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17 May 2006

Barrett calls for debate on bogus callers

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, has today called for an urgent debate in parliament following the recent spate of thefts by bogus callers across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Recent months have seen an apparent rise in the number of incidents, with elderly residents often targeted by gangs using false identification to gain entry to their homes.

Mr Barrett has called for a parliamentary debate on the subject following growing concern amongst constituents. Mr Barrett has been running an on-going community safety campaign across the west of Edinburgh since January 2005.

John Barrett said:

“Many of my constituents are worried about bogus callers, aggressive doorstep salespeople, silent calls, and the resultant invasion of privacy while in there own homes. Recent reports in the press have highlighted this issue and helped raise awareness of the problem amongst the local community.

“I know that local neighbourhood watch schemes, community police officers, and other community organisations have been doing great work on this issue over the past few years, however the problem remains a serious one.

“The most important thing is to make people aware of the things they can do to minimise the threat of bogus callers. The simple message is stop, chain and check. Stop and think before you open the door. Chain to secure the door before opening. Check by asking for proof of identity, phoning the representative’s company if necessary to check they are genuine.

“I hope that securing a debate on this issue in parliament will focus minds on what needs to be done to get to grips with what is a serious problem for many local communities across the country.


Notes

· Mr Barrett has applied for an adjournment debate entitled ‘Problems caused by bogus callers’

· Mr Barrett has been running a ‘Safer Communities Campaign since January 2005. Special laminated cards are available from the Edinburgh West constituency office (1A Drum Brae Avenue) for display on front doors and windows. The card warns doorstep callers that the resident will not buy or sell at the door and will expect identification that can be verified. Contact details for the local police are also provided on the back of the card in case people are concerned they are at risk.

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.