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Warning following reports of bogus doorstep callers in Poole

21 November 2016
Police and charity Parkinson's UK are asking residents to be vigilant following a number of bogus doorstep callers in Poole.

One incident happened at around 3pm on Wednesday 2 November 2016 at a house on Lancaster Drive when a woman asked for money for a sponsored walk claiming it was for Parkinson's UK.

Two other similar incidents were reported to police on Thursday 6 October on Fairview Crescent and Wednesday 12 October along Dunyeats Road.

Five other incidences have been reported direct to the charity, but not to the police, over the last few months.

Alyson Smith, Regional Fundraising Manager for Parkinson’s UK – South and West of England, said: "We have been informed that a person claiming to be a door to door collector for Parkinson’s UK has taken advantage of a vulnerable, visually impaired person in Poole, Dorset, which has led to the theft of a sum of money and possessions.
"We are shocked and saddened by this behaviour and the effect it must have had on the lady concerned. 

"We would like to reassure members of the public that Parkinson’s UK does not carry out this kind of door-to-door fundraising activity in any part of the country. 

"Our staff are working closely with the local police on this incident, and would advise home owners to contact police, if approached by individuals on their doorsteps claiming to be fundraising on behalf of the charity, or call the Parkinson’s UK  freephone helpline on 0808 800 0303."

Police Constable Caroline Walton, of Poole police, said: "Bogus callers usually target elderly victims who live by themselves and I'd urge everyone to remain vigilant and help reduce the chance that the people you care about and your elderly neighbours are not subject to this type of crime. 

“Do not buy, sell or sign up to any work on the doorstep. If you are suspicious of the caller’s intentions, tell them to go away and call a family member or neighbour and inform the police. If they won’t leave, then call 999."

Members of the public should consider the following advice when answering the door:

LOCKED – Is the back door locked?
STOP – Am I expecting anyone?
CHAIN – Put the chain on BEFORE opening the door.
CHECK – Ask for the caller’s identification. Shut the door leaving the caller on the doorstep and phone the number in the phone book NOT the one on the card they give you, as this could be an accomplice around the corner – especially if it is a mobile number. A genuine caller will be happy to wait while you do this.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55160154500. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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