Wednesday 11 Jul 2018
Police in the rural areas of Wrexham have been working with local pharmacies to help prevent vulnerable people becoming victims of crime.
Distraction burglars often target the elderly and vulnerable. The thieves masquerade as council or utilities workmen who knock on the door of a potential victim, questioning the quality of their water or the gas supply.
On gaining access to the home, the bogus workmen engage the occupant while an accomplice enters another part of the property and steals property, usually cash.
While councils and the utility companies advertise that all genuine visitors must have a pre-arranged appointment, that message isn’t always received or fully understood by some vulnerable people.
In the Wrexham Rural policing area distraction thieves recently stole £20,000 from one elderly resident.
As well as using social media and the press to get the messages out, officers from Safer Neighbourhood Teams have visited social groups such as the Women’s Institute and other social gatherings to offer crime prevention advice. However, it is clear that these methods don’t reach all the right audiences.
Now officers have teamed up with pharmacies, Rowlands, Well Pharmacy, Alexander and Norche which have numerous chemist shops in villages around Wrexham.
PCSO Amanda Collins said; “Many elderly residents are on medication. Local pharmacy chains have agreed to include an information and advice leaflet when they hand over bags of medication.
“The information on the leaflet has been approved by the Pharmacy Superintendent is delivered to each pharmacy by a local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO).
“Pharmacy assistants will include a leaflet with every prescription. Records will be kept by pharmacies to ensure costs are minimised and that patients who receive weekly medication do not get a leaflet each week.
“No confidential information will be divulged to the police and likewise the pharmacies do not know which residents have already been victims.”
The project is still in its infancy so there has been little concrete analysis of its impact so far. However, if it is successful, it is hoped that other areas and pharmacies will follow suit.
For advice on how to keep your home safe from cold callers go to