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West Yorkshire Joint Services
Trading Standards Service
West Yorkshire Joint Services
Trading Standards                                                       West Yorkshire Joint Services

Doorstep crime

Doorstep Crime
   Menu  
   1) What is doorstep crime? 7) Some useful numbers
   2) What is a Cold Calling Control Zone? 8) Cold Calling Control Zones
   3) How can I set up a zone? 9) Testimonials for Cold Calling Control Zones
   4) Avoid Being a Victim 10) Royds Older People Project
   5) Frequently Asked Questions 11) Reputable Traders In Your Area
   6) National Doorstep Cold Calling Protocol for     Traders and Businesses 12) Letters For Housholders to Send to Traders

 

What is doorstep crime?

The majority of people who knock on your door ARE likely to be genuine. However, it is important to know that some are rogue traders, doorstep criminals and uninvited sales people and may turn up unannounced, with the intention of tricking their way into your home.

 

So-called ‘doorstep crime’ often results from an initial cold call. Unscrupulous traders will prey on the elderly and vulnerable members of society, 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 or sneak in thefts.

 

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.

 

In response to increasing complaints about cold callers and doorstep crime, and as part of our doorstep crime initiative, West Yorkshire Trading Standards has implemented in excess of 150 successful Cold Calling Control Zones throughout the county and continue to play an integral part in the development of potential zones.
They have been established with the help and support of the Police, Community Safety Partnerships, Neighbourhood Watch Groups, Housing Associations, local Councillors and most importantly, local residents.


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What is a Cold Calling Control Zone?

Cold Calling Control Zones are areas which are considered to be vulnerable to doorstep crime and where residents have, collectively, stated that they do not want cold callers.
The main aim of the zones is to prevent incidents of doorstep crime, raise awareness of the activities of rogue traders who target vulnerable people, and give residents the confidence to say NO to uninvited callers as a community. Therefore, reducing levels and fear of crime in the allocated areas.

 

Zones are clearly identified by signs on lamp posts at the main entrance and exit points, informing traders that they are entering an area where residents do not buy goods and services at the door. Each household will also receive an information booklet offering advice, as well as a door sticker to deter unwanted callers.

 

Cold Calling Control Zones are a low maintenance initiative and, once established, are easily sustained. As part of the scheme, residents are also given the opportunity to attend awareness talks and workshops which will provide information on vital issues such as how to deal with doorstep salesman, alternative ways to compare energy companies and who to contact in an emergency.
Residents will also be able to participate in regular evaluation of the project, allowing them to contribute to the improvement and expansion of future zones

 

The zones have been hailed a huge success nationally and have been show to reduce overall crime in the areas where they now exist.

Exemptions – some traders are exempt from the Cold Calling Control Zones (CCCZ’s) such as:

  1. Everyday traders ( milk men, window cleaners )
  2. Enforcement agencies
  3. Charities
  4. Religious groups
  5. Betterware/Avon agents
  6. Political canvassing

However if you have any suspicions re the above or they are using questionable tactics, calling late at night, not taking ‘NO’ for an answer then this should be reported to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 or Police 101 number.

 

Junk Mail – CCCZ’s does not stop junk mail. Residents can register with the Mailing Preference Service http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/ or ring 0845 703 4599

 

Telephone Calls – CCCZ’s does not stop unsolicited phone calls. Residents can register with the Telephone Preference Service http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/ or ring 0845 070 0707.

 


Don't Be A Victim

 

Avoid being a victim by following these ‘Stay Safe’ Tips

  • Be aware of pressure selling tactics such as claims of special offers or offers that are only on for one day and don’t let them make you think that you are the odd one out on the street who hasn’t bought from them
  • If someone claims they are part of a Trade Association or an approved body, ensure they have evidence and don’t be scared to check up on them.
  • If you have arranged an appointment and for someone to come and see you, use the password scheme when booking with the organisation. If the person calling on you doesn’t know the agreed password, don’t let them in.
  • Have a spy hole or peephole on your door so you can see who is calling
  • Use a door chain before you are certain if who you are letting in
  • Always ask for id and confirm it with the organisation they claim to be with by getting the number from your local directory or the internet (see list of useful numbers below). Don’t rely on the number the salesperson has given you
  • Always have your doors locked. Distraction burglaries occur when one person has you engaged at the front door and an accomplice enters through the back door
  • Calling Control Zones have recently featured on Money Saving Expert.com. Follow this link to see Martin Lewis's tips on beating cold callers and junk mail


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How can I set up a zone?

The purpose of the scheme is to empower residents, and to encourage them to work as an entire community against doorstep sellers and therefore increase the reporting of related crimes and incidents.

 

There are several important points to note regarding the establishment of a zone:


• In order to set up a zone, a minimal amount of funding is required, and will vary depending on the size of the zone.

• There also needs to be evidence, within the area, to suggest that cold calling is a problem.

