23 May 2008
Trading Standards Officers from Caerphilly County Borough Council will shortly be responding to all calls about Doorstep Crime in partnership with Gwent Police officers throughout Caerphilly county borough.
Caerphilly County Borough Council and Gwent Police C Division have signed a joint protocol, which will ensure that victims of rogue traders will receive a joint response from both Police Officers and Trading Standards Officers.
This will provide them with a full range of expertise regarding criminal offences and contractual issues at the first visit and enable officers to make any necessary arrests, if offenders are still on the scene.
Calls about rogue traders could include complaints about cold callers, visits from bogus officials, distraction burglaries, or issues involving people overcharging for work undertaken around the home or garden.
A Doorstep Crime Awareness Day was held recently in Caerphilly county borough for the Local Policing Teams and organisations that care for residents in the community. The event helped to raise awareness of the issues surrounding doorstep crime, and provided advice about preventative measures that are available to help protect the people that they care for.
Chief Superintendant Alun Thomas said, "The new protocol has been developed to ensure that victims of doorstep crime have a full range of expertise at the first point of contact. It will also enable any necessary arrests to be made, if offenders are still on the scene. This joined-up approach for the Police and Council is part of our on-going effort to tackle bogus traders and by working together we aim to prevent more members of our community from becoming victims of doorstep crime."
Steve Delahaye, Caerphilly County Borough Council's Head of Public Protection said, "I very much welcome the signing of this brand new protocol which will assist greatly in dealing with instances of doorstep crime in the local area. By working in partnership with Gwent Police, I hope that this will reassure local residents that we are working tirelessly to prevent further cases of doorstep crime from occurring in the area."
Residents are also reminded of the nationally accredited "Nominated Neighbour Scheme", which was launched by the Gwent Crime Reduction Partnership to reduce distraction burglaries. The objective of the scheme is to encourage older residents to seek the help of a neighbour or relative in checking that unexpected callers to the door are genuine.
The idea is that when an unexpected caller appears at the door, the occupant displays a bright yellow card at a nearby window, with directions as to who their nominated neighbour is. The nominated neighbour is then able to verify the callers' validity and will then return with the caller to the older persons house.
"Nominated Neighbour" cards are available free of charge from your local Gwent Police Station.
If you are unsure about whether or not a caller is genuine, contact your local Trading Standards department, who will be able to give advice. Alternatively, Care and Repair hold lists of local traders, which is made available to owner-occupiers who are over 60 or disabled.
Residents are reminded not to agree to work to be carried out by cold callers and importantly never to hand over cash on the doorstep as this may mark them out a potential target for a later burglary. If you have any information about rogue traders operating in the area, please contact Gwent Police on 01633 838111.
To contact Caerphilly County Borough Council's Trading Standards Department, please call01495 235291.
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