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4 March 2010, 13:15
‘Not Sure?...Dont Open The Door’ is the message at the heart of the Operation Liberal campaign to make people aware of the tactics used by distraction burglars and how they can protect themselves.
Distraction burglary is where a bogus caller tells lies to con their way into a home to steal possessions, or creates a diversion so an accomplice can sneak in. These criminals often use fake identities including water, gas and electricity company personnel.
In 2009, across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight there were 98 reported distraction burglaries which was a 65 per cent decrease compared to 2008 when 249 offences were reported.
Nationally there was a 34 per cent decrease during the same period.
For Hampshire Constabulary the average number of distraction burglary offences reported per month has reduced from 33 in 2007 to 8 per month in 2009.
South East Regional lead for Distraction Burglary Detective Chief Inspector Peter Gallagher said: “Distraction burglars usually target elderly and vulnerable people in our communities and it can often have a devastating effect both emotionally and physically on the victim. We are continually encouraging victims to report incidents of distraction burglary and making people aware of the tactics that people use to get entry in to their homes. It is vital that people check the identity of any stranger who calls at their home and if they have any concerns to call the police immediately.”
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