A new leaflet designed to raise awareness of distraction burglaries and how to check if someone is a legitimate caller, is being distributed across parts of Wrexham.
Over the past two months there have been a series of incidents whereby bogus workers pretending to be waterboard target properties – particularly those belonging to elderly and vulnerable residents – in an attempt to gain access and search for valuables and cash.
Wrexham in particular has seen a spate of distraction burglaries, with a warning to residents issued just a few weeks ago by Dee Valley Water.
In a bid to prevent further losses PCSO Amanda Collins has started a project which aims to protect the elderly and vulnerable members of the community from this kind of criminal activity.
She has produced a leaflet with advice on distraction burglaries which can be given to members of the community to raise awareness of these scams.
Working in partnership with Rowlands and Well pharmacies, a copy of the leaflet will be included in every medication bag of anyone elderly or vulnerable to help to spread awareness, these will be available for both collected and delivered prescriptions.
Currently the leaflets are being distributed to pharmacies in the Wrexham Rural area, however there are plans to distribute them further afield once the project is better established.
PCSO Collins explained: “The idea of asking pharmacies to assist came to me whilst on foot patrol one day. I was passing a pharmacy when I saw an elderly lady leaving with her medication. Joint partnership working, in this case with local pharmacies, will hopefully prevent others falling victim to this particularly nasty crime”.
“As a Police Community Support Officer one of my key roles is to keep communities safe, protecting the elderly and the vulnerable in particular.
“When a member of the community becomes a victim of crime, I will do anything I can to help and to prevent others becoming victims too.
“In this case, the victims are members of the community least likely to read crime prevention advice put on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter”.
The leaflets give advice to those who are worried about distraction burglaries such as:
– Use a door chain when answering the door.
– If someone claims to be from a company, ask their reason for visiting.
– Always ask for ID and associated paperwork.
– Do not allow entry to unknown persons whilst you are checking their ID.
– If you have any doubts, ring the company they claim to be from. Find this phone number using a phone directory and not a number given by the visitor.