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Doorstep Crime Awareness Week: A great success, but please stay vigilant

01 November 2016
Dorset Police and Trading Standards joined forces with other local organisations to hold engagement events throughout the week, raising awareness of rogue traders and distraction burglars.

Events were held at nineteen different locations across the county and over 900 members of the public were spoken to. 

Dorset Police doorstep crime lead, Inspector Ernie Henley, said: “I would like to thank Trading Standards and the various other organisations that joined our Neighbourhood Policing Teams throughout the week. 

“I would also like to thank the supermarkets, banks and other venues who allowed us to use their space to meet with members of the public. Tackling doorstep crime requires a collaborative approach, so it is great to have other organisations and businesses on board. 

“It was fantastic to speak to so many members of our communities and advise them about doorstep crime. While this was the focus of the week, it was also a chance to discuss a range of issues and concerns, so I would like to thank everyone who made the effort to come and see us."

Crime prevention information was provided at each of the events, giving more detail on the types of doorstep crime and how to avoid becoming a victim.

Rogue traders will offer services such as gardening work or house maintenance at attractive rates, then produce work which is substandard or unnecessary, at a price far higher than originally agreed. 

Distraction burglars will fabricate a story to gain access to a property. This could range from being a neighbour, a utility company employee or a council or police officer. While inside the home, they themselves may steal items of value or an accomplice may carry out the burglary while the homeowner is distracted. 

Dorset Police and Trading Standards are encouraging the public to remain vigilant. 
Inspector Henley continued: “Unfortunately, doorstep crime will not end just because this week has. 

“While the engagement this week has been brilliant, we are still relying on members of the public to stay aware and to encourage their loved ones to recognise the signs, particularly the elderly or vulnerable.

“Never accept work from anyone who offers it to you at your door and never go to the bank with a tradesperson or give them your account details. 

“Genuine callers such as the police or council will never be offended if you ask them for identification, to speak at a different location or for a family member to accompany you while they are in your home.” 

“Remember: If you are not sure who is at your door, do not answer and do not let them into your property.”

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