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FIRE and rescue staff are to be enlisted in the fight against scam criminals.

  • Published: 01-02-2018 at 11:02

 FIRE and rescue staff are to be enlisted in the fight against scam criminals.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue have launched a new initiative, called Safe and Well Checks, which include home visits to vulnerable people.

The visits already include advice on fire safety and how to improve health and wellbeing, with the ultimate goal to help people to stay safe in their own homes.

Now fire staff have also been trained to spot the signs of people being targeted by scam artists and how to help people prevent it.

The move is the latest in a series of steps taken across the county to combat fraudsters who cause misery for their victims.

Last year Deputy PCC Stuart Tweedale took on a role in the Friends Against Scams campaign as one of its SCAMbassadors across the UK.

Then Lincolnshire Police joined the campaign as a Friends Against Scams Organisation – making Lincolnshire the first county in the UK to have both the PCC and local force signed up.

Recently North Kesteven District Council became the first organisation outside the policing community to join the campaign, run by National Trading Standards.

This week Mr Tweedale, joined by Angela Lambert and Sgt Caroline Broughton from Lincolnshire Police and Eve Wrighton from Trading Standards, spoke to 11 Lincs Fire and Rescue advocates about how to help in the campaign.

“Although the elderly and most vulnerable are often the target of these contemptable criminals in reality, particularly online, anyone can be the victim. That’s why it is so important for us to be very proactive in fighting these despicable crimes,” said Mr Tweedale.

“All agencies working together will be the only way we can defeat this crime and I am delighted that Lincolnshire is leading the way.”

Lincolnshire Fire Safety Advocate Max Tunmore added: "When working in the community, we see first-hand the affect that these scams have on people and their families so it is great to have the knowledge to support those who have been targeted by these criminals.

"We also see evidence that people targeted by these scams are also at greater risk of having a fire because of the volume of mail and deliveries they receive, so it is important that we do everything we can to support these people."

Each year cons cause cost UK residents between £5bn and £10bn. In addition to the financial impact, scams can have a severe emotional and psychological impact on victims.

For more information contact Jon Grubb from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 07780 953575 or mjgrubb@btinternet.com