West Leeds: Con crackdown puts thieves in a bit of hot water

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Officials from Yorkshire Water have joined forces with police to urge Leeds residents not fall victim to thieving con artists.

Staff teamed up with uniformed officers to visit householders in Armley, Pudsey and Weetwood following a spate of thefts by criminals claiming to work for the utility company.

They urged people to ensure they always demand identification from cold callers.

Inspector Dan Wood, of the north west Leeds neighbourhood policing team, said: “The message we always give to residents is very simple.

“If you are approached by cold callers from utility companies we would always advise you to check the identity of the people calling and if you have any doubts at all ask them to make an appointment and come back.”

Police have received several reports of elderly people being targeted by supposed workmen claiming to work for “the water board”.

In many cases they operate in pairs to distract their victims while carrying out bogus checks on taps or pipes before stealing cash and valuables.

Police gave residents crime prevention devices such as window jammers along with advice.

Yorkshire Water staff showed residents examples of the utility company’s ID badges and made them aware there was a contact number they could ring if they wanted to check.

Insp Wood added: “We have seen some instances of bogus official burglaries in West Yorkshire this year including Leeds, and wanted to help spread awareness of the issue among our local residents.

“We have had a good response from the residents we spoke to.”

Gillian Bloodworth from Yorkshire Water said: “Our customers should feel safe in their own home and be able to trust Yorkshire Water representatives but, in order to do that, they need to know what to look out for.

“Our employees always carry their ID cards.”

Anyone who wants to check the identity of Yorkshire Water staff can call 0800 1387878.


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