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Volume 471: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government has taken to reduce the number of crimes which involve bogus callers. (180078)

Crimes involving bogus callers can have a devastating effect on an individual’s or even a whole community’s quality of life. This is particularly the case with older and more vulnerable victims. That is why we continue in our work to confront and tackle crime and have been involved in a number of campaigns and initiatives relating to distraction burglary.

The Government, working with third sector organisations, has produced a wide range of tools for practitioners (such as good practice guides) and information for potential victims, carers and those in regular contact with the vulnerable. This has focused on encouraging the reporting of bogus callers and promoting positive doorstep behaviour.

To enhance the police response to distraction burglary, we have worked with the Association of Chief Police Officers to establish a national distraction burglary database and intelligence network to facilitate the sharing of intelligence and support joint operations between forces and with other enforcement bodies including Trading Standards. We are currently working with the water industry to explore what can be done to tackle crimes involving bogus water officials.