Headlines: April 27th, 2000

Burglars posing as council officials, police or utility workers in order to gain access to homes are going to find life more difficult in the future following a partnership commitment between the public, private and voluntary sectors. The package of measures include a nationwide leaflet drop by the National Neighbourhood Watch Association, the creation of 20 pilot schemes to help identify ways to tackle this crime and the setting up of a steering group to co-ordinate activities. .There are over 16,000 reports of bogus caller fraud every year but it is believed that the true figure is four or five time higher, because people feel a sense of shame at having to admit that they trusted someone enough to let them into their homes without checking identification first. The average age of victims is 81 and 60 per cent are female, with the majority living alone.

The initiative will be co-ordinated by a steering group comprising Government and industry, led by the water companies, British Gas and the Electricity Association. Representatives on the group include ACPO, Age Concern, BT security, Crime Concern, Crimestoppers, Help the Aged, the Institute of Trading Standards, National Neighbourhood Watch Association, Water UK and WRVS.

Information provided by Horn Ltd, suppliers of specialist police information http://www.Horn.ltd.uk