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Cold Caller Free Zones To Be Unveiled In Stroud
Police, county Trading Standards and Stroud Neighbourhood Watch have teamed up to launch a new initiative designed to prevent cold callers and door-to-door salesmen calling on elderly and vulnerable people in the district.
In recent years some of the most vulnerable members of society have been the target of unscrupulous offenders who trick their way inside homes and con victims by posing as utilities workers, council officials, and door-to-door salesmen, to name just three of the identities regularly used.
In a bid to prevent more local people from falling victim to such scams, police, Neighbourhood Watch and Trading Standards will be creating 'Cold Caller Free Zones' across the Stroud district in the coming weeks.
Areas identified as potential targets for bogus callers, mostly areas of sheltered accommodation with elderly residents, will have signs erected in prominent places outside bearing the words, 'This Is A No Cold Calling Zone'.
The 1ft by 1ft signs will also carry the free phone Bogus Caller Helpline number, 0808 1000 777.
The latest initiative, which is funded by all three partners, currently has enough signs for 50 'Cold Caller Free Zones' in the Stroud District, but, if they prove successful, the scheme could be introduced to other areas.
Rick Pellatt, Neighbourhood Watch Field Officer and Crime Reduction Advisor, and PCSO Tracy Wren have been the organisers at the heart of the new initiative.
"The aim of this project is to deter bogus callers from targeting vulnerable members of the community," said Tracy.
"While we accept that not all cold callers are criminals, we have had numerous incidents in recent years whereby the door-to-door selling of goods and services has been a smoke screen used by criminals to obtain money by deception.
"We have also seen situations where criminals have pretended to be employees of the council, key services or even the police in order to dupe residents.
"It's unfortunate, but the only way to prevent cases like this from happening in the future is to have a blanket ban on cold callers being allowed into areas where many of the local residents are vulnerable.
"In the coming weeks, wherever we put a sign we will be speaking to local residents and making them aware of the situation. In addition to being a warning to cold callers, the sign will act as a reminder to them not to have dealings with people who turn up unannounced on their doorstep."
: 07/11/2006 16:33:20
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