Wiltshire distraction burglary victims speak of mental trauma and fear

Wiltshire distraction burglary victims speak of mental trauma and fear

Published by Mike Draper at 5:54am 22nd July 2019.

Amesbury's Police Sergeant has shared some of the frightened words said by victims during cases that he and the force have investigated.

The impact of distraction burglary - when an offender tricks their way into someone's house, often posing as a workman or tradesman, before stealing from them - should not be underestimated.

REAL AND PRESENT FEAR FOR VICTIMS

"It's something I'll never forget and will affect my whole outlook on life. I'm a lot more cautious about answering the door, and when it's dark I won't answer it at all."

LONG LASTING AND DEVASTATING IMPACT

"For several nights after the incident I couldn't sleep. I was worried that the male would return to the house and try to get in. I was so anxious that the doorbell would ring - in fact I was so afraid that when it did ring I didn't answer it."

The above quotes were from two women in their 80's who were targeted in separate incidents, and were left feeling frightened in their own homes.

Sgt. Tom Ellerby, from Wiltshire South East Community Police Team, which covers Amesbury, told Spire FM News:

"We are regularly investigating these types of offences, which not only have a financial impact on victims, but also a huge emotional and mental impact.

"I would urge everyone who has vulnerable or elderly friends, relatives or neighbours to take the time to have regular conversations with them about the importance of home security.

"It only takes five minutes, but if you talk to them about it on a weekly basis, then hopefully they will know how to keep themselves safe and not let unknown or unexpected visitors into their home."

TOP TIPS TO PROTECT AGAINST DISTRACTION BURGLARY

  • You are never required to open their door to unexpected callers and it is not rude to send someone away.
  • "IF YOU'RE NOT SURE, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR".
  • Display a 'No Cold Calling Home' sticker to discourage unwanted callers
  • Ask to see the caller's ID, even if they have made an appointment to see you, and call their company yourself (not on a number they provide) to check they are genuine
  • The 'Waterboard' no longer exists, it is an obsolete phrase used only by bogus callers
  • Use a spy hole and chain to check who the caller is before you answer
Download and share this distraction burglary leaflet from Wiltshire Police
Download and share this distraction burglary leaflet from Wiltshire Police

READ MORE & FREE DOWNLOAD

Download and share this leaflet in this link from Wiltshire Police - it is packed with tips to help protect you and your family from distraction burglars in Wiltshire.

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