Thames Valley Horse Watch Thames Valley Horse Watch
Click here to sign up to Thames Valley Horse Watch Click here to login to your Thames Valley Horse Watch account
Click here to sign up to Thames Valley Horse Watch Click here to login to your Thames Valley Horse Watch account

Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Weekly Newsletter 19-12-21

Alert message sent 19/12/2021 10:01:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch

Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Weekly Newsletter 19-12-21
collated by Maggie Lewis - Volunteer Area Neighbourhood Watch Representative
and  Administrator covering Oxford . 
Please share and care.
This weekly newsletter is for reading and/or sharing in entirety or copying and pasting. 
The index is available so you can read all or just the items of interest. Items are collated and contributions will be gratefully received.
If you have any comments/information/errors or want to unsubscribe please use reply icon below.
There are attachments this week
Neighbourhood Watch Network
1) Benefits
2) Christmas and New Year Opening Hours
3) Neighbour of the Year Award
 Oxford Neighbourhood Watch
1) Food Parcels
2) A Plan
3) Litterpicks
Thames Valley Police (Oxford)
1) West Yorkshire appeal
2) Project Vigilant 
3) TVP Museum
4) City Centre fight appeal
5) Operation Holly
Neighbourhood Policing Teams
1) Barton
2) Blackbird Leys
3) East Oxford
4) Oxford Central
Crime Prevention
1) Burglary prevention
2) Online shopping tips
1) Updated information
Oxfordshire County Council
1) Waste wizard
Oxford City Council
1) Opening hours over Christmas and the New Year
2) Recycling and rubbish collection day changes
3) Zero emission zone pilot
4) National Award Winners
Oxfordshire Fire and Service
1)Kitchen safety
2) Candle safety
Trading Standards
1) Advice to avoid doorsteps scams
2) Cold calling advice
Crime Information
1)  Talk to Frank
2)  Ministry of Justice
3)  Drug Diversion Programme 
4) Victims First 
General Information
1) Digital telephone networks for all
2) How to walk your dog safely during winter
3) Goodbye 2021 and News for 2022

1) Benefits
People join Neighbourhood Watch for many different reasons, whether it is to improve safety around their home or to become part of a group and meet new people. It is widely regarded that being part of Neighbourhood Watch can:
Reduce / prevent local crime and disorder
Reduce fear of crime
Address issues relating to anti social behaviour
Create safer neighbourhoods
Build community spirit and cohesion
Reassure members of the public
Enhance partnership working with other community groups
Assist in the detection and apprehension of criminals through members providing information to the police
Improve quality of life and the local environment
2)  Christmas and New Year Opening Hours
24th December - Open till noon
25th – 28th December - CLOSED
29th & 30th December - Usual working hours (skeleton staff with enquiries line manned 10-4pm)
31st December - Open till noon
1st – 3rd January 2022 - CLOSED
3) BBC Morning Live on Monday between 9-10am. It is expected that Neighbourhood Watch will announce the winner of the Neighbour of the Year Award 2022 on the show.

1) Food parcels
Please could you reply below if you are aware of anyone who needs emergency help to collect or have food parcels delivered. Please get the persons permission to give contact details and I can refer them for appropriate help

2) A Plan Insurance
A Plan is supporting Oxford Neighbourhood Watch in 2022. The Oxford branch of APlan will give  substantial discounts on house and car insurance and a donation of £25 will be given for new policies. Thank you to the manager, Michael Foord. 

3) Litterpicks
Regular monthly litterpicks are being done in Blackbird and Greater Leys. This is a traditional Neighbourhood Watch activity and easy to organize . If you want help with promoting and/or producing a flyer or needing equipment please let me know.

From social media
1) West Yorkshire appeal
Can you help our West Yorkshire colleagues find Rosalind? (attachment)
It's believed she has links to Oxford.
Have You Seen Rosalind?
Police are appealing for information about the whereabouts of a Calderdale woman who has gone missing.
Rosalind Austin, aged 43/42, from #Hebden Bridge, was last seen on today around 11.45am today on Towngate, #Heptonstall.
She is described as a white female, of medium build, with dark hair just below the shoulder. She was last seen wearing a black jacket with a “Trespass” logo on the left breast, and grey/black leggings.
Rosalind also has links to #Oxford
Anyone with information about Rosalind’s whereabouts is asked to call West Yorkshire Police on 101, or online via quoting reference 681 of 17/12.

