May 13, 2017
Burnham-On-Sea Police in operation to clampdown on rogue traders

Burnham-On-Sea Police have carried out patrols, handed out security advice and visited several commercial premises during a week of action against so called 'rogue traders'.

The Rogue Trader operation week also saw police carrying out stop checks and arrests, while officers and PCSOs have been working with council Trading Standards teams and the community to spread doorstep crime prevention messages.

In the Burnham-On-Sea area, Police have visited local car washes to check the working conditions, and they have held high visibility patrols in No Cold Calling Zones in Berrow, Brean, Burnham and Highbridge.

During the week, officers in the region have also visited previous crime victims to make sure they are protecting themselves, used unmarked vehicles to patrol traders, spoke to possible victims on buses and public transport, and stopped suspicious vehicles at road checks across the country. They also have visited banks, building societies and Post Offices to remind staff how they can help their customers stay safe from doorstep crime.

Detective Superintendent Carolyn Belafonte said: "Rogue traders target the most vulnerable in our society and will use any tactic to gain their trust before stealing from them."

"It’s hard to comprehend the effect these crimes have on the victims – some never recover from the horror of having their homes raided. The aim of this week of action is to help people feel confident about dealing with strangers on their doorstep."

"Everyone has a part to play - many of us have vulnerable elderly relatives, friends or neighbours and I would ask that you help us to help them stay safe. The most important message for anyone concerned about doorstep crime is ‘it’s ok to say no’."

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "Rogue traders carry out the ultimate act of betrayal. Too often I have heard of incidences where these despicable individuals prey on people and abuse their trust. The exploitation of people through ‘cold-calling’ and distraction burglaries will not be tolerated in Avon and Somerset."

"Remember, it is your doorstep, please do not let these people bully their way into your home. If you're not sure who's at your door you don't have to open it, genuine callers will make an appointment to come back at a later date or will be happy to wait while you check they are who they say they are."

It is not illegal for traders to sell at the door and legitimate callers will not mind if you shut and lock the door while you verify that they are genuine.

Rogue traders often offer gardening work or maintenance services at attractive rates but the quality of work is substandard, unnecessary or overpriced. They often use persuasive sales techniques to encourage people into making hasty decisions.


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