19th September 2013

My local police have sent out some information about doorstep crime and bogus callers.  I am sharing it with you so you stay safe.

Bogus callers also known as distraction burglars trick their way into people’s homes to steal money and valuables while the householder’s attention is elsewhere.  Most callers are genuine and mean you no harm but bogus callers can often seem very plausible and will try to fool you.

Follow this advice and keep yourself safe and secure at your door.

  • Close and lock the back door and any accessible windows before you go to the front door.
  • Bogus callers often work in pairs. One of them will try to keep you talking at the front door while the other tries to get in through the back door or a window.
  • Look through your spy hole or window.
  • Try to check who a caller is before opening the door.
  • Don’t let any caller pressure you into making a quick decision – if you are unsure‚ do not open the door.
  • Before you answer the door, put your door chain on and keep it on while you check the callers’ identity.
  • If you want to check with their company, keep the door chain on‚ tell the caller you are going to call their company and close the door.
  • A genuine caller will not object to you leaving them on the doorstep and closing the door while you confirm their identity‚ even if it is raining.

If the caller says they represent an electricity‚ gas or water company or another organisation such as the council or a charity, follow the checklist below to check that a caller is who they say they are.

  • Ask for the password
  • If you have set one up with the company, use it.
  • Does the caller have an identification card?
  • If the caller does not have an identification card‚ ask the caller to go away and close the door. If the caller persists‚ dial 999 and ask for the police.
  • If the caller does have an identification card, ask to see it:
  • Examine the card to see if it looks genuine.
  • Check the expiry date – is it still valid?
  • Does the photograph on the card match the person at the door?
  • Check the photograph is the original – has anything been stuck over it?
  • If you want to call their company, do not use the telephone number on the caller’s identification card – if the identification card is not genuine then the telephone number on the card will not be genuine either.
  • Find the telephone number in your phone book, on a bill or call directory enquiries.
  • Ask the company to confirm they have sent someone out to you. They will ask you for information about the identification card, what the caller looks like and may also ask for the date of birth or password of the caller.
  • If you need to get more information from the caller, leave the door chain on at all times.
  • If the company does not know the caller, dial 999 and ask for the Police.

Report any suspicious doorstep callers to the Police immediately Tel 999 noting description(s), accent, how the caller is dressed.  If you notice any vehicle(s) report the vehicle registration number and/or make, model, colour

Stay safe

18th September 2013

I really must do this more often.

Excellent week at Lib Dem Conference

Two speeches – one on taxation and the other on the NHS.