Doorstep crime which includes distraction burglary, bogus callers and unscrupulous sales people can have a significant impact on the health of older people. Home Office research found in 2003 that elderly victims of distraction burglary declined in health faster than their non-victimised peers.
Today a nationwide initiative is being launched by Operation Liberal, the national team who co-ordinate and collate information about Doorstep Crime for all police forces across the country, offering training to Health & Social Care professionals by providing them with toolkits to assist those at risk of this type of crime.
In Lincolnshire this problem has long been recognised, especially for its many rurally isolated older people. A pilot training scheme in South Kesteven during 2012 gave positive results and has now been rolled out countywide. Operation REPEAT a partnership between Lincolnshire Police, Trading Standards and Community Lincs has been delivering face to face training sessions to Health & Social Care sector staff who themselves have regular direct contact with older and vulnerable people. Once trained they are able to recognise the vulnerabilities of older people, provide them with security advise and watch out for signs of older people coming under pressure from rogue traders.
Health & Social Care professionals are some of the best placed people to monitor those at risk of this type of crime as research suggests 80% of all such victims are already in receipt of health and social care services.
To date this Lincolnshire Partnership has run 13 events for 217 Health & Social Care professionals who are working on a daily basis with over 2600 older and vulnerable people. For further information on the project visit the Doorstep Crime page on the Community Lincs website.
If anyone thinks they have been a victim of doorstep crime they should ring their local police service on 101 or if they receive a call from a bogus caller they should call the police on 999 immediately.