Advice on Distraction Burglary, Doorstep & Pressure Salesmen.

Many callers to our homes are genuine, but some are not. They could be confidence tricksters, high-pressure salesmen or even thieves. That is why it is very important to take precautions when people call at your home. Not all burglars have to break in; some trick their way in by telling a story and then steal property such as purses, jewellery and the like. THIS IS SOMETIMES CALLED A DISTRACTION BURGLARY!

These 'BOGUS CALLERS' come in many different guises and will tell convincing stories to gain entry:-

A smartly dressed man or woman may claim to have come from the council or health authority.

A child, or two, may ask for a glass of water or say they have kicked their ball into the back garden.

A bogus dealer may offer to buy your antiques, furniture or jewellery at what seems to be a good price.

A workman may ask to check water pipes or water pressure, or make some urgent repairs.

And these are just a few excuses that have been used!!!!!

Gas, Water and Electricity RepresentativesMost organisations, agencies and the utilities (gas, water, and electricity) will make appointments in writing BEFORE they visit you. Only in extreme emergencies will they just knock on your door.

So, what should you do if someone calls? ALWAYS KEEP BACK DOORS LOCKED, EVEN WHEN YOU ARE IN AND ESPECIALLY BEFORE ANSWERING THE FRONT DOOR!

TRY AND SEE WHO IS CALLING BEFORE YOU OPEN THE DOOR. This will allow you to check to see who is there and also restrict the door opening so someone can just barge their way in. (Fire safety - only use the chain when you answer the door - don't keep it on all the time!)

LOOK AT THEIR CLOTHING. Some official callers will be wearing a uniform bearing their organisation's name.

ASK FOR PROOF OF IDENTITY. ALL EMPLOYEES FROM THE COUNCIL, HEALTH SERVICE AND THE UTILITIES ETC CARRY ID CARDS. Check them VERY CAREFULLY and keep the chain on while you do it. Do not rely on the telephone number on their ID card - it may be the number of an accomplice.

SOMETIMES BOGUS CALLERS WORK IN PAIRS. BEWARE OF ONE DISTRACTING YOU WHILE THE OTHER STEALS YOUR PROPERTY

DON'T BE PRESSURED INTO LETTING SOMEONE IN. If in doubt call a neighbour or ask them to come back at another time when you can have someone else with you.

If you have any suspicions at all - DONT LET THEM IN AND CALL THE POLICE!