Cold callers have been warned they could face legal action after efforts were stepped up to protect residents in Hartlepool.
Seven new ‘No Cold Call’ zones have been set up in the Fens and Rossmere Ward of the town.
The zones aim to reduce doorstop crime by specifying an area where doorstop callers are not welcome.
There are now 22 such zones in the town, with prominent signage erected within them to warn would-be callers.
All residents within them have also been supplied with ‘No Cold Calling’ stickers in a further bid to put off the callers.
There are no laws which prevent traders from calling at people’s homes uninvited.
Introducing No Cold Calling zones is a great way to protect our vulnerable residentsKevin Cranney
However, if a No Cold Call zone is set up and a trader decides to call on those who live within it, legal action can be taken against them.
The latest streets to be designated are Cromer Walk, Witham Grove, Durness Grove, Thursby Grove, Claymore Walk, Crieff Walk and Crail Walk.
Hartlepool Borough Council see the zones as a good way to “protect vulnerable residents”.
Kevin Cranney, chair of the council’s regeneration services committee, said: “The council works closely with the police and its key partner organisations to help keep residents safe in their communities.
“Introducing No Cold Calling zones is a great way to protect our vulnerable residents, and a big deterrent to rogue traders, but they are only introduced where there is overwhelming support from residents in a particular street.”
Zones may be set up either in response to doorstep crime incidents, local intelligence or on request by local residents.
One Cromer Walk resident, Dorothy Aveyard, said: “I think the scheme is fantastic, because when you get older you often become a target.
Another from the street, Michael Morgan, added: “I think it will make people feel more secure and a scheme like this can only help.”
Andrea Aveyard, who also lives in Cromer Walk, said: “We do get a lot of cold callers in this area and hopefully this will put a stop to it.”
Coun Jim Lindridge, a councillor for the Fens and Rossmere Ward, said: “Along with fellow councillor Alan Clark, we approached residents living in areas where we thought they were most vulnerable.
“I think this is a great scheme as it provides protection for residents and helps them live safely in their homes.”
The council is asking residents who feel they would benefit from such a zone in their area to get in touch with them.
If you would like your street to be considered for a No Cold Calling zone, or want to report concerns about rogue traders where you live, contact the council’s trading standards team on 01429 523362.
Residents in need of free crime prevention advice, including the provision of security devices, can contact Lorna Hilton from the council’s community safety team on 01429 523100.