Thursday, 10 February 2011

Community Message

Thames Valley Police are urging residents to be vigilant after two distraction burglaries were reported to police in Aylesbury Vale over the past 24 hours.

Each time a different method of distraction was used on elderly victims and police are reminding people not to let any strangers in unless they have a prearranged appointment and have the correct identification.

Aylesbury Vale Crime Reduction Advisor, Kama Wager, said: "There is no reason why a stranger should ever come into your home. All agencies or utility companies should make an appointment and carry identification.

"I would urge anyone with elderly or vulnerable relatives, neighbours or carers to check their home security and alert them to the dangers of opening the door to a stranger".

It is a good idea to have a chain or security bar on the front door, but it is still difficult to say 'no' to someone who is trying to get into your home. Many people are persuaded to take the chain off and let offenders in.

"Distraction burglars prey on the elderly and vulnerable. If you see people calling at houses and are suspicious of their intentions, I would urge you to contact police immediately, giving any details you can, for example, number plates and details of any suspicious vehicles, descriptions of suspicious people. Any piece of information, however small could help the police catch the offenders".

There are some simple rules to follow which will keep you much safer:

  • Never open your door to a stranger. If someone comes to your door, use your intercom system, or shout through the door to see who is there.
  • If the person is not expected, do not open your door. Tell them to make an appointment. If they say there is an emergency, check with the police.
  • If the person is expected, put the chain on and then check ID if you are able to. If you do not have a chain, ask for ID to be put through the letterbox.
  • Some offenders will not bother to 'trick' their way in if they find an insecure window or door. Make sure all your windows and doors can be easily locked and are locked whenever you leave the room. Padlock your side gate.
  • If you are elderly and need any work done in your home or garden it is advisable to contact Age Concern to ask for advice. There are many 'bogus callers' who are offering to do work for people and it is difficult to check whether they are genuine.

If you are worried about your security, contact your local crime reduction office via the Police Enquiry Centre on 0845 8 505 505. Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to contact Aylesbury police station, via the Police Enquiry Centre on 0845 8 505 505. If you don't want to talk to police and don't want to leave your name call the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.