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Police and Partners target rogue traders

Across the UK, rogue traders and pushy doorstep sellers who use fraud to con vulnerable people into paying for unnecessary or vastly overpriced work to their home are being targeted in a UK wide day of action.

Today, Wednesday 24 April 2013, Safer Neighbourhood teams across Dorset will be working with Trading Standards Officers actively stopping and speaking to any tradesperson they see working on houses or in gardens.

Crime Prevention and Design Advisor for Dorset Police, Debbie Oldfield, said: “We are supporting this national day of action by working with Trading Standards to approach tradespeople carrying out work on homes across Dorset.

“Anyone found to be conning victims into paying for unnecessary or vastly overpriced work will be dealt with accordingly.

”If you feel that you have been a victim of a rogue trader please do not feel embarrassed. Contact Dorset Police or Trading Standards and report it.

“By working together we can try to stop this sort of heinous crime.”

This day of action is part of a week of activities led by Operation Liberal, the national intelligence unit for distraction burglary and associated travelling criminality, and Trading Standards. 

ACPO lead for Operation Liberal Peter Goodman said: “Rogue traders prey on the most vulnerable in society, conning them out of vast sums of money, which in many cases are their life savings, for unnecessary and overpriced work.”

Trading Standards Institute’s chief executive Leon Livermore said: “This is a fantastic initiative that highlights joint working at its best, achieving excellent results in fighting these criminals who cause enormous distress and even financial ruin to so many across the country.”

If you receive an unexpected call at your door from someone offering to do work, please follow the below advice:

  • Always remember to put the chain on the door before opening it.
  • Do not phone any telephone number provided by the caller, it could be bogus.
  • Always check the caller’s identity by phoning the number in the telephone book. Shut the door and get them to wait outside. A genuine caller will be happy to wait.
  • Never agree to any work offered on the doorstep, no matter how urgent the caller says it is.
  • Always get three quotes for work and if possible get recommendations from family and friends.
  • Never pay cash upfront.
  • A trader must provide you with cancellation rights in writing.

If you are concerned or intimidated by a caller at your door then please call Dorset Police on 999.

For more information, or to report anything suspicious, please call Dorset Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Alternatively you can go to the crime prevention portal on the Dorset Police website. The easy to use portal can be accessed by visiting the homepage of the Dorset Police website, clicking on the ‘Local Policing’ link on the left side of the webpage and then click on the ‘Crime Prevention Portal’ link.

Issued: 24 April 2013