COUNCIL chiefs are stepping up a clampdown to tackle doorstep crime.
Durham County Council is urging east Durham residents and businesses to guard against illegal traders.
The local authority’s Registered Trader Scheme was founded in 2005 to address the problem of bogus traders across the county.
The fair trading team has worked hard to establish a programme with 120 businesses signed up but more are being encouraged to show their support by getting on board.
Businesses signed up to the scheme include plumbers, electricians, decorators and gardeners.
The scheme supports and recognises those businesses which are committed to maintaining high standards of professionalism in their work.
All types of traders are welcome to join the scheme which has seen a 50 per cent increase in members in the last 12 months.
To join the scheme, a trader must comply with certain criteria and checks including the verification of any trade association membership claims, references from customers and their trading standards complaints history.
For more information or to search for a trader visit www.durham.gov.uk/registeredtraders