Police warn elderly to be vigilant outside banks this Christmas

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By JulieGK | Thursday, November 29, 2012, 09:47

Hackney borough residents are being warned to be vigilant after a number of robberies outside banks, building societies and post offices.

The victims, who are usually elderly, have entered banks or post offices in order to withdraw substantial amounts of cash.

Police believe that the perpetrators watch them obtain the money and then follow them out of the premises. Victims have then either been robbed or pick pocketed from a handbag or shopping trolley.

PS Gary Jones of Hackney Borough's Intelligence Unit, said, "This is a despicable crime, usually targeting the elderly during what is supposed to be the season of good will.

"Banks, building societies and post offices are busy and open plan, and it's very easy for criminals to blend in with customers.

"Please keep a watchful eye on elderly people and tell the security guard if you see someone acting suspiciously, taking a particular interest in a transaction or if they appear to follow someone out of the institution."

In the run-up to Christmas, when people may be withdrawing large amounts of cash to pay for presents, Hackney's Borough Intelligence Unit is reminding people to take the following precautions:

• Don't withdraw large amounts of money unless you have to. If you do, try not to do it alone

• Be aware of who is around you and be on the look out for anyone watching you

• Don't let people crowd around you. Move away if necessary

• Never count large amounts of cash in public

• Keep your money close to you - in a zipped inside pocket if possible



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