Doorstep Crime – Crime Prevention Advice

Help protect the people you care for from falling victim to doorstep crime.

Every day in Northamptonshire people are prone to falling victim to doorstep crime. Most of the victims are elderly or vulnerable.

Whether you are caring for a family member, working as a professional in the community care or community safety field, or just keeping an eye out for a neighbour, you may be the only person that has regular contact with the person(s) you care for and can play a vital role in preventing them from becoming a victim.

Doorstep crime takes two forms:

Distraction Burglary Tactics

Distraction Burglars or ‘bogus callers’ will call at a house with the intention of tricking their way inside to steal money and/or other valuables.

  • Distraction burglars may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the water board, the council, the police, health organisations or charities.
  • They may say they need to turn off the water because of a leak, use the phone because their car has broken down, or perhaps say they have lost a pet.
  • The caller may be a man, a woman or even a child and they will use any story they can to try and gain access to the property.

Rogue Doorstep Traders’ Tactics

Rogue Doorstep Traders will use a trade as a means to extract large sums of money from people.

  • Offering services such as driveway re-surfacing, block paving, roofing, fascias, gardening or selling goods such as furniture, alarms or mobility aids.
  • They may claim you have a loose roof tile or that a tree you have is unsafe and needs to be trimmed.
  • They will often give a very low quote that will increase when work begins.
  • Sometimes they will drive victims to the bank and will often come back on future occasions to get more money.

If you have any suspicions or concerns that distraction burglars or rogue doorstep traders are operating in your community or targeting someone you know, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated doorstep crime hotline:

0345 23 07 702

What can you do to protect the person you care for?

  • Make the person aware that they are never required to open their door to unexpected callers and that it is not rude to send someone away.
  • Reinforce the message “IF YOU’RE NOT SURE DON’T OPEN THE DOOR”.
  • Explain the tactics used by rogue doorstep traders and distraction burglars.
  • Encourage the person to set up passwords with their utility companies.
  • Try to ensure that the outside of the property is well maintained, including the garden. Properties that are poorly maintained may be targeted.
  • Advise the person not to keep money in the house and to keep credit cards, debit cards, cheque books, savings books and any other valuables in a safe place.
  • Display a ‘No Cold Calling Home’ sticker to discourage unwanted callers. These can be obtained by contacting susan.fletcher
  • If they need any home improvement work carried out, help them to select a Trading Standards approved trader by contacting the ‘Buy With Confidence’ scheme on 0300 126 1000 or bwc or go to the website
  • Reinforce this advice on a regular basis and always ask if anything unusual has happened or whether anyone has called at the property uninvited.

Report non-emergency crime and any suspicious vehicles or activity in your area to us on 101 or online at

In an emergency, call 999.

Find more advice on crime prevention at


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