2) Project Vigilant
With the Christmas countdown in full swing, officers are working to identify predatory behaviour and prevent sexual offending so you can enjoy your festive night out.
We have received £400,000 in funding from the Home Office to expand Project Vigilant to make the Thames Valley a safer place. Along with this funding we’ve got
Targeted patrols
Strong links with venues and door staff
 CCTV monitoring
 Additional specially trained officers
Additional Project Vigilant deployments are being run across the force, so everyone can enjoy their nights out over Christmas We're looking to identify anyone showing signs of potential predatory behaviour, to then intervene before any kind of sexual offence is committed.

3) .TVP Museum
This image from our archive shows officers outside Kemp Hall, Oxford City’s first police headquarters in 1869

From Oxford Mail article
4) City Centre
A Kidlington man remains in police custody after a fight outside O’Neills pub last night.
Police said three men were arrested in connection with the brawl on George Street, Oxford, in which an 18-year-old man was attacked.
A 37-year-old man from Kidlington remains in custody. Two other men were given ‘community resolutions’.
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “The force is taking statements and evidence from a number of witnesses.”
Anyone who saw the assault or has information is asked to contact police on 101.

5) Operation Holly
Running from December 1 until January 1 2022, the campaign combines educational and enforcement activity in the run up to Christmas and New Year in order to tackle drink and drug driving.

TVP Oxford 
Social media posts
1) Barton (attachment)
Officers from the Barton Neighbourhood Team and Public Spaces Drugs Task Force have acted on concerns from the community to secure and seize a cannabis grow on Hubble Close in Barton. Officer’s will be conducting enquiries to identify any persons linked to this illicit setup that has been affecting the community.

2) Blackbird Leys (attachments) 
PCSOs  Megan Osborne and Anna Guzinska organized a litter pick with the local primary school in the local park. I was invited along and the children (and myself) had a lot of fun.
a) Blackbird Leys' very own Mini Police doing a fantastic job keeping your parks clear. We are looking forward to many more meaningful engagements over the next year, hoping to build confidence and pride in their community b) The Blackbird Leys Neighbourhood Team had a great time meeting everyone at the Oxford Hub and Frys Court Christmas parties this week as we head towards the big day. We have also stepped up evening patrols at the Fry's Hill Park basketball courts due to complaints of ASB

3) East Oxford
PCSO's from the East Oxford Neighbourhood Team attended and led a school community engagement today at Oxford Spires with different year groups as part of a team building exercise. Enabling the students to take part in various communication and teamwork activities.
Oxford Central 

4) Oxford Central
a) PCSOs keeping Oxford  safe (attachment)
From Matthew Barber's social media 
Bumped into PCSOs Tom and Bob whilst in Oxford this week. Part of TVP Oxford’s great neighbourhood team, helping to make sure everyone stays safe while out doing their Christmas shopping!
Tom - PCSO Thomas Spicer and Rob - PCSO Robert Ryan - Tom is the bearded PCSO if you see them patrolling together

b) St Aldates holding a teddy bear! (attachment)
Oxford Central  have a teddy bear waiting to be reclaimed 
Clever lost bear flags down police officers to help him get home.
Hello, I am lost bear. I got separated from my best friend in Oxford City Centre today. I was sad, sat on a bin waiting to be found and then a police car passed me. I waved to them and they stopped. I am safe now. I just want to get home to my family for Christmas, and I miss my cuddles. Can my best friend come and get me please? I will be waiting at the front office of St Aldates Police Station.

1) Top tips to prevent burglary
Invite a neighbour to park a vehicle on your drive to help create the impression of occupancy while you are away.
Lock all doors and windows while you are out or away.
If you have an alarm system, don’t forget to set it.
Check that side gates, sheds, and garages are locked and tools or ladders are not accessible.
Store all house, car and window keys out of sight and away from doors and windows.
Make your home look occupied by using a timer switch to turn on lights, a radio or TV from dusk.  
Ask a trusted friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your house if you are going to be away. Join Neighbourhood Watch on or any queries please reply below.

