Police Launch Campaign To Tackle Distraction Burglary

CAMBRIDGESHIRE police are running events to highlight the problem of distraction burglary as part of a national campaign. Operation Liberal launched on Friday (March 5) and aims to help tackle distraction burglary and raise awareness of how to reduce the

CAMBRIDGESHIRE police are running events to highlight the problem of distraction burglary as part of a national campaign.

Operation Liberal launched on Friday (March 5) and aims to help tackle distraction burglary and raise awareness of how to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

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

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


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"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 (2009) there were 157 distraction burglaries at homes in Cambridgeshire

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Detective Superintendent Tony Ixer said: "Distraction burglary is a despicable crime and one the force is committed to targeting

"We regularly use the national database to share information with other forces to ensure those responsible are caught."

"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 goings in our neighbourhoods and report any suspicious activity."

Several `no cold call' areas will be set up as part of the force's commitment to tackling distraction burglary

The 'no cold call' scheme was launched in 2002 by the distraction burglary and rogue trader taskforce to crackdown on distraction burglaries and rogue traders in the county.

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 rogue traders that they are not welcome in the area."

No cold call zones will be set up in:

Wisbech and Leverington on March 3

Meynell Walk, Peterborough

Lingwood Park, Longthorpe.

In Cambridge officers will be delivering crime prevention advice to elderly and vulnerable residents at a series of events.

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