Warning regarding doorstep selling and distraction burglary


Following recent reports of distraction burglary in Barrington and Newton please find some advice and information on checking callers at your home.

There have also been recent incidents reported of doorstep selling in Melbourn, Barrington, and Girton targeting retirement and sheltered housing areas. In addition police have been made aware of persons door-knocking in Willingham village asking residents if they had any gold for sale again retirement housing and areas occupied by older people were targeted.

Doorstep caller and rogue trading advice

Following some complaints regarding door-step selling and rogue traders from the local community, Police and Trading Standards are highlighting the tactics that some traders may employ, and useful tips to protect householders from rogue traders or other uninvited persons calling at their home.

Selling door to door is not generally illegal but when customers fall prey to high-pressure selling tactics or doorstep callers problems can occur. Recent incidents serve as an excellent way of reminding people of how best to deal with traders who come to the door.

Distraction burglaries are a particularly nasty crime targeting the most vulnerable people in society.

Trading Standards suggests the following ‘Top Tips’ when a doorstep trader or other uninvited person comes to your home:

Contact Trading Standards: Tel: 0345 4040506

  • Don’t believe all callers are genuine.
  • Don’t believe the ‘scare stories’ a salesman may tell you – they are rarely true.
  • Don’t believe genuine tarmac companies have loads over – they don’t!
  • Don’t sign anything or pay for anything until you are sure about it.
  • Don’t believe special deals, ‘today only’ – it’s high pressure selling.
  • Don’t allow strangers to have access to your property – “I need to check your taps/ water pipe” is a common trick that can lead to a distraction burglary.

Recent incidents have included people selling household items door to door, using hard luck stories or intimidation to get a sale. Often the items are overpriced and could be easily obtained elsewhere.

Victims of distraction burglaries should contact the Police immediately.

If someone you are not expecting calls at your home:

Not Sure Don’t Open the Door

Keep your door shut and locked until you have checked the caller is genuine.

Do check the identity of the caller by asking to see an ID card.

Do challenge anyone looking over your property – did you give permission?

Consider if you really need the work done. Think before you decide. Shop around for the best deal.

Do ask the caller to leave you with information to study at your leisure.

Do remember you should be given a right to cancel a contract after cold calling.

 

If you need reliable a trader, use the Buy With Confidence scheme

www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk or Tel: 08454 040506 this is an approved Trader Scheme, set up by Trading Standards and supported by the Office of Fair Trading. These traders operate legally and provide a good customer service.

Always remember

  • You do not have to open the door if you are at all uneasy.
  • Ring 999 if you feel threatened or are harassed by someone.
  • Lock all windows and doors (Don’t let criminals think they can just walk in)
  • Try not to leave handbags or wallets on show (keep them in safe place out of sight). Large amounts of cash should be placed in a bank or post office for safe keeping.
  • Use timer switches and low energy bulbs when you go out in the evenings to give the impression that you are at home.

Please look out for vulnerable residents in your community, and report any suspicious activity.

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Crime Prevention Event – Whaddon

Protect your home and reduce opportunist crime.

Join us at a crime prevention evening on:

Wednesday 8 May

Whaddon Village Hall

Church Street, Whaddon, SG8 5FQ

5:30 – 7:00p.m.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary are holding a crime prevention event at Whaddon Village Hall to highlight security improvements that residents can put in place to reduce their risk of crime.

Find out more about how to avoid common scams and fraud.

Get information about Neighbourhood Watch and useful community services in your area.

Officers and police staff will be on hand to provide advice and information.

Security products will be available for sale at a discounted rate, plus there will be advice regarding property registration and coding.

Come along to find out more, and meet your local team.

Crime Prevention Event – Hardwick

Protect your home and reduce opportunist crime.

Join us at a crime prevention evening on:

Wednesday 1 May

Hardwick Community Primary School

2 Limes Road, Hardwick, CB22 7QR

5:30 – 8:00p.m.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary are holding a crime prevention event at Hardwick Community Primary School to highlight security improvements that residents can put in place to reduce their risk of crime.

Find out more about how to avoid common scams and fraud.

Get information about Neighbourhood Watch and useful community services in your area.

Officers and police staff will be on hand to provide advice and information.

Security products will be available for sale at a discounted rate, plus there will be advice regarding property registration and coding.

Come along to find out more, and meet your local team.

Crime Prevention Event – Oakington

Protect your home and reduce opportunist crime.

Join us at a crime prevention evening on:

Tuesday 23 April

Oakington Pavilion

Recreation Ground

Queens Way

Oakington

CB24 3AW

5:00 – 7:00p.m.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary are holding a crime prevention event at Oakington Pavillion to highlight security improvements that residents can put in place to reduce their risk of crime.

Find out more about how to avoid common scams and fraud.

Get information about Neighbourhood Watch and useful community services in your area.

Officers and police staff will be on hand to provide advice and information.

Security products will be available for sale at a discounted rate, plus there will be advice regarding property registration and coding.

Come along to find out more, and meet your local team.

Crime Prevention Event – Swavesey

Protect your home and reduce opportunist crime.

