Following two distraction burglaries in the county last week, Officers are asking residents to be mindful of security and how to deal with unexpected callers at your doorstep.
In both recent distraction burglaries, the offenders knocked at the doors of elderly people saying they were from their water company and to turn their water off. The offenders then entered the homes and items inside were stolen.
There are some simple security measures everyone can take to help stop you from becoming a victim of crime and we would ask that you speak with your elderly/vulnerable relatives and neighbours to also make them aware –
- Always use a chain and a viewer on your door to see who is calling. Only open the door if you feel comfortable and always keep the chain on.
- Always ask for identification from any unexpected callers and do not let them in until you are completely comfortable with who they are and have verified who they work for.
- If someone calls claiming to be from a utility company such as water, gas, electric or council do not let them in. Close the door and ring your utility company using the telephone number from a recent bill or from the phone book/internet and not a telephone number that might be on their caller’s ID badge. Only once you are completely happy that the caller is genuine should they be allowed inside your home. If you have any suspicions at all, phone the police immediately.
- Councils and utilities companies will generally contact householders in advance by letter or telephone if they plan to carry out repairs rather than make unsolicited calls.
- If you have a back/side gate to your property, ensure it is locked with a padlock. A slide bolt is not sufficient on its own.
- Ensure that your doors are kept locked when you are inside the house.
- If you need carers or family to have access then consider fitting a key safe on the outside wall near to the front door.
- Please report anything suspicious as soon as possible to police on 101, if a crime is in progress please dial 999.
You can find further crime prevention advice on the ‘advice’ pages of the Suffolk Constabulary website www.suffolk.police.uk or you can speak with your local Safer Neighbourhood Team. Contact details can be found here – http://www.suffolk.police.uk/your-area