Paisley Daily Express
LAYINGTHE DOWN LAW Louts, scammers and crooks
WITH DIVISIONAL COMMANDER CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT DAVID DUNCAN
The last couple of weeks have seen the much- anticipated reopening of beer gardens and restaurants.
While the vast majority of people will behave responsibly, some will drink to excess.
We are busy enough, so please act responsibly and ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.
The recent good weather saw many people enjoying the excellent public park spaces within Renfrewshire.
Unfortunately, the good weather also saw a rise in antisocial behaviour.
On Friday, April 23, a group was seen drinking and causing annoyance within Saucelhill Park, Paisley.
When confronted by a concerned passer- by, they immediately became hostile and started throwing bottles in her direction.
A short time later, it is alleged that the same group attacked two 17-year-old boys who were also in the park.
Thankfully, no one was injured. However, the situation could so easily have turned out differently.
Unfortunately, those responsible dispersed before local officers could reach the area, but we are carrying out extensive enquires with the assistance of Renfrewshire Council to identify those responsible.
Over the coming weeks, we will be stepping up patrols to combat antisocial and criminal behaviour.
The division has been running a monthlong initiative targeting bogus callers and online/telephone fraud.
Unfortunately, a higher proportion of the victims are considered vulnerable due to their age, but this is not always the case.
Recently, a 22-year-old woman was contacted by someone she believed to be a staff member from her local bank.
The fraudster convinced the young woman that her bank account was unsafe and persuaded her to transfer her savings into a fraudulent account.
A similar crime occurred last week when a 42-year-old resident, from the Calside area of Paisley, was contacted via telephone.
The caller stated that the victim’s national insurance number had been used in a number of crimes and accused her of laundering money.
The alarmed victim was then transferred to what she thought was Paisley police office and she spoke to a man who identified himself as a serving police officer.
The fraudster then proceeded to glean the lady’s personal information and bank account details, which enabled the thieves to steal a four-figure sum of money.
Victims of bogus crime often feel they have been stupid, but I can assure you this is not the case.
I have first-hand knowledge of the hitech methods used by these crooks and anyone can fall foul of this type of crime.
When an elderly or vulnerable resident is targeted, the effects often have a catastrophic effect on their quality of life.
Many can lose their confidence and suffer a deterioration in their health.
Online crimes are notoriously difficult to solve, so prevention is better than a cure.
I would like to urge all Renfrewshire residents to be vigilant and never pass their bank account, passwords or PIN to any other person via telephone or email. No legitimate company will ever ask for these details.
We have been busy too with policing duties connected to the Scottish Parliamentary elections on Thursday.
Dur ing that morning, we, unfortunately, had to deal with one significant incident, an alleged serious assault in Broomlands Street, Paisley,
It was a particularly harrowing situation which, I must emphasise, was totally unconnected to the election and had no link whatsoever with the polling station nearby.
This was an alleged targeted attack that was resolved quickly and one man is in custody. There is no threat to the wider public.
On a positive note, officers in Erskine recently arrested a 36-year-old bogus workman after he failed to carry out work previously agreed with the victim.
A 48- year- old Erskine resident was duped after she responded to an advert on Facebook offering plumbing services.
The thief agreed on a minimal deposit, but allegedly required a four-figure sum of cash for the purchase of supplies.
On receiving the cash, the suspect removed the victim’s bathroom suite before contacting her to say that he had suffered a heart attack and couldn’t complete the work.
A thorough investigation was carried out, resulting in the detection and apprehension of the male responsible.
It transpired that the crook had used this method of fraud with other unsuspecting victims and has been charged with a number of offences committed throughout the force area.
It is always advisable to research a company prior to handing over any cash.
The vast majority of reputable tradespeople will not ask for payment until the job is complete and the customer fully satisfied with the service provided.
Officers have also arrested a man after some great joint work with Roads Policing, Air Support Unit and Greater Glasgow Division. He is accused of multiple offences relating to widespread thefts of motor vehicles across the division.
All excellent work that helps keep people in Renfrewshire safe.