Shortlands Residents Association
Message from Bromley Commander Chris Hafford:
Detectives investigating a series of sexual assaults that they believe to be linked have released CCTV footage of a man they would like to speak in connection with the incidents.
Officers are investigating up to 25 sexual assaults, mainly concentrated in the Lewisham and Greenwich areas, but also potentially including Southwark, Bromley and Bexley.
The offences span over a year and have typically targeted women and young girls.
The first incident is believed to have occurred on 16 October 2016 in which a 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in the Orpington area. Since then, police have recorded further incidents that may have been carried out by the same man.
On Wednesday, 22 November, a 15-year-old girl reported being sexually assaulted in the Brockley area. From this incident, officers were able to recover footage of a male that they would like to speak in connection with their investigation.
The suspect is described as a middle aged white man with blue eyes.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Furphy, of Lewisham police, who is one of the leading officers in the investigation, said: “These offences have been traumatic for the victims, all of whom have been young females going about their daily lives.
“Our officers have been working tirelessly to apprehend the suspect, but we need the public’s help; CCTV shows footage of a male that we would like to speak to who we believe may be able to assist our investigation. If this is you or if you know this person then please contact us.
We are also aware that there might be further victims who have not yet spoken to police; if you are a victim, or know someone who has been, I can assure you your information will be treated with the strict confidence and sensitivity.”
Anyone with information should contact the incident room on 0208 284 8346 or call 101 or tweet @MetCC.
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.
Latest telephone Scam and advice.
Residents within the ward have been receiving scam ‘phone calls from people purporting to be the tax office. Someone calls you up claiming to be from revenue and customs and that they are filing a law suit against you unless you pay what you owe them. They then claim to be putting you through to their claims department where they will quite happily relieve you of any money that you have! In a lot of cases the original call is actually a pre-recorded (English) female voice. If you listen to the message it then goes through to a call centre and a person (usually with an accent) who tries to convince you that you owe thousands of pounds and it needs to be collected or the police will become involved. We have also had a couple of variations where the caller calls saying that there has been an overpayment in benefits to you.
Please be aware - THIS IS A SCAM! Unfortunately, the people that do this are the type of people to target the elderly and vulnerable so please make sure you inform any relatives or neighbours that you feel may be at risk. The HMRC will never contact you by ‘phone to pay them any money. If someone calls you claiming to be them please put the ‘phone down and ignore. If you remember, dial 1471 afterwards and make a note of their number (if they have left one) and I will pass it onto our financial investigations unit. The most recent ‘phone calls that have been reported to me have had an 0161 area code which is the Manchester district.
Please also remember that you can register your landline and mobile ‘phone numbers for free with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) on 0800 398893 or online at www.tpsonline.org.uk which should help reduce unwanted calls.
Cold Callers and advice
Many of you will be aware of persons going door-to-door trying to sell goods, informing the occupant they are just out of prison or on probation and trying to turn their lives around. This is usually a scam, the goods are of an inferior quality and they may try to talk their way into your home. They can be intimidating toward the elderly and vulnerable when things don’t go their way and often revert to abuse or threats. In short, these are not genuine street traders; they work in groups and carry out their illegal activity in one area at a time. To sell door to door, it is a legal requirement to hold a pedlar’s licence. There are strict rules around obtaining a licence and they can only be obtained by applying to the Police.
Section 4 of the Pedlars Act 1871 requires an individual carrying out the business as a Pedlar to obtain a certificate granted by the Chief Officer of Police for the district in which the pedlar resides for at least a month prior to making an application. The Chief Officer (often the Borough Commander) will grant the certificate on being satisfied that the applicant:
• Is over 17 years of age;
• Is a person of good character;
• Intends in good faith to carry on the trade of a pedlar.
The certificate, valid for one year from date of issue, will authorise the holder to act as a pedlar anywhere in the UK. Any person using an expired certificate should be treated as acting without a certificate. If you work as a pedlar without a certificate, or you let someone else use yours, you can be fined up to £200. You may receive a prison sentence of up to 6 months if you give false information when you apply or make or carry a forged certificate.
So, if they do not hold a certificate that has been duly authorised by the Police, it looks fake, belongs to another person, or is simply out of date - do not buy from them. They will often state they do not need a certificate or 'hawker’s' licence to show you items for you to order. This is a ruse; a certificate is required whatever they claim.
politely refuse to buy from them and close the door;
• do not become involved in any verbal altercation with them;
• do not let them into your address for any reason;
• never give out any personal information.
Call the Police on 101 (999 in an emergency) if you are subjected to verbal abuse or intimidation, or simply to let your Safer Neighbourhood Team know they are in the area.
Phantom Debt Collectors and Bailiffs Fraud Alert
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed that fraudsters have been impersonating bailiffs requesting payments for “phantom” debt. The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a bailiff working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt.
Please note that a link to the NFIB’s feedback survey can be found at the end of every alert, or you can access it here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FeedbackSDU. The survey is only 3 questions long and should take no more than 2 minutes to complete. We would appreciate it if you would take a moment to let us know if an alert was particularly useful, or if you have any suggestions for improvement. If you have been forwarded this email and wish to be added to the distribution list for fraud alerts, please contact NFIBOutputs@cityoflondon.pnn.police.uk.