“If in doubt, keep them out” That’s the message from Dyfed-Powys Police as the force takes part in Operation Rogue Trader 2018, a national multi agency campaign designed to coordinate the country’s efforts in stamping out rogue trading and raising awareness of the issue.
During the week of action, which ran from 8th to 12th October, officers across Dyfed-Powys Police worked with Trading Standards and Natural Resources Wales on enforcement and education activities.
Activities included conducting intelligence-led patrols with partner agencies, visits to waste disposal sites with stop check of traders vehicles, educating members of the public through visits to local vulnerable groups, stands at retail stores and calling at people’s homes offering advice on what to look out for and what they should do if they answer the door to a cold caller.
The key crime prevention message is:
‘If in doubt, keep them out!’
Residents are also advised
- Never work with cold-callers and don’t be rushed into home repairs
- Check the identity of the caller by phoning the company they are purporting to be 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 Codes Approval Scheme, the local Authority Assured Trader Schemes or the Government Trust Mark scheme.
- Ask a neighbour or friend nearby to check out the caller before you open the door to them or agree to have work done. Some areas in the country have ‘nominated neighbour schemes’ you can sign up to. Check with your local police to find out if there is one in your area
- Never pay cash up front
- Always get at least 3 quotes before agreeing to have work done
- Consumers are legally entitled to a 14-day cooling off period in most home improvement contracts formed at their home
Chief Superintendent Vicky Evans said:
“Rogue traders, cold callers and distraction burglars have a devastating impact on peoples’ lives, and often prey on the most vulnerable in our society.
“This week was an important opportunity for Dyfed Powys Police and our partner agencies to demonstrate that these types of crimes will not be tolerated, and to raise awareness within our communities to help avoid people becoming victims.
My advice is always ‘If in doubt, keep them out!’.”
Operation Liberal spokesperson, Andy Luckett, said: “Operation Rogue Trader catches offenders and disrupts criminal activity. Rogue traders tend to be involved in a number of illegal activities and working with multiple agencies means we can seriously obstruct criminals and get them off the streets.”
If you suspect a rogue trader caller is at your door contact the police by dialling 101. In an emergency, call 999. You can also report rogue traders to your local trading standards service by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.