Say no to rogue traders in Harlow

Communities / Fri 2nd Oct 2015 at 03:13pm

Rogue TradersROGUE traders and forceful doorstep sellers were targeted in a national day of action which was part of a week-long crime prevention initiative this week.

Essex Police, Essex Trading Standards and Age UK Essex are now stepping up their Be Sure at the Door campaign encouraging elderly residents to say no to cold callers.

Vulnerable householders are being warned to avoid rogue traders. At the same time, their grandchildren are being shown how to spot if their relatives have become victims and to how to help them.

Inspector Ian Gennery, of Essex Police, said: “Rogue traders are criminals who target some of the most vulnerable in society.The work they recommend is frequently not required, not actually carried out or carried out to such a poor standard it requires further work and expense to correct it.

“There is evidence suggesting burglars associate with rogue traders, so identifying and apprehending these individuals is essential in order to protect potential victims and benefit legitimate businesses.

“Our activity depends on the public being vigilant and reporting any suspicious activity or concerns to either the police or Trading Standards.”

Cllr Roger Walters, Essex County Council lead member for Trading Standards said: “Rogue traders are not tolerated in Essex. They prey on vulnerable people and keep hounding them until they have no money left.

“Trading Standards advice is to never hire tradesmen who knock for business at your door – you decide whether you whether you want repairs on your home. Find a reputable worker from the Buy with Confidence website.”

No cold caller stickers and information leaflets are being handed out to potential victims of rogue traders – particularly in areas where they are known to be a problem, such as Tendring and Basildon.

At the same time, schools are being asked to run special lessons for children aged nine and above, alerting children to potential signs that their grandparents or elderly residents are being scammed by rogue traders.

Police action during the week included road patrols using ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) stopping known rogue traders.

Trading Standards officers, acting on intelligence, identified men named in arrest warrants offering tree cutting services in Braintree and passed on the information to police.

Activities and safety tips will be shared on social media using the hashtag #BeSureAtTheDoor and #roguetrader15.

Over the next month Be Sure at the Door “No cold caller” stickers will be available from police stations, libraries and delivered to elderly residents direct.

Trading Standards approved tradespeople can be found at www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk or telephone 03454 040506.

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