Calling all birdwatchers

We have been asked to alert members tothe following …

The British Trust for Ornithology and the behavioural science research group at Middlesex University have just started an online project where volunteers can submit observations of birds for research. I was wondering whether this might be a of interest to your community group?
The first aim of the project is to study how commonly different species in different areas of the UK eat human foods and litter instead of “natural” food like worms and insects. The second aim is to engage more people in birdwatching: a common barrier is that most citizen science projects require bird ID skills, so we designed this study in a way that bird names aren’t required at all. Our hope is that this will help to engage more people with nature and birds. 

https://mdxl.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cON8ssxLcI8T6Wq

Could you help us spread the word and distribute this among your group members please? The study will be open until 26th August and volunteers can participate as many times as they like.

GP data transfer

We have received the following …

GP Data transfer to national database (NHS Digital)

There is an important change underway.  From 1 September 2021, medical information held at GP level will be passed to a national database.   Data will be anonymised, so that it cannot be traced to individuals and will be used to improve health service provision, track health trends and aid research.

Individuals who do not wish to have their data moved to a national database, must fill in an opt-out form. Any information passed on after 1 Sept cannot be ‘retrieved’, so it is important to act quickly if you intend to opt out.

To find out more of the details and to access the opt-out forms go to

General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) – NHS Digital or speak to your local GP practice.

Croydon Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Update

We have received the following email dated 17 June …

Dear colleague,

We have now vaccinated over 320,000 Croydon residents and this is in no small part down to the hard work of our fantastic GPs and their teams in our six GP-led vaccination centres.

As we return to near-normal health services and focus on our recovery plans, five of our six GP led vaccination centres are now winding down and will close by the end of June 2021.  With higher demand than before the pandemic, our hard-working GP teams will be re-focussing on their clinical practice.

The Valley Park Vaccination Centre led by Mayday South Primary Care Network is continuing to offer the vaccine to patients. 

Of course people who meet the eligibility criteria are still able to receive their vaccine in the local area by booking their appointments through the national booking system here or by ringing 119.  There are thousands of bookable appointments each week in Croydon at:  

  • Centrale Shopping Centre
  • Selhurst Park Stadium
  • Croydon University Hospital
  • Mayday Community Pharmacy on London Road
  • McCoigs’ Pharmacy on Brighton Road
  • McCoigs’ Pharmacy on Wickham Road
  • Valley Pharmacy at Chipstead Valley Road

Second dose appointments can also be booked this way and we are continuing to encourage people to have both their first and second doses of the Covid vaccine for maximum protection.  The latest analysis by Public Health England shows that, after two doses, the Covid vaccines are over 90% effective against hospitalisation with the Delta variant-which is now dominant in the UK.

We are also running a number of pop up clinics, thank you for your support in helping us get the message out across the borough:

  • Centrale Shopping Centre walk in Oxford-AZ first and second dose appointments from 8am to 7.45pm all this week until Sunday 20 June 2021.  Please share this tweet.
  • Turning Point, Lantern Hall Pfizer walk in appointments between 12midday to 4pm on Thursday 17 June 2021.  Please share this tweet.
  • Radiate Festival in Crystal Palace Park at 12midday to 4pm on Saturday 19 June 2021.  Please share this tweet.
  • St Paul’s Church in Thornton Heath Pfizer walk-in sessions 1.30pm to 5pm on Friday 18 June 2021 Please share this tweet

We are continually looking for more sites and opportunities to add to our vaccination programme.  For up to date information about the programme in Croydon, please go to www.swlondonccg.nhs.uk and click on ‘Croydon’.

There has never been a more important time for us to engage with our communities, by listening and addressing their questions and concerns.  Our partners at the Croydon BME Forum, the Asian Resource Centre as well as at Croydon Council and across the NHS have played an essential role in the vaccine programme by facilitating conversations with local people and gathering their views the programme started back in December 2020.

Croydon Voluntary Action have also been essential in this work, in recruiting and coordinating local volunteers to support our GP led vaccination sites to ensure the smooth running of clinics.

