Published on 19th August 2020

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner David Keane has awarded funding to a charity in Cheshire East to support it to deliver scam awareness and support to older people.

Age UK in Cheshire East has received a £1,000 grant from PCC David Keane’s Safer Communities express grant fund to support its scams awareness project.

The local charity, which usually provides a range of services for older people across the local area, has developed a partnership project to raise awareness of scams and doorstep crime amongst older people. The project also provides aftercare services to vulnerable people who have who have been a victim of crime.

Originally, the group was due to deliver these messages via face-to-face meetings and group sessions but as a result of the pandemic, it’s had to think differently. The scam awareness advice has been developed into online bulletins but many older people struggle to access material online.

This funding from the Commissioner will enable the group to print hard copies of the bulletins and distribute them to local people. The funding will cover the printing costs for the monthly bulletins for the next 20 months. Additionally, scam awareness posters and leaflets will be printed for usage in shops and community centres when they re-open.

The grant from the Commissioner has come from a funding pot which takes money from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and reinvests it back into the community where it is needed most.

PCC David Keane said: “The coronavirus pandemic has left many of our residents feeling vulnerable and isolated and it has given scammers the opportunity to exploit older people who may be seeking contact from others.

“It’s so important that organisations supporting vulnerable people are able to give valuable information on how to spot scams and report them before the individual becomes a victim.

“We know that scams are becoming far more sophisticated and that it’s vital that we remain vigilant and equip local residents with the support they need.”

Sally Wilson, project manager for Age UK Cheshire East, added: “This project is about empowering older people to spot, avoid and report scams to keep themselves safe.

“The funding from the Commissioner will allow us to respond to the ever-changing needs of the project and support the most vulnerable people in our society.

“We will work closely with partners from Cheshire East trading standards, local police officers and PCSOs and the third sector community to ensure these messages are delivered to older people in a simple and accessible way.”