HC warning on Council Tax scam, and Police Scotland consult on Body Worn Video
30 January 2021
Highland Council Media Release 02 February 2021
Highland Council Trading Standards Warns of Council Tax Scam
Highland Council Trading Standards is warning Highland residents that telephone calls claiming their property has been re-banded for Council Tax and they are entitled to a substantial refund, is a scam.
The calls are known to have targeted the Caithness area but are likely to affect various parts of the community.
The caller asks the recipient for their bank details, including the long card number, expiry date and 3-digit verification code on the back of the card, to process the refund.
Mark McGinty, Trading Standards Team Leader states: "By stirring up positive emotions and mentioning large sums of money, the intention of the scammer is to con people out of their money or to obtain their personal information to commit fraud.
"Please do not engage with anyone who calls offering a Council Tax band refund. Do not give out any personal information, particularly bank account or debit or credit details and end the call as quickly as possible. If you have any queries about Council Tax banding, you should contact the Highland Council in the first instance."
Sheila McKandie, Head of Revenues & Business Support explained: "Any communication with Council Tax payers from the Council relating to a refund of money would be in writing.
"We would never cold call customers and ask for bank details. If anyone has a neighbour or relative who may be more susceptible to such activity, please look out for them and share this cautionary message as widely as possible."
She added: "If anyone has any doubt as to the authenticity of any contact regarding Council Tax, please call the Council's freephone Council Tax helpline on .”
Highland Council Trading Standards work in partnership with Advice Direct Scotland (ADS).
Residents who think they may need advice can contact ADS, who offer free and confidential consumer advice, on freephone on (0800 393 811) or via email through their website.
POLICE SCOTLAND National News Desk 2 February 2021
Police Scotland seeking views on the use of Body Worn Video
Members of the public are being asked for their views on the use of Body Worn Video (BWV) by armed police officers when interacting with communities in Scotland.
BWV has been shown to have a positive impact on the safety of the public and the officers wearing it, and all other armed police units in the UK are currently deployed with cameras.
The introduction of BWV will bring Police Scotland in line with these other forces and ensure best practice and evidence as well as increased transparency and accountability at incidents.
The online survey, which opened for three weeks from February 1 2021, will allow members of the public to engage and offer their opinions on the deployment of BWV in Scottish policing for the future.
The move follows Chief Constable Iain Livingstone’s support for the deployment of BWV to armed police officers as a “pressing, critical, ethical and operational imperative” and his commitment to focused and concise public engagement prior to rollout.
An initial roll-out of BWV will equip our armed police officers as soon as possible during the course of 2021. This deployment will also provide a valuable basis and learning for the consideration of a broader national plan to roll out BWV to police officers across Scotland in the future.
Assistant Chief Constable Kenny MacDonald, who is leading on the introduction of BWV, said: “The Chief Constable has consistently expressed strong support for the greater deployment of body worn video by Police Scotland officers and staff.
“Armed policing remains an area of high risk and understandable public scrutiny and as such this roll-out will help improve transparency and accountability. The safety of our officers and staff as well as that of the public remains paramount in our decision to introduce this technology.
“While this is not new technology, and every other armed policing unit in the UK uses body worn cameras, it is a significant introduction for Scottish policing and as such our public engagement survey is essential to ensuring people have a voice and it will help us gather and address any ethical and community related concerns where possible."
Martyn Evans, Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, said: “The use of body worn video is widespread across UK policing and the benefits to effective policing such as improved officer safety, reducing and resolving complaints against officers and an increase in early guilty pleas, have been positively evaluated in the current limited use across Scotland.
“However, it is important that whenever new technology is adopted, that the implications are fully considered through an extensive stakeholder consultation process. We welcome the launch of a public survey and would encourage as many people as possible to register their views. The SPA looks forward to considering all responses as part of our oversight of the implementation of BWV.”
Link to survey: https://consult.scotland.police.uk/strategy-insight-and-innovation/police-scotlands-use-of-body-worn-video/
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