Older people in the Epping Forest District will soon be entertained by a touring play informing them of how distraction burglaries are carried out, and to help them to recognise bogus callers and refuse them entry. A preview of the play ‘Feeling Good, Keeping Safe’ was performed at Theydon Bois Village Hall on Wednesday 29 April 2009. It was organised by the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership and performed by volunteers from the Roding Valley U3A (University of the Third Age).
The aim of the show is ‘to improve doorstep crime awareness and avoid becoming a victim’ through the powerful medium of drama. It shows how burglars work and provides audiences with the necessary techniques to keep themselves safe on their doorstep.
There were 162 offences of distraction burglary reported in the Epping Forest District between 2006 and 2008. In most categories of crime, younger people are more likely to be the victims but with distraction burglaries the trend is reversed with the average age of victims being 81. According to national figures on doorstep crime there are 19,000 offences against older people reported every year, but the real figure may be much higher. A `Help the Aged` survey in 2002 suggested the number of people falling victim to bogus callers in the UK could be as high as 300,000 in the previous 12 months. Research has shown a large under-reporting of incidents as to victims can often feel foolish or embarrassed or even not being aware a crime has been carried out.
John Gilbert, Chairman of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership attended the preview of the play and said: “I found the presentation ‘Feeling Good, Keeping Safe’ to be very informative and entertaining. It’s a great way of getting this vitally important message to those who are most at risk from doorstep crime. Whilst the Epping Forest District is a very safe place to live, this does not prevent criminals from targeting the most vulnerable within our communities, particularly the elderly and infirm who often live alone. It is our priority to inform and protect those who may be at risk from bogus callers both at the doorstep and on the telephone.”
Mr Gilbert continued: “We (the Safer Communities Partnership) will continue to support this initiative and look to see how we can provide the same information and support to those unable to attend the shows.”
U3A are committed to lots of shows in the District this year are looking for suggestions for future venues and audiences. If you have a suggestion please contact Caroline Wiggins by email to email@example.com or by telephone on 01992 564122.
- Future performances are listed below:
- Wedsnesday 3 June 2009 at 9:45am
Buckhurst Court, Albert Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9 6EH
- Wedsnesday 10 June 2009 at 9:45am
Leonard Davis House. Kiln Road, North Weald, Essex CM16 6BS
- Tuesday 7 July 2009 at 1:45pm
Frank Bretton House, Bansons Way, Ongar, Essex CM5 9EY
- Thursday 23 July 2009 at 1:45pm
Pelly Court, Hemnall Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4NA
- Thursday 6 August 2009 at 2pm
Chapel Road, Epping, Essex CM16 5EE
- Tuesday 22 September 2009 at 2pm
Epping Methodist Church Hall, 119 High St, Epping, Essex CM16 4BD
- Monday 28 September 2009 at 2:15pm
North Weald Village Hall High Rd, North Weald, Epping, Essex CM16 6BU