Logo of the Neighbourhood Watch

SimpliSafe offers guidance on protecting your home, and exclusive Neighbourhood Watch member discount on home security products

The Neighbourhood Watch Network are pleased to share with you SimpliSafe’s guide to preventing burglars from targeting the outside of your home. This guide offers advice on easy-to-install security features, as well as tips on protecting your walls and fences from burglars.

SimpliSafe joined Neighbourhood Watch Network in October as our newest partner sponsor, and will work with us over the coming year to provide guidance, support and research to our members about the best ways to protect your home and your community. SimpliSafe are committed to their mission of making Every Home Secure, and offer a range of affordable security options for every type of home.

Read SimpliSafe’s guide to preventing burglars from targeting the outside of your home.

Member Discount

We are also pleased to announce that members of Neighbourhood Watch now have exclusive access to a 50% discount on SimpliSafe home security systems, plus two free months of Pro Premium professional monitoring!

Access discount on SimpliSafe website here.

* A 50% discount is applied to new purchases where there are one or more security systems in the order. Security system needs to include a Base Station, Keypad and Wired Indoor Camera. Systems are subject to availability, while stocks last. 50% off code will automatically apply and overwrite any sitewide discounts. For every system sold, Neighbourhood Watch receives £133.

There is much to look forward to as a result of this exciting new partnership with SimpliSafe, including a large-scale hardware donation event for a local community in the new year and regular fundraising events by SimpliSafe’s staff for Neighbourhood Watch.

Logo image of the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Sixth successful bid for Safer Streets funding to boost crime prevention in the county

Almost £650.000 is to be invested in preventing crime in the county thanks to a successful bid to the Home Office Safer Streets fund by Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.

As part of Round Five of the Safer Streets Fund, Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has secured £646,570 to support practical and targeted projects to tackle burglary and vehicle crime and reduce violence against women and girls.

This is the sixth time that the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has made a successful Safer Streets bid since the scheme was launched four years ago. Rounds one – five focussed on neighbourhood crime and a sixth that focussed on tackling violence against women. As a result of those bids, Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has been awarded nearly £4m to invest in crime prevention, and his office and partners have invested a further £1m to boost safety in communities across the county.

The three successful Safer Streets projects in this round are:

· Weston, Northampton and Kingswood, Corby: A forensic property marking, and asset recording scheme called ‘Stand up to crime’ will be rolled out to residents to help tackle residential burglary. Equipment to identify stolen property will be installed in custody suites and given to second-hand dealers.

· Junction 15 A and Watford Gap M1 Services: Several physical security measures such as improved fencing, lighting, CCTV and ANPR will be put in place to tackle theft from HGVs and other vehicles.

· Violence against women and girls: Staff at bus and train hubs in the county will be trained to recognise when women are vulnerable and how to respond appropriately. Working with West Northamptonshire Council, a scheme will see taxi marshals working in Northampton town centre.

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has already carried out Safer Streets projects across the county that have included the delivery of crime prevention improvements to homes and streets in residential areas of Northampton, Kettering and Wellingborough. CCTV has been upgraded and home security products distributed in Wellingborough, Kettering and Northampton, alleys have been gated in Wellingborough and Kettering and training schemes for staff and ID scanning technology has helped to make the night-time economy safer.

All the proposals were developed based on crime rates in the areas to be targeted and following consultation with residents and other stakeholders. Work on all three projects will begin as soon as possible.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “I’m really pleased that yet again, we have been successful in bringing more money to Northamptonshire to support practical crime prevention projects to make communities safer.

“We will be working in partnership with other organisations and have listened to the concerns of local people in putting together a package of targeted measures to improve safety and tackle crime.”

Image of coins and a miniature house to depict support for households in West Northamptonshire

Support available for households in West Northamptonshire

This week is Household Support Fund Awareness Week (16 to 22 October 2023) with the aim to highlight financial support available to households who may be facing hardship in West Northants.

In the fourth tranche of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Household Support Fund, £5,199,257 has been allocated to West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to continue helping the most vulnerable with the ongoing cost of living challenges.

WNC have implemented a number of support offers that have been identified to best meet the need of residents in West Northamptonshire, ensuring the funds are distributed to a range of families and households in need, with differing circumstances. The support offers distributed include:

  • Around 12,500 families with children continuing to receive meal vouchers during the school holidays. They have also be given a helping hand for the 23/24 school year, with supermarket vouchers for uniforms distributed alongside support for food over the summer.
  • Voluntary and community groups will share out £1.2m in the form of food aid, distributed in separate tranches over winter, to support households experiencing the most hardship across West Northants.
  • Over 1,500 households on a low wage (weekly income of less than £400) but have not received any of the Cost of Living Payments or the £150 Disability Cost of Living payments may be eligible to receive a £300 payment to provide financial support. For more information please click here.
  • £600,000 has been allocated towards food clubs and larders, with half of the funding to help upscale and improve their use of food clubs and larders in a move towards more sustainable ongoing support for residents
  • Around £115,000 has been earmarked towards helping the most struggling households reduce their energy bills through practical measures such as better insulation and more efficient boilers etc. A further £110,000 will be used to provide money and debt advice services to those facing severe financial hardship.

