South Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Water run a safety event to help Sheffield residents spot bogus callers
South Yorkshire Police are working in partnership with Yorkshire Water to raise awareness of bogus callers and highlight the potential risk of opening the door to strangers.
On Tuesday, 24 July 2012, South Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Water are running the ‘GET LIFEWISE’ free safety event, aimed at people over the age of 60 in the Sheffield area. It will be held at the Lifewise Centre located on Kea Park Close on the Hellaby industrial estate.
The Lifewise Centre is a purpose built facility with a life-size set representing a small town featuring houses, shops, an interchange and full size bus, a park, a police station with cell and much more. This event will allow residents from Sheffield to visit the centre and watch real life scenarios run by various partner agencies including South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, NHS, Yorkshire Housing and South Yorkshire Police aimed at raising awareness of a number of issues including opening the door to strangers.
The event is designed to raise people’s awareness of bogus official incidents and to give out crime prevention advice to people in Sheffield, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, to help them deal with a situation should a stranger knock at the door.
Andy Foster, Project Officer from South Yorkshire Police said: “Bogus callers are people who claim to be someone they are not. They often dress appropriately for the role they are playing and most are very convincing and extremely persuasive in the story they give. Often one person will call at the address and be speaking with the resident whilst another will sneak in the property to steal items.
“To gain access to homes, they may claim to be from the local authority and other public agencies or utility companies. In particular, they often claim to be from the water board. Unfortunately the water board is no longer in existence so this is an easy way to spot that they are a bogus caller.”
South Yorkshire Police continue to work with partners to tackle this type of crime and provide residents with crime prevention advice. However, people can help in preventing these types of crimes by following a few simple steps:
• Keeping your front and back doors locked at all times, even when at home prevents ‘sneak in’ burglars
• Think about whether you are expecting anyone and look through the window before answering the door
• Identification does not guarantee the caller is genuine, ask for it to be passed through the letterbox and contact the company to see if that person should be at your house. Do not use the number printed on the Identity Card but find one in your phone book or via the internet
• Please use a bank or building society to keep larger sums of money rather than hiding it in your home where it could be found
• Our advice is simple keep your doors locked and don’t let strangers into your home unless you have verified their identity, and if you are not sure, don’t open the door
Andy Foster added: “The aim of the day is not to frighten people but to make people living in Sheffield, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, feel safer, raise their awareness of these incidents and give them some useful prevention advice. It is great news that we are working with Yorkshire Water on this event and raising awareness of these issues for our vulnerable communities.”
Yorkshire Water, like most utility companies, operates a password scheme to benefit vulnerable members of the community. This is a free service and registration is simple, to contact Yorkshire Water and request details of this scheme please call: 0800 138 78 78.