Our borough’s local engagement has also been overseen by the Croydon Vaccination Equity Task and Finish Group, led by Nnenna Osuji and our thanks go to the group’s membership including Cllr Janet Campbell and Rachel Flowers and other borough colleagues.  

Together we have achieved a lot, but we still have a long way to go to ensure as many local people as possible are vaccinated and protected.  We very much value your continued efforts and support in helping us to build community confidence and in promoting uptake of the vaccine amongst our communities.

Best wishes,

Matthew Kershaw

Placed Based Leader for Health, Croydon

Dr Agnelo Fernandes

GP Borough Lead for Croydon

NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group

Bogus Community Nurses – a warning

Croydon Trading Standards have brought the following to our attention

CROYDON TRADING STANDARDS COMMUNITY ALERT
 
Bogus Community Nurses
 
We have been made aware of two incidents in the Croydon area where service users have been targeted by a man and woman posing as community nurses.
 
The woman has appeared first and distracted the victims, the man has then pushed his way into the home.
This kind of offence usually leads to items being stolen, so please keep items such as wallets, purses and handbags hidden and out of sight.
If you are expecting your Community Nurse and someone you do not know appears at the door, please ask for ID and tell them you need time to check it.
If you are unsure, you can call 020 8274 6195, and explain that you need to check the identification of the person who is at your door.
If possible, whenever someone knocks at your door, please use a chain, spy hole or window to check the identity of the person before you fully open your door.
Anyone who is genuine will not mind being asked, will happily show ID and wait whilst you check. If they do not show you or refuse, DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR!
Please keep an eye out for vulnerable neighbours, friends and family members.
The incidents have been reported to the police and are being investigated.
 
If you are a victim of this type of crime call police on 999.
We hope you find this update helpful and interesting, please pass on to your watch/residents.
 
#FeelSafeStaySafe
 
Your Croydon Neighbourhood Watch Team

Let’s get Croydon growing!

Esther Mann from the John Whitgift Foundation has sent us the following about an exciting initiative …

“I work for a local Croydon education and care charity called the John Whitgift Foundation we have launched an exciting new campaign to make Croydon the UK’s greenest Borough, targeting over 400,000 residents, through a community gardening project called ‘Grow With John’.

“The campaign is named after the Founder of the charity, and is seeking to help showcase how affordable, accessible and enjoyable gardening can be to all ages, particularly the benefits to mental health and wellbeing which have been proven to be essential throughout the pandemic.

“The charity is giving away free seed packets to residents in Croydon to help start their growing journey, and also launched a microsite full of local community gardeners of all ages to inspire others at www.growwithjohn.org Beyond our Croydon community, gardening-heavyweights Alan Titchmarsh MBE and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are also supporting the ambitious campaign.”

Philip Ditton RIP

We were very sorry to learn of the death, on 26 February, of Philip Ditton. Philip had been a stalwart in SPRA, being at one time a member of the Committee, in between four-year periods as Editor and Chairman. We are grateful to his family for the invitation to attend his funeral remotely, and details are given below

A full tribute will be in the May issue of SPAN

The details of the live broadcast of Philip’s funeral are as follows:

Date & time: 7th April at 2.00pm

Website: https://obitus.com/ Username: buqu7271, Password: 641125

You can login to our website at any time to view a test connection (and we strongly recommend you do this) but you’ll only be able to view the Live Webcast approx. 5 mins before the service start time. Please be aware this is a public building and the timing of the Live webcast is semi-automated to allow for services running early or late – please use your discretion if you can see activities not applicable to the service you are here to watch.

Once the service has finished, it will take us up to 3 working days to get the 28-day Watch Again onto the website. 
In lieu of flowers, for those that wish to donate, we have set up a personalised giving page for Cancer Research UK, details below:

https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/philip-sidney-ditton

Metropolitan Police advice re catalytic converters

We have received the following from Inspector Simon Warnes

Dear residents, I have recently received correspondence with concerns surrounding the theft of catalytic converters. This crime type is increasing at a national level and is certainly starting to attract a lot more attention from government bodies. Throughout 2020 the total offences within London reached around 15,000 crimes. I am hoping I can give you a brief overview of what we are doing and offer some reassurance that we are making every effort to reduce these numbers and prosecute offenders.

