THOUSANDS of vulnerable people will be protected from rogue traders after a community campaigner enforced a crackdown on cold calling.
More than 4,500 homes in Coun Andrea Kay’s Cleveleys Park ward have signed up to the scheme to prevent unlicensed traders and fraudsters turning up at their properties.
Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards and police-led project means officers will protect the area and attend any reports of unsolicited trading.
Coun Kay said: “Elderly people are frightened because they don’t know if their roof is coming off or tiles need replacing, so this is why we are going 100 per cent no cold calling.
“If residents phone the police or trading standards and say someone is bombarding me, the police will come out straight away.
“We don’t want bogus callers and this has taken me six months of knocking on doors to secure the 60 per cent of residents needed to make it a protected zone.”
Coun Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “No Cold Calling Areas have proved to be an effective deterrent and we strongly support communities who want to establish them to reduce instances of doorstep selling and distraction burglaries.
“Rogue traders prey on vulnerable people, often conning them out of vast sums of money for work that is substandard, unnecessary, and overpriced.
“They then disappear, leaving the resident to pick up the pieces. Dealing with a rogue trader can have a very bad effect on the victim’s wellbeing.”
Community Beat Manager Ian Hill said, “We would always ask residents to be wary of cold callers and although the area has been declared a no cold calling zone, some people may attempt to sell items or a product on doorsteps.
“Should anyone witness anything suspicious then I would urge them to call their local neighbourhood officers on 101 or inform trading standards and between us we will be able to look into the matter.”
• To report suspicious activity call Lancashire’s Safe Trader scheme on 0303 333 1111.