Safety tip for 100 crime victims

ELDERLY victims of crime in the Felixstowe area are today being given tips to keep them on their guard and improve their safety.

ELDERLY victims of crime in the Felixstowe area are today being given tips to keep them on their guard and improve their safety.

Police community support officers (CSOs) are visiting around 100 pensioners in a four-day blitz to help reassure them as the dark winter nights approach.

Over the past year, all those being visited -in Felixstowe, the Trimleys, Levington, Nacton, Newbourne and Waldringfield - have been targeted by either thieves, bogus callers or suffered criminal damage to their property.

CSO Amy Clarke said: “These are not people who have just seen youngsters in the street and called us because they are worried what they are up to - these are all people who are real victims of crime.

“Those crimes range from someone who has had 50p milk money stolen from their doorstep to someone who has had a distraction burglary and perhaps lost thousands of pounds.

“What we want to do is to give them advice and information to help make them safer.

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“Our elderly people can be vulnerable and often they just don't know who to call about problems or what to do in certain circumstances but we want them to know we are here to help.”

The officers are giving out information packs with a poster to put up if they don't want trick or treaters to call at Hallowe'en, advice about firework night and bogus callers, stickers to put on the door to deter certain visitors, and emergency numbers for various services and authorities.

CSO Liz Lake said the officers were also identifying people who would benefit with a link-up with the Home Shield scheme.

This would bring them into contact with agencies to offer helpsuch as advice on whether they could claim more benefits, garden maintenance, further advice on security and home improvements, to help them live independently in their own homes.

“A lot of older people feel they don't want to be a hindrance or a nuisance even though they might be scared and often will not contact the authorities because they don't want to bother people, whereas young people might ring up and seek help for all sorts of things. We want to reassure the elderly and make sure they know how to get the right help,” she said.

n What do you think of the police initiative? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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