Police step up to stop cold callers

PCSO Kelly Vause takes the cold callers warning out to Tadcaster residents. (S)
PCSO Kelly Vause takes the cold callers warning out to Tadcaster residents. (S)

Tadcaster Safer Neighbourhood Team have been working with local people in a bid to crack down on cold callers.

In partnership with Trading Standards, No Cold Calling Zones have been established in the North Eastern areas of Tadcaster town to help reduce distraction burglaries and prevent rogue traders from conning residents out of their hard earned cash.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Cold-calling is when someone calls at your home unannounced and tries to sell you products or services.

“While the vast majority of cold-callers will be from legitimate companies, there are also some who look to use this as a cover in order to commit distraction burglaries or persuade you to buy things you don’t need or want, often at inflated prices.

“Sadly these offences are all too often targeted towards elderly residents who may be easier to persuade.”

The latest zones were established after a local woman was targeted by a distraction burglar.

Police Community Support Officer Kelly Vause, who was instrumental in the establishment of the No Cold Calling zones, said: “By introducing the No Cold-Calling Zones, residents know that legitimate cold-callers will not disturb them, thus taking away any doubt of who is legitimate or not.

“Crimes committed by bogus callers and rogue traders are some of the most cowardly and deplorable incidents the police have to deal with.

“The perpetrators deliberately prey on the elderly and the most vulnerable members of our communities, conning them out of cash they can ill-afford to lose.”

She added: “The establishment of the new zones are very welcome and send a clear message to callers that they are not welcome here. Any callers who ignore a No Cold Calling sign could face prosecution.”

And PCSO Vause warned: “All residents should not be afraid to refuse to answer their door to cold callers. If you don’t know who is at your door, simply don’t answer it. Please report any suspicious people or vehicles to the police on 101, or, if you feel threatened or believe a crime is in progress, please ring the police on 999.

North Yorkshire Police launched a campaign earlier this year to raise awareness of distraction burglaries. A video, funded by criminals’ cash, shows a typical distraction burglary and the subsequent effect these crimes have on their elderly victims. The force has also given out thousands of door hangers to remind householders not to answer the door to people they don’t know.

Officers working on the campaign, have been working alongside North Yorkshire care providers and the NHS to encourage elderly and vulnerable people to say no to cold callers. The simple message is “Not sure? Don’t open the door!

The video can be viewed at - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RJ64gFo0s0