No Cold Calling zone to deter bogus callers

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No Cold Calling zone to deter bogus callers

Posted: 23/04/2007 09:35:29

The first No Cold Calling Zone in the Cotswolds is to be launched on Monday, April 23rd as part of a special week of events to help and reassure older people on crime and safety issues.

The Zone, which covers The Park estate in Stow-on-the-Wold, aims to stop residents becoming the victims of distraction crimes and bogus callers.

It is being launched at the start of Community Safety Week - a joint initiative between Cotswold District Council, Gloucestershire Police, Neighbourhood Watch, Fosseway Housing Association, People For You and Village Agents.

Signs will be attached to lamp-posts in the area warning cold callers that uninvited salespeople are not welcome and giving the number of the bogus callers helpline.

The Council's Community Safety Manager Les Haines said: "From time to time, we see residents caught off guard by callers to their homes who claim to be someone they are not in order to gain entry to houses and steal property.

"These crimes are particularly distressing for older people and the aim of Community Safety Week is to reassure them that there is plenty they can do to prevent themselves becoming the victims of confidence tricksters.

"No Cold Calling Zones have proved successful elsewhere in the country and we are hoping the signs will send out a strong message that residents are keeping an eye out for suspicious behaviour.

"We'll be out and about around the District talking to residents, carers, neighbours and families giving advice on staying safe and protecting valuables.”

During the week Les and colleagues from the Council, Police and Neighbourhood Watch will be visiting Fosseway sheltered housing schemes in Stow-on-the-Wold, Cirencester, Fairford and Bourton-on-the-Water, to spread the word among residents.

The team will also be attending a coffee morning for an older people's group in Tetbury, hosting an open day at Moreton Area Centre and a gathering for parishes at Great Barrington village hall.

Pupils from local schools have been asked to attend the sessions to help bridge the generation gap between younger and older people.

Les said: "Some older people can be very wary of young people, while teenagers simply don't understand what it is like to be elderly. By getting them together to talk, we can start to break down those barriers."

Stella Page, Supported Housing Team Leader for Fosseway Housing Association, part of the Bromford Housing Group, said: "Fosseway are always keen to make our residents feel as safe and secure as possible, and we are delighted to be involved with Community Safety Week.

"The Community Safety team are visiting many of our Sheltered Housing Schemes to give out information and safety tips to help make our residents aware of bogus callers. They will be utilising the resident coffee mornings and also working with Neighbourhood Watch Teams."

One of the chief aims of the week is to reassure residents that the Cotswold District is an area of low crime and that the fear of becoming a victim is greater than the reality. This is borne out by the results of a recent survey, which shows 95 per cent of those questioned said they felt fairly or very safe out walking in their neighbourhood during the day. The figure fell to 66 per cent after dark, but is still a reflection of the safety of the District.

* The public can drop in to the Community Safety Week event at Moreton Area Centre between 10am and 4pm on Tuesday, April 24.

* Parishes and community groups are welcome to attend the Neighbourhood Watch event especially aimed at rural areas at Great Barrington Village hall on Wednesday, April 25th between 2pm and 4pm.


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