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Cat killer alert A dead cat found in Billericay has sparked fears that the M25 cat killer has struck again. Full story page 3

Crypto criminals Cryptocurrency is big business but it has also become a crook’s paradise Full story page 9

Watch is working A survey by Together Mutual insurance has found NHW is still in big demand Full story Back page



Shifty the police dog and handler Andy Kemp have completed their last beat together


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Two jailed but Blundell search goes on

FBI scam warning

TWO teenagers have been sentenced for the fatal shooting of John Pordage from Essex while the hunt for prime suspect, Bradley Blundell, (right) continues across Europe. Saul Stanley was jailed for five years for perverting the course of justice and a string of firearm offences while a 16-year-old was given an eight-month detention training order for perverting the course of justice and handling stolen goods.

THE FBI has warned that hackers have been impersonating a federal online crime complaint portal to trick victims into giving personal and sensitive information in a new phishing scam.



Police fear that the M25 cat killer may now have switched hiskilling spree to Essex

Has M25 cat killer struck in Essex? THERE are fears that the notorious M25 cat killer, responsible for decapitating and dismembering 400 pets across England, has now struck in Essex. Essex Police are investigating the death of a cat in Western Road, Billericay, and have passed their file to the investigating team at the Met. A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were contacted just before 1.50pm on Saturday, March 3, with report of the body of a cat being found in Western Road, Billericay. “Officers have passed details of the incident to colleagues at the Met in case the incident may be linked to an ongoing operation. “Anyone with information should contact police on 101.” Animal protection charity South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL), who attended the scene, is offering a £10,000 reward for anyone who can find the cat killer SNARL has spent the past week drop-

ping 600,000 flyers through letterboxes throughout South London in a bid to stop the maiming and slaughter of scores of moggies. The notorious cat killer, who has managed to elude capture, began his sickening orgy of violence in Croydon in 2014. The Met has a dedicated team investigating the killings as part of Operation Takahe. Police believe the killer could be a white man in his 40s, with short, brown hair and may also be wearing a headlamp or carrying a torch. However, this is thought to be the first time he has struck in Essex, if indeed the BIllericay death is linked. The unknown cat killer, who appears to get a sadistic pleasure from dismembering animals, is thought to have killed more than 400 cats across England, beginning in 2014 in Croydon. Further killings were recorded in November 2016 with 10 feline victims being confirmed by police as linked. The attacks have since spread across and


around London, and as far north as Manchester. An investigating vet found raw chicken in the stomachs of a number of the felines killed, believing the perpetrator was using the meat to lure the cats. The culprit removed the head and tails, possibly to retain them as trophies. More than 30,000 people signed a petition demanding DNA testing to be undertaken on the corpses in the hope of getting a match. But no human DNA has been found, so investigators assume the attacker wears protective clothes and gloves. The SNARL leaflet says: “If you see anyone behaving oddly around animals, call 101 with a full description of the person. Where possible take vehicle details. “If you find a body which is mutilated or missing parts, call us. Please stay with the body if you can to prevent council waste services from removing it.” SNARL is asking anyone who has information to call 07961 030064 or


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Warning over bogus insurance policies

12 year sentence

THOUSANDS of motorists could be driving WITHOUT valid insurance after being tricked by new scam. Nearly 900 reports of such scams have been made, costing victims and insurers an estimated £631,000. But it is thought the true scale is far worse, with many drivers having no idea their policies are phoney until they make claims or get stopped by police.

BEN Harper, (left) 21, from Romford has been sentenced to 12 years’ for the manslaughter of Clemuth Roberts. He was also given an extended sentence of five years on license.