Join us at a crime prevention evening on:

Friday 5 April

Swavesey Memorial Hall

High Street

Swavesey

CB24

5:00 – 7:00p.m.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary are holding a crime prevention event at Swavesey Memorial Hall to highlight security improvements that residents can put in place to reduce their risk of crime.

Find out more about how to avoid about common scams and fraud.

Get information about Neighbourhood Watch and useful community services in your area.

Officers and police staff will be on hand to provide advice and information.

Security products will be available for sale at a discounted rate, plus there will be advice regarding property registration and coding.

Come along to find out more, and meet your local team.

Crime Prevention Event – Histon

 

Protect your home and reduce opportunist crime.

Join us at a crime prevention evening on:

Thursday 4 April

Histon Parish Council Offices

New Road

Impington

CB24 9LU

6:00 – 8:00p.m.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary are holding a crime prevention event at Histon Parish Council Offices (by Rec. Ground) to highlight security improvements that residents can put in place to reduce their risk of crime.

Find out more about how to avoid about common scams and fraud.

Get information about Neighbourhood Watch and useful community services in your area.

Officers and police staff will be on hand to provide advice and information.

Security products will be available for sale at a discounted rate, plus there will be advice regarding property registration and coding.

Come along to find out more, and meet your local team.

Crime Prevention Event – Girton

Come along to our Crime Prevention Event at:

Abbeyfield

Wellbrook Way

Girton

Cambs

CB3 0GQ   06:0008:00p.m. Tuesday 19 March

Find out about protecting your home, general security, property registration and coding.

See security product demonstrations, and meet your local Neighbourhood Team.

Vehicle Security

 

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Please be aware of a number of thefts from vehicles in adjacent areas to South Cambs. villages, in particular Arbury across from Orchard Park, and areas close to Impington/ Histon.

There are simple steps you can take to reduce your chance of becoming a victim.

Never leave your vehicle unlocked, even for short periods such as loading and unloading, or making deliveries. We receive a number of reports of thefts from insecure vehicles.

The most common items stolen are easy to access and portable, such as sat nav’s, mobile phones, and wallets.

Remove all valuables from sight, ideally take them with you: or lock them away in the boot.

Remember to remove signs of valuables being present like chargers and cradles plus marks they leave on the windscreen.

At home park in a well-lit area, or garage if you have one.

Store your car keys in a safe place, away from view. If you have a keyless car entry system, consider using a signal blocker pouch. (Some key fob remote signals can be turned off when not in use).

When parking look for police approved car parks that display a ‘Park Mark Safer Parking’ sign.

If you park on a driveway, think about installing a driveway alarm. These are simple and easy to fit.

Even an item like a jacket, or clothing may be attractive to a potential thief. You may know there are no valuables inside, but a thief does not.

Protect your valuables by marking them with easily identifiable information such as your postcode. Look at http://www.immobilise.com a FREE property registration service which is used by virtually all UK police forces to identify and track stolen property. You can add serial No’s, descriptions and photos depending on what the item is.

Owners of high value, desirable cars are advised to take extra precautions

Please be alert to suspicious activity at homes or addresses with high powered vehicles such as BMW’s, Audi’s, Volkswagon’s, and Mercedes. Burglaries are being committed to obtain vehicle keys as improved security means that these vehicles are more difficult to steal without a key.
We are encouraging residents to remain vigilant during the day, lookout for any unusual people or vehicles paying attention to the driveway of a house where a desirable car is parked, even if it is not there at the time, similarly late at night, if you are coming or going be on the lookout for unusual activity.

• Never leave vehicle or other keys in open view of your letterbox or ground floor window where a potential offender could easily access them by fishing them out with a device, consider installing a cage or security device to keep the letterbox secure.
• Always lock windows and doors.
• Fit a steering wheel lock / or aftermarket security device (look at www.securebydesign.com for attack tested approved products).
• Aggravated burglary is rare in Cambridgeshire, but if the thief is persistent enough to break in, it’s best they take the keys and leave.
The safety and protection of people should always come first.
• If you have a secure garage you can park your car in overnight, do use it.
• Set burglar alarms and any other security devices you have installed, consider a driveway alarm to give you early warning of someone approaching on your drive.
• Consider fitting a tracking device, if your car is stolen there is a greater chance of it being traced.
• Be alert to who is around and where your keys are
Report suspicious activity or interest in these types of vehicles to police on 101, or 999 in an emergency. Without putting yourself at risk, try to obtain a description of anyone you saw, and registration numbers of vehicles this can be passed on to police to aid investigation.
Criminal activity can also be reported to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Crime Prevention Event – Gamlingay

 

Protect your home and reduce opportunist crime. Join us at a crime prevention evening on:

Friday 15 March

Gamlingay Eco Hub

Stocks Lane

Gamlingay

SG19 3JR

4:30 – 7:00p.m.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary are holding a crime prevention event at Gamlingay Eco Hub to highlight security improvements that residents can put in place to reduce their risk of crime.

Find out more about how to avoid about common scams and fraud.

Get information about Neighbourhood Watch and useful community services in your area.

Officers and police staff will be on hand to provide advice and information.

There will be a crime prevention seminar at 6:00p.m.

Security products will be available for sale at a discounted rate, plus there will be advice regarding property registration and coding.

Come along to find out more, and meet your local officers.