Stay alert – Distraction Burglaries

News Date: 
Thursday, November 23, 2017

‘If you’re not sure, don’t open the door’ is the advice to householders, to help prevent distraction burglaries. These crimes happen when a caller comes to someone’s door to create a distraction, allowing a burglary to take place.

We are working with the local police service to make sure that our tenants don’t feel obliged to open the door to unknown callers. It is completely your decision whether you answer the door to an unexpected visitor.

Staying cautious of unknown callers and strangers and letting those around you know if you feel threatened or scared will also lower the chances of a burglary.

Burglars is the past have pretended to be from the police or Water Board to try and gain entry. Others have used tactics such as; wanting to use your phone/landline; their car has broken down; they have lost a pet; or even using a child to try and get into your home.

Detective Inspector Hopkinson said:

“Genuine callers from Anglian Water or the police will carry identity cards and will be happy for you to leave them on the doorstep, with the door closed, while you check if they are who they say they are.

“You can check the identity of callers from Anglian Water by calling 0800 145 145 or from the police by calling 101. Never call a number given to you by the person on your doorstep.”


Staff from NPH will always carry identification and you can put your mind at ease even further by calling us on 0300 330 7003.

The police have also provided several tips to keep in mind that will help prevent a distraction burglary:


Distraction burglary prevention tips

1) Make sure you can see who is at the door before you answer it. Where possible, fit a spy-hole to identify callers. Alternatively talk to them through an adjacent window.

2) Don’t feel pressured into opening the door. Don’t feel you are being rude, genuine callers won’t mind. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.

3) Set up passwords with your utility companies – genuine callers will need to recite this password to you.

4) Don’t use telephone numbers on ID cards – if the person isn’t genuine the ID and the telephone number won't be either. Obtain telephone numbers direct from the phone directory. Alternatively make a list of your important numbers and keep them near the phone.

5) If someone is knocking on the door saying they are the police, call 101 and check the identity with the police control room. In an emergency call 999. 

6) Look out for those who are vulnerable within your family or neighbourhood.

7) In Northamptonshire, many agencies have come together to form the Doorstep crime Action Network (DAN). If you have any suspicions or concerns that doorstep rogue traders or distraction burglars are operating in your community or targeting someone you know, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated doorstep crime hotline: 0345 23 07 702.

8) Distraction burglars or ‘bogus callers’ will call at a house with the intention of tricking their way inside to steal money and/ or other valuables. They may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the water board, the council, the police, health organisations or charities.