‘Despicable’ rogue traders targeted by police

PUBLISHED: 10:00 13 October 2015

Hutton moor centre over 50s club, Judy Smith and Jean Garrett with PCSO Alex Humphries and and Michele Barrett.

Hutton moor centre over 50s club, Judy Smith and Jean Garrett with PCSO Alex Humphries and and Michele Barrett.

Archant

ROGUE traders who ‘prey on people’ and charge extortionate rates for home and garden improvements are being targeted by police.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has been carrying out a range of activities to make sure traders are operating legally and are not targeting vulnerable people.

Events have been put on in the community in Weston-super-Mare, where police, cadets and special constables have been visiting groups to raise awareness of door-step crime.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Rogue traders carry out the ultimate act of betrayal and have a devastating impact.

“Too many times, I have heard of incidences where these despicable individuals prey on people and abuse their trust.”

She said she is determined to raise awareness of cold-callers and distraction burglars, and said: “Remember, it is your doorstep, please do not let these people bully their way into your home.

“If you’re not sure who’s at your door you don’t have to open it, genuine callers will make an appointment to come back at a later date or will be happy to wait while you check they are who they say they are.”

As part of the campaign the force has been working with Trading Standards, Meals On Wheels and the Salvation Army.

Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Crew said: “We are committed to targeting rogue traders and bringing them to justice all year round, but this week of action provides an additional opportunity to raise awareness of this crime and the advice for householders if they are approached by a trader who is not operating within the law.

“Rogue trading is a very callous crime, as it often targets elderly people and can have a significant impact on the victim in terms of their health and wellbeing following the offence.

“We would urge people to familiarise themselves with the crime prevention advice in relation to doorstep crime, to speak to elderly relatives or friends about it, and to always remember that you should never feel pressured into agreeing to have work done.”

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