Distraction burglary, often called ‘bogus calling’ is a crime primarily targeted at vulnerable older people. Offenders may pose as officials, such as council workers, police officers and utility workers or pretend to be a person in urgent need of help, in order to gain access to homes. Once inside the victim is distracted and the burglary is committed.
How to keep your house and belongings safe
Here’s a quick reminder of some of the things you can do to improve the security around your home:
- Locks - Keep all of your doors and windows locked, even when you are at home
- Stop - Are you expecting anyone, do they have an appointment? Make sure the back door is locked. Some thieves work in pairs with the other one sneaking in the back door whilst you’re at the front door.
- Chain - Put the door bar or chain on before you open the door.
- Check the identity carefully. Ask for ID card. Close the door and check using a phone number from the phone book or a relevant bill, not the one on the card.
- Bogus callers, often work in pairs; be aware of one person distracting you while the other steals your property.
- Never employ trades people who call at your door. Only use people recommended by someone you trust.
- Password – Some water, gas and electric companies operate a ‘password’ facility. Contact your local branch for details.
- If in doubt, keep them out particularly if you’re on your own. Ask them to make an appointment or come back later when someone else is around. Genuine callers won’t mind. If you are suspicious, report the incident to the police. You may help prevent them from burgling someone else.