FALLING victim to a con artist can leave elderly and vulnerable people feeling scared and ashamed.
But Police Community Support Officer Chris Penfold is hoping to cut the number of incidents across Waterlooville.
Yesterday PCSO Penfold and colleague PC Matthew James organised a police pop-up shop in an empty unit in The Boulevard, Waterlooville, where a range of organisations offered advice and support.
It is the culmination of a week of action by police against doorstep crime.
PCSO Penfold said: ‘Hundreds of people came through the doors which is brilliant because at the moment we’re being hit hard by doorstep crime.
‘We want to get the message out there that there have been a lot of rogue traders and a lot of people are being targeted.
‘Doorstep crime is simple – people knock the door and try to sell victims stuff they don’t need, try and find out bank details, and try to get in their properties.
‘The people who are targeted are elderly and vulnerable and we’re trying to help them protect themselves against offenders.’
Last week the officers came across an elderly man in Waterlooville town centre who was about to withdraw £950 to pay someone to fix one fence panel.
PC James said: ‘We took him home but by the time we got there the rogue trader had scarpered.
‘Since then we’ve offered him extra support and made sure he’s safe.
‘But a lot of the time it’s not until a long while afterwards that people realise they’ve fallen victim.
‘And they very often feel ashamed and embarrassed of what’s happened to them.’
Among the agencies giving advice at the pop-up shop was Trading Standards, Neighbourhood Watch, Loan Shark support and Havant Borough Council.
Carol Webb, from Wallis Road, Waterlooville, said: ‘I’m really pleased the police have run this for the older people – it’s good for the children to get to know them too.’
Doorstep crime prevention:
n Never let anyone in you do not know
n Always ask to see ID
n Call 101 if you have any concerns about a caller to the house.