Elderly woman left ‘shaken’

Councillor Kevin Campbell.
Councillor Kevin Campbell.

An elderly woman who lives alone has been left shaken after two men attempted to gain entry to her Westway home on Thursday.

The woman, who did not want to be named, was at home with one of her daughters when the men called claiming they had a perfume order for her.

“After my sister told the two men to go away, they went next door to another elderly woman who has Alzheimer’s. My sister told them to leave her alone and they left.”

Sinn Fein councillor, Kevin Campbell described the incidents as a “worrying development”.

“Those who called at the homes of the pensioners said they were calling back with an order of perfume.

“This is a worrying development.”

Colr Campbell added: “When challenged by a relative of the occupant who happened to be in the house at the time they left and went to an adjacent house.

“And when challenged further up the street and told that the police were being called they fled the scene.

“This is not the first time this has happened in the area; a similar incident happened during the summer.”

The woman’s daughter reported the incident to the police but added that it wasn’t the first time an occurrence like this had happened.

“The men had southern accents and the way in which they conducted themselves was almost identical to what happened back in August.

“Again, two men with southern accents called at the door claiming they had a perfume order for my mother. Thankfully, my brother was there but they still tried to push past him and get into the house.

“My brother chased them and told them to go away but I dread to think what might have happened had he not been there.”

The woman added: “Older people living in the area should be vigilant and should not answer the door unless they know who it is. It’s a sad state of affairs when you have to worry about your mother being subjected to this type of thing in her own home.”

Colr. Campbell urged local residents living in the area to be on the look out for suspicious behaviour and gave advice on what people should do when answering the door to someone they don’t know.

“I would call upon people in Derry to be on their guard. There are a number of steps that people can take to ensure the callers are genuine.

“If people are in doubt they should request to see identification, furthermore they can secure the door with a chain before opening, alternatively if the caller is genuine, they will be able to provide a phone number and business address for the person to call to make sure they are genuine.”