CHESHIRE police are warning members of the public to be vigilant of bogus callers as part of a national burglary awareness campaign.
The Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) burglary awareness campaign runs is running until December and features three themed weeks.
From November 26- 30, ACPO will be focusing on distraction burglary. with all forces taking action to target thieves and share crime prevention advice with the public.
Distraction burglary is any crime where a falsehood, trick or distraction is used on an occupant of a dwelling to gain, or try to gain, access to the premises to commit burglary.
Investigations show that distraction burglars are usually members of highly organised crime groups who deliberately travel extensively throughout the UK in order to commit crime.
In September this year, a 34-year-old woman was jailed for two years following a distraction burglary in Cheshire.
The offender knocked on the door of a property and asked the householder, an elderly lady, for a glass of water. While the victim was in the kitchen, the offender stole her purse.
Nottinghamshire police's Assistant Chief Constable, Paul Broadbent said: "We’ve chosen to focus on distraction burglaries because this crime can have a profoundly negative effect on victims lives.
“Research has found that 40% of victims reported a change in their quality of life.
“We also know this is an under-reported crime: research suggests that less than 10% of these types of crimes are reported to the police.
“Although there is potential for anyone to be a victim, the most typical victim is 77 years old, female and lives alone. They often feel embarrassed, intimidated and are scared of losing their independence so I want to reassure people that the police will do all that they can to support and protect victims who do come forward.”
He added: “Police are working hard to tackle distraction burglary and will continue to do so but we want to use this week to alert people to this crime. “If you remember anything about distraction burglary, let it be that if you're not sure, don't open the door.
“Please pass this message on to anyone that you think could be vulnerable to distraction burglary."
For more information and for tips and advice about how to protect your home from burglary, visit the Cheshire police website www.cheshire.police.uk.