Elders get tips on how to avoid unwanted callers and scammers

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A hundred elders got advice on how to protect themselves from suspicious callers at the door as well as from sinister scammers online at a crime prevention event in Londonderry on Wednesday, January 27.

The workshop, which took place in the City Hotel, was organised by the Age Sector Platform, was funded by the Department of Justice and featured advice from the PSNI, Trading Standards and Derry City and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

Eddie Lynch from Age Sector Platform commented: “It was a pleasure to host one of our workshops in Derry/Londonderry.

“The event drew a huge amount of interest from local older people, which serves to demonstrate the demand for relevant, tailored and up-to-date crime prevention advice.

“The workshop provided a wide range of guidance; on everything from challenging a suspicious caller at the door to protecting personal details online.

“The interactive and practical nature of the event allowed those in attendance to ask questions and pick up useful tools and techniques to help them feel safer.

“It is every older person’s right to feel safe, and we hope these workshops strengthen aspirations to work to this end.

“We look forward to continuing our work in this area, in partnership with the Department of Justice.”

Justice Minister David Ford said: “Fear of crime amongst the older generation is, unfortunately, very real and as Justice Minister I am committed to doing all I can to address this serious issue. I appreciate that if you have been a victim of crime, know of a person who has, or have read media coverage on attacks against pensioners, fear of crime can be a very real issue.

“This fear can take its toll in many ways – for example, leaving individuals lacking confidence to participate fully in local community life, leaving them feeling vulnerable.

“A key strand of work being delivered through my Department’s Community Safety Strategy is our support for Age Sector Platform to help them develop guidance on the practical measures that older people can access to help prevent them becoming a victim of crime.

“I hope that the work of organisations such as Age Sector Platform, with the support of my Department, will help to reduce fear among older and vulnerable people, increase their confidence and help them to feel safer in their homes and communities.”

Those who were unable to attend the workshop can pick up a copy of the ‘Feel Safe’ guide for older people by contacting the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) in Derry and Strabane District Council. Alternatively, it can be downloaded via www.feel-safe.org.uk.