Theatrical thumping for tricksters and scamsters

Fun on stage as actors Dave Plimmer, Mark Hyde and Angela Gilder get into character with a little he

Fun on stage as actors Dave Plimmer, Mark Hyde and Angela Gilder get into character with a little help from PCSO Warrick Lansdell, joined by Rotarians Brian Ross, Brian Kettle and crime prevention officer Donna Woolway. - Credit: Archant

‘Doorstep crime’ musical helps North Devon residents find out how to beat the bogus callers and con artists.

THE power of music, mirth and theatre has been used to good effect to help North Devon residents send rogue salesman, bogus callers and scamsters packing.

On Wednesday more than 100 people watched the Solomon Theatre Group’s entertaining but informative Trickster and Scambuster shows at The Barnstaple Hotel, aimed at defeating doorstep crime and swindling scams.

The event was supported by the police, Devon Trading Standards, Barnstaple Rotary Club, Age Concern, Devon Careers and South West Water, all of which had representatives on hand to offer advice.

The morning show, Trickster, was aimed at raising awareness of rogue doorstep callers and distraction burglaries, with the message ‘stop, think, chain and check’.

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Residents, especially the elderly or vulnerable, should always be cautious when answering the door to strangers, ensure the chain is on and not be afraid to question the visitor.

People were advised to properly check ID, calling the organisation the person claims to be from, using a list of genuine numbers kept by the telephone. If in real doubt, call 999.

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The Scambuster show highlighted unscrupulous traders offering their services or badly done and over-priced work, encouraged better reporting of scams and suggests effective strategies for response, summed up by ‘stop, think, be sceptical.’

Crime prevention officer Donna Woolway said the education by musical was a unique opportunity for people to find out more about serious crimes that could really affect lives, and how to prevent them: “We hope the people who came here take that message on board and also pass it on to neighbours, friends and family.”

Brian Ross of the Rotary Club of Barnstaple added “The messages were very clear and helpful without being frightening. In essence, especially where an appointment has not been made, residents should always be suspicious and cautious.

“Always remember the golden message – ‘If it seems to good to be true …then it probably is.’”

For any crime prevention advice call your local police on 101 or visit Consumer advice is available from Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

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