Arrest made in bogus caller crackdown

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AN 18-year-old male has been arrested and charged with alleged bogus caller offences following an operation that took place in Hamilton on Tuesday (March 20).

The joint operation, which involved officers from Strathclyde Police and Lothian and Borders Police, was carried out in connection with an alleged bogus caller offence that took place in Currievale Park, Edinburgh, on Monday, January 30.

An elderly woman was approached at home by two men who persuaded her to hand over thousands of pounds of cash for roofing work.  A similar but unsuccessful attempt to defraud another elderly homeowner was made at an address in Greenbank Drive the same day.

The man appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in connection with both offences yesterday (Wednesday), where he was remanded in custody, and inquiries are ongoing to trace others involved.

The arrest was made as part of Operation Aristotle, an initiative targeting bogus caller crimes in the Capital.

Detective Chief Inspector Sara Buchanan is leading the initiative.

She said: “Operation Aristotle has been running for over a month now, and a number of alleged offenders have been identified as a result of inquiries conducted by our dedicated team of officers.

“In recent weeks there has been a noticeable decline in the number of bogus caller offences taking place in Edinburgh, which is indicative of the impact that Operation Aristotle is having in combating bogus caller crime.”

DCI Buchanan added: “Bogus callers deliberately prey on vulnerable members of the community, using a variety of ruses in order to rob people who allow them into their homes in good faith.

“In addition to our targeted enforcement activity, we are working with partners in local communities to educate those who are at risk of what to do when they receive an unsolicited call at their home.

“At the same time, we want people in local communities to be vigilant, and to call police immediately if they notice any suspicious activity taking place in their street.

“This is particularly important for anyone with elderly or vulnerable neighbours, and we would urge people to look out for friends and neighbours who may be at risk.

“Further information on how people can guard against falling victim to bogus callers is available on the Lothian and Borders Police website.”

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