Be a good neighbour and help stop rogue traders

Resident across West Sussex are being urged to look out for rogue doorstep traders preying on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.

 
Last updated:
27 July 2016

The call comes just before National Consumer Week - Monday 3 November to Friday 7 November - which is supported by West Sussex County Council.

With as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime occurring nationally each year, the National Consumer Week 2014 'Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders' campaign advises neighbours, friends, families and carers about how to spot incidents of concern and the practical steps they can take to support vulnerable victims and to gather relevant information.

These traders often cold call vulnerable residents and offer to carry out work at properties which is of poor quality, unnecessary and charged at extortionate prices, sometimes even driving the victim to the bank to withdraw money or threatening them.

West Sussex Trading Standards are advising residents to always say ‘No’ to doorstep callers offering home improvement services in order to avoid becoming a victim.

West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, Lionel Barnard, said: "National Consumer Week gives power back to communities and helps prevents those most at risk from becoming victims of doorstep crime.

"Alongside the work carried out by trading standards officers to halt and prosecute rogue traders, neighbourhood intervention plays a key role in reducing doorstep crime – enhancing the impact of local communities.”

The detriment of doorstep crime reaches beyond financial loss. It can cause a person's mental health to deteriorate and in some cases, suffer physical harm.

To support the campaign, Trading Standards Officers will be out and about in West Sussex during National Consumer Week promoting the key campaign messages and giving out ‘no cold caller’ door stickers which residents can display to deter doorstep callers.

The stickers are also available from libraries in West Sussex.  

If you need advice in relation to a doorstep caller issue, then phone the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. Incident details will be forwarded to Trading Standards for follow up.

For more information about National Consumer week and for practical advice on how you can help prevent vulnerable householders becoming victims of doorstep criminals visit the 'Good neighbours stop rogue traders' campaign web page.

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