Crime Alert – Distraction Burglaries

Barry Winter (Police,Constable,Beeston) writes: We are still receiving reports from Stapleford and the surrounding areas, of a unknown male knocking on doors asking to borrow money. The male uses various stories and excuses to trick the (mainly elderly) victims into giving money to him.

We are asking residents to be vigilant. It is incredibly important that people share advice with their potentially vulnerable relatives, neighbours or friends. Distraction burglars are opportunists who may pose as a trustworthy individual in order to gain access to your home – they can be very deceptive and convincing. With more people feeling isolated and alone, distraction burglars may see this as an opportunity to target people. If you know someone who could benefit from this advice who is not receiving alerts, please contact them and make them aware of this information.

The best practice is to follow these simple steps in order to establish whether or not someone is genuine:

LOCK – Keep your front and back doors locked even when you are at home.

STOP – Before you answer, stop and think whether you are expecting anyone. Check you have locked the back door and taken the key out. Look through a spy hole or window to see who the caller is.

CHAIN – If you decide to open the door, put the chain or door bar on first, if you have one. Keep the chain or bar on while you are talking to the caller. With PVC doors, it can be difficult and costly to fit a door chain, consider fitting a Secure Ring instead.

FIRE SAFETY – Only put on your door chain as you answer the door, don’t keep it on all the time as this could delay your exit in case of fire.

CHECK – Look at their clothing. Some official callers will have a uniform bearing their organisation name or logo. Even if the caller has a pre-arranged appointment with you, check their identification card carefully. Close the door while you do this. If you are still unsure, call the company concerned to verify their representative’s identity. If you’re still not sure ask the caller to come back later when someone is with you.

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