2) Online shopping tips
Ensure shopping websites are authentic by carefully checking the address is spelled correctly.
Make sure payment pages are secure.
Don’t pay for goods by transferring money directly to people or companies that you don’t know.
Check that a holiday or any travel you book is genuine by researching it thoroughly.
Purchase event, concert tickets etc. from official sites.
Keep a lookout for unexpected emails and text messages urging you to click on a link or attachment.

Scam Update Information
 Citizens Advice Consumer Service 
Provides information and advice on consumer issues by telephone and online.   Offers tips on avoiding scams. 
Tel.  0345 4040506
Contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority (details below) if you get a letter from a solicitor and aren’t sure it’s genuine.   They can tell you if the solicitor’s firm is registered and check a list of reported scams on their website. 
Solicitors Regulation Authority 
Regulates solicitors and law firms across England and Wales.   You can check if a law firm or individual solicitor is registered with them, and their website has a scam alert section. 
Tel. 0370 6062555 – ( )
Mail scams You may receive post containing false claims or offers to try to steal your money.
Mail scams are sent by post and may be addressed to you directly by name.   They contain fake claims or offers that are designed to con you out of your money. 
What to watch out for 
Lotteries, including foreign lotteries, or prize draws claiming you’ve won a fortune.   These often look legitimate, with barcodes or ID numbers.   The letter will ask you to pay an administration fee, buy a product or call a premium-rate phone number to claim your winnings. 
Psychics and clairvoyants who claim to have seen something in your future. 
‘Pyramid’ investment schemes, which ask you to pay a fee and recruit friends or family members to get a return on your investment. 
People asking for money because of unfortunate circumstances, like illness or poverty. 
Letters from a ‘solicitor’ about an unclaimed inheritance, often from a ‘relative’ overseas that you’ve never heard of.
What to do 
REJECT :   If you receive a letter you think is a scam, ignore it and throw it away.   Never reply. 
REPORT :  Join the Mail Marshal scheme.   You send them your scam mail so they can catch criminals.   You can find out more on the Friends Against Scams website ( ). 
IGNORE :   Don’t call any premium-rate phone lines mentioned in these letters.   These numbers start with 09 and can cost up to £ 4 per minute to call. 
VERIFY :  If you’re unsure, check the details of the organisation or solicitor. 
OPT OUT:  Try to avoid being added to mailing lists.   For example, when you register to vote, tick the box to opt out of the ‘edited register’ (also known as the ‘open register’) as this can be used to send unsolicited marketing mail. 
REDUCE :   Register with the Mailing Preference Service (see below).   This will stop many direct-mailing companies from contacting you, but not all of them.   Ultimately, it’s not always easy to control what people send you, but you can control your response.
Mailing Preference Service (MPS) 
Free register for individuals who do not want to receive unsolicited sales and marketing contacts by post. 
T : 0207  2913310  -
Who to contact 
Tell Royal Mail if you think you’ve received scam mail and send it to them with a covering letter 
Royal Mail
If you or someone you know is receiving scam mail in the post, you can report it to the Royal Mail. You can post your letter directly to :
T : 0345 6113413 – Email – E :
Report details of overseas scams to the Citizens Advice consumer service.

1) We generate 2,500 extra tonnes of waste in Oxfordshire over the festive period - that’s the weight of 25,000 reindeer!
We can all play our part at home by reducing what we create and recycling more of the right thing, whether that's at kerbside, or at your local supermarket.
Check the Waste Wizard for more information on what can be recycled, and where:

1) Opening hours over Christmas and the New Year
There will be changes to the opening hours at the City Council’s St Aldate's Chambers Customer Services and Telephone Contact Centre over the Christmas and New Year period.
Telephone contact centre details 249811
24 December: 8am – 3pm
25 December: closed Christmas Day
26 December: closed Boxing Day
27 December: closed Bank Holiday
28 December: closed Bank Holiday
29 December: 8am – 5pm
30 December: 8am – 5pm
31 December: 8am – 3pm
1 January: closed New Year’s Day
2 January: closed Sunday
3 January: closed Bank Holiday. 
Face to face at St Aldate’s Chambers
24 December: 10.30am – 3pm (closed for lunch 1-2pm)
25 December: closed Christmas Day
26 December: closed Boxing Day
27 December: closed Bank Holiday
28 December: closed Bank Holiday
29 December: 10.30am – 3.30pm (closed lunch 1-2pm)
30 December: closed
31 December: 10.30am – 3pm (closed for lunch 1-2pm)
1 January: closed New Year’s Day
2 January: closed Sunday
3 January: closed Bank Holiday
Normal working hours resume from Tuesday 4 January.
Throughout the period many council services will be available online. Visit the Do it online page for details.
Oxford's parks and cemeteries will be open as normal during the Christmas period.
Out-of-hours emergencies
For out-of-hours we provide emergency cover. To be connected to Oxford City Council emergency services during the holiday period phone 01865 249811.
For emergency caretaking services for Plowman Tower, Foresters Tower, Evenlode Tower, Windrush Tower, Pound House and Riverside Court and Council owned Sheltered Accommodation phone 07932 762712.
For homelessness emergency enquiries phone 0800 833408.
If you smell gas call National Grid on a phone outside your home on 0800 111 999. 

