Havering’s anti-con scheme for elderly is shortlisted for award

A scheme which has already prevented vulnerable residents from being conned out of more than �60,000 of their life savings has been shortlisted for a special award.

The banking protocol is the first multi-agency scheme of its kind and is a new way of working between Havering Council, local banks, the Met Police and Age Concern.

Bank staff have received training from trading standards officers to help them spot customers trying to withdraw suspiciously large sums of cash, which could be to pay off a rogue trader.

Now the scheme has been picked for the Public Private Partnerships Category of the 2012 MJ Achievement Awards.

Judging will take place this month and winners will be announced in June.

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The scheme was launched to prevent rogue traders from preying on elderly and vulnerable Havering residents and one person was stopped from being conned out of �35,000.

If a bank worker feels a withdrawal is suspicious, they can tactfully make enquiries and notify the relevant agencies if they feel a rogue trader could be involved - delaying the withdrawal.

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In Havering, 19 bank branches are now signed up to the scheme and it has been such a success local branches are looking at how it can be rolled out nationally.

The banking protocol has also featured on BBC One show Doorstep Crime 999.

Cllr Geoff Starns, cabinet member for community safety, said: “Looking after our elderly and vulnerable residents is one of our highest priorities so it is fantastic that this scheme has proven such a success.

“I am delighted that it has been nominated for this award and I hope it continues to protect vulnerable residents from the heartless rogue traders who prey on them.”

Jenny Barker, chief executive officer for NatWest Harlow and Romford, and one of the latest banks to sign up to the scheme, added:

“We welcome Havering’s initiative to help protect vulnerable adults from the effects of financial crime. It’s absolutely vital that communities are able to come together to tackle important issues like this.

“That’s why we’re pleased we’ve been able to work with Havering on this worthwhile project. We hope it will make the local community a safer place for all residents.”

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