Saturday, 19 October 2013

Controlling The Cold Callers

Alan Plant (Chapra & Neighbourhood Watch), Chief Inspector Nick Collins, Brian Cox (Trading Standards) and Ken Hillman (Chapra)
The North Cheam ‘Cold Call Control Zone’ has been officially launched by Chief Inspector Nick Collins on Wednesday (16th October). Blog readers will remember that Alan Plant, Chair of the local Chapra residents’ Association spent a good deal of Monday 7th October with Cllr Eric Allen and Sutton Council Trading Standards officer, Brian Cox putting up the signage around the edge of the zone, having consulted local residents and finding 99% of respondents wanted the area to become a no cold calling zone.

The 434 residents within the scheme have received information packs to advise them how to deal with unknown and unexpected callers who offer home improvement goods and services for payment - and from others who try to talk their way into their homes on some ruse when their real purpose is to steal cash and possessions.

The information packs include a warning sticker for use on the resident’s front door or window and additional advice on how to reduce unwanted telephone calls and mail.

Chief Insp Nick Collins, who runs Sutton’s Safer Neighbourhoods policing, said it was important that residents say ‘no’ to such callers and do not allow them into their homes. He added:
“Reports of doorstep tricksters operating in Sutton are fairly unusual but when they do occur, they leave residents feeling upset and distressed - and vulnerable.”
Alan Plant who also chairs the local Neighbourhood Watch and has led the initiative said:
“This initiative is all about residents looking out for their elderly and vulnerable neighbours and making people feel safe.”
The scheme which will be formally recognised from the 1st of November, is not intended to stop ‘regular rounds people’ or catalogue companies. People should also be aware that there is no criminal offence for calling, but should callers persist and put pressure on residents then callers may breach the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. However if you are suspicious of any doorstep callers, feel in danger, or see a crime being committed, you should call police immediately on 999.