More turning away bogus callers

POLICE say more people are turning away bogus callers in Suffolk than ever before – despite a slight increase in the number of offences.Between April last year and January, a total of 118 distraction burglaries were reported to police compared to 104 for the same period the previous year.

By Danielle Nuttall

POLICE say more people are turning away bogus callers in Suffolk than ever before - despite a slight increase in the number of offences.

Between April last year and January, a total of 118 distraction burglaries were reported to police compared to 104 for the same period the previous year.

There have also been four reports of bogus caller offences already in February, including the case last week involving brave war veteran Ted Bacon, 85, who lost £250 to thieves who tricked their way into his home.


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But police said the number of failed distraction burglaries was increasing as people listened to the advice of media campaigns, including the East Anglian Daily Times' Safe in Your Home initiative, on how to turn them away.

Community safety Sergeant Jo Garrard, based in Bury St Edmunds, said: "We are finding more people are turning them away. There are being questioned for identification and this tends to unnerve them and they make their way before committing any offences.

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"We have certainly raised awareness through the media by using the Stop, Chain, Check message to stop them.

"We also have other initiatives for example in the Mid Suffolk area, Neighbourhood Watch are training members of the community how to deal with bogus callers when they turn up at their door.

"Promoting the message gives people confidence.

"In West Suffolk the offence has continued to decline but as a force in general there a very slight increase. I think it's hard to keep repeating the same message."

There are two different types of bogus caller crimes - the distraction burglary, where someone claims to be an official to get themselves or an accomplice inside, or callers who offer to do odd jobs and demand cash.

The number of distraction burglaries is still less than half of what it was between April 2001 and January 2002, where a total of 240 bogus caller offences were reported to Suffolk Constabulary.

The EADT launched the Safe In Your Home campaign to give helpful advice to people on what to do when confronted with a bogus caller.

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