Justice Minister welcomes scam call blocking initiative

Date published: 15 June 2016

Justice Minister Claire Sugden has welcomed an initiative which aims to protect vulnerable people from falling victim to phone scammers.

The call blocking initiative is jointly funded by the Department of Justice, the PSNI and the Northern Ireland Policing Board. It is being delivered by five Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSP) across Northern Ireland.

The Minister was speaking during a visit to Coleraine where she met with the first recipient of a call blocking device provided by Causeway Coast and Glens PCSP.

Claire Sugden said: “As Minister of Justice I am committed to doing all I can to help reduce fear of crime for older and vulnerable people and to increase their confidence and feelings of safety in their homes and communities.  My Department’s Community Safety Strategy has a number of measures specifically linked to this aim and we work closely with the PSNI and other statutory and voluntary agencies to tackle this very serious issue.    

“Scam calls can have an extremely damaging impact on older people’s confidence and sense of safety within their own homes, and can lead to substantial financial losses in the worst cases.

“I have heard today how the call blocking devices are significantly reducing the levels of nuisance calls that older and more vulnerable members of our community are receiving.

“This initiative aims to reduce the opportunities that criminals have to exploit older people. I am confident that it will go a long way to preventing and deterring criminals from targeting vulnerable individuals.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. PCSPs have been allocated funding for the purchase of call blocking devices. These devices will be distributed to vulnerable older persons at risk of falling victim to scam calls on the basis of an assessment against set criteria through local networks. The five PCSPs involved are: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; Causeway Coast and Glens; Derry and Strabane; Lisburn and Castlereagh; and Newry, Mourne and Down.
  2. Partners involved in developing the initiative included the Department of Justice, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, the Trading Standards Service, the Health and Social Care Board and Age Sector Platform.
  3. For all media queries, please contact the DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444. For out of office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715440.

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