2)Recycling and rubbish collection day changes
Collections due on:
28 December will be on 29 December
29 December will be on 30 December
30 December will be on 31 December
31 December will be on 4 January
4 January will be on 5 January
5 January will be on 6 January
6 January will be on 7 January
7 January will be on 8 January.
If you have extra recycling over the festive period, such as wrapping paper and Christmas cards (non-glittery), please place this next to your blue bin in a clear plastic bag on your collection day.
We will collect real, bare Christmas trees (free from pots and decorations) on your green/brown bin collection day, from Wednesday 5 January until Friday 28 January. If you live in a flat, or want to recycle your real tree sooner, you can take it to one of our 12 collection points located across the city. These will be open after Christmas.
The collection points are at:
Alexandra Tennis Courts
Bury Knowle Park
Cutteslowe Park
Harbord Road car park
Florence Park
Long Lane, Littlemore
Margaret Road Recreation Ground
Meadow Lane Recreation Ground, Jackdaw Lane
Oatlands Recreation Ground car park
South Park
Sunnymead Recreation Ground
Hinksey Park
Leys Pool and Leisure Centre.
Garden waste
Garden waste collections will be suspended from Tuesday 21 December and will resume on Wednesday 5 January.
Small electrical items and batteries
Recycle your small broken electrical items and batteries by leaving them on top of your blue recycling, green rubbish or brown garden waste bin lid in separate clear bags on your collection day. If you live in a flat with shared bins, please recycle
small electrical items and batteries using collection banks located across the city.

3) Oxford Zero Emission Zones to be launched in February 2022
Registrations are now open for eligible vehicle users to apply for a discount or exemption for Oxford's Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) pilot.
Those qualifying for a discount or exemption must apply before entering the zone. 
The ZEZ pilot will be launching on nine streets in Oxford city centre in February 2022. The aim of the pilot is to improve air quality in the city by restricting polluting vehicles from entering these streets between 7am and 7pm every day.  
Zero emissions vehicles such as electric cars can be used in the zone free of charge. All petrol and diesel vehicles, including hybrids, will incur a daily ZEZ charge of up to £10 unless they have a discount or exemption.  
The charge will vary depending on the emission levels of the vehicle. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used to enforce rules within the zone.
A range of exemptions and discounts are available for businesses and residents in the zone. Registration is now open at  for the following discounts and exemptions: 
residents’ vehicles 
hybrid non-Oxford Hackney carriage vehicles and all hybrid private hire vehicles 
business vehicles 
community transport vehicles 
disabled tax class vehicles 
blue badge holders’ vehicles 
health and care providers’ vehicles 
Businesses and residents can apply at any time from Monday 13 December and can continue to register once the scheme has opened in February 2022.

4) National Award Winners
Congratulations to Maria Warner and her Recycling and Waste Team in Oxford Direct Services (ODS).
ODS Recycling and Waste Team, in partnership with Oxford City Council, has won “Team of the Year” at the MRW National Recycling Awards.
The MRW National Recycling Awards are among the most prestigious awards in the recycling and resource management sector. They recognize projects and teams for their achievements and seek to recognize and reward excellence and inspire others, for the advancement of the sector.
The MRW National Recycling Awards judges were looking for evidence that the individuals that make up the team had gone above and beyond normal expectations to deliver excellent results. They saw that the team demonstrated the qualities, attitude and approach needed for success, along with individual contributions to the team, a shared commitment to achieving goals, and a positive, inspiring approach.
The Recycling and Waste Team have achieved much this year despite difficult circumstances and challenges. Not least, the team has notched up a record-breaking recycling rate of 53.02 per cent whilst continuing to provide a first rate collection service that embodies ODS’ “doing good” philosophy that puts customers at the heart of the service. This puts us at one of top performing cities when viewed against comparable areas.
Additionally last year, kerbside tonnages rose by 5 per cent, with recycling and food waste up by over 12 per cent compared to the previous year. In total 2,875 tonnes more were collected despite having fewer staff and unprecedented working conditions.