Cllr Matt Golby, WNC’s Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said: “The impact of the cost-of-living increase is still very much affecting many households and we are continuing to work with our local voluntary and community groups in helping to address this ongoing challenge.

“It is imperative that we offer support to residents, acknowledging that individual circumstances and the help needed differs. Therefore, we have thoughtfully considered how to make the best use of the latest funding from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).”

For more information on cost of living support please visit Cost of living or call 0300 126 7000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Contact Information

West Northamptonshire Council Communications Team
communications@westnorthants.gov.uk

NHS poster image to book cervical screening

Are you up to date with your Cervical Cancer Screening?

Cervical Cancer Screening is available to those between the ages of 25 to 64 and is crucial in helping to pick up signs of cervical cancer at an early stage.

Cervical cancer is when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix grow in an uncontrolled way and in time, form a growth also known as a tumour. If not caught early, cancer cells gradually grow into the surrounding tissues and may spread to other areas of the body which can be life threatening.

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a major cause of the main types of cervical cancer. Most sexually active people come into contact with HPV during their lifetime. Most are harmless but some cause genital warts, and others cause abnormal growth of cells that can develop into cancer. HPV can be passed on through close skin to skin contact, usually during sexual activity.

To help prevent the development of cervical cancer, the screening tests for abnormal HPV cells. By having a cervical screening, it will help with an early diagnosis of any abnormal cells if there are any or genital warts and will stop further development of the cancer through early treatment.

With West Northamptonshire data showing a percentage of people not taking up a cervical screening test, the local Public Health team is advising residents between the age of 25 to 64, who are eligible for cervical cancer screening to make sure they attend their screening appointment and remain up to date with their screening.

Dr Annapurna Sen, Consultant in Health Protection for West Northamptonshire Council says:
“Across West Northamptonshire 30% of the eligible population between age 25-64 did not have their cervical screening test, especially younger women. This may risk many of these people with cervical cancer go undetected, which may spread due to delay in diagnosis and treatment.

“I urge to you protect yourself from a risk of developing a cervical cancer. Attend your screening appointment as it is reliable at picking up cancers or abnormalities that could lead to cancer and will do more good than harm to you.

“If you have missed your last appointment or are putting it off, take the time to call your GP and discuss booking an appointment.”

Image of the Badge of the Northamptonshire Police

Popular collectable fair returns to Northampton’s market Sunday 16 August

Following the success of last month’s collectable and vintage fair at Northampton’s Commercial Street, people are invited to step back in time and discover hidden treasures as it returns on Sunday, 13 August.

From 10am to 3pm, antique enthusiasts, collectors, and curious shoppers alike can explore a unique array of vintage delights, showcased by ten dedicated antique and vintage traders alongside some of the market’s regular vendors.

The antiques market promises a diverse range of items, from diecast cars and toys to vinyl records, chinaware, books, and a delightful mix of retro, vintage, and costume jewellery.

And regular traders will be present selling goods including fruit and veg, books, clothes, toys, and meat, alongside bicycle repair and key cutting services.

This event forms part of a calendar of activities being organised for the summer with the aim of attracting more people to the area to see what Northampton Market has to offer. This includes the beach event, which people can enjoy everyday from 11am to 3pm. As well as mini-golf and circus skills workshops. Head to the website to find out more.

“We are so pleased to be welcoming back the popular vintage fair on Sunday 16 August. People can head down to Commercial St to find out more about the treasures and troves on offer. Whether you’re seeking a special addition to your collection or just looking to shop for some fresh produce, this market has something for everyone.”

Cllr Dan Lister, West Northamptonshire Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth

Image of Crime Prevention for WhatsApp scams

Watch out for this WhatsApp scam

Large community and religious WhatsApp groups are being targeted by scammers who infiltrate them to try and deceive their members into sending them money. Since January of this year, 268 people have reported falling victim to this scam.

The fraud often begins when a member of the group receives a WhatsApp audio call from the fraudster, pretending, or claiming, to be a member of the group. This is done in order to gain the individual’s trust, and often the scammer will use a false profile picture and / or display name, so at first glance it would appear to be a genuine member of the group.