Some of the offences do appear to be escalating to include threats, however these only account for a handful of crimes. Catalytic converters contain precious metals including palladium, rhodium and platinum. These all bear high value on the scrap metal market with the former two substantially more expensive than gold. Exhausts from hybrid cars contain much larger quantities of these precious metals with the Toyota Prius, Honda Jazz, Lexus RX models and the Toyota Auris being the most targeted vehicles.

These crimes are usually committed by a team of three with cloned plates from a genuine insured vehicle that is placed onto another like for like vehicle. The plates are frequently swapped after offences with some cars having up to five sets of cloned plates. The suspects are itinerant and will travel large distances across multiple London boroughs and county boundaries to commit their crimes. They are not confined to one specific area and there are many active teams.

To summarise what we are doing; I am overseeing Operation Basswood. This is a South Area (Bromley, Sutton & Croydon) initiative to target Catalytic Converter thefts and we are the only Met BCU to form a dedicated team. Our role is to focus on proactive and reactive investigations. Obviously this is difficult for me to go into details and specifics, but there are a variety of deployments ongoing using an array of covert and overt policing tactics. We are working closely with other boroughs within the Met but also external forces, particularly West Sussex, Surrey, Kent and the British Transport Police. Within South Area there have been 11 arrests over the past few months, with some offenders being sent to Crown Court for trial and convicted.

I have been disappointed with recent convictions including suspended sentences or community orders which don’t reflect the level of inconvenience and misery inflicted on victims, especially during the COVID19 pandemic. I will be looking to change our tactics to ensure the strongest possible outcome in future and to issue post-conviction orders to prevent reoffending. From a reactive point of view, we take ownership and oversight of every investigation. They are quality assured for any missed opportunities including local enquiries and CCTV/images. We have forged a strong working relationship with Toyota and they have provided funding and assistance towards local crime prevention initiatives.

We have also visited and inspected all of our local scrap metal dealers in partnership with the Council and the Environmental Agency. Crime prevention is difficult as the offending behaviour does seem more brazen and some offences have taken place in broad daylight in supermarket carparks. What we have seen is that vehicles with Catlocs fitted are rarely targeted and I would consider them a reasonably priced investment. We have received some high quality footage from home CCTV systems including Ring doorbell and these have enabled us to identify and convict suspects, so these are also another option including for your own home security and burglary prevention.

Always consider where you leave your vehicle and remain vigilant. I have seen numerous videos where suspects have abandoned their crimes when vehicles drive past or when they’ve been disturbed. I strongly discourage vigilante behaviour as these individuals do carry jack extension poles and there is a likelihood you may be injured. Be on the lookout, report any suspicious activity and don’t assume someone else has called the Police. The more information we receive the better and a photo, registration plate or description could be the last piece of the puzzle. If you have been a victim of this crime and it’s had a significant impact on your wellbeing, or you are a repeat victim I would like to hear from you. The team can be contacted at opbasswood@met.police.uk Please feel free to share this email address. But please also remember to call 999 if you do see suspicious activity or an offence in progress.

Scam warning from the Metropolitan Police

Please be aware of people knocking on your door, offering jet washing and gutter clearing services. There have been at least 2 incidents on East Way yesterday, whereby 3 white males 2 younger ones in their late teens and the older one in his 40s or 50s, all with an Irish accent have approached the home owners and offered their services for jet washing and gutter clearing.

These males have done the bare minimum, if anything at all. The flyers, which they hand out were stolen from a local cafe. These males state that they can only take cash.

Another comment has been received:
There are 2 young Irish guys jet washing a square metre of peoples drives then knocking on the door wanting to know if the resident wants the rest of the drive done, clearly unaware of the no cold calling regulations Dark green van Eire number plate 08 CW 914 we think! may be worth a warning to residents

Food Bank – help needed

At this difficult time, the Shrublands Food Bank is needed more than ever.

The Food Bank will particularly need help 14-18 December to pack and/or distribute items. If anyone can assist please ring Beverly Warner (0203 441 7887) and she will give further details.