Uttlesford residents issued with cold-calling security advice

16:12 05 November 2012

RESIDENTS across Uttlesford are being reminded about sales staff from intruder alarm companies cold-calling at their homes and the need to employ adequate security techniques.

The police warning comes as many of the companies imply or claim to have an affinity with the police or claim to be working with them on community safety projects.

Most will state their alarm systems go “straight to the police” which is completely untrue because there are no alarm system that do. Some systems are monitored and activations go to national monitoring companies who will filter out false activations and then pass those that are potentially genuine to the police.

Uttlesford police crime reduction advisor Peter Caulfield said many cold-calling companies overcharge for very basic systems.

“The reports I get from residents caught out by these companies suggest they are being charged between £2,000-£5,000 for an alarm system that would cost about £800 from a reputable police-recognised installer,” said Mr Caulfield.

“Many of these companies make exaggerated claims about the burglary rate and they will try to make you feel fearful about living without an alarm. The crime rate in Uttlesford is about the lowest in the county so don’t be fooled.”

Mr Caulfield also advises residents to call the company back and cancel if they feel that they have been pressured into agreeing to an appointment.

He added: “These companies will try many different ruses to secure an appointment; for example they might claim it is just a survey or tell you that you have beenspecially selected to receive a free alarm.”

Householders should never rely on one quote before choosing a supplier. Anyone thinking of having an intruder alarm installed should always speak to their local crime reduction advisor for advice and then get quotes from at least three companies.

They will be able to steer you towards compliant firms or householders can enquire with the two main regulatory bodies to find a local installer - nsi.org.uk or ssiab.org

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