Police push aims to warn public over doorstep crime

Doors open day at Elgin Police Station
Police in Elgin taking part in week of ‘proactive effort’ on bogus callers

POLICE IN MORAY have been carrying out a series of visits in proactive effort to forewarn businesses and the general public of the dangers posed by bogus callers and doorstep criminals.

A week-long course of action is under way in conjunction with Trading Standards officers throughout the north east to raise awareness in every community, offering simple but effective advice to the public on what they should be looking out for.

This week officers visits several business premises with road policing officers assisting in Elgin. Over 30 vehicles and 54 individuals or contractors were stopped and checked while hundreds of leaflets were distributed with valuable advice.

‘Operation Monarda’ was first established in September 2013 to educate the family and friends of potential victims to be aware of the warning signs, such as suspicious activity at their loved ones homes, excessive attention from workmen, or unusual amounts of money disappearing.

Chief Inspector Kevin Wallace is urging people to tell Police if they know, or suspect someone they know, has become a victim of a bogus caller or doorstep criminal, and is also appealing for those who think they have been targeted to come forward.

Doorstep crime affects some of the most vulnerable members of our society, with perpetrators mainly targeting victims due to a perceived vulnerability, such as age, gender or disability.

He said: “Victims of bogus callers and doorstep crime are often unaware the crime has been committed. When they do realise, they often feel embarrassed by what has happened, and feel they are unable to go to the Police. It goes without saying that in addition to the devastation caused, the crime can have a massive impact on their financial circumstances too.

“I want to reassure the public and send out a strong message to those involved in these activities that it will not be tolerated, and Police will continue to work tirelessly with our partners to put an end to these incidents.

“Doorstep crime can affect anyone but we know that the elderly can be particularly vulnerable. Bogus callers and rogue traders can be extremely convincing in their methods in securing the confidence of potential victims and, sadly, many people are convinced by their lies.

“I would urge anyone who has close contact with potential victims – family, friends and carers – to watch out for suspicious callers or people at their doors, or any suspicious amounts of money disappearing. It is very important to pass on advice to friends, neighbours or family members who may be more likely to be targeted and provide them with the information and confidence to say no.

“Operation Monarda drives home the message ‘If In Doubt, Keep Them Out’, and I could not agree more. People have the right to feel safe in their own homes, and bogus callers and doorstep criminals will not be tolerated.”