Residents in the Peak District are being reminded to check the identity of doorstep callers in a bid to help prevent distraction burglaries.
While there have been no recent cases of distraction burglaries, there have been reports of ‘pedlars’ or doorstep sellers in the area.
Officers were called to New Close, Eyam, on Friday, May 27 and checked a 36-year-old man after calls from residents about a doorstep seller. He was reported for summons for peddling without a Pedlars Certificate.
On Monday, May 24 officers received reports about two men who were selling door to door in Eyam but were able to produce legitimate pedlars certificates when checked.
In a bid to help reassure residents and to prevent distraction burglaries, officers are advising people to cautious and are giving out ‘No callers without appointment’ notices. The notices can be displayed in an entrance door or window.
Legitimate pedlars are issued with a document which is issued by the police to people who apply to sell door to door. They list the particulars of a seller and are signed by a senior police officer.
PCSO Anthony Boswell said: “Door to door sellers can be a legitimate form of trading but must be supported by a valid Pedlars Certificate. However, residents are advised to be cautious and if they have any doubts to contact the police who will be able to verify the person’s identity.”
They are also reminding people about the ‘Stop, Chain, Check’ process which people should follow whenever anyone they are not expecting calls at the door.
Stop: Before you answer the door, stop and think about whether you are expecting anyone. If you can, look through a window to see who is calling before you go to the door and check that any other doors and ground floor windows are shut and locked.
Chain: Have a door chain or bar fitted and put it on before you open the door, and keep it there while talking to the caller.
Check: Always ask for identification from callers or pedlars certificates from doorstep sellers. Take their details and check their documents carefully, do not let them in and close the door while you take time to see if they are legitimate. Call their organisation using a number from the phone directory. Genuine callers will always be prepared to wait.
PCSO Boswell added: “Please be vigilant and look out for any elderly or vulnerable neighbours. If you do get any suspicious callers report this to us.
“Remember that we do live in a low crime area, so don’t be alarmed, be alert and help us to keep our area safe.”
You can contact Derbyshire police by calling 0345 123 33 33, except in an emergency when the number is always 999.