Whether an organisation needs a data protection officer (DPO) or not is one of the big questions in the run up to GDPR being enforced on the 25 May 2018, and your organisation may be required to have one. The DPO’s main responsibility is to inform and monitor GDPR compliance within an organisation, and to remind data processors and controllers of their data protection responsibilities. The DPO is the first point of contact for any data protection queries and must have a direct feed into top-level management. They’re not responsible for the organisation’s GDPR Compliance but act as an intermediary between the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the organisation. The DPO must be independent, cannot have a dual role and must not be appointed if there’s a conflict of interest between their role and the organisation’s. A lower-level employee would be able to take on the role. However, it is

Public urged to tick the gift aid box

The government is reminding the public to tick the gift aid boxes on donations so that charities don’t miss out on £600m extra funding. The call comes after research, published by HMRC, shows that a third of eligible donations made to many of the UK’s 200,000 charities did not add Gift Aid when they could have done. This means that charities are losing out on extra funding worth nearly £600 million a year. Gift Aid allows charities to claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated. To add Gift Aid, donors must have paid income or capital gains tax that year worth at least the value of the Gift Aid being added and they must give the charity permission to claim it. Click here for more details

New County-wide Domestic Abuse Refuge Services

Following a successful procurement process Adult Care Services are pleased to announce the new contract for Domestic Abuse community and safe accommodation services has been awarded to the organisation Safer Places and will start from 1st October 2017. Safer Places is an independent charity which provides a comprehensive range of services to men, women and children affected by domestic and sexual abuse living in Essex and Hertfordshire. Safer Places will work in partnership with St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge and Welwyn and Hatfield Women’s Refuge to provide Domestic Abuse refuge services across the county. All services will be accessed through a single phone number, the Gateway on 03301 025811. This number will be used for support and referrals and is staffed 24/7. All call handlers are qualified professionals, trained to be able to support both victims and members of staff who are directly involved with victims  

Protect Your Money – Fraud and Scams

Fraud has become a common way for criminals to attempt to steal your money. During the 2014/15 policing year, more than 4,000 frauds were reported by Hertfordshire victims.  Fraud victims come from all sections of the community and fraud offences are very varied in their nature.  To help you recognise and tackle fraud, Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction and Community Safety Department produces a regular update “Protect Your Money” informing you of common and emerging frauds that are affecting people both nationally and locally, together with tips to help you stay safe and protect your money.  

Copy Cat Websites

Blue Badge Scam For a years now, we’ve warned about copycat websites that charges an inflated price for carrying out a service, such as reviewing a passport or an EHIC form. But now there’s a new threat to keep an eye out for.  An investigation by the National Trading Standards eCrime team discovered  a fake Blue Badge parking permit website, tricking disabled drivers into paying for badges that then never arrived.   Printer helpline Fake ‘helpline’ numbers in online adverts lure in people searching for help to fixing their printers.  Their personal data is stolen after they grant the criminals remote access to their PC is then infected with malware.  The National Trading Standards eCrime team is warning of one group that even holds its victims  to ransom. It is unlike that this will be the last fake website we’ll see, despite the £15, 457 fine received by the perpetrator.

Enriched by Diversity

This half day conference is a response to a growing fragmentation of our society and world where diversity is regarded with fear and hostility rather than as an enrichment to communities worldwide. This has resulted in a rise in hate crime and a general shift in attitudes across the globe which sees progress in building walls rather than bridges.  For more information please click on the link below Enriched by Diversity Interfaith2017_v1[10443]

The National Living Wage

The national Minimum Wage (MMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers are entitled to by law.  The rate will depend on a worker’s age and if they are an apprentice. The Government’s National Living Wage was introduced on 1 April 2016 for all working people aged 25 and over, and is currently set at £7.50 per hour. The current National Minimum Wage for those under the age of 25 still applies. For more information click here  

National Trading Standards issues bogus helpline scam warning

National Trading Standards is warning consumers about a new scam targeting those looking for help with printer problems. The warning comes after a rise in the number of cases seen by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team.  The ‘printer helpline scam’ differs from most scams as it sees consumers contacting the criminals directly, after seeing fake ‘helpline’ numbers in online adverts placed on search engines or social media. Cases seen by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team have involved those behind the ‘helplines’ gaining remote access to people’s computers – under the auspices of helping them to resolve their technical problems – only for them to use this to steal personal information including bank account details and infect computers with malware. One particular group behind these scams – which claims to be affiliated with a wide range of technology brands and printer manufacturers – holds victims to ransom by taking control

Be vigilant against email scams offering rebates

These emails convincingly appear to be sent from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), and ask you to click on a link to retrieve a rebate. Scammers can use bank details or other security information they obtain to steal your money. The government have reiterated that they never use texts or emails to tell us about a tax rebate or penalty, or to ask for personal or payment information. If you receive one of these emails, you should avoid clicking on any links and instead delete the email immediately. If you have any questions about rebates, you should contact HMRC directly via contact details found on their website. If you think you may have already fallen victim to this scam, report it straight away by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use the online fraud reporting tool

Trading Standards are aware of a recent increase of scammers making cold calls to Hertfordshire residents

The callers are claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or similar sounding companies and attempting to extract money for registration or for call blocking devices. A UK company director was recently imprisoned for ripping off consumers in a similar callblocker scam: This is a sad and cynical scam that targets people who are actively trying to protect themselves or vulnerable relatives. Please remember that the TPS never cold calls and its service is always free. To register with TPS call 0345 070 0707 or . Another current scam which is conning residents over the phone, is the sale of extended warranties for electronic devices such as televisions and washing machines. Recent complaints tell of salesmen who say that because the resident hasn’t made a claim in the last 12 months, that the price will be reduced from the usual price of £75 to £40. The salesman says that