CHURCH SERVICE: Sunday at St Peter’s Church, Offham. 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by coffee/tea, cake/biscuits in the church hall. All are very welcome.
AFTERNOON CLUB: I have already mentioned the meeting on March 11, but since then I have received an update 2019 programme where there have been a few changes. I have been asked to mention the following: On March 11 Debbie Twitchen will be talking about the Landport Food Bank which St Peter’s Church, Offham supports every Harvest Festival. It is hoped that as many people as possible will attend and hear more fro Debbie about this very important agency and if you could bring a donation of non perishable food stuff, it will be very gratefully received. Meeting in Offham Church Hall at 2pm. This will be followed by a lovely afternoon tea with home-made cakes. Lifts are available by ringing either Judith on 07889 281214 or Caroline on 01273 477151. The following are the changes that have been made to the programme. Instead of Pam Brewer and her Owls on Monday April 8, the talk will be Bee Keeping with Michael Bird. Pam Brewer and her Owls will be at the meeting on August 12. On October 14 instead of tea and chat it will be Voices in Exile, Andrew Wingate’s work with refugees.
TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME ALERT: There have been several reports where fraudsters are claiming to be landlords of properties offered for rent online. Prior to viewing the suspect requests the individuals pay a deposit and sometimes a month’s rent upfront, claiming that this money will be put into the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, and is therefore protected under government legislation. After the individual pays the money, the suspect sends a bogus email purporting to be from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme confirming they have received the deposit. However, this is not the case as the money was sent directly to an account associated with the suspect and the victim is left out of pocket and without the home they had thought to be putting a deposit on. What you need to do. Always make sure you or a reliable contact, had viewed the property with an agent or landlord before agreeing to rent the property. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Only transfer funds when you are satisfied a genuine property, safety certificates and valid contract are in place. Only pay for goods and service by bank transfer if you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud. Once you have paid your deposit you can check whether it’s protected by entering your tenancy deposit certificate code on TDS website www.tenancydepositscheme.com.
HARE COURSING: Link to organised crime key, NFU tells police. Police need to better understand how rural offences are linked to organised criminality. That was the message from the NFU during a meeting with the lead constabulary for hare coursing. The NFU Deputy President told Lincolnshire Police Chiefs, ‘It has long been suspected by farmers that the gangs who break into land to gamble on this illegal sport are part of organised criminality that goes well past the farm gate’. He said, ‘it is crucial police focus their attention on better understanding these links’. ‘The NFU will continue to press this important message at the highest levels’. Lincolnshire Police Chief Inspector Phil Vickers noted that a court case in September saw an individual involved in hare coursing on a regular basis convicted for serious drug offences. Hie was jailed for 13 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis, and conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime. Hare coursing has a significant impact on rural communities and businesses and Lincolnshire Police are pleased to be working with the NFU to develop the national understanding of links between offenders arrested in the fields of wider criminality.
BREAKING GROUND: On Rural Crime. The NFU is urging the government to ensure laws that protect farming and the countryside are up to date and relevant. Relying on laws that have not been updated in more than 190 years is no way to police illegal behaviour in 2019. this is why the NFU is calling for the government to support an amendment to archaic laws, such as the 1831 Game Act, to prosecute hare coursing and other rural crimes. The own Prosecution Service and the police regularly use the anti-poaching legislation for hare coursing. The Hunting Act of 2004 has proved impractical for hare coursing as it required evidence and there was an ‘actual pursuit’ of a wild mammal, and that ‘searching for an as yet unidentified animal will not suffice’. However, the Game Act is limited to a maximum fine of £2,500 and the majority of cases are fined much less than that which is not considered a disincentive for hare coursers, who gamble up to tens of thousands of pounds at competitions. I don’t think that we have heard the last of this very important issue.