As part of the National Consumer Week (3rd -7th November 2014), residents across Wiltshire are being urged to look out for rogue doorstep traders preying on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
The ‘Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders’ campaign is a partnership between Wiltshire Police, the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards Board. It is supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson.
With as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime occurring nationally each year, the 'Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders' campaign encourages neighbours, friends, families and carers to nominate themselves to discourage rogue traders. These traders often cold call and offer to carry-out repairs which are poor quality, unnecessary and charged at extortionate prices, sometimes even driving the victim to the bank to withdraw money or threatening them.
The detriment of doorstep crime reaches beyond financial loss. It can cause a person's mental health to deteriorate and in some cases, suffer physical harm. Neighbours, friends, relatives and carers can nominate themselves to help stop rogue doorstep traders operating in the area by joining a Nominated Neighbour scheme, taking away the trader's ability to contact the resident directly.
Nominated neighbours give elderly or vulnerable members of the community a postcard for their door with the nominated neighbour's address and phone number, informing cold-calling doorstep traders to speak with the nominated neighbour on the resident's behalf. This prevents direct contact between the vulnerable resident and the trader, reducing the risk of doorstep crime taking place.
Inspector Martin Schorah said: “It is important for Wiltshire Police to support our partners in the 'Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders' campaign next week.
“The campaign focuses on giving power back to communities who have been blighted by rogue traders and prevents those most at risk from becoming victims of doorstep crime.
“Rogue traders ‘cold call’ and offer property repairs and maintenance, deliberately overcharging for unsatisfactory goods and unnecessary work. They also purposely damage property in order to obtain money, leave work unfinished and display intimidating behaviour in order to extort money.
“Residents of Wiltshire who are neighbours, friends, relatives and carers of elderly or vulnerable people are encouraged to nominate themselves to help stop rogue doorstep traders operating in the area by joining a Nominated Neighbour scheme, taking away the trader's ability to contact the resident directly.
“If you suspect a rogue trader is at your door then call 999 and do not open the door.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “I am fully in support of this initiative. One of my six key priorities is to protect the most vulnerable in society and the Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders campaign offers a chance for concerned neighbours to play their part.”
Follow us next week on Twitter @wiltshirepolice for advice and tips on how to prevent doorstep crime.
Poster are available to download below:
Nominated Neighbour Card
Nominated Neighbour Information Sheet