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Doorstep Crime

Alert message sent 05/10/2017 14:51:00

Information sent on behalf of Dorset Alert

Sherborne Neighbourhood Policing Team wishes to remind everyone to be aware of doorstep crime in the area. We continue to have reports of residents accepting work from rogue traders who have approached their property without an invite or appointment.

What is doorstep crime?

Doorstep crime falls into two categories:

  1. Distraction burglars will attempt to use convincing stories to manipulate their way into someone's home. They may claim to be from a reputable authority such as the police or the council, be a representative from a utility company or even be a neighbour looking for a lost ball. Once inside the property, they will steal goods themselves, or distract the homeowner while an unseen accomplice takes items of value.
  2. Rogue traders will approach a property and offer services such as gardening work, gutter clearing, window cleaning or other house maintenance. They may claim that this work is necessary for their own safety, or that a local council has authorised the work. They carry out unnecessary or overpriced work, at a cost often higher than originally quoted.

If you receive an unexpected call at your door from someone offering to do work, please follow the below advice:

  • Always remember to put the chain on the door before opening it.
  • Do not phone any telephone number provided by the caller, it could be bogus.
  • Always check the caller’s identity by phoning the number in the telephone book. Shut the door and get them to wait outside. A genuine caller will be happy to wait.
  • Never agree to any work offered on the doorstep, no matter how urgent the caller says it is.
  • Always get three quotes for work and if possible get recommendations from family and friends.
  • Never pay cash up front.
  • A trader must provide you with cancellation rights in writing.
  • If you are concerned or intimidated by a caller at your door then please call Dorset Police on 999.

For more information, or to report anything suspicious, please call Dorset Police on 101.

Message sent by
Simon Wakely (Dorset Police, PCSO 7439, Sherborne Town)

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