Services join together to fight Cumbernauld bogus callers

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:56 BST on Thursday 12th July 2012.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and Strathclyde Police have joined forces with each other to protect North Lanarkshire residents from bogus callers.

The joint venture will see the emergency services work in tandem with the Bogus Caller Task Force, to help protect North Lanarkshire’s most vulnerable from bogus callers.

Commenting, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Area Commander John Joyce said: “This is an excellent initiative that informs residents of the dangers of Bogus Callers and gives them some advice that will help keep them safe in their homes. We welcome the opportunity to assist our partners in delivering their Community Safety message, and this particular partnership will have real benefits for the local community.”

Official advice shows that there are many ways in which people’s privacy can be invaded, with a great deal of time being wasted having to deal with junk mail, telephone sales calls and doorstep traders.

In order to combat unscrupulous practices, North Lanarkshire Trading Standards, Strathclyde Police and the Bogus Callers Task Force in North Lanarkshire, have compiled a booklet of useful information and contact details. This information has been put together to assist the “vulnerable and elderly” residents of North Lanarkshire, who at times can be victims of “pressure sales methods” and scams that are designed to provide goods or services that are not required or to steal from the occupier.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue say that they have regularly encountered bogus callers whilst on Home Fire Safety visits and as a result each Community Fire Station in North Lanarkshire has been given a supply of booklets and adhesive labels to distribute when conducting Home Fire Safety Visits.

In addition to stickers and advice booklets, a DVD has also been produced with the assistance of Ford Kiernan which has a running time of 22 minutes. The DVD highlights six different scenarios and gives advice for the occupier on each scenario.

Commenting, Group Commander Edward Mullen said “Many of the groups that Strathclyde Fire & Rescue engage with through Home Fire Safety Visits are also very likely to become the focus for bogus callers. Through the Community Planning process we have agreed with the Bogus Callers Task Force, to distribute “Doorstep Advice” when our operational crews carry out a Home Fire Safety Visits in North Lanarkshire.  This advice consists of a small “Doorstep Advice” booklet and an adhesive “No cold calling” label for the occupier’s front door.”

Constable Alan Mulholland, Chairman of the Bogus Caller Task Force added: “We are delighted that Strathclyde Fire and Rescue are spreading the message of unscrupulous traders when they attend on Home Fire Safety Visits.  This is a huge benefit to the task force who are always looking for new ways for messages to be passed to members of the public in relation to Doorstep Crime and in particular the socially isolated.  Strathclyde Fire and Rescue offered to assist by having booklets and the education DVD on hand when making safety visits.  This is a very welcome exercise which will have a huge impact on potentially vulnerable people receiving any sound advice.”