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Tips for Elderly

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BAYS NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH - East Coast Bays, North Shore

For the safety and protection of people and property in our area.

Tips for the Elderly

Prevention of crime, protection of people and property, and maintaining standards of safety in a community is the responsibility of everyone.  It should not be left just to Police or other agencies.  Here's a way for you to play your part.  Remember, the closest support in any situation is that of your neighbours.  Get to know them.

The following information will be of assistance to elderly people to help them be vigilant and avoid being caught out by offenders.

Police Issue Helpful Hints to Elderly

North Shore Police say the elderly in our community are being increasingly targeted by opportunist offenders, and so they have issued some helpful hints to the elderly, to encourage them and their families to be continually vigilant.

Senior Sergeant Chris Powell says there've been several incidents recently where the offenders have entered a home or property where elderly persons have been living.  At the time the elderly residents have been at the rear of the property gardening.  The offenders have entered via unlocked front doors.

"In almost every instance the fine weather has been a factor," he said.

"The offenders often have a preference to work together as a duo, and so they seek out localities where there are potential victims.  They consider their best opportunity is likely to be from elderly owners of residential homes or properties," said Mr Powell, Police Tactics, North Shore.

"When there are two offenders, one will engage in conversation, while the other enters the residence and steals cash, credit cards, or high value jewellery.  The offender often has a preference to operate on fine, warm days, because that is when their victims are most likely to be engaged outside."

"Family relatives and friends can play an important role in protecting their elderly parents or others from becoming victims.  Families should be constantly vigilant of strangers who may be "casing" their street, and report incidents where persons have spoken to any elders in conversations of irregular nature."

"Anyone who is a victim of such crime should never disclose their PIN number or banking details to anyone who phones trying to obtain such information."

"Police always want to hear about any such incidents whereby the elderly are victims of burglaries or any offending. The public can call the North Shore Policing Centre on  488 6200 anytime," said Senior Sergeant Powell.

North Shore Policing Centre is now on phone Nr  477 5000

Personal Safety  -  advice from Neighbourhood Support

Plan Ahead

  • Make a list of the phone numbers of people you can call in an emergency and keep a phone by your bed.
       You may be able to pre-programme these numbers for speed dialling.

  • Arrange with a neighbour to look out for you.  For example, arrange for a neighbour to phone or visit you if you have not drawn your curtains by 8.00am.

  • Consider getting a medical or personal alarm that you can activate in an emergency.

Don't be tricked

  • Don't open the door to strangers. Look through a peephole in your door or through a window, and always ask who it is.  If you don't know them, keep the door closed.

  • If someone you don't know asks to use your phone, offer to make the phone call yourself.  They don't need to enter your home and you don't need to open the door.

  • Don't do business with strangers who come to the door or call you by phone.

  • Don't discuss your finances with strangers or give out details of your bank or credit cards over the phone.

  • Talk to friends and get several quotes before you employ tradespeople.  Age Concern may be able to recommend someone.

  • If you think someone is trying to cheat you, contact the Police.
       You may be able to prevent someone else from being tricked.

General Safety tips

  • Don't open the door to strangers.

  • Never admit to being alone.

  • Install a wide-angle peephole in your door.

  • Install security chains on the inside of external doors.

  • If someone asks to use your phone, say "NO".  Keep them locked out and direct them to the nearest phone box or offer to make the call for them.

  • If you receive a wrong number phone call, don't chat and inadvertently give the caller any information.  It could be used later to trick you.  Especially, never give out your name and address.

  • Ask for a security checklist from your Neighbourhood Support contact.

For a PDF file of a Fact Sheet on this subject use this link ...  Neighbourhood Support New Zealand Fact Sheet 29 Personal Safety


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 Last modified: 24 Apr 2012

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