Trading standards join forces with police for Operation Rogue Trader

Rogue traders and aggressive doorstep sellers were targeted this week by North Somerset Trading Standards and Avon and Somerset Police as part of Operation Rogue Trader.

On Wednesday (10 October) officers from both organisations, alongside colleagues from Community Response and NatWest, joined forces to tackle rogue business practices and raise awareness of the dangers linked to hiring cold-callers.

During the day of action, police and trading standards officers undertook roving patrols across North Somerset checking tradesmen working on properties and advising homeowners. A total of 20 vehicles and seven traders were vetted during the day for compliance with doorstep trading regulations.

Meanwhile Community Response Officer Carol Pike worked alongside colleagues from NatWest’s Community Bankers at Cadbury Garden Centre in Congresbury to promote the national ‘Friends Against Scams’ campaign.

North Somerset Trading Standards Lead Officer for Doorstep Crime, David Howard, said: “Rogue traders and doorstep fraudsters prey on the most vulnerable in society. Working closely with the police and other agencies means we can intervene sooner and safeguard potential victims. This campaign is a core part of a wider strategy to ensure trading standards and the police can work together so there’s no place for these kinds of criminals to hide.”

Please help to protect any vulnerable relatives or friends by helping to find reputable tradespeople and sharing police advice:

  • if in doubt, keep them out – use a door chain, intercom or video doorbell/viewer with unknown or unexpected visitors
  •  check identification – genuine callers expect this and will wait
  • if you’re not sure, don’t open the door and report it by calling 101
  • if you feel threatened or intimidated call 999 straight away
  •  lock your doors while you’re in your garden or another room
  •  keep cash in the bank, not at home
  • join Neighbourhood Watch
  • set up a ‘No Cold Calling Zone’ through your local council
  • ask a trusted relative or friend to deal with callers on your behalf through our ‘Nominated Neighbour’ scheme
  •  sign up to utility companies’ password schemes.

If you suspect someone of being a rogue trader, or find yourself accosted by uninvited doorstep sellers, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.