Rogue traders and aggressive doorstep sellers were targeted last week by the Councils Trading Standards team working in partnership with Derbyshire police as part of Operation Rogue Trader.
Operation Rogue Trader is a national multi-agency campaign coordinated by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) with Liberal, the police National Intelligence Unit.
During the week, Officers from the Council and Derbyshire police collaborated on activity with a joint enforcement day to stop rogue business practices and raise awareness of the dangers linked to hiring cold-callers.
Throughout the week, over 1000 Derby residents were leafleted and offered advice to help them avoid being a victim of doorstep crime. Residents were also offered ‘No Cold Calling’ stickers to help deter cold callers from approaching residents’ homes.
17 Traders were also spoken to during roaming patrols and advice given on business names, pre-contract information and cancellation rights to help them avoid falling foul of consumer law.
The result of these conversations with traders mean that further advice and guidance will be provided on the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation & Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Further investigations are also being launched into two trade associations’ claims and potential offences under the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act and the Environmental Protection Act.
Sadly, the roaming patrols have also revealed two victims that appear to have been coerced by rogue traders into parting with an astonishing £40,000 between them. One of these has resulted in a safeguarding referral.
Councillor Matthew Holmes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Protection commented:
“Rogue Traders and Doorstep Scammers can devastate the lives of the people they target. The work carried out by our Trading Standards team and the police this week sends a strong message to anyone who thinks they can get away with this type of crime in Derby. Our partnership work has also provided reassurance to residents who are now more knowledgeable on how to spot and stop cold callers and rogue traders.”
Sgt Donna Abbott from Derbyshire Constabulary said:
“Partnership working is key to tackling rogue traders. The police alone cannot combat this type of crime, therefore working together to gather intelligence is key.”
If you suspect someone of being a rogue trader, or find yourself accosted by uninvited doorstep sellers, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.
Operation Rogue Trader began specifically to target doorstep crimes and in particular, distraction burglaries and rogue trader offences. However, as rogue trading practices diversified, Operation Rogue Trader also diversified to allow participating authorities to proactively target criminal behaviour, and raise awareness amongst the most vulnerable in our communities.