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Distraction Burglaries

With the start of the New Year it’s a chance for people to get into good habits to try and avoid becoming the victim of distraction burglaries.
The number of distraction burglaries in the county as a whole has fallen in the last year but police want to see the number lowered even further.

With New Year resolutions no doubt falling by the wayside, Northamptonshire Police would like to see every householder keep one – If you are not sure, don’t open the door.

From January to December 2006 there was 234 distraction burglaries in Northamptonshire compared with 211 for the same period of 2007.

A police spokesperson said: “We treat distraction burglaries very seriously and good preventative work and good investigation are both equally important.

“We would encourage people in the community to pass on the message that distraction burglars can be beaten. Rogue workmen and distraction burglars rely on engaging someone in conversation as the fist step towards getting into their home. If people can remember not to open the door if they are not expecting someone to call, we can help cut the number of people who become victims of this callous crime even further.”

There is some clear guidance for people with regard to avoiding becoming the victim of distraction burglars.

- If you are not sure, don’t open the door.
- Keep your front door, back door and windows locked at all times – even if you are expecting someone.
- Fit a spyhole so that you can see who is there. Choose one with built-in intercom or speak to callers through a window to find out what they want.
- Don’t be tricked. Only open the door if you know the caller – or if they have made a written appointment to see you. Genuine callers won’t mind.
- ID cards are easy to reproduce so don’t trust them. Never use phone numbers printed on ID cards to verify the callers ID, instead ring the appropriate number given here.
- Set up a password with utility companies. If the caller doesn’t know your password then they aren’t genuine.
- Don’t use tradesmen who call offering to do work. Good quality workmen will be too busy to look for business this way.
- Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home – use a bank account instead.
- Avoid buying or selling any goods or services at the door.
- Ring Police if you have received a visit from anyone you are suspicious of – you may prevent your neighbour from becoming a victim.
Write down the vehicle number / telephone number but . . .

. . . Don't keep it to yourself . . .
. . . let us know if you have any suspicions.

Genuine businesses won't mind being spoken to & checked out, as these criminals ae taking business away from them. Please do not place yourself at risk at any time. You can pass on any details or concerns in a number of ways (see above).

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