Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Keep yourself safe from doorstep crime

Trading standards are launching their summer campaign to raise awareness of doorstep crime, rogue traders, and distraction burglaries throughout Cardiff. Doorstep criminals use a variety of tactics to deceive the victim to get into their home to steal valuables. They often claim to be from the water board, an electricity company, local council or other organisations and they will try to pressurise or confuse the person who answers the door. Often they may carry an official looking Photo-ID, and wear an official looking jacket or overall.

Trading Standards recommends the following tips to avoid the Rogue Traders -

Before they knock at the door:

- Consider setting up a password with your utility suppliers

- Trading Standards and South Wales police support a 'Nominated Neighbour' scheme whereby vulnerable members of the community can nominate a neighbour who will check the callers' identity and then return with the caller.

- Consider installing a wireless intercom with a Bogus Caller Button or Pendant Buttons with the Community Alarm Service at Cardiff Council.

- Do not be afraid to chain your door or speak to caller while your door is locked.

- If in doubt, keep them out.

When they knock at the door:

- Be wary of any business literature that only gives a mobile phone number. They are difficult to trace.

- ID Cards are very easy to fake on a computer. Use a phone number from the telephone directories or directory enquires to see if the caller is genuine.

- If you let someone in – stay with them at all times.

- Never part with money, documents or other things whatever they say.

- Get more than one estimate for work.

- Official organisations usually write first. Have you had a letter?

- If you feel afraid, harassed, threatened or intimidated by a caller, call the Police on 999 straight away.

For more information, or to arrange a free informative talk for your community group, contact Cardiff Trading Standards on 02920 872 059, or at Tradingstandards@cardiff.gov.uk

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