Some criminals won’t go to the trouble of breaking into your home if they can just knock and be invited in. They either distract the resident while they steal items or trick the person into paying too much for a simple job.
- A victim of this sort of crime is most frequently:
- An elderly person
- Living alone
- Targeted after bereavement
A study into the impact of doorstep crime on older victims has shown that their health declines faster than non-victims of a similar age. The study also found that victims of doorstep crime are 2.4 times more likely to be in residential care two years after the burglary than their non-burgled neighbours. To avoid this:
- Always look to see who is at the door before you open it - if you do not have glass in your front door, fitting a spy-hole door viewer will help.
- Install an outside light over your door to help you see any callers.
- Bogus callers come in many shapes and sizes. They could be children, women, and men in all types of clothing - from overalls to suits.
Consider signing up to a Nominated Neighbour scheme. Arrange with a trusted neighbour or a member of your family who lives nearby to be your “Nominated Neighbour”. They will help confirm the identity of any person who calls at your door and accompany them into your home while they speak to you.
Officials from gas, electricity and water companies never need to come into your home to test water pressure or repair a leak, even in an emergency. If for some reason they do need access, they will always send you a letter to make an appointment.
The genuine meter readers from want you to check their identity before letting them in. Check their identity card. If in doubt ring up and confirm that the caller is genuine.
Consider signing up to a password scheme - every time a meter reader calls they have to give the password you have arranged. The scheme is free. More advice can be found here:
- United Utilities - 0845 746 2200
- British Gas have a PDF guide to genuine callers - 0800 072 8625
- npower have a PDF guide to genuine callers - 0845 602 6363
- AgeUK guide to Bogus Callers
Bogus repairers can and do use a very good and insistent sales patter to get you to use them straight away. If you haven’t had your drains cleaned or your roof fixed for many years, then another day or two while you get another estimate won’t make any difference. If you need to get the building work done, get several written quotes from trustworthy or recommended firms and then decide who is right for you.
- Trustmark - a directory of firms that fulfill government endorsed standards
No Cold Calling zones
This is a designated zone where people cannot cold call - or call without an appointment - for any reason. It sends out a clear message to criminals that their actions will not be tolerated. To discuss the possibility of setting up a No Cold Calling zone, contact your local policing team.