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Dorset Police reminds residents to check identity of doorstep callers

Dorset Police is asking residents to remain vigilant and be aware of who is calling at their door, in a bid to prevent distraction burglaries.

Officials from all councils across Dorset and employees of utility companies will always carry identification with them so the advice is - if you are in any doubt about the person at your door, don’t let them in.

Councillor Don Collier, Deputy Leader of the Council, Borough of Poole, said: "All Borough of Poole staff are required to wear ID badges at all times which will be offered when carrying out visits.”

A limited number of council officials have powers to enter people’s homes without prior notice. Councillor Collier continued: “We would never visit a resident without good reason and only in exceptional circumstances do we visit without prior notice. If people are suspicious of anyone visiting their home they should always check they are genuine before allowing them entry.

"Genuine callers do not mind being asked for identification or waiting until you have telephoned the organisation they claim to be from, to verify their details.”

Dorset County Council and Bournemouth Borough Council echoed the advice given by Borough of Poole.

If someone calls at your door and you are not expecting anyone, the advice from Dorset Police is:

STOP - Before you answer the door, stop and think whether or not you are expecting anyone. Check the back door is closed and locked and take the key out.

CHAIN - Put the door chain or bar on the door before opening the door and always keep it on when talking to the person on your doorstep. If you can, look through a window to see who is calling.

CHECK - Ask for and carefully check their identity card. Take the card and close the door leaving the caller on the doorstep. Do not let them in. Do not phone the number on the card as this may be fake. If the caller states they are from the council or other authority, look the phone number up in the phone book or on a recent bill. You will then be able to check the caller is genuine. Take your time. If the caller is genuine they will be happy to wait.

Debbie Oldfield, Crime Prevention Advisor, Dorset Police, explained: “Please look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours. If you do get any suspicious callers at your door asking to come in, please call Dorset Police on 01202 222 222 or 01305 222 222."

For more crime prevention advice call Dorset Police on 01202 222222or 01305 222222, or visit our Crime Prevention pages