Police Scotland launched their Door Step Crime initiative in late October and will be rolling out information over the coming weeks. This type of crime was always seen as being aimed at the elderly but it is increasingly being carried out against vulnerable people or those that live alone. Bill Logan, our Disability Access Officer recently met with Mike Smith from Police Scotland who provided us with an idea of some of the methods being used.
“Commonly, these Bogus Callers will appear at the door of a vulnerable person and attempt to convince them that their house is in disrepair, perhaps showing a rotten piece of wood, or a slate which has allegedly fallen from their property. They then offer to ‘fix’ the problem and charge a fee for doing so – sometimes even accompanying their victim to the cash machine”.
However, this is not the only way that such criminals steal from their victims. “We are also aware of another method used, which is to ask the person outside to inspect the area in need of repair, whilst their accomplice enters the house and steals what they can”. It is suggested that those who may be considered vulnerable or at risk should have a named neighbour who will deal with callers on their behalf.
By putting the details of this named neighbour on a card, this will enable any genuine callers to leave a message with a neighbour. The card should be held up to the window, in place of opening the door. However, it is advised not to leave such a card in the window as this alerts such criminals to the vulnerable nature of the individual. You can use the card below for this purpose, or offer to become a named neighbour whom you think may be at risk, just click on the image to download and save.