Efforts are being stepped up to help protect residents from doorstep callers.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s trading standards officers have worked with the Safer Hartlepool Partnership and Cleveland Police to set up a number of No Cold Calling Zones around Hartlepool.
A No Cold Calling Zone aims to reduce doorstep crime by specifying an area in which doorstep callers are not welcome.
There are no laws that prevent traders from calling at people’s homes uninvited, but if a No Cold Call Zone is set up and a trader decides to call, legal action can be taken.
The latest No Cold Call Zone to be established is Nookston Close, Deer Park.
Prominent signage has been fixed to lampposts to warn any would-be callers and all residents have been supplied with ‘No Cold Calling’ door stickers.
Ian Harrison, the council’s trading standards and licensing manager, said “The number of doorstep crime incidents reported to both trading standards and the police has increased significantly over recent years.
“Introducing No Cold Calling Zones is a great way to protect our vulnerable residents, and a big deterrent to rogue traders.”
Before a Zone can be created the following criteria must be met:
•A high concentration of elderly and vulnerable residents;
•A small identifiable area which directly corresponds to the identified problem, such as a road or cul-de-sac. Large areas, such as entire villages or estates, cannot be considered;
•The majority of householders within the proposed area must agree with the implementation of the zone and be happy for no cold callers to enter the zone.
If you would like your street to be considered for a No Cold Calling Zone or to report concerns about rogue traders, contact the council’s trading standards team on (01429) 523362. Residents in need of free crime prevention advice, can contact Lorna Hilton from the council’s community safety team on (01429) 523100.