Bo­gus work­men la­belled as ‘lower than ver­min’

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Court Reports -

A VET­ERAN Dundee coun­cil­lor has branded bo­gus call­ers who broke into the homes of vul­ner­a­ble pen­sion­ers “lower than ver­min”.

Two el­derly women were robbed in the Kerrsview Ter­race area of Dundee last week when thieves pos­ing as work­men gained ac­cess to their homes — the lat­est in a spate of sus­pected bo­gus caller in­ci­dents through­out the city.

In­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor Ian Borth­wick, who worked with char­ity Age Con­cern for three decades, be­lieves the fear of suf­fer­ing such a crime can push el­derly home­own­ers over the edge.

The Strath­mar­tine coun­cil­lor said: “I’ve de­scribed these peo­ple in the past as lower than ver­min. It’s dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend how any­one could do this.

“Any­body who would prey on older vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple is ab­so­lutely dis­gust­ing and dis­grace­ful.

“What of­ten hap­pens is that an older per­son loses con­fi­dence in them­selves and quite of­ten they go into care.

“What is vi­tally im­por­tant is that neigh­bours, rel­a­tives and friends keep a watch be­cause ex­pe­ri­enc­ing this of­ten has quite a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect.

“It’s im­por­tant that older peo­ple feel safe and se­cure — and the com­mu­nity can play a vi­tal role in en­sur­ing this.”

Mr Borth­wick en­coun­tered sev­eral vic­tims of doorstep crime while work­ing for Age Con­cern.

He said: “I worked with Age Con­cern as a devel­op­ment of­fi­cer and ad­vo­cacy of­fi­cer. I have ex­pe­ri­enced a num­ber of these cases and they are dis­turb­ing.

“I am con­fi­dent po­lice will do their very ut­most to iden­tify the cul­prits and will deal with them ef­fec­tively.

“These are dan­ger­ous and bad peo­ple who can do in­cred­i­ble harm. If in doubt, keep them out.”

Ian Borth­wick

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