitors, who are not visiting permitted establishments, will be asked to go home. The Police and Council think that after nearly a year the rules are pretty clear.
2. It is a possibility that some parks, recreation areas, children's play areas, and skate parks, will be closed. No one should gather in these places nor regather following a warning by the police.
3. The Fire Service has identified an increased risk of fire in homes during the lockdowns. Some properties do not have smoke alarms and the advice is to obtain at least two and place one of these on each floor as near to the ceiling as possible. For example on top of a bookshelf. Many of the fires this year have been caused by phones and laptop computers left on beds whilst charging. Also the unattended cooking of food is a risk. Remember that some areas of Colchester, even in favourable traffic conditions, cannot be reached in less that 15 minutes.
4. Incidents of Domestic Abuse in the Borough have risen over the past year. Some advice can be found on our web site at - https://colchesternhw.org.uk/personal-safety-and-security/
5. In the last three months, 86 bicycle thefts have been reported. Many of these from the town centre. If you use a bicycle you have probably paid quite a lot for it and so it needs the protection of a suitable lock. D-locks are recommended and in the town centre, if you have an unsuitable lock, you may return to find a warning, but helpful, sticker has been attached.
6. A new scam is being circulated and it looks very believable. It starts with a text, seemingly from the NHS, saying that you are now eligible for the new vaccine and to click on a link to apply. The link takes you to a website, which looks genuine and asks the user to complete a form asking for Name, Date of Birth, Address, Payment Card Details, and Proof of Address. As you can see this should ring alarm bells because, as we all know, the vaccine is free.
Please follow this advice: do not click on any links in unknown texts - always check first; never give out personal details; with the approval of multiple vaccines, these types of scam are likely to continue as fraudsters look to take advantage of the rollout; cold calls regarding the vaccines are also beginning to take place. Please report any attempts to www.actionfraud.police.uk
7. Clap for Heroes returns on Thursday evenings. If you participate, do so and then please go inside and without mixing with your neighbours or passers-by.
Please take care by protecting yourself and others.