ROGUE traders and forceful doorstep sellers across the UK were targeted during a UK-wide day of action last Wednesday.
This is the 12th year that multi-agency partners have targeted rogue traders and highlighted the dangers that consenting to have work carried out by cold callers can bring.
The day of action was the pinnacle of a week of activities led by police and trading standard services.
The Operation Liberal campaign was run by the Police National Intelligence Unit to tackle cross-border criminality. Hampshire Constabulary is a consortium member of Operation Liberal.
The unit used to concentrate on doorstep crime, including distraction burglary and rogue trader offences, but it now pro-actively targets offenders and has the expertise to tackle doorstep crime.
Detective Chief Inspector Justin Torgout said: “We work hard throughout the year to protect our vulnerable residents and disrupt the activities of these doorstep criminals.
“This week of action with Operation Liberal, which links crimes and gathers intelligence on suspects and organised crime groups who travel extensively across the UK, is a great opportunity for us to engage with our communities in targeted crime-prevention activities.
“Our message to residents is clear – if you’re not sure, don’t open the door.”
• Check the identity of doorstep callers by calling the company they say they are from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider;
• Check whether traders are members of the Consumer Code Approval Scheme or the Government Trust Mark Scheme;
• Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader;
• Don’t agree to any work or sign anything on the spot. Do not be pressured into having any work carried out;
• Never pay cash up front and never go to the bank or cashpoint with a trader;
• If you suspect a rogue trader is at your door, or if you feel intimidated or they are refusing to leave, call 999.