Vulnerable elderly prompted to be alert
Senior citizens are being reminded not to let their guard down when it comes to security, following a series of home invasions.
The advice comes from Grey Power and the police.
It follows Monday’s arrest of 36-year-old William John Murphy after home invasions and robberies across Auckland last week.
In five of eight robberies the elderly victims said their attacker posed as a police officer and in at least one case said he was there to offer security advice.
Auckland city police Detective Inspector Karyn Malthus says even though an arrest has been made the investigation still has a long way to go and it’s important people keep an open mind about the possibility that others were involved in some of the incidents.
‘‘We remain concerned about the safety of our elderly being targeted and are yet to determine the identity of the offender purporting to be a police officer in various guises,’’ she says.
‘‘We therefore urge communities to be cautious about cold-callers and to remain vigilant about personal security.’’
Auckland Grey Power president Ann-Marie Coury says times have changed and older people may need to rethink the way they trust people.
‘‘Seniors are likely to let their guard down on hearing the word police, but knowing your rights and knowing that police must identify themselves to enter your home could protect seniors from very ugly attacks,’’ she says.
‘‘Everyone in the neigh- bourhood, not just friends and relatives, can play a part in supporting our seniors.’’
She suggests phoning and checking on elderly neighbours, putting a note in their letterbox, or offering a contact name and number.
Seniors concerned about home security can contact Age Concern on 820 0184 for details of tradespeople who are police vetted and will work for reasonable rates.