More than 20 suspected rogue traders in Lancashire will have their own unwelcome doorstep visits as police officers launch a campaign to protect elderly and vulnerable residents.
It comes as the force reveals there were 55 domestic distraction burglaries last year - of which 23 involved the offender’s “cover story” of being a workman or builder in order to gain entry.
We will obviously come across traders going about their daily business who are working on people’s homes during this operation - all I would say is genuine traders have nothing to fear.”Chief Insp Mike Adamson
Bogus traders and pushy door step sellers will be targeted from today as the force works with Lancashire Trading Standards, HM Customs, and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Chief Insp Mike Adamson said families, friend and neighbours play a vital part in identifying the criminals and raising the alarm.
He said: “Rogue traders take advantage of householders by using high-pressure, forceful sales techniques. The work is often expensive, sub-standard and not required at all. This kind of criminality is often linked to distraction burglaries, which is carried out by an offender gaining access to a property by distracting or deceiving the householder in order to steal their valuables or cash.
“We would encourage everybody to to report anything suspicious to us.”
Warrants will be carried out and officers will be visiting those believed to be involved in unfair trading.
He added: “We will obviously come across traders going about their daily business who are working on people’s homes during this operation - all I would say is genuine traders have nothing to fear.”
Previous victims of doorstep rogues and those at a potential risk of being defrauded will be visited and given advice on how to avoid falling prey.
Vehicles driven by suspects will be pulled over at roadside checkpoints throughout the county, and crime prevention presentations will also be hosted at community venues and leaflets will be handed out at building merchants. Residents are urged never to have work done as a result of a cold call, to check callers’ ID, and to only pay traders once work is satisfactorily completed.
The Evening Post reported a fortnight ago how roofer Steven Lee snr, 52, was jailed for 18 months for charging people for unfinished, shoddy work.