POLICE are using education as a weapon to prevent the vulnerable and elderly becoming victims of doorstep fraudsters.
A number of crime-prevention events are planned in a bid to make people more aware of how to spot bogus callers.
Northumbria Police has produced a leaflet entitled ‘If in doubt, keep them out!’, which will be handed out from stalls manned by officers next week.
The stall will be at St Aidan’s Church in Ryhope Road, Grangetown, from 9.30am to 11.30am on Monday. It will then visit Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens on Tuesday, from 11am to 2pm, followed by the Salvation Army in Cairo Street on Friday, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
Neighbourhood Inspector Jamie Southwell said: “We want to remind people to make sure they’re confident that a visitor is who they say they are, by checking with the organisation they say they’re from, before letting a stranger into their home. Genuine visitors won’t mind waiting while you telephone their organisation to check them out. Remember, your safety must come first.
“We know bogus callers can target the more vulnerable members of our communities, including the elderly, and we want to help people by raising awareness of crime prevention and give people advice they can use to keep their property and themselves safe.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird added: “I’m determined to see crime continue to be reduced, and it’s initiatives such as this that are helping us do that.
“I would encourage anyone who wants crime-prevention advice or who has any concerns to come along to one of these events or speak to a local officer.”