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Norwich families get police help to tackle bogus callers

PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:49 02 July 2010

Det Sgt Pete Jessop.

Det Sgt Pete Jessop.

Peter Walsh

Families living in a part of the city which is being targeted by rogue traders are to be issued with leaflets by police warning them how to protect themselves as part of a new crime-busting initiative aimed at cracking down on the crooks.

Families living in a part of the city which is being targeted by rogue traders are to be issued with leaflets by police warning them how to protect themselves as part of a new crime-busting initiative aimed at cracking down on the crooks.

People living in the part of the city served by the Lakenham and Tuckswood Safer Neighbourhood Team have been warned to be vigilant of rogue traders who have been operating there in recent weeks.

Officers have revealed they will be increasing patrols in the area to target offenders as well as distributing the crime prevention leaflets which warns about the dangers of bogus callers and how people can guard themselves against this type of crime.

As part of the crime-busting initiative police are urging families to check the identity of all cold callers at their address, even those claiming to be an official.

PCSO Rachel Cooke from Lakenham and Tuckswood said: “We will be delivering crime prevention packs door to door in the area and would welcome anyone with concerns to talk to us.

“We will be giving advice on personal safely, household security and how to report incidents of suspicious activity to police or trading standards.

“Our aim is to provide reassurance to local people who are worried over bogus callers and rogue traders.

“I also hope the information packs will increase awareness and help prevent further victims.”

Det Sgt Pete Jessop from Norfolk Constabulary's Operation Radar team, which was launched in 2008 to target rogue traders, distraction burglars, and metal and heating oil thieves, said officers want to hear about any suspected rogue traders operating in the area.

He said: “We do look into every call made to us and while not every call or incident leads to an arrest, every call provides vital information which helps us in our efforts to reduce cold callers and doorstep crime.

“I would like to take this opportunity to urge householders, especially the elderly, to remain vigilant. We are urging residents to be especially wary of anyone turning up on their doorstep unannounced, who cannot provide credible identity documents.

“People can help us by calling the police straight away if they have been approached by anyone they are suspicious of so we can catch the culprits red handed. If the caller is legitimate, this can also be quickly confirmed.”

Norfolk County Council's trading standards officers, who work in conjunction with the police in the war against rogue traders, said people request that residents never agree to have work done, or buy goods from, someone that calls unannounced at their door, or approaches them on the street.

Anyone experiencing problems with traders, or needing further advice, can call the national consumer helpline - Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

For crime prevention advice or to speak to a member of the Lakenham and Tuckswood Safer Neighbourhood Team call 0845 456 4567.

Have you been targeted by a rogue trader? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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