Advice on Cold Callers
Northamptonshire Police Community Connect are urging people to take extra care with their home security and reminding them never to open their door to any callers they are not expecting. The advice comes following a number of burglaries and robberies at the homes of elderly people across the county, where force or distraction techniques have been used to break in and steal property.
More than 50 robberies and distraction burglaries involving victims aged 65 and over have been reported since 1 January this year. While the majority of these have happened in the Northampton area, incidents have also been reported in other parts of the county, including Kettering and Wellingborough.
Public support is really important and we’re asking people to help elderly relatives, friends and neighbours. Please help those you care about to check their home is as secure as possible and remind them never open the door to anyone they’re not expecting – whoever they say they are. Anyone calling in an official capacity will understand.
Please also report anything suspicious or call us if you have any information about who may be involved in these offences – either call 101 or the Doorstep crime Action Network hotline 0345 23 07 702.
Here is some important advice to share with elderly or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours:
- Make sure you can see who is at the door before you answer it. Where possible fit a spy-hole to identify callers. Alternatively talk to them through an adjacent window
- Don’t feel pressured into opening the door. Don’t feel you are being rude, genuine callers won’t mind. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door
- Set up passwords with your utility companies – genuine callers will need to recite this password to you
- Don’t use telephone numbers on ID cards – if the person isn’t genuine the ID and the telephone number won't be either. Obtain telephone numbers direct from the phone directory. Alternatively make a list of your important numbers and keep them near the phone
- If someone is knocking on the door saying they are the police, call 101 and check the identity with the police control room. In an emergency call 999
- Look out for those who are vulnerable within your family or neighbourhood
- If you have any suspicions or concerns that doorstep rogue traders or distraction burglars are operating in your community or targeting someone you know, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated doorstep crime hotline: 0345 23 07 702
- Distraction burglars or ‘bogus callers’ will call at a house with the intention of tricking their way inside to steal money and/ or other valuables. They may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the water board, the council, the police, health organisations or charities
- They may say they need to turn off the water because of a leak, use the phone because their car has broken down, or perhaps say they have lost a pet. The caller may be a man, a woman or even a child and they will use any story they can to try and gain access to the property