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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Selby Police Issue Cold Caller Warning

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8:28am 10th January 2014

Selby police have issued a warning to residents - particularly older people - to be on their guard following numerous reports of cold callers offering to do odd jobs.

The callers have targeted all areas across the Selby district over the past few weeks and local police teams have launched an awareness campaign and stepped up patrols in the areas.

PC Dave White of Selby Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We have had lots of reports of strangers knocking on doors and asking to do odd jobs in the residents’ garden, home or to wash their car. The caller usually has no suitable tools with them and will ask to use the householder’s equipment.

“These people are complete strangers but people are allowing them onto their property to do work which has originated by a simple knock on their door. The callers are very friendly and chatty and it’s easy to see how people can become engaged with them.

“We urge you to take our advice and not engage with any cold callers offering to do jobs and if you are not sure who is calling at your door, please do not answer it.

 “We’ll be stepping up patrols and are working with Trading Standards to introduce more No Cold Calling Zones in the area, in the meantime we urge anyone who feels threatened by any callers to call the police on 999, or to report an incident call 101.”

A No Cold Calling Zone is a designated area where the resident community declare they no longer wish to accept traders calling at their homes without an appointment.

They operate in some parts of the UK and the zone is marked with street signs that tell doorstep traders that they are not welcome. 

They clearly indicate to the trader that the residents do not want any callers and look out for each other. Evidence from a number of councils who operate the scheme suggests that people feel more confident about saying “No” to cold callers in a No Cold Calling Zone. And more importantly, the number of cold calls does reduce.

PC White added: “If you genuinely do need work doing, please ask a trusted neighbour, relative or friend to help you decide who to ask.

“We also encourage residents to keep an eye out for each other, use crime prevention measures at the door and report details about cold callers working in the zone to the local trading standards and police. “

If you and your neighbours are interested in a No Cold Calling Zone for your neighbourhood, you can contact your local Trading Standards department.

The callers are described as teenage boys or young men and have offered to do work for relatively small amounts of money e.g. £30, and in some cases have asked for spare cash.

Please follow police tips for staying safe

  • Always have your security chain fastened on your door.
  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times
  • If you are not sure who is at your door don’t open it.
  • Telephone a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the caller before you open the door to them. 
  • Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home, put it in the bank or post office to keep safe.
  • If you suspect a bogus caller has visited you even if you didn’t let them in. phone the police straight away on 999
  • Lastly if you have an elderly or vulnerable neighbour please keep an out for any suspicious callers at their property
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