Police Scotland has renewed its commitment to tackling doorstep crime and bogus callers with a launch of a new campaign.
More than 1000 incidents and 262 bogus caller crimes were recorded between February 1 and July 31 2015. Approximately £238,300 was taken from victims during this time.
Police Scotland’s latest campaign, Operation Monarda, aims to bring 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.
Victims of bogus callers and doorstep crime are often unaware the crime has been committed until the perpetrators have fled.
They can feel so embarrassed they are unable to go to the police, and often fear a loss of independence if they admit what’s happened, as well as facing possible financial uncertainty in the future.
Speaking at the national launch, Superintendent Ross Aitken, from Safer Communities, said: “Doorstep crime affects some of the most vulnerable people within our communities, and victims are often targeted due to their perceived vulnerability.
“It is a despicable crime which all too often has a hugely detrimental effect on the life of victims.
“This campaign aims to raise awareness of this type of crime and offer simple, yet effective advice to the public on how to avoid falling victim to it.
“There are some easy steps you can take to safeguard yourself from these crimes.
“Do not let callers into your house unless they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
“If you are in any doubt, tell the caller to come back when someone else is home – genuine callers won’t mind rearranging.
“I would also strongly advise against dealing with cold callers for property maintenance and repairs to your home – shop around if you decide you need work done.
“Finally, remember to look out for those in your community and report any suspicious activity immediately either by dialling 101 or 999 in an emergency.”
If you have information regarding doorstep crime, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at the website crimestoppers-uk.org