BOGUS Caller figures have almost halved over the last year thanks to a range of initiatives which have targeted the crime.
For the year ending March 2011 there were just six reported incidents of distraction burglaries in Thurrock compared to 10 last year.
One key project credited with the fall in crimes has been the introduction of No Cold Calling Areas at all appropriate sheltered housing complexes. The joint scheme between Thurrock Council’s Trading Standards and Essex Police uses signs to clearly identify areas where cold calling is not allowed. Residents are consulted before the zones are introduced and given information on how to report anyone touting for business.
Information around bogus callers, and how to deal with them, has also formed the focus of talks given to a number of community, elderly and vulnerable residents groups by Trading Standards Officers.
A calendar sponsored by the Thurrock Community Safety Partnership was distributed to elderly and vulnerable residents in time for the New Year. Each month provides useful help and advice around crime and safety again with a focus on tackling bogus callers.
The message is simple: Don’t drop your guard because you are in your own home.
STOP before you open the door.
CHAIN if you aren’t expecting anyone or don’t know who it is put the door chain on.
CHECK who is at the door. All reputable callers will have ID and will not mind waiting while their identity is checked.
Anyone touting for business in a No Cold Calling Area Consumer Direct should be reported to Consumer Direct – the government funded telephone and online service which offers free and clear information and advice on consumer issues working in partnership with Local Authority Trading Standards Services. Call on 0845 04 05 06 or visit www.direct.gov.uk.
If a crime has been committed call Essex Police on 0300 333 4444. Always call 999 in an emergency.