A scheme to fight rogue traders and distraction burglaries has been launched in an area of Northampton today (Friday).
A ‘no cold-calling’ scheme has been set up in the Parsons Meade and Summerfields area of West Hunsbury where elderly and vulnerable residents have previously been targeted.
Cold-callers not welcome
High visibility signs have been put up in the streets indicating that cold-calling is not welcome and crime prevention packs including door advice stickers have been delivered to local residents.
Residents in the area are also being urged to call a special police hotline 0345 23 07 702 to report any crime or suspicious callers at their homes. In an emergency they should always call 999.
The ‘no cold-calling’ scheme has been funded by Northampton Borough Council and supported by the Northampton Community Safety Partnership which includes Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards team and Northamptonshire Police.
Succesful schemes are already operating in 57 areas of Northamptonshire.
Councillor André Gonzalez de Savage, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection, said: “Over the past ten years, we have been introducing this scheme to parts of Northamptonshire and have received 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 encourage residents to use businesses that are members of the county council’s Buy With Confidence scheme and have been approved by Trading Standards.”
Laura Jones, Prevention Manager from the Northamptonshire Police prevention and community protection team, said: “Distraction burglars often have plausible reasons for why they need to get into the house but we urge people not to open their door unless they are expecting a visitor. Always check for identification and call 101 if you have any concerns at all.
“We want to remind people to be vigilant and our main advice is always the same: if you’re not sure don’t open the door.
“Unfortunately the victims of distraction burglary are often elderly or vulnerable, which is why schemes like this, that help to improve their safety, is always good news.”
Cllr David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “The ‘no cold-calling’ scheme is a great example of a pro-active initiative and approach to deterring criminals and raising awareness amongst some of our more vulnerable communities and I am pleased that this is now being launched in West Hunsbury.”
The first ‘no cold-calling’ zone was launched in East Northamptonshire in August 2005.
Residents can report any suspicious activity by calling police on 0345 23 07 702. A list of approved traders who are recognised by the Buy With Confidence scheme can be found at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders.