Hundreds of homes already protected by trading standards’ ‘No Cold Calling’ scheme

Ian Harrison, Hartlepool Borough Council's trading standards and licensing manager.

Picture: TOM BANKS
Ian Harrison, Hartlepool Borough Council's trading standards and licensing manager. Picture: TOM BANKS

A scheme to deter cold callers from preying on communities has so far protected hundreds of homes.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Trading Standards Team have set up 30 ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ since 2015 which protect 847 homes in the town.

Council officials say that anyone concerned about traders cold calling or regularly visiting elderly or vulnerable loved ones should consider applying for a ‘No Cold Calling Zone’.

‘No Cold Calling Zones’ are designed to discourage rogue traders who, for example, tell householders work needs doing and then charge inflated prices or who try to distract the homeowner in order to commit a burglary.

A spokesman for trading standards said: “A zone is visibly identified by signs placed on lampposts and street signage, and by each participating resident displaying a sticker on their door.

“There are no laws that prevent traders cold calling, however if a zone is set up and a trader decides to call on those who live in one, despite the signage and the stickers being displayed on their property, legal action can be taken.

“Residents within these zones are asked to report any breaches to the trading standards team as soon as possible.

“Zones may be set up either in response to incidents, local intelligence or on request by local residents.”

The zone must meet the following criteria:

A history of crime or doorstep burglary;

A high concentration of vulnerable residents;

A zone must be limited and directly correspond to the geographical scope of the identified problem;

The zone must be agreed by a majority of householders within the proposed area.

Alternatively, make your house a ‘No Cold Calling Home’ by displaying a sticker that has been produced in collaboration with trading standards, Cleveland Police and the Safer Hartlepool Partnership.

Stickers are available for free from any of the libraries across the town.

If you would like an application form or would like to report a rogue trader, contact the trading standards team on 01429 523362 (telephones will re-open following the Christmas break on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 8.30am).