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Distraction Burglary During the Festive Season

Alert message sent 14/12/2020 11:02:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

What is Distraction Burglary?

Distraction burglary is where criminals call at your house posing as officials or asking for your help with something. They make up a story to get in to your home. Generally targeting older people, they have just one intention: to steal!

How Do They Operate?
  • Some work alone, but often they work in groups of two or more, usually one person will knock at your door with a convincing excuse that seems genuine or urgent
  • The talker will persuade you to let them into your house and keep you occupied whilst others sneak in and search your house to steal cash and valuables
  • They can be men, women or children and sometimes a combination, smartly or casually dressed.
A genuine caller will happily wait outside while you check on them by calling their organisation and or calling a family member or neighbour.

Victim Support - If you have been a victim of distraction burglary, the police will give your details to the charity Victim Support (unless you ask them not to). They will call you to find out if you need any support and explain how they can help. This can include sending a specially trained volunteer to help you come to terms with the crime as well as practical support (eg. improving home security).

If you want to contact them immediately, Ring their national Support line on 0845 30 30 900. Find out more at

Age UK -  is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged . Their mission is to promote the well-being of all older people and to help make later life a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. For further information and advice, call 0800 169 6565 or visit

Consumer Direct - If you need help or advice regarding a trader contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06, they can also offer advice on selecting a reputable trader in your area.

Energy companies -  offer the Priority Service Register (except N.Ireland), you are able to set up a personal password for gas and electricity staff to use every time they call at your home. This will confirm they are genuine. To join the scheme, call the (freephone) Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99, or contact your energy supplier directly. Joining the Priority Service Register also entitles you other free services.

Water Companies - Water company employees expect to wait outside while you check their identity. Use the number on your water bill or telephone directory to call your water supplier every time. For extra protection you can also call the same number to register a password.
Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (NHWN) represents all Neighbourhood Watch & Home Watch members across England & Wales. Tel: 0116 2293 118. Further information can also be found on the official website at  or email  

Message sent by
Christine Lyle (Police, Neighbourhood Admin, West Oxfordshire)

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