Warning after fake police officer attempted to gain access to Daventry home 'to look for suspect'

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A warning has been issued after a fake police officer attempted to gain access to a Daventry home to “look for a suspect”.

The incident happened at around 7.40pm on Wednesday, May 29, when a man rang the smart doorbell of a home in Wordsworth Road claiming he was a police officer and needed to come in so he could "check the rear garden for a potential suspect”.

The man was turned away by the resident, who was suspicious of his behaviour, as he had no official ID. The incident was reported to Northamptonshire Police, who confirmed the man was not a police officer.

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Officers are investigation the incident as an attempted distraction burglary. A 34-year-old man from the Luton area has been arrested and remains in police custody.

Police have issued a warning about distraction burglaries after an incident in Daventry.Police have issued a warning about distraction burglaries after an incident in Daventry.
Police have issued a warning about distraction burglaries after an incident in Daventry.

The fake officer is described as a white man of stocky build with brown hair, wearing a high-vis jacket with the word police on it, a surgical face mask, gloves, and black trousers.

Witnesses or anyone with information about this incident should call Northamptonshire Police on 101, quoting incident number: 24000315362.

Following the incident, Northamptonshire Police is issuing a reminder that genuine officers carry full photographic ID and can be verified by calling 101.

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The force is encouraging people to refuse entry to unexpected callers who cannot be independently verified as genuine and asking people to share this advice with elderly or vulnerable relatives and neighbours.

Advice from police about preventing distraction burglaries

Common methods used by distraction burglars include:

  • Pretending to be from the police, a care agency, the council, or a utility company investigating a gas or water leak
  • Seeking help to leave a note for a neighbour or even asking for a drink of water if they claim to be thirsty or unwell
  • Claiming to be in a hurry or emergency and needing to get into your home quickly
  • Working in teams, with one person distracting you while the other searches your home

Tips to help prevent:

  • The key to preventing a distraction burglary is to keep the front door closed and locked. Once the door is opened, the barrier to keeping them out has gone!
  • There’s no need to open the door to unexpected callers – it’s OK to send them away
  • Find other ways to speak to callers – through a window or even the letterbox
  • Don’t bother to check ID cards – they will be fake if the caller is not who they say they are
  • If someone calls at your home claiming to be a police officer, check this by calling 101 and giving their name and collar number to the call handler
  • Display a ‘No Cold Calling Home’ sticker
  • Set up passwords with utility companies so you know if they are genuine when they call
  • Keep the outside of your property well maintained
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash at home
  • Use a lifeline pendant alarm to call for assistance
  • If you have a Wi-Fi connection at home, you may like to consider installing a smart/CCTV doorbell at their front door. When activated, the alert can be received on a family member or friend’s mobile phone who can then talk to the caller directly and raise the alarm if necessary
  • If you’re not sure, don’t open the door