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Zone launched to warn off doorstep conmen in Windhill, Shipley
11:00am Friday 19th October 2012 in News
Bogus officials, doorstep criminals and pushy salesmen will be warned off homes in one area of Shipley from today, following the launch of a No Cold Calling Zone.
Trading standards officials have joined forces with police and community groups to start the first initiative of its kind in Windhill, to rid the area of sneak-in burglars and unscrupulous traders who often prey on elderly and vulnerable people.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Trading Standards said: “Unscru-pulous traders carry out unnecessary, substandard and sometimes even dangerous work and then use strong-arm tactics to persuade consumers to part with large sums of money for poor workmanship.
“In addition, burglars may use cold calling as a pretext to engage in distraction burglary.
“Whilst cold calling is not currently illegal, it is a practice that the vast majority of people do not want. Some people may find it intimidating, frightening and intrusive, not to mention irritating and frustrating at times.”
The new zone will be identified by signs on lamp posts telling traders they are entering an area where residents do not buy goods and services at the door.
Each home will receive an information booklet offering advice, as well as a door sticker to deter unwanted callers.
Training will be given to police officers, neighbourhood wardens and community safety officers who come into regular contact with residents who may fall prey to rogue traders, to help them report incidents to the correct authority.
The scheme has been funded by the Shipley Area Committee after Windhill Street Reps reported a high number of cold callers and burglars. It follows similar schemes in Bradford, Ilkley, Silsden, Steeton and Menston.
Sue Kenworthy, Windhill Street Reps chairman, said: “This happened after one of our members was talking about getting caught by a window salesman coming round to her house and selling her windows, but she was then told she couldn’t cancel.
“We also do get quite a few burglaries around Windhill, so we thought we would do all we could to help.”
Graham Hebblethwaite, chief officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “This initiative is a simple yet effective mechanism in the fight against doorstep criminals and cold callers. The popularity of the zones continues to thrive throughout West Yorkshire and the feedback from residents ensures that we can continue to make improvements and develop the zones further.”
The launch will take place at the Windhill Community Centre, Church Street, Windhill, Shipley at 2pm.
For information on Cold Calling Control Zones, visit ts.wyjs.org.uk or telephone the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 040506.