How To Beat Distraction Burglars
Friends, neighbours and people who have regular contact with older and vulnerable people can help them to make their lives more secure.
Research shows that fewer crimes are committed in areas where there is a supportive community. You can help by:
- Keeping an eye on people calling in the area or acting suspiciously
- Noting the registration numbers of vehicles parked in your area for a period of time
- Calling 0300 333 3000 to provide information to us about suspicious people, activity or vehicles, however insignificant it may seem
- Encouraging vulnerable people not to open the door if they are not expecting or do not recognise the person. If they open the door, remind them to secure the door bar or chain first and check the caller's identity carefully. If in doubt, keep them out!
- If a distraction burglary has taken place or been attempted, encourage the victim to report it as quickly as possible
- Calling on vulnerable people regularly. If it is not too much trouble, help them keep their front garden tidy and find reliable tradespeople for any maintenance work that really does need to be undertaken
Sometimes bogus callers pose as officials from 'the water board' or the 'gas board' to try and con their way into people's homes. These days there is no such thing — gas, water and electricity supplies are all provided by private utility companies and their staff all carry full identification. In addition, many of these companies operate a password scheme to provide extra reassurance for householders. Customers can set up a unique password with their utility company which any representatives will quote when calling at your home, so you can be assured they are who they say they are.
You can find links to details of password schemes for the two major water companies in West Mercia below: other utility companies offer similar schemes, so please check with your supplier.