Police launch distraction burglary crackdown in Fenland with 'no cold call' zones

PUBLISHED: 11:33 05 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:33 02 June 2010

AN operation to tackle distraction burglaries across Fenland – and raise awareness of how to reduce risks of becoming a victim – launched today. Operation Liberal sees a number of events taking place to highlight the problem of distraction burglaries, as

AN operation to tackle distraction burglaries across Fenland - and raise awareness of how to reduce risks of becoming a victim - launched today.

Operation Liberal sees a number of events taking place to highlight the problem of distraction burglaries, as part of a nationwide campaign.

As part of the initiative a poster campaign will be used to be highlight crime prevention advice.

A 'no cold call' area has also been set up in Wisbech and Leverington as part of the campaign.

It comes as figures reveal there were 36 distraction burglaries in Fenland last year.

Shirley Simpson, crime reduction manager for Cambridgeshire Police, said: "Distraction burglars deliberately target the elderly and vulnerable, tricking their way into people's homes and leaving behind a frighten victim.

"The national campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness of the techniques offenders use and what precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of becoming a victim."

Last Year there was 157 distraction burglaries at homes in Cambridgeshire - 67 in Northern Division (Peterborough), 36 in Central Division (Fenland and Huntingdonshire) and 54 in Southern Division (Cambridge and surrounding areas).

Det Supt Tony Ixer said: "Distraction burglary is a despicable crime and one the force is committed to targeting.

"If we are to beat the distraction burglar we need the public's help. I would encourage people to look out for suspicious activity in their neighbourhood. The distraction burglar will usually visit the area prior to a burglary.

"It is therefore vital that we keep an eye on the comings and going in our neighbourhoods and report any suspicious activity."

Several 'no cold calls' areas will be set up across the county. The scheme was launched in 2002 by the Distraction Burglary and Rogue Trader Taskforce to crackdown on distraction burglaries and rogue traders in the county.

The Wisbech and Leverington zone started on Wednesday (March 3).

Mrs Simpson said: "The 'no cold call' initiative is about empowering residents in areas with elderly and vulnerable people to have the confidence to say 'no' to uninvited salespeople.

"At the same time it is a warning to rouge traders that they are not welcome in the area


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