Police operation aims to halt bogus callers in their tracks

Operation Monarda is designed to beat bogus callers
Operation Monarda is designed to beat bogus callers

Officers from Greater Glasgow Police Division will today urge residents to close the door on bogus callers when they launch a high-profile awareness campaign that offers simple, yet effective advice on how to avoid becoming a victim.

Although bogus caller crime has reduced by 64 per cent in the last six months across the Greater Glasgow area, the summer weather can often bring tricksters out to prey on vulnerable people.

Officers, supported by colleagues from Trading Standards, Scottish Fire Service, Care and Repair and the Good Morning Service, will highlight the dangers posed by confidence tricksters who con their way into people’s homes.

As the weather improves and the days are longer, there is a greater chance of someone calling unannounced at your door. Police are reminding people that if someone turns up unexpectedly at your home, whether offering to carry out work, selling something or claiming to be from one of the utility services, you can always ask for identification, call the company to verify the visit or simply refuse entry.

Chief Inspector David Pettigrew, Safer Communities, said: “In the last six months, the number of bogus caller crimes in the Greater Glasgow area has fallen by 64%. There have been 27 bogus caller crimes reported to police compared to 76 recorded for the same period last year.

“Bogus callers can take on a variety of different aliases to try and get through the door. They are very convincing and it’s not always obvious who they are. Our advice would be if in doubt, keep them out.

“Not everyone who comes to your door is up to something. Genuine callers will not mind if you check their ID or call their office to confirm who they are.

“Although anyone can be a target, older people are who these criminals tend to target most because of a perceived vulnerability and it can have a hugely detrimental effect on the life of victims.

“If you can please look out for older relatives and neighbours and report anything suspicious. There is a lot of safety information on our website and available from local community officers and we hope that events like this will highlight what you can do to keep safe and what we and our partner agencies can do to help you.

“We are determined to catch the people responsible for this cowardly crime but we need to hear from those involved. Yes, sometimes people can be embarrassed that they have been duped, but please don’t be, it’s not your fault. Always call police.

There are a number of ways to keep bogus callers at bay, and the police have put together a selection of website links containing useful information.

http://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/personal-safety/doorstep-crime-and-bogus-callers

Well worth a watch – our #BeatDoorstepCrime ad. Simple message: if in doubt - keep them out: https://youtu.be/pQUTZbVnFio

Operation Monarda drives home the message: “If in Doubt, Keep Them Out”.

If someone arrives to your home unexpectedly:

•don’t allow anyone entry to your home unless you have verified their identity by telephone;

•ensure your windows and doors are secure;

•make use of door chains and bars.

Operation Monarda brings together public, private and third sector organisations to help minimise risk and prevent harm to vulnerable and older people from criminals who commit doorstep crime. It operates as a preventative project, and encompasses engagement work with the general public, as well as enforcement work to target criminals.