Northumberland communities urged to stay vigilant after reports of scams and thefts

Northumberland residents are being urged to be extra vigilant to those who might be taking advantage of the current lockdown.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 5:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 10:30 am

Northumbria Police and Northumberland County Council are working together to raise awareness of the risks of opportunistic crime, to support residents and to help keep them and their properties and possessions safe.

Reports of raids on closed businesses, thefts from garden sheds and individuals impersonating council officials have all been received in recent weeks.

The council has received isolated reports of people visiting properties pretending to be social workers.

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Northumbria Police Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton. Picture by Jane Coltman

Council officers have stressed that all social workers and care managers carry official identification and if residents are in any doubt about their ID they can call Onecall on 01670 536400 to check this. All genuine staff will be more than happy for residents to do this.

Coun John Riddle, chairman of the Safer Northumberland Partnership, said: “We don’t wish people to be further alarmed at what is already a stressful time for many. However, sadly, some with criminal intent are taking advantage of the situation that residents and businesses find themselves in due to coronavirus.

“We want to make residents and businesses aware of this, and ask that they are extra vigilant, and report anything that they feel is suspicious.

“All council officials who might be visiting carry official identification, and we ask that you always check this before allowing people to enter your home.”

Over the past two weeks two golf clubs have been the victims of ram-raid attacks, and there have also been a number of thefts from garden sheds and other properties.

Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton said: “We continue to work alongside our partners to protect the communities we are proud to serve.

“This includes carrying out proactive activity to prevent crime from happening and responding to concerns raised.

“However, when incidents do occur, please be assured we will do everything we can to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

“Please continue to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us so we can gather intelligence around those looking to target others for their own selfish gains and help ensure we focus our resources in the right areas.”

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