Police made a special visit to an Alzheimer's Society dementia café in Wolverhampton to raise awareness around distraction burglaries - where criminals pose as traders or public officials to gain entrance to a person's home or access to their bank details.

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They offered free proximity alarms which can help prevent uninvited people from gaining access to homes, and demonstrated other techniques to prevent opportunistic theft, such as using small bells or smart ties on purses.

Bob Manson, Crime and Vulnerability Officer from West Midlands Police, said: "The offenders target vulnerable people whether through age or illness and they will smile when they come through the door and when they walk out. It's important to better equip vulnerable people and we need to know about distractions burglaries when they happen in order to prevent more occurring.

"Distraction burglaries come in many guises and residents should be cautious about opening their doors to unsolicited salesmen or people without adequate professional identification. Raising awareness around dementia can help identify people in local communities who might need additional support securing their home."

Lew and Lyn Pendeford from Wolverhampton were attendees of the café at and have adapted to life with Lew's dementia. Lyn said: "I think people with dementia are more prone to distraction burglaries because they are more vulnerable than others."

Santosh Kumari, Commissioning Officer for the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "We need to put the right support out there and we have to make sure that we safeguard people such as those living with dementia. Events like this will help raise awareness around the condition and empower people with dementia."

  • released: Wednesday 30 March, 2016