The fraudster will then call the victim and say they are sending a one-time passcode which will allow them to join an upcoming video call for group members. The scammer then asks the victim to share this passcode with them so they can be “registered” for the video call. What’s really happening is that the scammer is asking for a registration code to register the victim’s WhatsApp account to a new device where they then “port” their WhatsApp profile over.

Once the fraudster has access to the victim’s WhatsApp account, they will enable two-step verification which makes it impossible for the victim to access their account. The scammer will then message other members of the group, or friends and family in the victim’s contacts, asking them to transfer money urgently as they are in desperate need of help.

Oliver Shaw, Detective Chief Superintendent and Head of Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) said:

“WhatsApp continues to be a popular platform for community and religious groups, but sadly also for fraudsters. Here, the scammers rely on the goodwill of group members and their intrinsic desire to help others in distress.

“We urge people always to be wary when receiving contact via WhatsApp or other messaging platforms. This is particularly the case when being asked to provide account information – despite the fact that you may recognise the individual’s profile picture and / or name.

“Never share your account information with anyone, and if you think it’s a fraudulent approach, report the message and block the sender within WhatsApp. To make your account more secure, we advise setting up two-step verification to provide an extra layer of protection. This makes it increasingly more difficult for fraudsters to gain access to somebody else’s WhatsApp account”.

Analysis of Action Fraud reports indicate that victims targeted by this scam are often part of large WhatsApp community, alumni and academic, work groups, and religious groups (such as church or prayer groups).

What can you do to avoid being a victim?

  • Never share your account’s two-factor authentication (2FA) code (that’s the six digit code you receive via SMS).
  • Set up two-step verification to give an extra layer of protection to your account. Tap Settings > Account >Two-step verification > Enable.
  • THINK. CALL. If a family member or friend makes an unusual request on WhatsApp, always call the person to confirm their identity.
  • You can report spam messages or block a sender within WhatsApp. Press and hold on the message bubble, select ‘Report’ and then follow the instructions.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, victims of fraud and cybercrime should report to Police Scotland on 101.

(If you have found this information useful, please forward the email to a friend, family member or colleague)

Logo of the Neighbourhood Watch

NHW The August Edition of our news:

We are pleased to bring you the latest edition of our newsletter for Neighbourhood Watch supporters across England and Wales. Here are some highlights in August’s edition:

  • We celebrate the amazing amount of money raised in our first Crowdfunder towards innovative work with young people, thanks to our members and volunteers
  • Read guidance on identifying and safely intervening when you see street harassment
  • Download or buy a copy of our Impact Report 2022/23
  • Meet Genie, a new AI-powered scam detecting software

We hope you enjoy this edition – please share it with others!

READ THE AUGUST NEWSLETTER HERE.

An image of the Northampton Town Centre by national leisure developer STACk

National leisure developer STACK to bring unique offer to Northampton Town Centre

Leisure developer, STACK is set to transform the vacant Market Walk shopping centre in Northampton Town Centre as they work with West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and acquire the central site.

STACK completed the acquisition of the Market Walk site on Monday, 1 August and will now bring forward an exciting regeneration and development project to transform this site to offer an innovative food hall and leisure space.

Market Walk, previously known as Peacock Place, boasts a prominent spot at the heart of Northampton Town Centre adjacent to the historic Market Square, but has stood empty for many years.

The council will provide up to £4.2 million investment through the Towns Fund, coupled with private investment of £8 million from STACK, which will allow the space to be transformed into a new leisure, entertainment, and social community hub.

The Towns Fund is part of the Government’s plan for Levelling Up the UK economy and West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has secured £24.9 million to invest into transforming Northampton’s Town Centre. As part of the Grant Funding Agreement, the Towns Fund money must be spent by spring 2025, otherwise funds could be withdrawn.

The repurposing of the shopping centre will enhance the town’s vibrancy and vitality, supporting both the daytime and night-time economy and complementing the adjacent ongoing transformation of the historic Market Square and public realm of Abington Street and Fish Street.

Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “We are delighted that STACK will be bringing their first facility to the Midlands and will be opening an innovative food and leisure space in the heart of Northampton Town Centre.

“The scheme offers something unique for our town centre and differs greatly from those previously explored for the site.

“Market Walk is situated on Market Square and coupled together these two regeneration projects are set to rocket the leisure economy in Northampton by providing a diverse mix of entertainment, food and drink, and retail opportunities alongside fresh local produce provided by our market traders.

“Following the successful acquisition, the developers will now take the first steps to seek the relevant planning and licensing permissions to bring this project forward for delivery over the coming months.”

Once complete, the space will host a series of independent street food traders, all with their own unique offer and feel, a variety of bars and a dedicated space for interactive games, all focussed around communal seating and a main stage for live music performances and entertainment – offering something for all the family.

