Home Office burglary campaign

The Home Office is launching a public education campaign to warn the elderly and vulnerable about so-called distraction burglaries.

Concentrating mainly on the regional media, the campaign will target the elderly and vulnerable people such as the disabled and their carers, to raise awareness of bogus callers. It will be designed to help tackle burglars who pose as utility workers or council staff to get into people’s houses.

The publicity drive, managed by The Forster Company, which has just finished a Government influenza campaign, is targeting the at-risk group to make them aware of how they can prevent such distraction burglaries.

It will encourage homeowners and carers to be on their guard, enforcing the message of ‘stop, chain and check ID’.

A COI Communications spokeswoman added: ‘I do not think the elderly are more difficult to reach than other groups, but we do have to target our message and strategy accordingly, so local and regional media will be key targets.’

The campaign is also expected to involve groups such as the Women’s Institute to distribute posters and leaflets to the target group.

The Home Office decided to run a campaign after a survey recommended raising awareness of the issue through TV advertising and warnings from professionals.

Around 16,000 distraction burglaries from older people were reported for 1999-2000. This figure rose to 19,400 for 2000-2001.

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