Protecting the Vulnerable – Victim Awareness conference on 11 May

Cornwall Council is hosting a special conference at County Hall on Thursday, 11 May to help raise awareness of the risks faced by vulnerable people living in their own homes.

Cornwall has a high proportion of older people who live alone and who may suffer from some form of social isolation. Additionally, people with disabilities or long-term health conditions are now provided with greater support to remain in their own homes for longer. Unfortunately these factors can make Cornish residents a prime target for doorstep fraudsters and mass mailing scams.

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The Victim Awareness event, which is being held at County Hall between 10 am and 1pm, is aimed at raising awareness of the risks faced by vulnerable people living in their own homes. The conference will include representatives from a variety of partner agencies including Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, Cornwall Fire and Rescue and Community Safety, and voluntary groups.

The event, which is free of charge to attend, will encourage all those who visit people at their homes, for whatever reason, to spot the clues and to be prepared to refer concerns to relevant agencies.

Laurence Reed of BBC Radio Cornwall will introduce the event, followed by guest speakers who will present delegates with a series of case studies, illustrating the potentially devastating impact of doorstep fraud and scam mail.  Delegates will also be challenged to consider whether they and their own staff are doing enough to protect those trying to live independent lives and whether they have a good enough understanding of the roles and capabilities of other agencies who may be able to intervene where problems are found or suspected.

“It is vital that we work with our partners to help identify victims of doorstep crime and scams” said Leanne McLean, Trading Standards lead officer for doorstep crime. “Those who commit these crimes regularly target our most vulnerable residents and the impact can be devastating.

“Every year in Cornwall, it is thought that around 7,000 residents fall victim to rogue traders and scam mail, yet only 7% report the crime to Trading Standards. The seminar is targeted at partner and voluntary agencies, charitable organisations and anyone else that work with vulnerable residents in their homes. It is hoped it will provide an insight into the work that Trading Standards do in relation to doorstep crime and scams, provide delegates with easy to spot warning signs that someone may have fallen victim and how this can be reported.”

Delegates can book a place at the event  by emailing: businesscompliance@cornwall.gov.uk