Police have urged the friends and family of older or vulnerable people in their areas to talk to them about the issue of ‘cold callers.’
Detective Inspector Bob Blemmings said: “We want to keep everyone safe in our community and I would appeal to householders to be aware of cold callers coming to your door. Remember that it is your home - and so it is okay not to open the door if you have any concerns. You could also speak to the person through the door or window, without actually opening the door to them.
“Not all cold callers are rogue traders – but some are. Unofficial traders can overcharge unsuspecting - and often older householders - for poor quality work or work that is never completed at all.
“Others may try to sell shoddy or over-priced goods, or attempt to trick their way into your house to commit a burglary.
“Report any activity that raises your suspicions to police immediately. This is a good way to alert us so we can investigate - and will help deter criminals and reduce crime in your area. Call us on the non-emergency number 101.”
Police said anyone seeking further advice on home security you can contact their local Crime Prevention Officer on 101, while a free Quick Check service is available by phoning 101 to check if callers are genuine.
‘No Cold Calling Zone’ stickers are also available on request from a local Crime Prevention Officer by calling 101 or from the Policing and Community Safety Partnership by calling 0300 0300 900.
Police have issued the following advice:
1. Close and lock all doors and windows even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
2. Leave a light on if it will be dark before you get home. Consider security lights. To a burglar, a dark house is an empty house.
3. Keep your valuables out of sight.
4. Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away from home.
5. Don’t leave car keys near your door, letterbox or windows.
6. Always check who is at the door. Not sure? Don’t open the door.
7. Set your alarm when going out. If you do not have an alarm, consider installing one.
8. Ask a neighbour or a friend to check your property and to remove post from the porch/hallway.
9. Inform police if your house is to be vacant for any length of time.
10. Always keep sheds and outbuildings locked and secure ladders.”