Community wardens take up fight against bogus callers

Contributed by editor on Aug 17, 2005 - 09:31 PM


Kent community wardens are stepping up the fight to stop bogus callers preying on older and vulnerable people in their homes.

These callers often cheat people out of their money or steal from them while they are distracted.

To tackle this growing problem, Kent County Council’s wardens, local housing groups and crime and disorder partnerships are launching a scheme to increase awareness and offer support to people who could be potential targets. The wardens will be organising a series of talks throughout Kent on distraction burglary and bogus callers and advising older residents what to do.

A further initiative will be the staging of a musical called Trickster at five venues in September for residents from sheltered schemes and other units where people might fall victim to unscrupulous callers. Organised by Southern Housing Group, the performances will take place in Shepway as well as Ashford, Maidstone, Tonbridge and Canterbury starting week beginning September 12. Tickets, transport and refreshments will be free.

The show is a musical following the story of George, an army veteran who falls victim to distraction burglary but carries on his fight to beat the bogus callers. It carries all the messages that the Kent Community Safety team feels are so important, for example keeping the chain on when answering the front door and asking a neighbour for help if necessary.

To help meet the costs of the performances, Kent County Council is giving Southern Housing nearly £2,000 and will donate a free timer switch to people attending the show.  Warden Ian Norman with the cheque for Southern Housing

“It is vital to deter these rogue traders who cause such distress by targeting people in their own homes,� said KCC Cabinet Member for Community Services, Mike Hill. “Our community wardens are continually working very hard to stop these con men while offering advice and support to those who might be vulnerable. The Trickster scheme is a further boost to these efforts.