Residents urged to beware of bogus callers

Release Date: 23-Mar-2012
Following a string of reports regarding bogus callers and attempted distraction burglaries within the district, partner agencies including Trading Standards, West Yorkshire Police and Kirklees Council are working together to ensure some of the most vulnerable members of society are kept safe from such activity.
A number of recent incidents and intelligence have highlighted some specific tactics which appear to have been used on a variety of occasions to gain entry in to properties and, potentially, access to cash and belongings.

In Lindley, bogus callers have been operating in the area, posing as council officials only to return to properties on separate occasions claiming to be gardeners and window cleaners. This raises the concern that these people are targeting certain properties and returning to areas where they suspect residents may be vulnerable and easier to target.

In Liversedge and Birstall, callers have used the ‘Water Board’ alliance to allow easy access to homes, providing ample opportunities to carry out immediate thefts of items such as handbags, car keys, cash and jewellery etc.

There has also been a noticeable increase in the number of opportunists taking advantage of government energy efficiency schemes which offer services such as loft and cavity wall insulation to some of the homes most in need of support in West Yorkshire.

There have been reports of companies informing residents that they are working with Kirklees Council on insulation schemes when they are not and using aggressive selling practices to gain access to homes in a bid to get the resident to sign a contract for the work to be carried out. In two of these cases, when the company returned to carry out the work, it was found that the property had already been insulated in previous years, suggesting that assessment of the home did not take place prior to the contract being signed.

In the majority of cases reported, it has been thanks to fast thinking from residents, close family members and care workers that has prevented any serious crime taking place. However, experiencing this type of activity can be extremely stressful and upsetting for those involved, and potentially raises the fear of crime in areas where it is taking place.

Graham Hebblethwaite of Trading Standards said ‘ There are many ways in which we can work together, as partners, to combat this activity There are now 15 live cold calling control zones within Kirklees and, as part of these zones we offer educational workshops to residents and also training to support agencies working within them’.

Please follow the link on the right to find out more about preventing door step crime