1) Cooking -how to avoid fires in the kitchen
Did you know a house fire doubles in size every 30 seconds? That 1 in 3 people rescued from house fires in Oxfordshire are rescued from a cooking fire?
Do you really want us to join you for dinner?
Distraction is one of the main causes and it’s easy to leave the cooking unattended if the phone goes or the doorbell rings, when we’re being distracted by children, family or friends, the TV or even whilst we do other jobs around the home.
Alcohol can be great ingredient when used in a recipe. However, cooking after drinking alcohol increases your chances of having a fire.  If you’ve had a few drinks and are feeling peckish get a takeaway instead.
When cooking
If you need to leave the cooking for a couple of minutes turn down the heat and set the timer or better still ask someone to watch it for you.
Have a drink after you’ve finished cooking - alcohol lowers your concentration levels and the risk of accidents is greater in the kitchen if you have been drinking.
Make sure saucepan handles are not sticking out from the hob or over a naked flame.
Don’t leave children alone in the kitchen, keep matches, lighters and saucepan handles out of reach of children and fit a safety catch on the oven door.
Don’t use matches or lighters to light gas cookers. Spark devices are safer, these can be bought from hardware stores.
Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing as it can catch fire easily.
Remember to check that the oven or hob are switched off after you have finished cooking
Hobs, ovens and microwaves
Keep anything that can catch fire like away from your hob – like oven gloves, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains.
Clean your oven, hob and toaster on a regular basis. A build-up of fat, crumbs or grease can easily catch fire.
Don’t put anything that is made of metal or is metallic inside the microwave.
Chip pans and deep frying
Take extra care when deep-fat frying or cooking with oil. Hot oil can catch fire easily. Use a thermostat controlled deep-fat fryer which will make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot.
Dry the food before you put it in oil.
If the oil starts to smoke it’s too hot. Turn of the heat and leave to cool.
If it catches fire
don’t move it because it will be very hot.
If it is safe to do so - turn off the heat. Never lean over the pan to reach the controls.
Never use water on chip pan fires as this will cause a fire ball.
Get out, stay out, call 999.
General kitchen safety
Kitchen fires can also start by being careless with appliances.
Regularly check that the ventilation in your kitchen, like range hoods or fans is working properly and is not blocked up. This is especially important if you have a gas cooker in case any leaking gas builds up.
Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water
Electrical appliances should be turned off at the plug when they're not being used
Don't overload electrical sockets.
Only have one plug in each socket.
If you need more plugs than there are sockets, use a 'bar type' fuse adaptor.
Keep the total amps of all plugs in the adaptor to 13 amps or less.
Remember that higher-amp appliances such as washing machines always need a socket to themselves.
If an electrical appliance catches fire:
Don’t throw water on it.
If it is safe to do so, you may be able to put out the fire immediately by pulling out the plug for the appliance or switching off the power at the fuse box.
If the fire doesn’t go out, get out of the house, stay out and call 999.

2) Candle safety
While candles in the house can create a nice atmosphere, a safer alternative are LED tealights, which are safe and which you don’t need to remember to blow out. Keep them away from anything flammable like curtains, decorations, and anything that can catch fire. Always put out candles if you are not in the room and especially at night-time if you are going to bed.

1) Advice on doorstep scams
Look out for
Somebody that knocks at your door and has a polite, friendly but insistent manner while selling his services.
They say, “I’m working in your area and noticed that your drive/roof etc., needs urgent attention”.
Often they quote a low price without looking at the work required and then charge a higher price at the end of the job.
They tell you that they have got some tarmac or other materials left over from another job.
They state that the work required for your property is urgent, and they can repair it straight away.
They rarely give any paperwork, but if they do, there is often no address, and the details on it are vague or fictitious.
Although the quote may be reasonable, often, the work will be poor or non-existent. In most instances, the cost is vastly increased at the end of the job.
They can use fear and intimidation to ensure that the victim pays, even to the extent of being escorted to the bank to withdraw cash.