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Indian residents are scams target Fraudsters usually attempt to keep the victim on the phone until the payment is received, which can be hours at a time. How to protect yourself The Home Office, Police or any UK Law Enforcement Agency will never ask for money over the telephone. Government agencies do not use non-secure payment methods such as a transfer via a Money service Bureau, iTunes voucher(s) or cryptocurrency e.g. Bitcoin. When receiving unsolicited calls, be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller FRAUDSTERS are pretending to be from the Home Office and cold-calling victims to claim that there is a problem with their already claims to hold is correct. Always ensure you know who you talking to. Ask for the immigration status. details of the organisation the caller represents and call them The fraudsters are calling victims from what appears to a genback yourself on the officially published numbers rather than uine Home Office telephone number 0207 354 848 - which has the numbers the caller may try to provide you with. in fact been ‘spoofed’. If you have any concerns regarding your immigration status, To spoof numbers, fraudsters use software that allows them visit the to speak with someone. If you think you have to display any number they wish on a victim’s phone. been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud by Victims are told there is a problem with their immigration stacalling 0300 123 20 40 or by using the online reporting tool. tus and in order to rectify this issue, they must pay an up-front fee. They are asked to confirm personal details, such as their passport number and date of arrival in the United Kingdom. If a victim starts to question the call, the fraudsters point out the ‘spoofed’ number to make the request seem legitimate. In 2017, 305 Action Fraud reports included the Home Office number 0207 035 4848. Many victims who have been targeted by this fraud have had an association to India. The fraudsters often state that the victim has outstanding criminal charges against them in India, or that their official documentation was not completed satisfactorily upon their arrival into the United Kingdom. Victims are left with three options - either face deportation; face arrest and imprisonment; or pay the up-front fee. They are asked to pay the fees through a variety of methods, including; Bitcoin, money transfers via a Money Service Bureau or by purchasing iTunes vouchers before relaying the voucher code to the suspect.

Indian residents are being targeted by criminal gangs claiming they are checking their immigration status 5


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NatWest text scam

Man wanted girl, 13, to commit sex act

FRAUDSTERS are targeting customers of NatWest. Text messages claiming to be from the bank are being sent by criminals to try and swindle money from customers.

Sam Lumley, 24, of Furtherwick Road, Canvey Island, has been jailed for 22 months by Basildon Crown Court for having sexual conversations with a 13 year old girl. Lumley was charged with inciting a child under 16 to watch a sexual act, and pleaded not guilty to the offence on December 12, 2016 at Southend Magistrates' Court.

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Social media raising concerns RESIDENTS inEssex could unintentionally be hampering police investigations into local crimes simply by using social media sites. More and more people are using WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, NextDoor, Telegram, Instagram and Snapchat to connect with each other and to share images and stories. But Mark Glazer, chairman of London Community Watch and Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch, believes some residents could actually be causing damage by posting footage of crimes on these sites. Mr Glazer said posting photos and videos of suspects can actually hamper police officers building up a case. “One thing that people don’t realise is

that posting photographs and CCTV on social media can have a detrimental effect,” he said “It can disrupt current investigations, especially if an identity parade is needed. If it has been shared on Whatsapp it could interfere with witnesses.” Mr Glazer said there are “better ways to do things” and listed the free app Trygve as an alternative. Used in Sweden since 2015, Trygve is said to take the ideology and objectives of Neighbourhood Watch and deliver them through digital technology. Trygve (see it's success in Hackney on Page 5) has three main uses and users can activate a personal safety alarm which alerts family, friends and neighbours if they run into trouble.


The alarm can also go off on a timer if you have not arrived back from a destination by a set time. With the technology, participants can come to the aid of residents who have pushed the alarm button in an area near them. “As well as not having a safety alarm, Whatsapp is too open,” added Mr Glazer. “It has too much irrelevant information spoken about in groups. It is better to set up a Neighbourhood Watch first and then get neighbours in a group through that - then you all know each other.” The Police have also spoken about the importance of residents sharing any photos or CCTV of potential criminal activity with the authorities.


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Drug farm uncovered

Beware - DVLA text is just a scam

POLICE uncovered a cannabis farm and seized several weapons including two Tasers after an early morning an address in Beke Hall Chase North, Rayleigh .

