Advice for vulnerable people

Domestic abuse of vulnerable partners and distraction burglary affecting older people are a main concern in Somerset. The proportion of older people in Somerset is higher than that nationally, and is predicted to continue to rise; distraction burglary is likely to rise accordingly.


Careline is am emergency response system for people who need reassurance that help is at hand at the push of a button. 

Find out more about Careline


Protect yourself from 'bogus callers'

Bogus callers' also known as distraction burglars' try to trick their way into your home to steal your money and valuables while your attention is elsewhere. So, always be on your guard when someone you're not expecting calls at your door.

Bogus 'officials' may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, a gas company, health authority or other organisation. Their real purpose is to talk their way into your home to see what they can steal.

Bogus 'workmen' may say that they need to come in to make urgent repairs. Again, they really want to steal from your house. You also need to be careful of callers who offer to make building repairs or tarmac your drive. Often they'll ask for money in advance; they may even offer to drive you to the bank to withdraw money to pay them. They could then simply disappear, or do a poor job very expensively.

If you need any building work done, get several written quotes from reputable firms, then decide which one is best. If in doubt, talk it through with a neighbour or someone in your family.

Genuine callers will normally make an appointment first and will carry identification with their photograph on it. If you are unsure of who they are - do not let them into your home - genuine callers will not mind waiting while you check their identity.

Advice is to follow the DOORSTEP Code:

  • Don't open the door without using the Doorstep Code
  • Observe first - always look through a window or door viewer
  • Only open the door after connecting a chain or limiter
  • Refuse entry if you are not satisfied
  • Switch on outside lights when it's dark to see who's there
  • Think 'thief' - ask to see an identity card and check it closely
  • Ensure strangers are not left alone in your home
  • Protect yourself - if you are worried ring the police.

Get a free home safety check with our Community Handyman Service

Our Community Handyman offers a mobile repairs service for residents in South Somerset who are either over the age of 60, living with a disability, on a low-income or who could be considered vulnerable.

The Handyman Service aims to deal with minor repairs, reduce accidents in the home and help increase security to reduce the fear of crime. We also offer a free home safety check to identify and rid any potential hazards.

Find out more about our Handyman service


Increase the security of your home with the Bobby Van Scheme

Avon and Somerset Police introduced the Bobby Van Scheme to help reduce crime among the elderly and vulnerable by providing extra security to those deemed vulnerable.

Trained carpenters visit the homes of people to offer advice on security issues and where necessary, fit locks, bolts, chains, viewers and even smoke alarms, free of charge, to make homes more secure. The carpenter is dressed in a smart uniform and carries a support staff identification card.

Find out more about the Bobby Van Scheme