ALLIANCE’S Strangford representative, Alderman Kieran McCarthy, has told PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde that elderly people are living in fear of being robbed.
After a meeting with the Chief Constable, Mr McCarthy said: “While Mr Orde assured me the PSNI are doing what they can and that robberies of the elderly are not as common here as in other parts of the UK, many elderly people are still living in fear.
“I asked Mr Orde to ensure his officers played their part in combating this cruel form of crime. But it is essential that others play their part too. Friends can keep a neighbourly eye out for older people, for example, or assist them with getting a panic alarm installed.
“But the most important thing is for older people themselves to take the initiative. Sadly, it is no longer good enough to believe ‘it will never happen to me’ – because it could. Vulnerable people can take precautions, such as not opening a door to strangers without getting confirmation of their identity. Just ask for their card and make a phone call. If they are genuine, they won’t mind waiting.
“Another step is to invite the local Crime Prevention Officer round. They can make suggestions that should provide effective security to your home, and I would urge people to do this now, before they go away on their holiday when their home will lie empty. Burglars often take advantage of the summer break to steal, so be wise to their tactics.
“Everyone has a role to play in beating the bogus callers and burglars that prey on older people. Don’t wait until it’s too late.”