New safeguarding training aimed at helping care workers protect vulnerable people against doorstep crime and scams launched in Wrexham earlier today.
These training sessions begin the roll out of free training to health and care sector professionals, which will continue over the course of the next few years.
Operation REPEAT (Reinforce Elderly Persons Education at All Times) puts the emphasis on protecting older people and vulnerable adults from financial abuse and doorstep crime.
Everyone deserves to feel and be safe in their homes and the new training looks to prevent or stop these crimes at the earliest opportunity.
Op REPEAT already runs successfully across Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Northern Ireland as an important way of getting safety messages to the right audience.
Ceri Martin, Chartered Trading Standards Practitioner, said: “It’s extremely difficult for Trading Standards and North Wales Police to prevent these types of crimes by themselves.
“However, the delivery of excellent Op REPEAT training to health care workers – who’ll be visiting potential victims in their homes daily – offers a chance for the care workers to spot potential crimes and report their suspicions directly to officers. They can be the eyes and ears out in the community for us.”
Wrexham Council’s Trading Standards Service and North Wales Police are supporting the delivery of Op REPEAT in Wrexham and the first training sessions took place today at Direct Health on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
Lyndsey Thomas, the Branch Manager of Direct Health, along with Sgt Alison Sharp of North Wales Police and Ceri Martin of Wrexham Council Trading Standards attended the afternoon session today.
Reg Burrell, Operation REPEAT director, said: “Criminals routinely target those most vulnerable within our society. They target those living alone, are elderly or not so mobile and especially those who are frail and may be suffering from dementia.
“Operation REPEAT training allows those who interact daily with those at risk, to be given the correct information on what sensible advice to deliver, what to look out for and what to do if a crime is uncovered.
“By using these wonderful people in positions of trust, we can help safeguard those most vulnerable within our community against these despicable criminals and help keep them safe.”
The health care workers will have access to trading standards and police officers, as well as being able to report concerns directly to the Op REPEAT team. The training comes from people with a wealth of knowledge around the methods that the crimes take place.
Marilyn Barratt, Operation REPEAT consultant, said: “From my time working with the police National Intelligence Unit, I saw devastating incidents reported on a daily basis from across the country. I’m able to explain the methods they use to con their way into people’s homes and lives.
“They can turn from being charming to becoming threatening and frightening to those who fall victim to their patter.
“Operation REPEAT gives us the platform to train health and social care workers – in fact anyone looking after older vulnerable people – how criminals work and how they can help protect the people they look after.”
If you want to report something you think is suspicious, please contact either Citizens Advice Consumer Services on 03454 040506 or North Wales Police on 101.Sign up for scam alerts here!