Police across Derbyshire are launching a long term campaign to raise awareness of doorstep crime.
Over the next few months the campaign, which is being started by a national week of action, will see officers work with Derbyshire Trading Standards to help residents avoid becoming a victim of a rogue trader or a distraction burglar.
A rogue trader or a pushy doorstep seller will use fraud to con vulnerable people into paying for unnecessary or vastly overpriced work to their home.
The campaign will involve visits to local residents and events by local Safer Neighbourhood teams who will be talking to people about the risks of agreeing to work being done by cold callers.
Police and trading standards officers will also be checking that traders are legitimate, and highlighting how people can avoid becoming a victim.
Superintendent Lecky Grewal, who is the lead in Derbyshire on doorstep crime, said: "The aim of the campaign is to help protect those residents who are more vulnerable to doorstep crime.
"While the majority of callers are genuine, and act within the law, there are some individuals who may take advantage. This means that some people could pay a large amount of cash for unnecessary work or be put at risk of distraction burglary.”
During the campaign residents will be reminded of the phrase ‘Not Sure? Don’t Open the Door’ and will be advised to contact the police with any information about suspicious callers.
They will be urged to check the ID of doorstep callers, get a second opinion before agreeing to any work and to check up on callers by contacting their company using a number from a telephone directory.
Residents will also be encouraged to use Derbyshire County Council’s Trusted Trader Scheme, set up to help people find local traders such as plumbers, builders, roofers or gardeners who agree to do a good job at a fair price.
Robert Taylour, head of trading standards at Derbyshire County Council said: "The vast majority of traders in Derbyshire operate within the law and provide a good service.
"However, there are a handful of unscrupulous traders who will break the law and target some of the most vulnerable members of society.
"We are pleased to be working with Derbyshire police to warn Derbyshire consumers not to agree to work from unannounced traders who arrive on the doorstep and to use the Derbyshire Trusted Trader Scheme to find a local reliable trader”
Supt. Grewal added: "Police officers, while out on patrol, are constantly on the lookout for rogue traders or residents who may be at risk of doorstep crime.
"We would urge members of the public to tell us about any activity which causes concern, to look out for their neighbours, particularly the elderly, and to not be afraid to turn away doorstep traders.”
Anyone concerned about suspicious callers in their area should call Derbyshire police, on 101, or dial 999 if a crime is in progress.
People can also report a rogue trader and get advice through the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.