Rogue Traders In York In Police Spotlight
7:14am 11th April 2014
(Updated 2:19pm 11th April 2014)
Operation Rogue Trader ran between Monday 7 April and Friday 11 April 2014, focusing attention on rogue traders and aggressive doorstep sellers, who fraudulently obtain money from victims for grossly over priced work or work that is not necessary.
Officers from Safer Neighbourhood Teams and the Roads Policing Group have carried out targeted patrols in areas blighted by rogue traders and persistent cold callers, treating reports as a priority so that they can locate the individuals to ensure that they have legitimate business in the area. Anyone who did not give a good reason for being in the area had their details recorded.
As well as targeting criminals, the operation aims to educate members of the public about this type of crime, so that they can avoid falling victim to it.
North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council have set up six “No Cold Callers” zones.
In York the areas are in Wigginton, Rawcliffe and Clifton.
North Yorkshire County Council have set up zones in Ripon, Scarborough and Ampleforth.
Residents in “No Cold Caller“ zones tell anyone calling at their home that cold callers are not welcome and ask them not call at any other addresses. The zones mean that anyone who cold calls at a house faces the possibility of prosecution.
Inspector Dave Edwards is leading Operation Rogue Trader for North Yorkshire Police. He said: “The aim of Operation Rogue Trader is to make sure that those committing these types of offences understand that we will make North Yorkshire and the City of York a no go area for their offending and that we will not tolerate their criminality.
“The criminals who prey on the elderly and vulnerable members of our communities, ruining their victims’ lives are callous and cruel individuals. They can expect us to pursue them relentlessly.
“The week of action shows our commitment to work with partner agencies to eradicate this type of crime and highlights the work we do throughout the year to combat rogue traders.”
Inspector Edwards added: “Education is also a key way to help prevent people falling victim to rogue traders and to that end, officers have also been engaging with vulnerable groups and providing them with crime prevention information.”
Councillor Linsay Cunningham-Cross, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Crime and Stronger Communities, said: “We welcome the police dedicating valuable time and resources to Rogue Trader week. Our Trading Standards Officers regularly receive and act on reports of people cold calling residents and attempting to sell goods and services. In some cases we know residents have felt pressurised into parting with significant sums of money for unnecessary and poor quality products and it is often our most vulnerable residents who are targeted.
“We know that crimes of this nature are under-reported, and so we urge anyone with concerns or information to get in touch. Trading Standards can be contacted via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.
“Our officers will be assisting the police during the week of action as part of their on-going commitment to tackling these crimes. We will also be launching three new Cold Calling Controlled Zones in the City, known to reduce the fear of doorstep crime, meaning that over 8,500 properties across the city are covered by the scheme.’’
County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Trading Standards, said: “We are working in partnership with the police and City of York Council through this initiative to raise awareness and to demonstrate our continuing determination to protect the residents of North Yorkshire from callous rogue traders.
“Those who behave in this way and cause harm in our communities need to know that they will be called to account.”
For more information about how to prevent doorstep crime or to report offences please contact:
North Yorkshire Police on 101 or www.northyorkshire.police,uk/boguscallers.
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