Distraction burglary is a despicable crime as the offenders target the most vulnerable members of our society; these people will try anything to trick their way into victim’s homes.
“We the Police will, of course, do all we can to locate the offenders and to investigate this matter fully as we continue to crack down on distraction burglaries across Gloucestershire.
“We would urge members of the public to take extra care of their elderly neighbors simply by watching out for anyone suspicious loitering around or perhaps challenging someone you don’t recognise calling at an elderly neighbor’s house.
“Gloucestershire Constabulary is working with vulnerable and elderly people to make them aware of the methods of distraction burglaries and advise them what to do if a stranger calls, but we need your help. Working together we can ensure vulnerable members of our community are safe and those who prey on them are locked up.”
Crime Prevention advice –
The following simple steps will help reduce the possibility of being targeted by bogus callers:
- If someone knocks on your door check who it is by looking through a window or peep hole.
- If it is not someone you know or trust or a business caller who has made a pre-arranged appointment, do not open the door.
- This advice applies whatever uniform the caller appears to be wearing or ID card they are carrying and however urgent their business claims to be.
- Tell unexpected callers to leave and come back later at an agreed time when you can have someone with you.
- In the meantime, check their credentials by calling the organisation they claim to represent. Do so by looking up the number in the phone book rather than relying on the one on their card as this could simply put you through to an accomplice of a potential offender.
- Genuine staff from utility companies won’t mind waiting while you do this or will call back later
- Watch if the caller appears to be in a hurry and never feel pressured or embarrassed into letting someone in.
- The golden rule is ‘if in doubt, keep them out’.
We would like to take this opportunity to urge the community to contact Police immediately if they are suspicious of people calling at their house. We would much rather receive calls of suspicious circumstances that turn out to be legitimate than see the residents of Gloucestershire become victims of bogus callers.
Officers from your local Safer Community Team are available to offer you further crime prevention advice. If you would like to meet a local officer contact Gloucestershire Constabulary on 0845 090 1234.