London News & Search
A warning has been issued over fears intruders are plotting raids on people’s homes under the guise of fire officers checking safety measures in the wake of the Grenfell Tower inferno.
Notes were posted through the doors of residents of a tower block in Camden warning them they would need to make their homes available to a fire safety officer.
But the borough’s council and London Fire Brigade revealed the apparent checks had not been authorised by officials.
The notes – delivered after at least 80 people were killed in the Grenfell Tower fire – have been labelled “despicable” for targeting “vulnerable” people in a state of fear following the tragedy.
The suspects are believed to have been trying to prey on tower block residents’ concerns after it emerged many of the buildings may not meet fire safety standards.
The note said: “Dear Resident, as a precaution against fire, a fire officer has requested for access to all rooms and flats on Saturday 22nd July 2017.
“Your cooperation in this matter would be greatly appreciated.”
Moyra Samuels, one of the co-founders of Justice 4 Grenfell – a group representing survivors of the horrific fire – condemned the scam
She said: “It is absolutely despicable to use an atrocity like Grenfell Tower to prey on vulnerable people when people are so scared.”
She added that she would be alerting people in other boroughs about possible “confidence tricksters”.
The local authority said it sent out alerts to housing companies and charities warning of the scam.
“We alerted a range of partners to the fact that a suspected scam letter had been sent to a property in NW3,” a statement said.
“The alert list included colleagues in the police and fire services, as well as the likes of Age UK, and public and private housing providers.
“Our Trading Standards service also provided guidance to some organisations, should they wish to issue it, in order to help residents identify whether doorstep callers are genuine.
“The doorstep safety advice would be the’ lock, chain, check message’.
“Dial 999 if you’re suspicious or the caller won’t leave. Call the police non-emergency number 101 if you’re not in immediate danger but want to report an incident.”
Camden became the first authority in London to evacuate entire buildings after fears were raised about the safety of external cladding.
Camden Council has issued advice to residents around doorstep safety and urged them to ring London Fire Brigade on 08000 284428 (or 0208 555 1200 outside of office hours) if they were concerned someone may be posing as a fire officer or fire-fighter.
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