Reinforcing the protection we give to vulnerable residents from doorstep crime was the focus during a week of police action (April 11 to April 15, 2016) across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Hampshire Constabulary supported Operation Rogue Trader, which involved police forces and trading standards services all over the country.
Activities to maintain Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as a hostile environment for doorstep criminals included:
The arrest of suspects;
Identifying vehicles used by criminals;
Conducting patrols based on intelligence about suspects;
Making reassurance visits in areas where older or vulnerable people live;
Holding beat surgeries in local banks and post offices where victims can be duped by offenders into withdrawing money or sharing personal financial information.
These types of criminals knock on the door pretending to be someone else. They distract the resident to gain entry and steal items from inside, sometimes with an accomplice. Offenders may pretend to have lost a pet or claim they need to use your home phone. They may claim they are from a council, bank, utility supplier, or even police.
The Operation Rogue Trader lead for Hampshire Constabulary, Chief Inspector Dave Winter said:
“Our officers are relentless in their efforts to track and disrupt the activities of distraction burglars and rogue traders who try to manipulate and exploit the trust of the victims they prey upon.
“Action is ongoing but so far this week we’ve arrested a suspect for fraud by false representation; he is now on bail until next month (May 2016). Officers also seized a vehicle after its driver, a suspected rogue trader, was found to have no tax.
“We’ve visited more than 1,400 people specifically to give advice and reassurance. I’d like to thank Neighbourhood Watch, local authorities, banks, shops, post offices, and the many members of the public we’ve met this week for their support.”
A series of videos giving advice and information about protection from the various forms of doorstep crime can be watched on Hampshire Constabulary’s Facebook page and @HantsPolice Twitter channel throughout today (Friday, April 15). Please follow using the hashtag #roguetrader16
Our key advice to members of the public:
Lock: All doors, even when at home. Use a chain or spy hole Stop: Unknown people from entering your home. Tell: Police about unwanted or suspicious callers, phone us on 101.
And remember if you’re not sure, just don’t open the door.
• If you feel threatened call 999
• Deaf? Mini-com call users call 18001 101 or send a text to 07781 480999
• Want to stay anonymous? Call the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111
Further information and crime prevention advice can be found on the doorstep crime prevention page of the force’s website:
Operation Rogue Trader is led by Operation Liberal, the national intelligence unit that links associated crimes and gathers intelligence on suspects and organised crime groups who travel extensively throughout the UK.