HAMPSHIRE police are this week highlighting the dangers of distraction burglary as part of a national awareness campaign.

Elderly homeowners are particularly being urged not to allow anyone into their property who they do not know or who fail to provide any identification if they claim to be from a utilities company.

Burglars trick their way into the homes of residents often by claiming to be from the water board – that no longer exists – or that they are carrying out maintenance work, while an accomplice searches the property for cash and goods.

From April to November this year there were 40 offences recorded of distraction burglary across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with 97 per cent of victims aged over 60.