Vul­ner­a­ble el­derly prompted to be alert

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

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