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Distraction burglary is any crime where a falsehood, trick or distraction is used to gain access to a property to commit burglary.
Victims of distraction burglary can suffer terribly both emotionally and physically.
Violence is increasingly being used by offenders against the elderly in order to gain entry to their homes and steal their property. Unfortunately, some victims suffer a decline in health and even die as a result of the trauma caused.Did you know…?
Crime prevention advice – Distraction burglary:
- If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it. Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are purporting to be from i.e. gas, electricity, water, police. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider – Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus.
- Telephone a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the caller before you open the door to them. Some areas in the country have “nominated neighbour schemes” you can sign up to. Check with your local police to find out if there is one in your area.
- Many service providers provide password schemes, sign up to these. When unannounced callers knock at your door they should know the password if they are genuine.
- The “Waterboard” no longer exists, it is an obsolete phrase used only by bogus callers.
- Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home; put it in the bank where it is safe.
- Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times.
- Ensure that if you do let somebody in to your home, that you close the door behind them – distraction burglars often work in teams, where one will distract you whilst others sneak in through the insecure door.
- If somebody asks for your help – needs to make a telephone call, lost a ball in your garden, needs a drink or pen and paper for example, refer them to a younger neighbour or assist them through a closed door. Alternatively, call a friend or neighbour to come and assist.
- Not sure? Don’t open the door.