Keeping bogus callers at bay
Police in North Yorkshire have launched an awareness campaign to target bogus callers and help prevent distraction burglaries.
It is centred around a video which has been funded by money raised from the sale of a vehicle owned by a gang of convicted distraction burglars.
The film shows a reconstruction of a typical distraction burglary and the effect it has on the victim and her family, including her granddaughter.
Elderly and vulnerable people are the main target of these criminals, so the campaign is highlighting how distraction burglars operate and what to do when confronted with an unexpected caller at their door.
The message from police is simple - Not sure? Don't open the door!
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Smith said: "Having investigated a series of such offences across the country, I have seen only too well, the effect it has on older people.
"They can become withdrawn, their health can deteriorate and in some very sad cases they never recover from their ordeal. Older people should be allowed to live in peace without suffering the distress which these people cause. It is beholden on all of us to take notice of those who come calling in these circumstances.
"By taking some simple preventative measures, such as locking your doors and refusing entry to anyone who comes to your door who you don't know, will help stop these criminals taking advantage.
"Remember, that if you ever feel threatened by a caller, you must ring the police on 999 - don't hesitate. As well as protecting yourself, you could help us stop others from being targeted."
The film will be shown across North Yorkshire and the City of York, with venues including day centres, community centres and schools.
A shorter and silent version of the film will be shown on screens in seven libraries.