DORSET Police are targeting rogue traders and doorstep sellers as part of a national crackdown.
Safer Neighbourhood teams and officers from the Road Traffic Unit teamed up with Trading Standards officers to undertake a day of action to try and identify any rogue traders that might be working in the area.
This was part of a week of activities taking places across the UK, led by Operation Liberal.
The aim of the week was to identify and arrest rogue traders, to disrupt the activity of rogue trading and to make communities aware of this type of crime.
Officers said rogue traders are individuals or groups of people who cold-call householders, often targeting vulnerable residents, claiming to be a bona fide business and purporting to offer services, most commonly buildings maintenance and repair.
Officers added that offenders can charge excessive fees for the work, yet the work that is carried out is either sub-standard or not carried out at all.
Crime prevention and design advisor for Dorset Police, Debbie Oldfield, said: “If you feel that you have been a victim of a rogue trader please do not feel embarrassed. Contact Dorset Police or Trading Standards and report it.
“By working together we can try to stop this sort of heinous crime.”
Anyone with information should call Dorset Police on 101.
TRADING Standards said the simply message from them was to always say 'no' to any traders offering to carry out work who unexpectedly turn up on your doorstep.
TS said people should follow this advice:
• Always remember to put the chain on the door before opening it.
• Do not phone any telephone number provided by the caller, it could be bogus.
• Always check the caller’s identity by phoning the number in the telephone book. Shut the door and get them to wait outside. A genuine caller will be happy to wait.
• Never agree to any work offered on the doorstep, no matter how urgent the caller says it is.
• Always get three quotes for work and if possible get recommendations from family and friends.
• Never pay cash upfront.
• A trader must provide you with cancellation rights in writing.