Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 8 May 2014


We are fortunate to live in a low crime area, although we have our moments and the occasional spike. In particular, over the years we have suffered sporadic outbreaks of anti-social behaviour from cohorts of drunken young people but mercifully this has subsided recently, due to the considerable skill and efforts of our excellent police force.
We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and professional team locally.

The restructuring of the local force 3 years or so ago under the previous Chief Constable was not successful and now has largely been undone and more coherent arrangements are in place. We are even going to have our own CID once again in the rural part of the constituency, which I welcome. The numbers of burglaries and other acquisitive crimes has fallen in the constituency in recent years. But we need to keep our guard up and in particular watch out for unscrupulous people who target elderly and vulnerable people in an attempt to part them from some of their hard won savings.

I heard last week of one scam that we should all mention to our senior relatives, it goes something like this. A pensioner gets a phone call from a plausible sounding person purporting to be a member of the Metropolitan Police stating that they have somebody in custody who has been using the pensioner's bank cards. The person is advised to check with their bank by phone immediately. The call is placed in such a way that when the anxious pensioner tries to ring their bank, they simply re-connect to a different person in the criminal organisation behind the scam who pretends to be his bank and takes security details as banks always do. The phoney bank official then confirms that there has been unusual activity on the account and monies have been withdrawn and the customer is advised (wait for it) to go to their local branch and withdraw all of their cash from the account and bring it home, whereupon a taxi will come and collect it to take it to a safe place!

The pensioner thinks he is dealing with the Met and their bank – two organisations he trusts – and complies.  Over 3000 people have been caught in this way since 2011 and the average amount lost is £4000. One person lost £39,000.
The people behind the scam prey on the elderly and they are getting away with it. Please watch out.

posted by Gary @ 12:27