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Cold Callers and Warm Weather Crime Prevention Advice

Alert message sent 17/06/2021 15:13:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police have received reports of cold callers claiming to be from a water utility company. Cold calling in this way can be a cover for criminals planning more serious offences where they gain entry to a home by deception in order to steal while the occupant is distracted.

There are a number of things you can do to prevent distraction burglary and always remember "if in doubt, keep them out":
• Use your door viewer to see who is there and if you open the door put the chain on first
• Always ask for ID and check it with the company before letting someone into your home. 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 with you
• 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 and close the door while you do this
• 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 cold caller, call the police emergency number 999.

During spells of hot weather, secure your doors, even if you are in the house and remember that on a UPVC multi-locking door you may have lifted the handle but until you turn the key on the inside you have not fully locked the door. Close and secure all windows when you leave a room. If you need ventilation, try to open only small windows and consider a lockable window restrictor or a small alarm sensor on larger windows to detect entry. If you go out make sure your property is fully secure and do not advertise you are away from home on social media.

Keep sheds and other outbuildings securely locked. Put all gardening equipment, tools and furniture away when you are not using them. Keep your garden fences in good repair and ensure all side gates are shut and locked.

Ensure all windows are closed and doors locked on your vehicle. Many thefts are from insecure cars and vans.

Do not leave unattended and insecure pedal cycles out the front of your property. Make sure they are kept locked with a heavy duty bike lock.

Please contact us if you have any information relating to crime in your neighbourhood. Report online at call us on 101 or in an emergency dial 999.
Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on free phone 0800 555 111.

You can find further crime prevention advice on our website:

Thank you.
Message sent by
Karen Collins (Police, Admin/Co-ordinator, Wokingham)

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