Doorstep crackdown

A SPECIAL operation to crackdown on doorstep crime is being launched by police in Portishead. Police in the town have joined forces with organisations

A SPECIAL operation to crackdown on doorstep crime is being launched by police in Portishead.Police in the town have joined forces with organisations including Trading Standards, local banks, schools, Help the Aged, Neighbourhood Watch the North Somerset Times and Portishead Local Action Team to launch Operation Jackal.The drive follows concerns about doorstep crime in the town and, in particular, the elderly people who fall victim to it.Many pensioners have been tricked by conmen who either claim to be bogus workers or rogue builders visiting their properties, then stealing cash or goods from inside.As part of the drive to crackdown on bogus callers, police will be visiting sheltered accommodation across the town to deliver 'Stop Doorstep Crime Packs' which include an advice sheet, contact details of local police and crime prevention items.OAPs will also be referred to the BobbyVan scheme to ensure they have the right locks on their doors and spy holes and door chains are fitted correctly.Officers will also be visiting banks, post offices and building societies to speak to staff to ensure they are following the correct code of practice and being cautious when elderly customers take out large amounts of money.Local schoolchildren will also be supporting the scheme and are being asked to design special cards to give to elderly relatives and friends.Each card will feature the child's own design on the front and include crime prevention tips as well as useful contacts on the inside.Wardens, carers and neighbours of elderly people will also be advised on how they can help pensioners avoid becoming victims of doorstep crime.Portishead Police Community Support Officer Deborah Charman, who is leading the Operation Jackal project, said: "Everybody is a potential victim but senior citizens and vulnerable adults are most at risk from doorstep crime."We hope that Operation Jackal will help highlight the risks faced by the older section of the community and make them more cautious when dealing with doorstep callers."A special JACKAL doorstep code has been drawn up as part of the campaign in a bid to provide a step by step checklist for people when dealing with doorstep callers. Follow this advice:J - Just take a second to look through a window.A - Always use a spy hole.C - Check the back door is locked.K -Keep your front doors shut and talk through it.A - Ask for ID.L - Learn a password that you can remember.Anyone wanting to find out more about Operation Jackal should call into Portishead Police Station.

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