POLICE in St Neots are urging residents to be vigilant following a spate of distraction burglaries in the villages of Eaton Ford, Eaton Socon and Eynesbury.

There have been five offences in the area in the past month. Offenders have been pretending to be

POLICE in St Neots are urging residents to be vigilant following a spate of distraction burglaries in the villages of Eaton Ford, Eaton Socon and Eynesbury.

There have been five offences in the area in the past month. Offenders have been pretending to be from the waterboard to gain entry to people's homes.

PC Neil English said: "Distraction burglary is a despicable crime which can be carried out in a variety of ways and often on elderly and vulnerable victims.

"Investigations are underway to trace those responsible and I would urge anyone with information to get in touch.

"In the meantime there are a number of precautions people can take to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

"It is also important that people remain vigilant to activity in their neighbourhood, particularly in areas with vulnerable or elderly residents."

INFORMATION: Anyone with information should contact PC English at St Neots Police Station on 0845 4564564 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

To reduce the risk of becoming the victim of a distraction burglar, always remember:

LOCK - Is your back door locked? If not, lock it before you answer the front door as distraction burglars often work in pairs - one distracts, while the other steals

STOP - Are you expecting anybody?

CHAIN - Put this on before you open the door. If you have not got one, it is a worthwhile investment. It will give you that extra 'safe space' and barrier between you and the caller and then,

CHECK - Ask for their identification card, take it and look at it carefully. Close the door and check the number in the phone book - not the number on the card. If they are genuine they will not mind waiting or coming back another day.