04 June 2013

A scheme to fight rogue traders and distraction burglaries is being launched in an area of Wellingborough this week (Wednesday 5th June).

A no cold-calling scheme is being set up in the Pyghtle, the Headlands and Ridgeway Wellingborough where elderly or vulnerable residents have previously been targeted.

No cold-calling zones

High visibility signs will be erected in the roads indicating that it is a no cold-calling area and crime prevention packs, including door advice stickers are being delivered to local residents. The key message to householders is ‘if you’re not sure, DON’T open the door’. The warning to callers is ‘Stay away. Cold-callers are NOT welcome’.

Residents in this area are also being urged to call a special hotline to Northamptonshire Police, 0345 23 07 702, to report any crime or suspicious callers at their homes and provide details of the callers to assist with their identification.

Who is involved in the scheme?

The no cold-calling scheme has been initiated and funded by the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Wellingborough Community Safety Partnership which includes Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service, and Northamptonshire Police.

It aims to reduce the instances of doorstep selling and distraction burglaries in the area and provide a clear message to householders. Successful schemes are already operating in East Northamptonshire, Northampton, Kettering, South Northamptonshire, Daventry and Corby.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection said: “We have been introducing this scheme to other parts of the county over the past seven years and have some extremely positive feedback so far from local residents.

“Members of the public should never feel pressured into making a decision or agreeing to buy anything on the doorstep. Our advice is very clear; avoid opening the door to someone if you’re not expecting them. I would also encourage residents to use the council’s Buy With Confidence scheme to find a business that is trading standards approved.”

Wellingborough Inspector Pauline Sturman, who has been involved in getting the scheme off the ground, said: “These areas have been selected as no cold calling zones because they have been targeted by distraction burglars in the past.

“The scheme sends a clear message out that callers are not welcome in the area, which in turn reduces potential incidents of distraction burglary.

“The no cold calling scheme is an important support mechanism which we hope will give people more confidence to say ‘no’ to door-to-door callers. The simple message is - if you are not sure, don’t open the door.”

Cllr Paul Bell, leader of Wellingborough Council said: "Wellingborough and the surrounding villages is a safe place to live and we want to keep it that way and reduce the number of opportunities for bogus callers to prey on vulnerable members of the community.

"We believe that 'No Cold Calling Zones' like this will send out a clear signal to those people who operate like this that they are not welcome in this area.

"The cold calling system puts undue pressure on householders by having someone knocking at their door, often at dusk, trying to get them to buy something or have work done."

The signs are being erected on the 5th June 2012 and the no cold calling zone will operate from that date.