An Important Message from Essex Police
The message below has been shared via Essex Police regarding burglaries within Care Homes across the local areas. Please get familiar with this message.
There is currently an identified series of burglaries whereby elderly care home residents are being targeted. We have so far identified 18 offences across London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Hampshire.
In each case entry is gained into the care homes by forcing open an external door or using insecure doors.
Once inside the care home the suspects are gaining access to insecure resident’s rooms. If a resident is in the room at the time the suspects are identifying themselves as Police officers sometimes showing a false Police badge. The suspects will then provide a reason to the resident that they need to take their belongings away for examination. In a few cases residents have been convinced to open safes.
Our advice is as follows.
- Staff of care homes should seek to challenge anyone found on their premises who is not known to have permission to be there
- If a person identifies themselves to be a Police officer on site and again they are not known to the member of staff, the member of staff should call the relevant force in their area to confirm their identity.
- A review of security at care homes should be undertaken as soon as practicable. There should be no doors left insecure which would allow members of the public access to residential areas. Consider placing CCTV at points of access and egress to buildings.
- A review of personal security of residents should also be completed. Windows and doors which are accessible from public areas should be locked whilst rooms are unoccupied or overnight. Advice should be given to residents that valuables such as jewellery or money should be kept locked away, ideally in a safe which is fixed in place.
Should you identify any offences to have occurred in your care home or circumstances which you find suspicious this should be reported to Police immediately. 999 should be used when:
- Call when it’s an emergency
- A crime is in progress
- Someone suspected of a crime is nearby
- When there is danger to life
- When violence is being used or threatened
THE ABOVE INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE DISCLOSED TO ANYONE OUTSIDE OF CARE HOME STAFF OR DISCUSSED WHEN MEMBERS OF PUBLIC MAY OVERHEAR. THIS IS THE SUBJECT OF A LIVE POLICE INVESTIGATION AND THE DISCLOSURE OF ANY INFORMATION IN ANY FORM MAY JEOPARDISE ITS SUCCESS.
In response to these reports residents should be given the following specific advice:
To not allow anyone into their rooms including persons identifying themselves as Police officer unless accompanied by a member of staff. Should they find anyone in their room that they do not recognise and have not given permission to enter they should tell a member of staff immediately. Again do not disclose the above information with residents.
Essex County Council