UPDATE Lancashire Police clampdown on rogue traders

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Police clampdown on rogue traders

LAST WEEK Lancashire Police joined police forces and trading standards teams across the UK to take action against rogue traders as part of a week-long national enforcement and awareness initiative.

Over 450 police and partners took part in Operation Rogue Trader 2014 in Lancashire, targeting criminals who pose as bogus officials or pursue elderly and vulnerable members of our communities to undertake unnecessary, substandard and financially inflated work to properties.

Between 7th and 11th April, 1,627 homes were visited, along with 73 repeat victims and 29 new ‘No Cold Calling areas’ were established. Officers also attended numerous community events and gave presentations highlighting the dangers that consenting to have work carried out by cold callers can bring.

87 traders were checked while carrying out repairs to properties and a total of 16 people were arrested during the operation for a variety of offences.

In Blackpool three men have been charged with conspiracy to steal after allegedly targeting 87 victims through the theft of lead and other valuable materials.

Chief Inspector Mike Adamson said: “Together with Trading Standards we have made a substantial contribution to safeguard some of our most vulnerable residents and to educate the community about the tactics used by rogue traders.

“Following on from this operation the police will continue to work with partners on similar operations to target and prosecute those involved in rogue trader offences.

Steve Playle, Trading Standards Institute Lead Officer for Doorstep Crime, said: “Operation Rogue Trader is a fantastic initiative that brings together trading standards officers and police officers in order to tackle the menace of criminals who cause enormous emotional distress and massive financial detriment to so many householders across the country.

“The activities of cold calling home maintenance rogues are often linked to the activities of distraction burglars and all the evidence shows that it is the elderly and vulnerable who are deliberately targeted by this crime.  The simple message from trading standards is to always say ‘no’ to any traders offering to carry out work who unexpectedly turn up on your doorstep.”
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