Aylesford Parish Council

 Kent Police have asked Parish Councils to display this link CATLOC which is the website for information on Catalytic Convertor Thefts
The Council has been informed by KCC Trading Standards that there has been a large increase in scam phone calls from people claiming to be HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Please see here to find out more.
Lorry Watch
KCC works to mitigate the impact of freight in Kent and has introduced a scheme called Lorry Watch to tackle the issue of lorries using inappropriate rural routes in Kent. The scheme aims to support and empower local residents in areas where issues persist with the through traffic of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). 
In addition, KCC has completely overhauled Kent's lorry-route map and conducted many reviews of lorry directional and regulatory signs as well as updating mapping companies to ensure that the maps on sat navs are accurate. 
The Lorry Watch scheme is run by local residents. Community volunteers record details of lorries that are suspected of using unsuitable roads or not sticking to the limits and restrictions.
Once the information is collected, it is passed to Kent Police who can find the vehicle's registered keeper. If the vehicle is ignoring legal limits and restrictions, the police contact the company and warn them that if they continue, it may result in formal action.
If there is no limit or restriction but the road is thought to be unsuitable, Kent County Council will contact the company and advise them to use the "Kent Freight Gateway Journey Planner"
Setting up Lorry Watch 
Anyone can set one up, please follow the below steps.
1. You will need at least two volunteers for your Lorry Watch Team. They must be aged 18 or over.
2. Contact Lorry Watch by emailing freight@kent.gov.uk or phone them on 03000 41 81 81 to discuss the idea, after which the necessary equipment will be delivered to you together with safety information and instructions on how the scheme works. 
Trading Standards have alerted us to reports of phone call scams claiming to work for HM Revenue and Customs. The caller attempts to trick customers by claiming they owe money to HMRC, please be aware that these calls are NOT being made by HMRC. Please do not disclose any personal information such as bank details, no matter who the person claims to be.
Kent County Council Trading Standards have informed us of false claims being made by solar panel salesmen. Salesmen are encouraging homeowners to replace their existing solar panels and claim that fire crews will not attend a fire involving older solar panels. This is false! The fire Service will always attend a fire no matter the cause. They are also offering free health checks on solar PV installations in conjunction with The Microgeneration Certificate Scheme (MCS) which is an industry led and nationally recognised quality assurance scheme. This is also false! MCS has not partnered up with any installation or maintenance companies and does not carry out health checks or maintenance. For more information visit the MCS website
Blue Badge Scam
Kent County Council have informed us that they are continuing to receive reports of bogus Blue Badge websites offering to assist with applications and charging £49 for a Blue Badge. These websites are not associated with the Blue Badge Service and the application form supplied by these websites is not accepted by Local Authorities.
The official Blue Badge costs £10.
Information about the Blue Badge scheme including how to apply or renew a Blue Badge can be found by visiting Kent County Council 
Kent County Council Trading Standards is warning the public of fraudsters who are telephoning to tell them they are in the wrong council tax bracket and are owed £6,000. The scammers will ask for an up-front fee of around £65.00 in order to process the payment, but no rebate will be issued.
You can check your council tax band for free by contacting the Valuation Office Agency 
We have been informed by Kent Police that there is at present a Telephone Scam, which has affected several victims in the area whereby a fraudster calls pretending to work for the Police. Please see this poster for more information.
Kent Police
To go to directly to the Kent Police website please follow this link 
Scams tend to be one of three types. The doorstep scams, the email/phone/postal communication scams and online scams such as fake ticket websites.
Scams Poster

For contact details follow this link KCC Trading Standards
Locally reported doorstep scams

Many doorstep scams are reported every year. Look out for such these callers in your area. If you have been the victim of any of these scams, or know of someone who has, or if you have specific information about bogus tradesmen or contractors etc. you can contact the Consumer Direct Advice Team on 0345 404 0506 to report the matter or to ask for advice. Alternatively you can see the Action Fraud website for more information.

Find out what you can do to avoid being caught and what is being done to tackle doorstep criminals on the doorstep scam advice page. Buy with Confidence is an approved trader scheme set up to provide consumers with a list of reputable local businesses committed to high standards of trading.

Remember, if something sounds to good to be true - it probably is!

Paul Harfleet - Kent Community Warden Service
07969 584183/ paul.harfleet@kent.gov.uk