Those of us who use the Internet for shopping, etc. will have been inundated with emails relating to the NEW General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which were implemented in the UK on May 25th. If you have accounts with retailers and other organisations not necessarily ‘online’, then you will have received similar letters in the post. Although on the face of it, these new regulations may seem a bit onerous, their intention is to provide us – the consumer – with much more control over how information about us is gathered, stored, used and ultimately deleted.
However, criminals have created fake emails telling customers their accounts could be terminated if they do not update their records, at which point they are directed to a site which steals any data they input. Be extremely cautious when responding to GDPR emails. Check their authenticity.
As far as Neighbourhood Watch is concerned, if you are already a scheme member, or if you are currently registered to receive TVAlerts, YOU have given us – and the Police – information relating to yourself and have effectively authorised these organisations to use this information to manage NHWatch/Police activities. However, any NEW members will have to complete a ‘Consent Form’ unless they are able to sign-up online. Scheme Co-ordinators become ‘Data Controllers’ within the GDPR and will have to ensure that they manage the information they hold about scheme membership in an appropriate and secure way. Details regarding the impact of the GDPR on NHWatch were issued as a TVAlert on May 21st, 2018 (Message 220861)
Thames Valley Alerts from the Police
There are a number of residents in our village who have registered to receive TVAlerts from the police, but who appear on the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Database – which is used by the police – as either having ‘Comms Issues’ or as being ‘Incommunicado’.
‘Comms Issues’ means that the system has been working but for some reason has stopped. This can often be because the recipient has changed their e-mail address and not updated their information on their ‘Personal Details’ page of the Alerts website.
‘Incommunicado’ is rather more serious, as it means that the system has been unable to establish communications with the user. More often than not, it results from a lack of ‘verification’ of an e-mail address. When you first register an e-mail address with TVAlerts – or change your e-mail address – the system automatically sends you a ‘Verification’ request to which you MUST reply in order for the address to be confirmed.
If you think you should be receiving TVAlerts – or have been receiving them but they have stopped – then I suggest that you check your ‘registration’ with TVAlerts on the Thames Valley Police website (or the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network [NHWN] if appropriate), and make sure that all the information for yourself is correct. The website addresses are as follows:
Thames Valley Alerts: https://www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk/pages/1177/1/Available_sites.html
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For further information about any of these topics or about Neighbourhood Watch, contact:
David Gresswell – Scheme Co-ordinator, Flackwell Heath
(Tel: 525019 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Police General & Non-emergency number: 101
Community Safety Team (Anti-social behaviour): 01494 421 087
Crimestoppers (Anonymous): 0800 555 111
Trading Standards (Consumer Direct): 0345 4 04 05 06
Cyberaware – http://cyberaware.gov.uk
ACTION FRAUD: 0300 123 2040 (http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/)
The Information Commissioner’s Office: 0303 123 1113