Bogus callers given the boot in Leeds by project funded through recovered proceeds of crime money (22 Mar 2016)

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson has awarded £1426 to tackle bogus callers in Garforth.

The scheme has been created by West Yorkshire Police and has been funded through the PCC's Safer Communities Fund.

The money is being used to provide a proactive response to reports of bogus callers from the elderly in Garforth, to build up relationships and to enable the elderly to feel safer through community cohesion and reduction in offences.

West Yorkshire Police are going to implement a Nominated Neighbour Scheme (NNS) in Garforth and work with West Yorkshire Joint Services to introduce and expand cold calling zones in appropriate areas, where there are high proportions of elderly people.

The NNS has been used successfully in North West Leeds and comprises of a leaflet with a card for the elderly person to show to any caller. The message on the card reads "I have been advised by the Police not to let you in. Please speak to my nominated neighbour" with a space for the neighbour's details. The leaflet contains information for the nominated neighbour and some general advice and support.

Mark Burns-Williamson said "The money which funds the Safer Communities Fund is recovered directly from criminals by West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors and it's fantastic to see it being used to directly help people who are vulnerable.

"It is truly heartening to see how a relatively small amount of money can make such a big difference.

"Bogus burglaries are disgraceful crimes and cold callers can cause a huge amount of stress and anxiety. This project will go a long way to protecting the vulnerable residents of Garforth from these threats."

Sergeant Paul Denison, of the Outer East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "This funding will give a real boost to our ongoing work to help keep the elderly and vulnerable in our communities safe from criminals who can see them as an easy target.

"While bogus caller incidents are thankfully relatively rare, they can have a lasting traumatic impact on the victim and we are keen to do all we can to help prevent them.

"The nominated neighbour scheme is a simple and effective way of keeping people safe and we hope that as more people sign up to the scheme it will help to create a deterrent effect in the minds of criminals.

"Cold calling can be intimidating and irritating, even when done by legitimate organisations, but it is often a tactic used by bogus callers and rogue traders who are out to rip people off.

"The establishment and expansion of cold calling control zones provides a further line of defence against these criminals as it gives residents the confidence to say no to any uninvited visitors who call at their homes."

The Safer Communities Fund is currently open for applications with £130,000 available for good causes across West Yorkshire. For more information visit /safer-communities-fund.aspx  



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