Distraction burglary rates plummet over five years in Herts

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Efforts by police to reduce distraction burglary rates in the county have seen levels of the cruel crime drop by more than 80 per cent over the last five years.

Between April and August this year just 16 distraction burglaries – which involve imposters making their way into homes under the guise of carrying out work or service calls –were reported in Herts. This reflects a 63 per cent reduction on the same period last year, when there were 43. The rate has plummeted since 2008, when the crimes totalled 166.

In Dacorum, 14 offences were committed throughout last year, and this year there have been 9. In the period of April to August this year just one was in Dacorum.

Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said on the figures: “Distraction burglars often prey upon some of the most vulnerable people in our society and their crimes can have serious impact on their victims. Therefore I am delighted to hear these results.”

Herts Police have also issued the following guidance about preventing your home from a distraction burglary:

> If you are not expecting anyone and you don’t recognise them, don’t let them into your home. A genuine caller won’t mind coming back at a time when you can arrange to have somebody you trust with you.

> If a person you are expecting comes at the time you have arranged, ask to see their identification before you let them in.

> Never keep large amounts of cash at home. Put it in an account where it is safe.

> Report any suspicious callers using the non-emergency police number 101.