Falkirk teenagers urged to protect vulnerable from callous crooks

The youth service of the Crimestoppers charity is urging Falkirk young people to learn and share five key tips which could save an elderly relative from the misery of theft.

The call comes at a time when although many people are working to help older people through the Coronavirus pandemic some unscrupulous criminals will see it as an opportunity to plunder those least able to defend themselves.

Called Fearless, the service also stresses that if young people know or suspect who is responsible for crimes against elderly and vulnerable isolated people they can be fearless in reporting the facts anonymously through the dedicated website fearless.org.

The five key tips are –

1 - Think

Are you expecting a caller?

2 - Secure

Use your spyhole/keychain or check from a window before answering.

If you’re not sure – DON’T answer.

3 - Question

Ask for ID and phone to verify.

4 –Consider

Could it be fake or untrue? Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

5- Control

Remember, it’s your home. There’s no reason why anyone should ever enter against your wishes.

Lyndsay McDade, Scotland’s Senior Youth Projects Officer for the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Unfortunately, all year-round, criminals try to exploit people – sometimes even in their own homes or doorsteps.

At a time when older and vulnerable people are even more isolated than usual, we want to raise awareness of the key prevention tips in order to reduce harm.”

“Perhaps you want to keep in touch with your grandad but you’ve never spoken to him by phone or videocall before.

“Our Fearless five tips can give your conversation purpose – a starting point for a chat which will not only keep him safer, but stop him from being lonely too.

“Every day, our charity is contacted by young people speaking up about crime and making their communities safer.

“Now more than ever, we need to encourage their desire to help by giving them the tools they need to do that successfully.”

Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham said: “This campaign by Fearless will not only raise awareness of doorstep crime, it will provide valuable information and reassurance at a time when people are relying on advice from trusted sources.

 “I’d encourage everyone to share this with their neighbours and loved ones to help keep our communities safe.”