Issued By
Cumbria County Council

LOCAL BUILDING SOCIETIES SIGN UP TO PROTECT THE ELDERLY

In the first protocol of its type in the Country, three building societies have signed a code of conduct which should make it more difficult for bogus callers to take cash from elderly victims.

Bogus callers invariably target the elderly in society and want cash payment for poorly completed overpriced work. Their modus operandi includes driving the pensioner to his/her bank/building society to get the money.

This protocol puts in place safeguards to protect elderly and vulnerable clients. It is hoped that the new measures in place at branches of the Cumberland Building Society, Furness Building Society and Penrith Building Society will make life more difficult for the itinerant bogus callers.

Mark Robinson, General Manager of the Cumberland said “We always want to behave as good neighbours to our customers and are pleased to play our part in the scheme”.

The protocol has been drawn up between the three building societies and Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards Department. Phil Ashcroft, Head of Trading Standards said “I believe in Cumbria that there are over 100 instances per year of elderly people having to withdraw large sums of cash to pay doorstep conmen. We all have a duty to protect the elderly and vulnerable members of society. This protocol will be an invaluable tool in the battle against doorstep conmen”.

Inspector Colin Davies from Cumbria Police said “We support any initiative that helps to combat crime targeted at the vulnerable and elderly. It is our aim to reduce not only crime but the fear of crime and we welcome the opportunity to work with others to achieve this”.

The ‘Doorstep Crime – Cash Withdrawal Protocol’ will be signed on Tuesday 11 November at a Doorstep Crime Seminar at The Keswick Country House Hotel.

Ends

Notes for Editors:

1. The protocol is attached.

2. It is believed to be the first formal protocol of its type in the Country to be signed by Banks or Building Societies.

3. For more information on this press release contact

- Phil Ashcroft/Pat Thomas at Cumbria Trading Standards on 01539 773594.
- Mark Robinson, Cumberland Building Society on 01228 541341
- Judith Wren, Furness Building Society on 01229 824560
- Donald Davey, Penrith Building Society on 01768 863675