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Leicestershire supports Crimestoppers distraction burglary campaign
The crime-fighting charity, Crimestoppers, is today launching a list of 10 'Most Wanted' people sought in connection with distraction burglaries.
The campaign, which is supported by Leicestershire Constabulary, also warns people to be careful about who they let into their homes, as the traditional peak time for this crime approaches (February/March). Distraction burglary is a crime which particularly effects elderly people, the average age of a victim is 81-years-old.
Crimestoppers has been working with Operation Liberal, the unit which provides a national intelligence overview of distraction burglary crime, which has produced the list of 10 'Most Wanted' individuals.
Distraction burglary is any crime where a falsehood, trick or distraction is used on a house to gain, or try to gain, access to the premises to commit burglary. Violence is increasingly being used by offenders against the elderly in order to gain entry to their homes and steal their property.
Weather related distraction burglary methods have been reported from various parts of the country with the criminals using tactics such as: clearing snow off drives for a small amount, then stealing from the house when the victim goes to pay and telling victims they need to check boilers, frozen pipes and radiators because of the bad weather.
Prevention advice on this crime type is available at: THIS LINK
Lord Ashcroft, KCMG, Founder and Chair of Crimestoppers said: "Distraction burglars are clearly hideous individuals as they tend to prey on elderly, vulnerable people to rob them of life-long treasured possessions and money, by using devious tactics and in many cases, violence. Some victims suffer a decline in health and even die as a result of the trauma caused by these criminals. If you have any information on these wanted individuals, please contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously, we guarantee that no one will know your identity."
Dame Vera Lynn, Co-Patron of Sussex Crimestoppers branch, said: "As someone who has been a victim of burglary several times, I can't reinforce enough how frightening it is. Worse than having your possessions taken, is having your confidence stolen as well. A home is where everyone should feel safe and relaxed, not anxious and worried at what might happen. We must not let these despicable criminals get away with traumatising people and stealing treasured possessions. I fully support the charity's campaign and urge the public help bring justice to victims by passing on information they may have about distraction burglars to Crimestoppers anonymously."
"Operation Liberal works together with all UK police forces to target and bring to justice those individuals who prey on the vulnerable in society. Our message is - if you're not sure who is calling, then don't open the door, check their identity first.
"There have been many recent examples of vigilant members of the public reporting suspicious behaviour to the police which has led to a number of distraction burglars being arrested. We want this to continue.
"Should anyone have information about someone they believe is carrying out these terrible crimes please call police or if you prefer, phone Crimestoppers, who will treat your call anonymously."
To view the 10 'most wanted' individuals visit THIS SITE
If you have any information that may help the police in any of their enquiries please contact Leicestershire Police on 0116 22 22 222 or alternatively if you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crimestoppers free on 0800 555 111 Or contact your neighbourhood officers via the Police Website