In this edition I want to talk about two issues: these are protecting residents against doorstep crime and helping people who may be feeling lonely at this time of year.
It is a sad fact of life that some criminals will impersonate others to carry out despicable crimes, praying on vulnerable people throughout the community. Unfortunately this type of crime does occur with bogus callers varying in appearance and using a number of excuses to try and trick their way into people’s homes.
The aim of the bogus caller is to try and talk their way into your home. After all, if they can walk through your front door after receiving an invite from you, why should they go to all the trouble of having to break into your property?
l Remember “Bogus caller”.
l Before you open the door check to see who it is by looking through your front window or by using a door viewer if you have one.
l Only open the door when you have put the chain on
l Get a good look at their clothing. Some official callers will have a uniform bearing their company or organisation logo.
l Utility services may operate a password system. Contact your local branch to find out more.
l Suggest that the caller should come back later. You can then check their story by telephoning the organisation or company they claim to represent. Check any phone number they give you in your own telephone directory.
l Do not rely on the number on their card. It may be the number of their partner in crime.
l Always lock the back door before opening the front or vice versa. Bogus callers sometimes work in pairs - one caller could be distracting you at the front and the other sneaking in at the back.
l Let the police and your neighbours know if you have had a suspicious caller at the door.
l Locks and chains are only a deterrent if they are used.
l Emergency situations can arise. Do not leave the door chain on all of the time as this may cause a delay. Only put the chain on before answering the door.
l Remember if in doubt keep them out.
Bogus callers in all shapes and sizes, including children, are at work. Please do not let them trick you into letting them in.
If you do not have a door chain or viewer consider having one fitted - they cost very little.
Think “Bogus caller” before you answer the door.