This type of leisure concept is already successful in other cities. STACK sites in Newcastle and Sunderland have both been unbelievably successful in attracting visitors and generating footfall to underutilised sites. STACK Newcastle welcomed over 3 million visitors in the first three years and STACK Seaburn attracts over 70,000 visitors per month.

Neill Winch, CEO of STACK, added: “We are pleased to announce the advancement of our plans to introduce STACK to Northampton. Breathing new life into a long-vacant space is a venture we are fully committed to.

This ambitious project holds the potential to make a substantial positive impact on the town, serving as a dynamic focal point for both the local community and visitors alike.

We are confident that our innovative and inclusive leisure concept, which includes opportunities for local jobs and a platform for local street food traders, will contribute significantly to the local economy. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to bring the STACK experience Northampton.”

To stay up to date with STACK Northampton visit @stacknorthampton on Facebook and Instagram.

To keep up to date with regeneration in Northampton and across West Northamptonshire visit www.wearenorthampton.com

Image of women on a bicycle

West Northants Council signs 2-year partnership with British Cycling

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has signed a two-year partnership with British Cycling that will bring a wide range of cycling events, opportunities and investment to West Northants.

The new partnership will see a shared commitment to supporting cyclists and para-cyclists through the sharing of world-class innovation and expertise whilst supporting the Council’s ambition to reach net zero by 2030, encouraging more people to ride and making cycling more accessible for everyone.

It will further establish West Northamptonshire as a destination for major international sporting events, with the partnership confirming the prestigious Women’s Tour and Men’s Tour of Britain cycling tournaments will be hosted in the area in the coming years.

Initiatives will also include free, friendly local rides led by knowledgeable ride Leaders, traffic-free family cycling events, and indoor and outdoor ‘pedal parties’ and will work towards embedding disability and para sport into the heart of communities whilst recruiting and training volunteers to create sustainable local delivery.

The two-year partnership, funded by UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF), will work alongside the active travel enhancements being installed along Abington Crescent, Bridgewater Drive, Rushmere Road and Brackmills, and will start in early Autumn with the support of a new Community Development Officer role.

The role will be responsible for maintaining and developing new partnerships and relationships with local communities and providing support for the delivery of cycling programmes while providing British Cycling with the most effective routes to deliver community programmes in West Northants.

Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “This partnership reflects our ambitions to reach net zero by 2030 by encouraging more sustainable travel options, reducing congestion and improving air quality as well as providing opportunities for people to take up cycling and enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle.

“Alongside a programme of exciting events and activities, this partnership will play an important role in bringing communities together by providing many volunteering opportunities and helping us to establish West Northamptonshire as a destination for major sporting events, such as the prestigious Women’s and Men’s cycling tournaments which we hope to welcome here in the future.

“We have already invested in a range of cycling, sports and leisure facilities and I hope that this partnership will enable people to experience the full benefit of these – not only for their physical and mental health and wellbeing but also by providing a chance for people of all abilities to discover their passion for cycling.”

Other recent cycling initiatives in West Northants include a community cycling hub and Mountain Bike trails at Boddington and Delapré, supporting the Cycle Silverstone festival, establishing Northampton’s Active Quarter, and working with partners to host the final round of the region’s first ever Central MTB Cross County series.

British Cycling’s West Midlands and Central Regional Manager, Nick Barr, said: “British Cycling is delighted to be partnering with West Northamptonshire Council to deliver more cycling activity in the area.

“With the addition of a new Community Developer position, cycling in the area will thrive, opening up new and exciting opportunities for our growing cycling disciplines, engaging with people of all ages and abilities to try and, most importantly, enjoy the sport of cycling.

“At British Cycling, we are constantly trying to make our sport more accessible and inclusive, and this new partnership is an amazing opportunity for us to connect with the community.”

Image of the Badge of the Northamptonshire Police

Special Constabulary – Recruitment Open – #DoSomethingSpecial

Special Constables are part-time, voluntary police officers with all the same powers as full-time regular police officers. They come from all walks of life and join us for a variety of reasons.

Becoming a Special Constable really is one of the most exciting and rewarding voluntary opportunities available.

Special Constabularies are a vital part of all Police Forces across the country, supporting and enhancing the work of regular police officers. At Northamptonshire Police, we recognise the immense value that Special Constables add.

We want people to join us, help make a difference and make our county a safer place.

The following will give you more of an insight into #DoSomethingSpecial Meet our special constables | Northamptonshire Police (northants.police.uk)

Recruitment is open until Sunday 03 September 2023 you can apply through this link: Special Police Constable (Unpaid Voluntary Role) – Northants Police (tal.net)