Call blocking scheme to protect elderly residents

The devices block recorded messages, silent calls and calls from numbers not pre-identified by the homeowner.
The devices block recorded messages, silent calls and calls from numbers not pre-identified by the homeowner.

Call blocking devices are being installed in the homes of a number of older people in Mid and East Antrim who may be targeted by telephone scammers.

The Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and Agewell Partnership (MEAAP) initiative is to help decrease fear of crime among elderly residents and offer reassurance to their families.

Originally rolled out last year by the Department of Justice, it targets rogue traders who bombard the elderly and vulnerable with nuisance phone calls. Thousands of complaints are made about the issue across the UK annually.

The trueCall devices work by completely blocking all recorded messages, silent calls and calls from numbers not already pre-identified by the homeowner. This is particularly helpful for people living with dementia and can be updated regularly.

Mid and East Antrim Council has teamed up with MEAAP to pilot 33 of the call blocking devices across the borough.

Cllr Brian Collins, PCSP chairperson, said: “Mid and East Antrim PCSP is working to create a safer borough by cracking down on dishonest practices which target the most vulnerable. This new scheme is offering support to local people against nuisance calls and protecting those who are most at risk.

“This scheme will also lead to better intelligence on scamming activities, help to identify scammers and scams and ensure that people don’t become a repeat victim.”

Welcoming the scheme, Jean Haveron, MEAAP chairperson, said: “We know that these call blockers can make a real difference to people’s lives and give those in vulnerable situations and their families a greater sense of protection and security.”

For more information contact MEAAP: 028 2565 8604.