Police protecting Harpenden’s elderly with week-long project

NOT sure? Don’t open the door! That was the message spread by Herts police over the course of this week.

Herts police dedicated the whole week to raising awareness of distraction burglary, a crime which very often hits elderly and vulnerable residents living in St Albans and Harpenden.

Following a launch ceremony at Harpenden police station on Monday (16), officers from Operation Manhunt and Safer Neighbourhood Teams spilled out onto the streets to offer passers-by top tips and advice on avoiding distraction burglaries.

Today (19) Harpenden officers will be stationed outside Sainsbury’s on the High Street from 3 to 5pm ready to answer any questions, and on Friday the same team will be outside M&S near the Church Green. As well as not opening the door to strangers, their main messages are always ask for identification from expected visitors, and never keep large amounts of cash at home.

Sgt Lewis Duckett, who oversaw the product in St Albans earlier this week, said that it was vital to get the message across: “We’re trying hard to encourage family members and neighbours of elderly and vulnerable people to be particularly alert, and ring us if they see a suspicious person hanging around.”

He added: “Unfortunately, this type of offence particularly affects the elderly because they are from a trusting generation which kept the front door open.”

To report a suspicious caller in your area, call the non-emergency number 0845 3300222.