In an emergency always call 999

Residents urged to look out for suspicious activity following reports of rogue traders in the Old Whittington area

Posted on 26th July 2017

Police are appealing for information and urging residents to keep an eye out for suspicious doorstep callers after a number of reports of rogue traders in the Old Whittington area.

Two incidents have been reported to police on Wednesday, July 26 about rogue traders calling at homes offering to do guttering or roofing work.

Elderly residents living on Bursdon Close and Langtree Avenue were visited by a few men on Tuesday, July 25 offering to clean guttering.

In both reported incidents the men then claimed that they had found further problems with the roof or guttering which needed fixed and increased their price by a substantial amount, and that they would return the following day.

PC Kelly Brown of the local Safer Neighbourhood policing team said: “We always strongly advise residents not to agree to any work by strangers who turn up at your house unexpectedly and offering to do repairs or maintenance work.

“If you do think that the work is needed, check with a few reputable companies and get other quotes first. This can really help prevent you paying over the odds for poor quality repairs.”

"Don’t feel pressurised to answer your door to cold callers, remember you don’t have to and if you don’t recognise the person then don’t open it. If they are selling something or offering to do any work on your house or garden, tell them through a locked, closed door that you are not interested and ask them to leave. If they persist or you threatened tell them you will call the police, and report it immediately.”

Other advice for residents includes:

  • Check the identity of any caller. Confirm who they are by calling the company they work for using number from the telephone directory or a bill.
  • Ask a neighbour to come around to check them before you open the door. Tell them to come back at a time when someone      will be at home with you.
  • Before answering the front door, make sure your back door and any windows are locked and closed.
  • Use the door chain every time you answer the door.

PC Brown added: “Please look out for your neighbours, friends and relatives, particularly if they are older or more vulnerable, and make them aware of the issue.

“We would also ask people to report anything suspicious to us as soon as you can, and if you possible pass as much information as possible including descriptions or details of people calling at homes or vehicles they might be using.”

For any work costing more than £42 doorstep traders should legally provide a written notice explaining your right to cancel the work, give the customer a 14 day cooling off period and provide an address where the trader can be contacted.

Report any information about suspicious callers or activity to the police on 101. Always use 999 in an emergency, where you are concerned about someone’s safety or think a crime is in progress.

Citizen’s Advice offer useful information for consumers. Visit their website, www.adviceguide.org.uk/england.htm, or call 08454 04 05 06. 

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.