Have you ever heard of Doorstep Crime?

Well imagine someone knocking at your grandparent's door and telling them that they have noticed that they have loose roof tiles and they can fix them for 20. When they have fixed the tiles they then tell your grandparents that they misheard the price and its going to cost them 200. I bet your all shouting that's not fair, your right it's not but that is doorstep crime. You would be amazed how often it happens, these rogue traders are good at getting people to agree to have work done. They prey on the vulnerable, and take advantage of the person's inability to say no.

Then there is the other type of doorstep crime, this is the one you might have heard the most about. Let me give you a scenario:

Lily is 85 years old, she lives alone since her husband died a year ago, she can't get around very quickly and uses a walking stick. One day when she is watching This Morning, there's a knock at her door. Lily opens the door to a middle aged gentleman who tells Lily he's the Crime Prevention Officer at the local police station and he's doing a survey on properties in the area, could he just come in for a minute and have a look at Lily's home to make sure it's secure.

Lily thinks nothing about it and shows the man through to her kitchen and offers him a cup of tea. What Lily doesn't know is that he left the front open slightly so that his mate who was hiding at the side of the house can sneak in and have a hunt around for anything valuable, while he keeps Lily busy with his pretend survey.

His mate knows exactly where to look, its not long before he's got Lily's wedding ring and her savings that she'd put in a tin in the living room sideboard, and then he's out of the door.

Suddenly Mr Crime Prevention gets a call on his mobile, he tells Lily he's got to go, he's needed urgently. You can guess who the call was from, your right his mate round the corner, telling him the jobs done.

Poor Lily she doesn't even know what's happened. How do you think she's going to feel when she discovers her wedding ring and money missing?

How do you feel after reading that scenario, if your like most people you'll probably feel sad and angry, so what can you do to help?

We need you as responsible young people to pass this message to your parents and grandparents. Advice them on the following tips to keep them safe from the rogue doorstep trader or the distraction burglar.

Tell them:

  • That they should always use a door bar or chain, and never open the door to a stranger.
  • To always ask for identification and check it out.
  • Always get a few quotes when work is needed, don't be fooled into thinking that there is an urgent repair required.
  • Not to keep money in the house.
  • If they are unsure who is calling ask them to call back when another adult can be there with them.

Your job won't be easy, it can be very difficult getting an older person to change how they have always done things, but hopefully they will listen to you and take notice of the advice you can give.

You're probably thinking what else can I do to help; you can help to combat this type of crime by keeping vigilant. If you see anyone who is acting strangely, or door knocking then notify the relevant authority.

Contact Trading Standards on       08454 040506
Contact Police on       0845 6060606

If you want to find out more about doorstep crime then log onto our website www.doorstopper.info