There are a number of elderly people and vulnerable adults in Bedfordshire who still have to observe self-isolation at home. With fewer neighbours at home during the day, opportunist thieves will see these residents as an easy target for distraction burglary.
Officers are asking people to encourage their vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours to take extra care when answering the door to people they do not know.
They have issued the following advice:
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- Where possible, only answer the door if you know a member of your family, a friend, a carer or a pre-arranged tradesperson is visiting.
- If you have an unexpected caller, use your door chain when answering the door or speak to them through a window. Ensure any other doors to the property are locked before you answer the front door.
- If unsure of the visitor's identity, always ask for their ID first and telephone the company they are purporting to be from. Use the telephone number listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider.
- Many service providers, when they are making the appointment with you, are happy to arrange for their representative to use a password of your choosing.
- Never agree to any work that the caller claims needs to be done to your home. It is okay to say no and turn the person away. If you are able, report the incident to the police on 101 with as much detail as you can provide.
- Even if the person at your door gives you a convincing story as to why they need to enter your house, if you were not expecting them, turn them away immediately and report it to the police on 101.
You can also report suspicious incidents by visiting Bedfordshire Police's online reporting systemand clicking on the green button in the bottom right hand corner.