Public asked to help police look after the elderly

Residents of Banbridge

district are being urged to help local police look after the elderly and vulnerable this Christmas.

Officers on patrol across E district (taking in the wider Banbridge area) will be advising the elderly and vulnerable on how to keep safe and protect their property, while reassuring them police will be out and about, detecting and deterring crime, over the festive period.

“We know that the elderly and vulnerable can often have a fear of crime,” said Sergeant Wendy Walker, E District Community Safety, “and we want to allay those fears and help them to feel safe in their own community.

“We will be speaking to local residents to provide them with useful advice on how to protect their homes and reduce their chance of becoming a victim of crime. We also want them to know that police are in their neighbourhood, carrying out patrols and on hand to discuss any of their concerns.”

The support of the local community was vital, she said, asking the public to take time to speak to any elderly or vulnerable neighbours to ensure their safety.

“There are a number of steps householders can take to secure their homes,” she went on. “Aways lock windows and doors, even when at home. Do not answer the door to people you do not know - ask to see identification through a window and use the Quickcheck number free on 0800 013 22 90 to check if the caller is genuine.

“If you are concerned or worried about suspicious activity, phone police on 0845 600 8000 or in an emergency 999. We would rather take time to check all is regular than miss the opportunity to catch a criminal. For anyone feeling isolated in their home, the Good Morning NI Network provides support. The free telephone service offers a daily or weekly call service when volunteers will ring to check you are well and make you aware of other services and opportunities.” For further information or advice contact your neighbourhood policing team or crime prevention officer on 0845 600 8000.