Outreach Programme

Plenary on 2003-12-10
Session date: 
December 10, 2003
Question By: 
Noel Lynch
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
Toby Harris


In a recent survey of older people, Age Concern found that nearly half of over 75s are afraid to leave their home at night. What kind of out reach programmes does the Met have for helping to tackle this fear, bearing in mind that the chance of being a victim of crime decreases as one gets older? .


Answer for Outreach Programme

Answer for Outreach Programme

Answered By: 
Toby Harris

The primary crime prevention message to the more elderly population of London is aimed at reducing distraction burglary at the door, which totals around 5,000 offences per year in the capital. Distraction burglary is a high priority for the MPS and it is specifically included within the Specialist Crime Directorate Policing Plan. As a result, the MPS has achieved some notable successes in reducing distraction burglary over the past 12 months. In one operation in South East London, for example, the MPS targeted the perpetrators of a building scam on elderly people and in another operation the person arrested admitted to around 600 similar offences.

Conscious of the impact distraction burglary has on the elderly in the capital the MPS has been working in partnership with local authorities, utility companies and related charitable bodies such as Age Concern and Help the Aged to develop a comprehensive educational programme, and to provide the free installation of crime prevention products, such as door viewers and chains, for those aged 60 and over.

In addition, the MPS runs extensive local campaigns warning of the risks of callers at the door, particularly regarding bogus water board workers, which is the most popular distraction method, and Thames Water and Three Valleys Water have actively contributed to these local campaigns. The MPS also takes part in appropriate crime prevention events, such as that hosted by the London Police Pensioners and is also actively involved in similar local events with local authority staff and other local agencies.

The elderly population of London is also very active in many Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the capital and this provides further opportunities to disseminate crime prevention information. .