A new scheme has been set up in Oldfield Park, Bath, to help older residents feel safer in their homes, thanks to a partnership between Avon and Somerset Police, B&NES Council and Curo.
The No Cold Calling Zone in Hillside Road and Monksdale Road was launched at the meeting of the Oldfield Park Friendly Club on Thursday 28th July.
No Cold Calling Zones are designed to deter unsolicited callers going door-to-door in an area and prevent so-called ‘doorstep crime’ and ‘rogue trading’.
Rogue Traders are people who persuade householders to have work done unnecessarily, to a poor standard or who overcharge.
Doorstep criminals are people who call unexpectedly and either talk their way inside in order to steal cash and jewellery or distract the householder on the doorstep while an accomplice gets into the house to steal.
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Trading Standards officers, the neighbourhood policing team and housing provider Curo worked together to set up the scheme.
It was launched with a presentation to residents and club members on doorstep security from Curo and Trading Standards staff and PC Mark Hodder and PCSOs Jess Comer and Paul Spreadbury.
Neighbourhood PCSO Paul Spreadbury said: “The aim of the zone is to deter unscrupulous rogue traders and doorstep criminals from calling on elderly residents, some of whom may be vulnerable.
“One of the simplest ways of preventing this sort of crime is by remembering the rule ‘Not sure? Don’t open the door’ – and having No Cold Calling signs in place can give extra residents confidence in turning unwanted visitors away from their doorstep.”
Cathy Isaacs, a Curo Sheltered Housing Officer, said: “We’ve found no-cold-calling zones to be effective in the past so are very pleased to be working with the police and B&NES Trading Standards in this initiative.
“The new zone will give our sheltered residents peace of mind and will help keep them safe.”
Councillor Martin Veal, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “In recent weeks we have seen an increase in the number of rogue traders operating the district.
“We strongly advise everyone to always seek more than one quote for any building work they are considering. Assured traders can be found in the Council’s Buy With Confidence Directory, a copy of which is available on the Council’s website: www.bathnes.gov.uk/BuyWithConfidence.
Top doorstep crime prevention tips include:
- If you’re not sure, don’t open the door;
- If you are suspicious of a caller ring 999 straight away;
- If you see someone calling door-to-door, but only on frail or elderly neighbours, call 999 straight away;
- Don’t keep large sums in cash at home;
- Keep windows and doors secured if you’re not in the room;
- Join Neighbourhood Watch here.
Remember, genuine callers from utility companies, the council, police or charities:
- Will expect you to check their identification before opening the door;
- Would never try to rush you by claiming there’s an emergency;
- Will happily make an appointment to come back when you can have a relative or friend with you.
To find out more about No Cold Calling Zones, contact your neighbourhood policing team by calling 101 or online or local Trading Standards officers on 01225 396753 or visit http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/trading-standards/rogue-traders-and-scams.