Avon and Somerset Police launch scheme to protect elderly and vulnerable residents from bogus callers

Avon and Somerset Police is marking Stop Adult Abuse Week with the launch of a scheme to protect elderly and vulnerable residents in the region.


The Nominated Neighbour scheme, which has already been used successfully in some areas of the region and is now being rolled out across the Avon and Somerset policing area to help protect elderly and vulnerable residents within the from bogus callers.


The scheme works by a vulnerable resident identifying a trusted neighbour or friend to act as a ‘Nominated Neighbour’. Any ‘Unknown Callers’ at the vulnerable neighbour’s door will be directed to their ‘Nominated Neighbour’ so that their credentials and identification can be checked and verified.


Once the ‘Nominated Neighbour’ is happy with the caller’s identity they will accompany them to their neighbour’s house and stay until they have finalised their business and the caller leaves.


Inspector Julie Knight, Local Policing Directorate, Avon and Somerset Police said: “This year’s Stop Adult Abuse Week is all about prevention. We already know that social isolation and loneliness increases vulnerability to crime. This is a particular issue for the more elderly members of our communities, with over 85’s estimated to spend an average of 90% of their time in the home.


“Our neighbourhood teams have strong community connections and we will work with partners to help deliver the right support to the right people. But, we are aware that some people don’t feel comfortable asking for help so we are urging people to reach out to elderly and vulnerable people in their communities and ask if they would like to sign up to this scheme and offer to be their ‘nominated neighbour’. The Nominated Neighbour scheme provides a great way of letting older people in your community know you are looking out for them, helping them to feel safe”


Why it’s important:


  • Latest crime figures show that last year 1765 elderly people across Avon and Somerset were victims of violence with a further 1592 the target of burglary.

·        Older people can be more vulnerable to scams, cons and fraud; doorstep crime, distraction burglary, online/mail/telephone scams

  • The group most likely to be the victim of distraction burglary is female, over 81 years old, living alone