Justice Minister David Ford today launched a scam call blocking initiative which aims to protect vulnerable people from falling victim to phone scammers.
The call blocking initiative has been jointly funded by the Department of Justice, the PSNI and the Northern Ireland Policing Board, building on the work that has been undertaken by Trading Standards in this area.
Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership has introduced the new scheme locally and is one of five PCSPs across Northern Ireland delivering the initiative.
David Ford said: “We have all seen stories in the media recently of older people deprived of hard-earned savings through elaborate scams and of vulnerable individuals exploited by unscrupulous cold callers. Scam calls can have a damaging impact on older people, on their sense of safety in their own homes, and can lead to substantial losses.
“This new initiative will see those who have been identified as the most vulnerable having a call blocking device installed which will substantially reduce the levels of nuisance calls. I hope that this will help older people feel safer in their homes.”
Speaking about the initiative Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly said: “The Board is well aware that older people, particularly those living on their own, can be more vulnerable to phone scammers. We are very pleased to offer support for this initiative which will help to protect older people from being scammed and hopefully contribute to them feeling safer in their own home.”
PSNI Inspector Temra Neill, Policing with the Community, said: “We are pleased to be part of the scam call blocking initiative which will provide an extra layer of protection and reassurance for the more vulnerable members of our communities.
“We want to ensure that criminals do not have the opportunity to exploit older people and we are confident that this scheme will go a long way to preventing and deterring criminals from targeting the people in our society who deserve only support and protection.”