~~DOORSTEP CRIME AWARENESS
(HOW ‘NOT’ TO BECOME A VICTIM)
Most people that call at your home will be genuine, and this advice is not intended to worry or frighten you but to make you more aware and to assist you to keep safe in your home.
You cannot pick out a criminal just by looking at them, and sometimes they may try to look like someone they are not by wearing a smart suit or a uniform of a recognisable authority. They may wear a Water Board uniform but that does not prove they work for them.
“If you are not sure then do not open the door”.
Doorstep criminals are referred to by several different terms:
• Bogus callers
These are people who may use tricks to get you to give them money or personal details.
• Rogue traders
These may be offering a service but overcharge you for poor or incomplete work.
• Aggressive sellers
In some instances this tactic can constitute a criminal offence.
• Distraction burglaries
One person may keep you occupied at the front door while another one enters your unsecured home at the back.
“If something sounds or looks too good, then very likely it is”.
Tricks of the trade
Be aware of being asked to make a phone call for a caller, wanting to retrieve a lost ball (even if it is a child), or being asked to check your water, gas or electric. If it sounds dodgy then keep the door closed.
Be suspicious of anyone you do not know is looking for work or offering services, do not rush to agree or sign any documents. Do not pay up front or give information about your Bank details.
Always shop around for the best price. Be wary of “special offers” or warnings that work on your home needs doing. Talk to someone you trust, such as a relative, friend or neighbour for a second opinion.
Do not fall for the odd requests, “can I use your toilet please”, “can I have a drink of water please”, “could I check your stop tap in your Kitchen”. It is just a trick to get in your home and to take advantage of your good nature, and there attitude will soon change once they get where they want to be.
Never let the caller know that you are on your own, or take them in your confidence and tell them things about yourself. They may seem and act friendly but it is just to gain your trust.
“Think long and hard before you act, so you don’t regret it later”
10 Tips to help keep you safe
• If you are not sure who is at your door then do not open it.
• Remember to use your door chain if you have to open the front door to strangers.
• Keep your front and back doors locked even when you are at home.
• Install a ‘spy hole’ or electronic viewer in the front door so you can see the caller before opening door.
• Always properly check the identity of all callers if not known to you, if in doubt keep them out.
• If the caller claims to be from a particular company, you can check by calling the company in question using a number from the phone book. Close and lock the door while you check. A genuine caller will not mind waiting.
• While your door is locked you are in control, once they gain entrance they also gain control.
• Do not ever leave a caller alone at your door without first locking your door.
• Never book an appointment with a salesman without having a relative or friend with you.
• In hours of darkness be extra vigilant and careful.
“It is always better to be safe than be sorry”
Always look out for your elderly friends, neighbours and the more vulnerable.
If you get a call from these less than honest individuals, then report it to the police. You may have dealt with it adequately but the next person may not be so fortunate. You can telephone the Police on 101.
When phoning the police provide them with as much information as possible, description of callers, number plate and type of vehicle if they have one.
If you feel threatened or they are still at your property then telephone the Police on 999.
You can also telephone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to anonymously give information about crime.
You can report anyone acting suspiciously to the Police, do not leave it to someone else to do.
It is a fact that areas covered by a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme are a lot safer.
For more information about joining or setting up a Watch Scheme telephone Tom Carrick on 01237-474031 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Fear of crime in our area is far worse than the actual crime committed”
“We live in one of the safest places in England and Wales”
Tom Carrick 27.01.15