• Partnership working is vital to ensure zones are created and managed efficiently and effectively

• We also recommend that there is a designated person in place who is willing to be the point of contact to ensure sustainability

 

How can I set up a zone? follow this link to our simple step by step guide

 

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Avoid Being a Victim

 

Avoid being a victim by following these ‘Stay Safe’ Tips

 

• Be aware of pressure selling tactics such as claims of special offers or offers that are only on for one day and don’t let them make you think that you are the odd one out on the street who hasn’t bought from them

 

• If someone claims they are part of a Trade Association or an approved body, ensure they have evidence and don’t be scared to check up on them.

 

• If you have arranged an appointment and for someone to come and see you, use the password scheme when booking with the organisation. If the person calling on you doesn’t know the agreed password, don’t let them in.

 

• Have a spy hole or peephole on your door so you can see who is calling

 

• Use a door chain before you are certain if who you are letting in

 

• Always ask for id and confirm it with the organisation they claim to be with by getting the number from your local directory or the internet (see list of useful numbers below). Don’t rely on the number the salesperson has given you

 

• Always have your doors locked. Distraction burglaries occur when one person has you engaged at the front door and an accomplice enters through the back door

 

• Calling Control Zones have recently featured on Money Saving Expert.com. Follow this link to see Martin Lewis's tips on beating cold callers and junk mail


•For details of reputable traders in your area, follow these links:

      •Leeds Directory
      •Calderdale
      •Kirklees

 

• Finally, don’t be scared to say NO

 


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Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do we fund a Cold Calling Control Zone?

Cold Calling Control Zones can be funded from a range of sources. Some examples of recent funding opportunities have been through Local Area Committees, The Proceeds of Crime Act (through the Police), Community Safety Partnerships and Housing Associations.


Do we need a Cold Calling Control Zone?

For a Cold Calling Control Zone to be considered, there needs to be substantial evidence to prove that there is an issue with doorstep crime, rogue traders or pushy sales people within the area.

The best way to ensure this information is recorded is to call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506 or click here and use the online form. Alternatively, speak with your local police team if you have concerns that this is happening.


If such activity is causing residents to feel unsafe and intimidated in their homes, or just frustrated at the inconvenience callers are causing, then a zone may be the answer.


What is the average size of a zone?

Each zone is individual and can range from 50 houses to 5000 houses, depending on the extremity of the problem, funding available and also partners involved.

 

Is Cold Calling Illegal?

If you are in a zone and continue to get persistent callers, please use this template letter to send to traders to highlight the relevant regulations.

 

As a business, how can we find out where the Cold Calling Control Zones are in West Yorkshire?

Our website contains a list of all the zones in West Yorkshire, so you can find out where you should be avoiding. Please visit the website regularly to check any new zones that may have been added.

 

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Some useful numbers

 

ORGANISATION PHONE NUMBER WEBSITE
Age UK 0800 009 966 http://www.ageuk.org.uk
Age Uk (Calderdale & Kirklees) 0800 0126 508 http://www.aubdcalderdaleandkirklees.co.uk/
Association of Master Upholsterers 0149 445 2965 http://www.upholsterers.co.uk
Charities Commission 0845 300 0218 http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk
Consumer Council for Water 0121 345 1000 http://www.ccwater.org.uk
Corgi / Gas Safe Register 0800 408 5500 http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk
Energy Supply Ombudsman 0330 440 1624 http://www.ombudsman-services.org
Federation of Master Builders 0207 242 7583 http://www.fmb.org.uk
Fensa 020 7645 3700 http://www.fensa.co.uk
Glass and Glazing Federation 0207 939 9101 http://www.ggf.org.uk
Leeds Directory 0113 3918 333 http://www.leedsdirectory.org
NICEIC 0870 013 0382 http://niceic.com/
Citizens Advice Bureau Self Help 03454 040506 http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk>
Police Non Emergency Number 101 http://www.police.uk/101

 



Utility Companies PHONE NUMBER WEBSITE
G4S Utility Services (formerly AccuRead) 0808 770 7000 UK Head Office http://www.g4s.uk.com/EN-GB/
British Gas 0800 048 0202 http://www.britishgas.co.uk
NPower 0845 606 0646 http://www.npower.com
E.ON 0800 051 5855 http://www.eon-uk.com
Scottish Power 0800 408 1644 http://www.scottishpower.co.uk
EDF Energy 0845 300 1291 http://www.edfenergy.com
Yorkshire Water- Bogus caller checks on identity cards 0800 138 7878 http://www.yorkshirewater.com


 


Council Switchboards PHONE NUMBER
Leeds 0113 2224444
Bradford 01274 432111
Wakefield 08458 506506
Kirklees 01484 221000
Calderdale 0845 2456000

 

 


Preference Services PHONE NUMBER
Mail 0845 703 4599
Telephone 0845 070 0707
Fax 0845 070 0702

 

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For a list of areas covered click on the links below


If you live in an area covered by a zone and are aware of cold calling taking place, or would like further information on setting up a zone in your area, please contact 08454 04 05 06

 


Cold Calling Control Zones


These Cold Calling Zones are viewable as a Google Map here

 

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Letters for householders to send to traders

 

      Request Not To Return Letter

      Request Not To Telephone Me Again

 

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To make a consumer complaint contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or click here and use the online form.



West Yorkshire Joint Services
Nepshaw Lane South,
Morley, LS27 7JQ
Tel. 0113 253 0241

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