A headline in last week’s Herald read, ‘Police issue advice on PCSOs scam’.
Sussex Police said that, if we have a caller at the door, we should always ask for identification and satisfy ourselves that it is genuine before dealing with the person. How do we do that if we have absolutely no idea what a genuine police identification card looks like?
The one being shown to us, although looking very impressive, could very well have been produced on someone’s home computer, an action that is very easy to carry out as I know from experience.
When I visited a local prison to interview an inmate, with a view to providing him with accommodation on his release, I produced the official paperwork but I was still asked to show an identity card. This I did and I was allowed in, even though the card that I presented to the prison officer was one that I had made at work on my office computer. If I can do something like that then so can our local criminals.
I would suggest that far better guidance would be tell us to shut, and quickly lock, our front doors before the person on our doorstep has finished speaking, and then watching from the window to see what action they next take. If they scarper off then we will know that they were not who they pretended to be and we can contact the police with the details.
If they are the real thing then I am sure that will find another way to contact us that is more reassuring than simply showing us something that could well be not worth the paper it is printed on.
Ingleside Crescent, Lancing