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Tips to Keep You Safe from Distraction Burglary This Festive Season

Alert message sent 21/12/2020 10:01:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

Distraction burglary is where criminals call at your house posing as officials or asking for your help with something. They make up a story to get in to your home. Generally targeting older people, they have just one intention: to steal!

A Few Tips to Keep you Safe:
  • 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 ie. Gas, Electricity, Water or 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 Neighbourhood Watch or Nominated Neighbour Schemes you can sign up to. Check with your local police Safer Neighbourhood Team to find out if there is one in your area.
  • Many utility service providers like Gas Electricity and Water, provide password schemes or hotline numbers for customers to call, to check the identity of callers before opening the door. Speak to your utility provider.
  • Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home; put it in the bank or post office where it is safe.
  • Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times. Only put the door chain on to answer the door.
  • If somebody asks for your help, needs to make a telephone call, has lost a ball in your garden, needs a drink or request a pen and paper for example, refer them to a younger neighbour or assist them through a closed door. Or call a friend or neighbour to come and assist.
  • If you suspect a bogus caller has visited you, even if you didn’t let them in, call the police straight away.  We need to know!
Message sent by
Christine Lyle (Police, Neighbourhood Admin, West Oxfordshire)

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