Lockhart concern about burglary rise

DUP Councillor Carla Lockhart. INLM0911-304con
DUP Councillor Carla Lockhart. INLM0911-304con

DUP Cllr Carla Lockhart has raised concerns about bogus callers in the Mourneview area of Lurgan and highlighted what she said is an increase in burglaries.

However, in response, the PSNI said there was a 14% drop in burglaries and no evidence to suggest an increase in bogus callers.

Cllr Lockhart said she was concerned about bogus callers arriving at homes in the Banbridge Road, Mourneview and Grey Estate areas.

She said: “In recent days there has been an increase in bogus callers at homes located in the area. People have contacted me very concerned having experienced people arrive at their door selling knives and looking for scrap metal. This has caused me great concern given the increase in burglaries.

“I would like to thank the community that have contacted me and provided information which I have subsequently forwarded to the PSNI. If you notice anything suspicious please report it to the PSNI or I am happy to forward any relevant information on also. I would encourage everyone to take a note of vehicle registrations particularly if you notice suspicious vehicles. This has proven helpful in tackling crime in recent weeks.”

In response to the statement from Cllr Lockhart, police in Lurgan confirmed there were a number of reports of concern in relation to rogue traders in the Lurgan area on Thursday, March 27. “However there is no evidence to suggest an increase in bogus callers.”

Inspector Ken Annett, Lurgan Neighbourhood Policing Team, explained: “We received a number of reports from residents across Lurgan last Thursday that a male and female were calling at homes trying to sell kitchen knives.

“Officers located the pair and spoke to them, giving them advice on the proper legal requirements for selling door to door. The male and female then left the area.

“While we have not seen an increase in bogus callers and we are delighted to see a 14 per cent reduction in burglary across Lurgan, we would still warn householders to be vigilant.

“If you are unsure of someone calling at your home, contact police immediately.”

The PSNI also issued guidance. “There is no foolproof way of recognising rogue workmen, however, such ‘traders’ normally do not carry identification, are reluctant to give an estimate in writing and will normally ask for cash, which should set alarm bells ringing straight away.

“The ‘Quick Check’ scheme allows householders to check if someone claiming to represent an organisation is genuine and a genuine caller won’t mind waiting while their ID is checked.”