Cambridgeshire police team up with garden centres and pharmacies to tackle fraud

Cambridgeshire police have teamed up with Dobbies garden centres and a number of pharmacies to help tackle fraud

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 3:00 pm
One of the bags you may be given at a pharmacy

If you pop along to your local Dobbies garden centre café this November, you might just spot one of Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s new table talkers stood proudly in the middle of the table.

The talkers display key messages on how to protect yourself from different types of fraud, including courier fraud, romance scams and rogue traders.

Sadly, during lockdown there was a sharp increase in fraud-related calls to the force’s demand hub and reports of fraud incidents across the county rose by nearly 24% throughout 2020-21 compared to the previous year.

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With this in mind, the force was keen to find new ways to spread important messaging on how to spot and swerve the scammers.

The table talkers, which are on tables in the Huntingdon, Peterborough and Royston branches of Dobbies, isn’t the only initiative launched by the force this month.

And if you pop into your local pharmacy to pick up a prescription, you might just be handed one of the force’s pharmacy bags, which share important tips on spotting and reporting rogue traders.

With people spending more time in their homes and looking to make home improvements, fraud officers are keen to spread the safety message far and wide.

The force teamed up with a company called TableTalk Media to create the bags and distribute them to more than 40 independent pharmacies across the county.

Fraud Crime Prevention Officer Kate Thwaites, said: “We hope these initiatives will spread important messages far and wide to keep the people of Cambridgeshire safe from fraudsters.

“We share our messaging in many different ways, including social media, but we are aware not everybody has a social media account, so we’ve been looking into some more traditional ways of reaching people.

“I hope anyone who sees the table talkers or pharmacy bags will take five minutes to give them a quick read and share the messaging with anyone they know who might not have seen them.

“Five minutes and a quick scan could be all it takes to prevent yourself and your loved ones from falling victim to scammers.

“Fraudsters have very much used lockdowns and the current situation to their advantage and they are becoming increasingly clever and sophisticated in the way they work, so we need to get the messaging across now more than ever.”

Fraud is a priority area for the force. For more info and prevention advice, visit: https://bit.ly/3GLo4Aa