New bid to beat bogus callers

SUFFOLK police today urged people to help elderly and vulnerable people this summer by beating bogus callers.

Tom Potter

SUFFOLK police today urged people to help elderly and vulnerable people this summer by beating bogus callers.

In the last year alone, there have been 36 distraction burglaries in the west of the county - including Stowmarket, Hadleigh, and the Shotley peninsula - with more crimes over the warmer summer months.

Suffolk Police have advised homeowners to use the LOCK - STOP - CHAIN - CHECK system to ensure bogus callers can not enter their property.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Hudson said: “Bogus callers prey on vulnerable and elderly members of society, and we tend to see an increase in such offences as the weather improves.

“We need the public to be aware of such incidents, so that people know how to deal with an unexpected caller and can look out for any neighbours and relatives who distraction burglars may target. We want to help communities to feel and stay safe, and to deter criminals.”

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DCI Hudson said: “Take note of the appearance of any suspicious persons, and their vehicles. If a distraction burglar is travelling in a vehicle we may be able to locate them and notify officers of any which have been associated with crime.”

People are also encouraged to join the Nominated Neighbour scheme. You will be given a sign to show callers they should contact your neighbour who will check they are genuine on your behalf. More information can be obtained from your local Crime Reduction Officer.

Officers, including your Safer Neighbourhood Team, can be contacted on 01284 774100 or you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If a crime is in progress, call 999 immediately.

-Is enough done to prevent bogus callers? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

The LOCK - STOP - CHAIN - CHECK system:

LOCK - make sure your back door is locked when you answer the front door, as bogus callers often have an accomplice who may try to enter your house whilst they stall you.

STOP - check who the caller is by looking through a window or spy hole before you open the door. If the caller looks suspicious in any way dial 999.

CHAIN - use a door chain when you answer the door to stop the caller forcing their way in. Find

out who they are and what they want, and close the door again whilst you

CHECK - their identity. Workers from gas, electricity and water companies will have an ID card. If they do not have one, turn them away.

If the caller states they are from the gas, electricity or water board, do not let them in, these boards do not exist any more.