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Rogue Trader week highlights dangers for vulnerable people

Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police have joined forces with other county agencies to protect vulnerable people from rogue traders.

National Rogue Traders Week (October 8 to October 12) has seen the two organisations working together with the Environment Agency and East Midlands Special Operations' Regional Disruption Team to crack down on those individuals or companies who target vulnerable people in the county.

The week included three days of roaming patrols in Gainsborough, Saxilby, Skellingthorpe, Mablethorpe, Sutton on Sea, Skegness and Boston.

Some 48 traders were spoken to of which 36 have received business advice packs, which include information regarding Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and making Off-premises sales.

Senior Trading Standards officer Sally Gray said: "Doorstep traders usually target the elderly and vulnerable and worry them about work they say is needed to their property.

"They also use high pressure methods to persuade them to have work done. They often overcharge and provide misleading statements about the work they offer, leaving householders out of pocket and facing more bills to put problems right.

"We always advise people not to pay cash on your doorstep. The message is: 'If you are not sure, don't open the door."

Helen Clayton from the Environment Agency Enforcement Team, added: "The operation allowed us to identify an illegal waste carrier and offer advice and guidance to several others.

"Illegal waste operators undercut legitimate business, our stop-checks make sure that the right waste goes to the right place and helps create a level playing field.

"Everyone who disposes of waste has a duty of care to ensure their waste is managed and disposed of correctly by the people they give it to."

National Rogue Trader week included a day of action on Wednesday (10th) which saw two static vehicle stops in Wragby and Horncastle. Again multiple agencies attended, including Lincolnshire Police, Lincolnshire Trading Standards, Environment Agency, EMSOU's Reginal Disruption Team and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

Safer Communities Chief Inspector Pat Coates said: "We have had a successful week in many ways. First of all being able to work alongside our partner agencies in raising awareness for people of their rights and what they need to do in order to protect themselves.
"The good news is on the day of action, the majority of the people we stopped were licenced to carry out the work they were doing, but it is always a good idea for members of the public to always ask for references and don't just take the word of people who come to your door.

"Always try and get up to three quotes if you are carrying out some work at your home or having waste removed from the garden."

Pictured: Helen Clayton of the Environment Agency, Marcus Barstow from the DVSA and Sgt Kimble Enderby.   

12 Oct 18 4:21 PM

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