Residents are being urged to be cautious when it comes to cold-callers following four suspicious incidents in the last few weeks.
The most recent happened yesterday (Thursday, May 1) in Creswell, and also in Kilburn, involving two men going door-to-door, claiming they were from a double glazing company.
They were reported to have been visiting homes in the Portland Street, Eyre Street and Skinner Street area of Creswell at around 1pm.
A resident on Holbrook View at Kilburn reported a similar incident at around 4pm, and they had checked with the company the callers claimed to be working for, but were told that they did not currently have any canvassers in the area and so contacted the police.
In Codnor, a resident called officers to report a man visiting at homes on Highfields, at around 10am on Thursday, April 24. He had been trying to sell items from a bag but when asked to show his ‘licence’ the home owner became suspicious as it had expired last year.
On Friday, April 25 a man reported to police that he had been visited by a door-to-door seller while at home on Highfield Way, Ripley, on Monday, April 14.
He used his cheque book to pay for items, but before the seller left he asked the man for a drink. The resident fetched him a drink and after the man had left he discovered a cheque had been stolen.
Officers are uncertain at this stage if any of the incidents are linked.
Community Safety Inspector Russell Dakin said: “It is always wise to urge caution when it comes to people turning up unannounced. The best advice to follow to help you stay safe is that if you are not sure who is at your door then don’t open it.
“I would praise those residents for asking to see identification, or for a pedlar’s certificate if they are selling items, and for checking with the company they say they are from. I would also urge anyone who notices any suspicious callers in the area to report it to the police so that they can check that they genuine.”
Insp. Dakin added: “There have been recent cases where people living in Derbyshire have suffered from crime as a result of bogus cold callers and if someone is at your door on genuine business then they will be understanding and won’t mind you taking your time to make those important checks.”
When dealing with doorstep callers, residents are advised:
• If you are not sure who is at the door, don’t open it.
• Check the identity of any caller. Confirm who they are by calling the company they work for using number from the telephone directory or a bill.
• Ask a neighbour to come around to check them before you open the door.
• Tell them to come back at a time when someone will be at home with you.
• Keep doors and windows locked and use the door chain every time you answer the door.
• Call the police immediately if you feel intimidated, they are suspicious or won’t go away when asked to.
Anyone with information about these incidents should contact Derbyshire police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.