Crackdown on rogue traders launches in Monks Kirby - The Rugby Observer

Crackdown on rogue traders launches in Monks Kirby

Andy Morris 27th Jul, 2017   0

AGGRESSIVE door-to-door salesmen and cowboy traders are being targeted in Monks Kirby.

A new ‘No Rogue Trader Zone’ is to be launched in the village by Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Trading Standards Service and Warwickshire Police, after residents reported problems with gangs of men who claim to be reformed criminals selling poor quality cleaning products at exorbitant prices.

The so-called ‘Nottingham Knockers’ are young men claiming to be ex-offenders on rehabilitation schemes who tell sob stories, some of whom carry ID badges with ‘Nottingham’ written on them. The pushy salesmen are also believed to scope out homes for burglaries.

A survey revealed over half of villagers considered doorstep sellers a nuisance, and 61 per cent said they were wary of unknown callers at the door or felt vulnerable in such situations. Two-thirds had had people knocking on their doors in the last year asking them to buy something or offering to do work.

Many residents said doorstep callers had been pushy, persistent, abusive and unwilling to take ‘no’ for an answer. Some callers were reported to have banged on windows or entered back gardens.

Trading Standards Officers will now issue residents with No Rogue Trader door and window stickers and information booklets advising how to stay safe from scam artists.

Street signs will also go up to warn rip-off merchants they will be reported if they try to trade in the area.

WCC community safety spokesman Coun Howard Roberts said: “Police intelligence helped us identify Monks Kirby as a rogue trader ‘hotspot’ so I’m delighted to announce that this Warwickshire village is now our latest No Rogue Trader Zone.

“No Rogue Trader Zones are one of a number enforcement tools Warwickshire Trading Standards uses to prevent doorstep crime.”

PCSO Dave Banks of the Rugby Rural North Police Safer Neighbourhood Team added: “Rogue traders, commonly referred to as ‘cowboys,’ call at your door and offer to do work on your home or garden that will be either unnecessary or vastly over-priced.

“They are not qualified to do the work and some have links with distraction burglars. Don’t ever go to a bank or cash point with the trader – legitimate traders would never do this – and never allow anyone to pressure you into agreeing to have work carried out.

“Do not open the door if you do not know the caller. If you ask them to leave and they don’t, call 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“If you do think your property needs some work, talk to a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader.

“Never agree to any work or sign anything on the spot and if you are not sure, don’t open the door.”

Report rogue traders to Warwickshire Trading Standards Rapid Response Team via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

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