Donald MacKay is our Local Shore Officer
To contact Cowal Community Policing Team call 100
Doorstep crime remains the top national priority for trading standards in Scotland. It is carried out by cruel, unscrupulous and organised criminal groups who deliberately prey on the most vulnerable in society, predominantly the elderly population. Doorstep criminals are mobile and often work cross border with many perpetrators being well known across different council areas. Winter can be a particularly opportunistic time for doorstep criminals with the bad weather which can damage property. Criminals draw on this to instil fear into their victims that if they don’t sort out the damage now, it could cost much more in the future.
The joint Trading Standards Scotland and Police Scotlandcampaign launched today, Tuesday 25 February, and urges victims, potential victims and their families and friends to call their local trading standards service immediately if they have suspicions about someone who has come to their door.
As part of our campaign, we are recommending that consumers consider the following advice
Don’t feel pressurised into agreeing to immediate work. Never listen to scare stories, beware of traders who suddenly appear after storms or floods and of claims that a low price is only available if you sign up right away.
Don’t agree to buy from the first person who calls. Ask yourself if you really want these goods or services.
Don’t pay cash up front. Never pay for work before it is completed and don’t hand over large sums of money.
Do shop around if you decide you need work done. Get a minimum of three quotes from reputable traders and get recommendations from people you trust.
Do ask what your cancellation rights are. Remember for jobs costing over £35, traders are required to provide the consumer with a written notice informing them they have a seven day cooling off period during which they can change their mind and cancel the contract.
Do REPORT THEM! Don’t ever feel embarrassed if you feel you have been the victim of doorstep crime. If you are in any way unsure about a caller at your door, contact Trading Standards or the Police immediately.
Click here to download the campaign flyers.
Please share this information as widely as you can. By working together, we can beat doorstep crime.
The Police have warned us of a telephone scam, where you are offered a service to reclaim any PPI insurance on your behalf. This is bogus and should be reported to the Police immediately.
Residents Should be extremely vigilant about ensuring doors are locked, as there have apparently been two opportunist break ins in the area.
Police are warning of a lottery scam which asks people to send on their bank details in order for them to receive their cash.
Police Scotland said there have been a number of reports from residents in St Andrews, Dunoon and Dunblane.
A spokesman said an investigation was under way.
"We would remind everyone that they should never give out any personal information, including bank details, to any unknown agency," he said.
"While the letters may appear official, it is important to validate any such communication, and seek further assurances that the firms involved exist and are aware of the letter.
Argyll and Bute
Bute and Cowal - Area Community Planning Group
Partner Update – Police Scotland
One new probationer has arrived in Dunoon in the past month, with 2 add
probationary Officers scheduled to arrive in October. The long standing Policing
Presence at Stronafian has now concluded, all of which will have a positive impact
Police have recently attended the Lochgoilhead Gala and in the next month
expecting to attend Sandbank and Kirn Gala’s and any other we are made aware of.
The main or largest event in August will be the Cowal Highland Gathering with the
planning of policing the event well under way. As usual it will be policed by local
officers and mutual aid from other offices in Argyll and other divisions.
Doorstep Crime Guidance
A newly established partnership agreement between Police Scotland, Argyll
Community Housing Association (ACHA) and Argyll and Bute Council Trading
Standards provides a more robust process for reporting and identifying those who
carry out doorstep crimes such as fraud and consumer protection offences. When
Police Scotland and Argyll and Bute Council Trading Standards are contacted by the
public and notified of an incident where criminals have purported to carry out works
such as driveway and roofing repairs, professional trade’s people from ACHA will
now attend and provide an independent assessment of the work carried out.
This will provide Police Scotland and Argyll and Bute Council Trading Standards a
clearer ability to determine if any crime has taken place and if so what charges are
relevant. This process has been used in the Dunoon area recently.
On Monday 6 th June 2022, officers from Argyll and Dunbartonshire Roads Policing
Unit, Mounted Branch and the Community Engagement Team carried out Operation
Close Pass and Lose the Blinkers in Dunoon. Both are designed to increase road
safety by highlighting to drivers the importance of their speed and passing distances
in relation to other more vulnerable road users.
On Thursday 28 th July 2022, officers from the Roads Policing Unit and Community
Engagement Team held a Facebook Live Q&A in relation to motorcycle safety as
Bute and Cowal are popular areas not only for resident motorcyclists but also visitors
to the area, particularly in summer. This was the first Facebook Q&A live session
held in this manner with 21 comments of engagement which was well received.
On Sunday 7 th August 2022, the Drive Scot Free Event will be held at Dunoon
Grammar School. This includes a number of assessors from the Institute of
Advanced Motorists attending to offer free driving inputs including driving licence
legislation, eye sight tests, manoeuvrability sessions as well as an assessment drive.
Local support for this has been appreciated with Morrison’s, Shearwater Marine
Services, Western Ferries and Argyll and Bute Council providing donations to enable
the event to run. The event has been promoted on Social Media, Dunoon Observer
as well as a number of posters and leaflets delivered to petrol stations, cafes,
opticians and GP practices. The event is open for everyone.
In response to increasing demand for positive engagement with children and young
people across Cowal, Bute and Helensburgh, an additional Youth Engagement
Officer post has been created to service Bute and Rothesay to supplement PC Mark
Toner who will now be based solely in Helensburgh. This additional capacity will
allow us focus on re-establishing previously successful Police Scotland Youth
Volunteer Groups and to work more closely with Care Experienced Young people to
deliver on our responsibilities as a corporate parent. We are looking at opportunities
to learn from Glasgow’s implementation of the ‘Respect’ Programme and options to
utilise our Youth Engagement Officers to deliver against the outcomes and provide
support and reduce harms for Care Experienced Young People.
We are delighted that the Friendship Benches for Cowal have either been installed
or are now ready to be affixed. The Friendship Benches have been provided through
funding and partnership work with Ardentinny, Sandbank, Lochgoilhead and Strachur
Community Councils, Argyll and Bute Council, Dunoon Mens Shed, the Corra
Foundation and Bute Sign and Graphics and provide a place for people to sit and
enjoy their area, but also support numbers on the sign provided on the bench for
Samaritans, Breathing Space and Shout and we would encourage people to ask
anyone sitting there “are you ok” as a way to reduce isolation and loneliness often
leading to poor mental health.
Your Police Survey
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experiences. Our Annual Police Plan 2022/23 sets out what we will do to keep our
communities safe and this has been developed using your responses to last year's
survey, along with focus groups, workshops and other ways we listen to
Complete the survey in a different way
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