ROGUE traders, pushy sales people and cold callers are being hit hard thanks to a new initiative launched this week.
On Monday West Yorkshire Trading Standards, West Yorkshire Police, Leeds City Council, Safer Leeds and Aire Valley Homes were in Drighlington to launch the 85th Cold Calling Control Zone in West Yorkshire.
Officers from the agencies were on hand to talk to residents and hand out information packs to each house in the ‘zone’ of Wakefield Road and Fairfax Avenue, explaining how the initiative works and highlighting the relevant authorities to call for assistance.
Officers also advised on issues such as dealing with pushy sales people, spotting rogue traders and giving out personal safety messages to ensure homes and residents are safe.
In recent years Cold Calling Control Zones have been funded in areas where residents have suffered at the hands of rogue traders, doorstep criminals and unsolicited sales people.
The zones have been hailed a huge success nationally and have received a warm welcome from residents. Zones have been shown to reduce overall crime in the areas where they have been launched.
To strengthen local community support, Trading Standards will shortly be beginning its SAFER (Scams and Frauds Education for Residents) project in Leeds, helping older and vulnerable adults identify scams, frauds and bogus callers to avoid becoming victims.
Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the two year initiative will be delivering a series of community workshops, with interactive, hands-on activities, raising awareness of doorstep crime, scams and frauds and the benefits of using trusted/vetted trader schemes for household work.
Coun Karen Bruce, Chair of Leeds City Council’s Outer South Area Committee, said: “A number of criminals do pose as doorstep sales people and bogus utility company officials and the implementation of these Cold Calling Control Zones helps to raise awareness over the type of tactics often employed by doorstep criminals and also brings this type of criminal activity to the forefront of people’s minds.
For further information on Cold Calling Control Zones visit www.ts.wyjs.org.uk/wyjs-trading-doorstep-crime.asp or call Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.