Drama unfolded at a community safety event when local actors staged three mini-performances to highlight the dangers of ‘cold callers’.
More than 50 older people from the Dungannon area gathered to see the Gillygooley Players act out scenarios mirroring the tactics used by rogue traders, bogus callers and distraction burglaries in an event organised by Mid Ulster Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), Agewell and the PSNI, to see three mini-performances by
Attendees also received ‘No Cold Calling’ window stickers and information leaflets devised by the police and Trading Standards which help to act as a deterrent to cold callers and also provide a contact number to report suspicious callers.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council’s Development Committee, Councillor Frances Burton, said:
“Using actors to create a real-life scenario really helps to bring home the messages around cold calling and to raise awareness among some of the most vulnerable in our communities of the need to be vigilant when anyone unexpected or without an appointment calls at their door”.
Crime Prevention Officer, Joanne Smyth said:
“We understand that many callers are genuine but we wanted to inform attendees of what to do if a caller is not known to you. It is important to think before you open the door - use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them. Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine callers from utility companies should carry a photographic identification card. Check this carefully, if you are unsure telephone QuickCheck on 0800 013 22 90. Trained staff can let you know if this person is legitimate. We do not recommend you buy goods or services from cold callers – always use reputable tradespersons. If in doubt, ask them to leave a calling card and check them out. Report anything suspicious to police using 101 and Trading Standards on 0845 600 6262. Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere that may encourage you to leave your house. If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, don’t let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return.”
Shauna Kehoe, Agewell Manager, said:
“From our experience working directly with older and vulnerable people across Mid Ulster from 2010, this has been a very relevant issue. We are delighted to work in collaboration with Mid Ulster PCSP and Crime Prevention Officer (PSNI) to promote the information and advice on this issue in a friendly non-invasive way.”
Anyone who would like further information should contact Mid Ulster Policing and Community Safety Partnership on 03000 132 132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.