2) Cold Calling
There have been an increased number of reports of traders cold calling. The advice below is from Oxfordshire Trading Standards, who lead on the investigations.
It often starts with a leaflet being dropped through the letterbox or a knock at the door.
Before agreeing to any work please consider the following:
Stop and think, do you really need the work done now?
Check the identity of the caller
Always obtain some other quotes from businesses recommended from family, friends or use where the businesses have been checked by Trading Standards.
Remember that as a consumer you are legally entitled to a 14-day cooling off period for contracts formed at your home.
Please always report suspicious activity to Police on 101 or in an emergency call 999. If a vehicle is involved please try to make a note of the registration plates.
If anyone believes that they have been the victim of such a rogue trader and would like further advice, you can contact the Citizens Advice National Consumer Service on 0800 144 8848 or via its website at
Keep your house secure and put a chain on when answering the front door.
If you’re not expecting anyone and you’re alone, ask them to call back later when someone can be with you.
Never agree to have work done by somebody who is just passing or take their word that any work needs to be done.
Don’t agree to work being done until you have obtained three quotes from different businesses in writing – you might get the job done cheaper and better, or you may find you do not even need the work done at all.
Never pay anything before work is completed. If you want work done, ask for a quote/estimate in writing and contact details, e.g. name, telephone number, address.
Do not accept any offer from them to drive you to the bank to withdraw money.
Do not ever pay them with cash that is kept in your home.
If a caller is unpleasant or you feel threatened or intimidated, close the door and ring the police immediately.
After the event, if you are in a Neighbourhood Watch area, let your local coordinator know of your experience so they can warn other people.
Use the Buy With Confidence scheme to find a local business that trading standards have approved.
N.B. The Buy With Confidence website is well worth a look. Buy With Confidence is a scheme run by Oxfordshire Trading Standards that lists reliable, local home improvement businesses who have committed to trading fairly and doing a good job.

1) Talk to Frank
The website below gives excellent and clear information about illegal A-Z drugs - a good 'go to' resource for drug information,

2) Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Justice has today launched the Victims’ Bill consultation which is aimed at improving victims’ experiences of the justice system.
The consultation can be found at the following link and will run for eight weeks until the 3rd February 2022: Delivering justice for victims: A consultation on improving victims’ experiences of the justice system - Ministry of Justice - Citizen Space
We are keen to hear directly from victims, frontline practitioners, criminal justice system partners and other organisations who work with victims throughout the consultation period.
We would also be grateful if you could please encourage your networks to engage with the consultation.
If you have any questions, please contact:

3) Drug diversion programme
There is a new drug diversion programme in place across Thames Valley to help break the cycle of substance misuse and crime. Thames Valley Police has a new partnership with the substance abuse charity Druglink to deliver an innovative adult drug diversion programme providing education and support to help break the cycle of substance abuse and minor offending. Matthew Barber (PCC) said: “I am pleased to be funding this programme with Druglink as part of our Violence Reduction Unit work. As detailed in the Government’s Drug Strategy launched yesterday, we need to place emphasis on drug diversion, education and support, not solely enforcement, if we are to break the cycle of drug misuse, drug related crime and stop lives being devastated by addiction. "In the Thames Valley we are already delivering drug diversion schemes with out of court disposal options and I am pleased we are able to extend this to work with Druglink to deliver a specialist education and support programme."

4) Victims First
The PCC has commissioned a number of services to support victims of crime across the Thames Valley. This includes an overarching referral service, Victims First.
Victims First is managed by the Office of the PCC and is dedicated to making sure that all victims of crime receive the support they need to cope and recover from the impact of their crime.
It provides free emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime as well as family members of victims. It is available across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.
The service receives referrals from the police, partners and self-referrals. Victims First Officers discuss emotional or practical needs with the victim and work to put in place a support plan which could involve referring them to a commissioned specialist service for further support.
Specialist services include:
Victims First Adult Specialist Service (includes Independent Sexual Violence Advisors, Exploitation Specialists and Victim-Led Restorative Justice Service)
Victims First Emotional Support Service
Hate Crime Third Party Reporting Service
Domestic Abuse services commissioned in partnership with local authorities
Young Victims Service
The type of assistance available includes telephone support, face to face support, advocacy, including, help to access other services such as sexual health clinics, drug and alcohol services and legal services, support through the criminal justice system (if the crime has been reported to the police) and therapeutic counselling.
Contacting Victims First
Victims First can be contacted on 0300 1234 148 or by making an online referral through the Victims First website
Further information about the support available as well as information on crime can be found at

