A crackdown on illegal traders and doorstep criminals, who take advantage of vulnerable members of our community, took place during a day of action across Cheshire.
Officers along with partner agencies worked together by increasing patrols as well as giving advice and reassurance to local residents including the elderly community.
The clampdown came as part of a national day of action on Wednesday, 10 May, to target rogue traders who often profit unscrupulously from elderly and vulnerable victims.
Rogue trading refers to the practice of deliberately overcharging for unsatisfactory goods and services. This includes charging of unnecessary work, damaging property deliberately in order to obtain money, leaving work unfinished and intimidating behaviour in order to exhort money.
Inspector Steve Griffiths, who co-ordinated the rogue trader operation in Cheshire, said: "Although the majority of traders out there are genuine, unfortunately there are people who take advantage and exploit the community, often those who are the most vulnerable in our society.
"Throughout the year we work with agencies to issue crime prevention advice as well as help residents know how to better protect themselves from illegal traders who try to deceive and manipulate them. Wednesday's operation was another opportunity for us to further reassure the community and to send a clear message to rogue tradesman and cold callers that we will not allow them to cause such a devastating impact on residents."
During the operation, officers gave four cars prohibition notices after deeming them so dangerous they were taken off the road there and then. At least 150 other vehicles were also stop checked. A man, who was delivering leaflets to homes, was also stopped and spoken to by officers in Middlewich.
Inspector Griffiths added: "The success of this operation does not stop here, we will continue to deter those who commit these offences but I would also encourage the local community to follow simple steps to help prevent these crimes as well as ask them to look out for the elderly or vulnerable neighbours."
David Keane, Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner, said: “I’m pleased to see that Cheshire Police played their part in the Rogue Trader day of action.
"One of my policing priorities is to ‘support victims and protect the vulnerable’ and the impact that this kind of crime can have on victims is devastating- often bringing misery and causing long-term financial and emotional consequences.
"I will continue to support officers and partner agencies to raise awareness and help prevent residents from falling victim to these unscrupulous criminals.”
Residents are reminded to:
• Remain vigilant and always check the identity and credentials of anyone who calls at your home offering to carry out work
• If you are in any doubt as to the identity of the person you should always check directly with the company they are claiming to be from - if the person is genuine they will not mind
• Do not agree to anything on the spot, or sign anything and do not feel pressured into having work carried out It is worth discussing any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or a friend who can help find a reputable trader
Anyone who has any information about rogue tradesman or worried that a relative or friend is being targeted is asked to contact Cheshire Police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.