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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Distraction burglary

Distraction burglars pretend to be someone they are not in order to gain entry to your home.

Common methods used by distraction burglars

  • pretending to be from a care agency, the council or a utility company investigating a gas or water leak
  • seeking help to leave a note for a neighbour or even asking for a drink of water if they claim to be thirsty or unwell
  • claiming to be in a hurry or emergency and needing to get into your home quickly
  • working in teams, with one person distracting you while the other searches your home

How to prevent it

There are a number of things you can do to prevent distraction burglary. Always remember “if in doubt, keep them out”:

  • use your door viewer to see who’s there
  • if you open the door put the chain on first
  • always ask for ID and check it with the company before letting somebody into your home
  • use the phone number advertised in the phone book or online, as the number on their identity card could be fake. For a utility company, call the customer service department. Close the door while you do this
  • remember that genuine callers won’t mind checks. If you feel at all unsure, schedule a time for the caller to come back when a friend or relative is there
  • for pre-planned appointments with utility companies, a password scheme can be set up

If you feel threatened or in danger by the presence of the caller, call 999.

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