DRIVERS have been warned about text messages allegedly from the DVLA but are a scam. The text message reads: “FINAL REQUEST: DVLA Swansea trying to contact you, The link contains the “” domain in the web address but also has a “.pw” extension, which means it is registered to the island of Palau in Micronesia.

Be alert to cryptocurrency crooks CRYTOCURRENCY is something of a new digital money phenomenon - and with it comes the usual threat of fraud by clever criminals. It has been going for years but it is only more recently that cryptocurrency has caught the imagination and attracted investors. It is a currency associated with the internet that uses cryptography, the process of converting legible information into an almost uncrackable code, to track purchases and transfers. Indeed, Sir Richard Branson has set up a bitcoin (a similar form of cryptocurrency) on his private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. That though is the respectable side of the currency. Police have shut down several fraudulent cryptocurrency business in the City of London after they were found to be cold calling investors and attempting to sell them fake online money. Fraudsters allegedly set up these type of businesses in London's square mile in

an attempt to legitimise their activity persuading victims to invest in a fictional cryptocurrency. Cryptography was born out of the need for secure communication in the Second World War. There was an explosion in the number of new cryptocurrencies in 2017, as well as a dramatic boost in the value of existing ones. The original online currency Bitcoin has jumped in value by more than 260pc this year. The proceeds from initial coin offerings, when start-ups raise money through new cryptocurrencies, exceeded $1.27bn (£977m) in 2017, compared with $222m in the whole of 2016. What happens to victims of fraud Victims are told to first report the scam or fraud to Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for cyber crime and fraud. Action Fraud passes the report to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. The NFBI then analyses the case to find out if there are any viable lines of enquiry. If


there are, the report is sent to the police for investigation. According to independent charity, the Fraud Advisory Panel, victims outside of London have even less chance of their fraud cases being investigated. The most common cryptocurrencies • Bitcoin: Bitcoin was the first and is the most commonly traded cryptocurrency to date. It has a market capitalisation of around $45 billion. • Ethereum: Developed in 2015, ethereum is the second most popular and valuable cryptocurrency. Ethereum has a market capitalisation of around $18bn as of July 2017. • Ripple: Ripple is another distributed ledger system that was founded in 2012. It has been used by banks including Santander and UBS and has a market capitalisation of around $6.3 billion. • Litecoin: This currency is most similar in form to bitcoin and the total value of all Litecoin is around $2.1 billion.


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Sex offence claim at Southend FC

Jail for fraudster

ESSEX Police are investigating reports of two sexual offences that are alleged to have taken place on the grounds of Southend United Football Club in the 1970s and are looking for anyone with any information to come forward. A man aged in his 50s has reported offences that took place when he was a teenager between 1977 and 1978.

LONDON fraudster Sakiru Oresanwo who helped produced fake IDs to help scores of students claim generous council tax discounts has been jailed for 18 months.

It’s farewell to Shifty and Andy ESSEX Pc Andy Kemp and police dog Shifty have completed their final day of working together at the Essex dog section in Sandon. Andy began his police career in 1991 and has worked in a variety of roles for both Essex Police and the Metropolitan Police. Shifty joined the dog section nearly ten years ago, quickly excelling in his initial training which covered obedience, agility and specialist police tasks. He is trained via scent association which means he searches for a particular scent and once found, is rewarded with his tennis ball and lots of encouragement. Over the course of his career, Shifty has become something of a household name amongst Essex Police officers, not least for his ability to sniff out trouble. Pc Kemp said: “Shifty has been involved in some cracking jobs. Whether its drugs, cash or weapons; if Shifty and PC Kemp have been out and about at many functions in Essex and here’s a there’s something to be look at one of their favourite momentsmeeting the public found, he’ll find it.” terrorist activity. In November 2016, Shifty discovered more than £16,000 in cash Away from work, Shifty lives with Andy and is treated as one of the during a search of a property in Buckhurst Hill. family. He regularly competes with Andy’s pet Border Terrier for leftThe discovery helped secure the convictions of five men, including a former personal banker, for their part in a £16m international overs from Sunday dinner. money laundering operation. “People often assume that because Shifty is a police dog, he’s More recently Andy and Shifty have assisted officers on Project always in ‘work mode’ but that’s not the case at all. Servator deployments at Stansted Airport. Servator is a national “Although he needs lots of exercise, he spends his free time relaxpolice initiative dedicated to deterring and detecting criminal and ing and sleeping on the sofa. I’m sure he’ll enjoy his retirement!”


