03/12/11 Troubling callers -
THIS evening, Friday December 2, just as it was getting dark, there was a ring at the door. My wife answered and a young man, festooned in ID, was there asking for donations for deaf children. My wife declined but in a reasonable way - none of us is unsympathetic to such a cause.
Possibly 90 minutes later there was another ring at the door. I answered. Again there was a young man, festooned in ID asking for donations for deaf children. I told him that we had declined this request not long before. He left.
Then, about 7.30 or a little after, there was a third ring at the door. This time two young men stood there, asking for donations for deaf children. One of them was the man whom I saw earlier. My wife who joined me at the door identified him as the same man to whom she spoke first.
It was dark. We are in our seventies and, thank goodness, we have each other. It could have been frightening.
Why three times? Why the same house? Were they genuine?
They might have been.
The last time we answered the door I was rather firm to put it mildly about their persistence. They left.
I thought it worth alerting the police, via 101. I received a swift and sympathetic response.
An hour later there was another ring at the door. This time it was a young Police Community Support Officer.
I hope I may quote his name. He was Chris Hollis. And he was very reassuring.
I do hope that other old people are not similarly troubled by such calls. I wonder whether any respectable charity could encourage this kind of practice. Unfortunately even I, an ex-journalist, did not, in the suddenness of the moment, take down the exact details and address of the charity, if it was indeed that.
Which indicates how such approaches can put people off their balance. Especially, maybe, old and vulnerable - people.