On The Beat: Beware of rogue traders

April 28 2017

We’ve teamed up with South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards to prevent vulnerable people in our community from falling victim to rogue traders.

We’ve teamed up with South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards to prevent vulnerable people in our community from falling victim to rogue traders. 

Rogue traders call door-to-door and try to talk householders into having unnecessary work done, overcharge or leave jobs unfinished. 

We’ve visited local builders’ merchants and banks to make sure they know when and how to report suspicious incidents. 

Older people, who are more likely to be at home during the day, are unduly affected by doorstep crime, which also includes cold-callers selling overpriced products and distraction burglars conning their way into homes in order to steal. 

However, these crooks can be deterred, so I’d ask you to help to keep vulnerable elderly relatives, neighbours and friends safe by sharing our tips: 

• Remember, it’s ok to say no! 

•  Always use the safety chain and ask to see ID 

• Check ID by calling the organisation using a number from the phone book or your bill 

• Don’t be rushed – if they’re genuine they won’t mind coming back another time, when you can have someone with you 

• Remember you should always have a ‘cooling off’ period before work starts 

• If you need work done, get three quotes from reputable local tradespeople – ask for recommendations from family or friends 

• Never give cash upfront 

• Keep your money in the bank, rather than at home 

• If you’re suspicious of a caller, do give us a call on 101 with a description of them and any vehicle. If you feel intimidated or alarmed, call 999 straight away. 

I’m pleased to report that the anti-social behaviour (ASB) we told you about last month is beginning to improve. 

Often teenagers involved in ASB simply haven’t thought about the impact and consequences of their behaviour on others – or themselves. We’re working with other agencies, parents, carers, the community and young people themselves to raise awareness. 

For example the Krunch youth group and the fire service teamed up with us to run a session at the fire station to demonstrate the dangers of starting fires. 

When we identify young people persistently involved in ASB we’ll continue to use the legislation available to us to deal with them.