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Conmen trapped after newspaper investigation

Drug dealer jailed

CONMEN who targeted British pensioners with millions of letter frauds are facing court action after an investigation by the Daily Mail. More than 200 scammers have been charged or served with court orders in a joint action by US and Canadian police using evidence uncovered by the journalists in the newspaper’s investigations unit.

DRUG dealer, Perry Bohn, who was found concealing 26 wraps of Class A drugs in his bottom, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years by Basildon Crown Court.


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Thirteen years for kidnapping duo TWO men have been jailed for a total of 13 years after they assaulted and kidnapped a man before blackmailing his parents in Basildon. Terry Titmarsh, 43, of no fixed address, received eight years for kidnap, five years for blackmail, 42 months for actual bodily harm, two nine month sentences for possession of a knife, nine months for possession of a stun gun, three months for the production of cannabis and two months for possession of cannabis, all to run concurrently. He received no separate penalty for driving without insurance or a licence. Robert Guthrie, 47, of Stublands, Basildon, received five years for kidnap and 42 months for actual bodily harm, to run concurrently. They were both sentenced at Basildon Crown Court after admitting the offences. At around 6.50am on Thursday, September 21, Titmarsh and Guthrie knocked at a property in Curling Tye and

threatened a man with a stun gun and knives. The victim ran off but was grabbed, assaulted and pushed into a car before being taken to a property in Hartford End, Basildon. He was attacked further before Titmarsh and Guthrie called his parents and demanded cash. Shortly after that call, the victim managed to escape and alert police who stopped Titmarsh in a taxi and found him to be in possession of cannabis. Guthrie was arrested at his address later day. While searching the address in

Hartford End, which was being rented by Titmarsh, officers found 11 cannabis plants growing inside. Investigating officer Dc Danielle Hutton, of Basildon CID, said: “Titmarsh and Guthrie subjected the victim to a horrific ordeal which lasted a number of hours. This was a calculated attack during broad daylight involving a prolonged assault on an innocent man. "Fortunately he wasn't seriously hurt and I would like to praise him for his courage and bravery during this investigation, which ash resulted in Guthrie and Titmarsh being locked in a cell."

Watch spirit alive and kicking COMMUNITY spirit in London is alive and kicking according to an insurance company survey. The survey, by Together Mutual, reported that community spirit isthriving as more people are joining neighbourhood watch groups online. The survey found that more than 60 per cent of Londoners are members of neighbourhood watch groups on or offline while one in three Londoners communicates regularly with their neighbours via social media. Researchers found that rather than making Londoners more private or insular, technology has simply afforded them a new way to communicate with their neighbours. Neighbourhood watch groups, which

have been a staple of British society since the 1980s, are increasingly being conducted via Facebook and What’s App, according to the survey. The study found that neighbours in London reported security issues to the group chat because it’s quicker, easier to update everyone at once and because it


creates a sense of community. Also 96 per cent of Londoners said they know at least some of their neighbours while 70 per cent said they have some of their neighbours’ telephone numbers. Jon Craven, chief executive at Together Mutual Insurance, based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, said: “It’s very pleasing to see that communities are capitalising on modern technology to alert their fellow neighbours at an instant, should they have concerns. “It is often the case that we are told that neighbourhood watch groups are part of a bygone era, however moving them online is a great idea and will ensure this vital community activity continues to help protect our homes.”

Essex community watch magazine march  
Essex community watch magazine march  

Essex Community Watch magazine is a free monthly online publication distributed to 21,000 groups and organisations in the Coujty offering ad...