1) Digital telephone networks for all
UK telephone network is going digital: How will it affect you?
The UK's telephone network will be going digital this decade, with the telecoms industry planning to switch off the established copper network at the end of 2025.
According to Which? this is not common knowledge amongst the UK population though, as a representative survey from the telecoms company Taking Care found that 91% of people did not know this fact.
The PTSN (public switched telephone network) will soon all work via broadband connection rather than through a physical system.
What is Digital Voice?
Digital Voice services will work through broadband connection rather than through copper wire.
Specifically Digital Voice is the name BT uses for its service, but there are also other branded versions like Sky Digital Voice or TalkTalk Voice.
Why is the traditional network being switched off and when will it happen?
Which? say that the physical network that was built during the Victoria era just does not really suit the population's needs in communication anymore.
A switch to fibre optic networks on broadband will also be more reliable and easier to maintain.
From 2023, traditional phone services won't be offered to new or recontracting customers, and by December 2025 they will be withdrawn entirely.
However, there is a chance you may be migrated sooner if the infrastructure in your local area fails, as malfunctional copper lines and phone exchanges aren't being replaced.
Countries like Estonia and the Netherlands have already switched off PTSN, whilst the likes of Germany and Japan are in the process of doing so.
It will all move onto a system called Digital Voice in the UK.
What will happen when I move over to digital?
Some phones may require an adaptor, but others may just required being put into a new router.
Older phones might need to be replaced though, and it's likely that providers will offer a new model, but it might come at a cost.
Upgrading to full fibre services has more of an impact because fibre optic cables need to be installed through to your home.
An engineer visit will always be required to set up the service which will be connected using either overground or underground cables.
What if I don't want the digital service?
There is an option to not have a phone line at all as providers will offer 'broadband-only' deals so you can select a service that doesn't have a landline included.
Which? also states: "Those who currently only have a landline won't be forced to pay for broadband services that they don't want or need.
"Their digital phone service will work using a special dedicated broadband connection and shouldn't cost any more than what they pay now."

2) How to walk your dog safely during winter
As temperatures drop, it’s important that dog owners consider the impact of adverse weather conditions when walking their pets. Here are some tips for keeping yourself and your canine friend safe.
Train your dog not to pull on the lead, so they don’t cause you to fall on ice, and wear shoes with good grip.
Buy a winter coat for short-haired or hairless breeds, making sure it’s not too tight.
Look after your dog’s joints by giving them a warm place to sleep, and consider joint supplements.
Watch out for grit, making sure none gets stuck in your dog’s paws.
3) Goodbye 2021 and News for 2022
The weekly newsletter will next be available in 2022 as we all be celebrating the festive season in various ways - it has been a difficult year for many and the beginning of 2022 is uncertain but we have learnt what neighbourliness and communities mean. The aim for 2022 is to continue to stay safe and look after our neighbours. I shall be looking out for articles and sound advice to include in the next newsletter. I hope you have found some items of interest.

Sound advice reminds me to end the year-
Albert Einstein said “In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." 
This also applies - "In a world where you can be anything, be kind."
"In a world where you can be anything, be ..............(please think of your own word, if not above)

I'd like to wish every one of you reading this a very Merry Christmas and Peaceful New Year. 
Take care and stay safe,
Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (Neighbourhood Watch Network, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford LPA)
Attached files
File nameFile size

Message tag words

Back to previous page
Click here to tweet this message to your followers

Discuss this alert message

Please see terms below before using this feature
Please be aware that the facility above is a Facebook service, posting your views will make some of your Facebook information visible to everyone (as with any Facebook activity).

The system administrators (VISAV Limited) monitor the content added. Any misuse or objectionable material should be reported to

The views expressed do not represent the views of the system administrators who are VISAV Limited, the Police, Neighbourhood Watch and other Information Provider using this service.