News item

Competition aims to pull mat from under doorstep crime

Handy with a video camera? Fancy yourself as a budding Spielberg? A competition to produce a video short could put you on the right path – and land you a handy £1,000 prize into the bargain.

Launched by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), the competition invites amateur videographers, media students, filmmakers and directors to create a 90-second Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders informational video. 

Each entry should encourage people to prevent neighbours, family and friends falling victim to exploitative doorstep traders. 

Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “Doorstep crime is a cowardly assault on victims who are, more often than not, elderly and vulnerable; people who grew up in a more trusting age and who are more inclined to take callers at face value.

“These callous rogue traders leave their victims, in some cases, many thousands of pounds the poorer, and, more tellingly, with their self-confidence in tatters.

“Our trading standards team does a great job in bringing rogue traders to book but unfortunately, these incidents sometimes come to light after money has been paid and the traders have gone. I’d hope this competition results in a short film that successfully warns potential victims of the dangers of not taking the proper precautions and highlights the importance of neighbours keeping a watchful eye open.

“So, come on, videographers of Croydon, get your thinking caps on, your cameras out and produce a short that can really make a difference.”

Leon Livermore, TSI chief executive, said: "This is a great opportunity for creative minds to join trading standards in promoting our key messages and protecting the most vulnerable members of our communities.

"Every year there are as many as 170,000 incidents in the UK where rogue traders try to illicitly solicit money from consumers in their home. Not only does this impact an individual's financial wellbeing, it affects their mental and physical health.”

The deadline for entries is midnight Wednesday 1 October. All videos will be considered for a place in the semi-final. Semi-finalists will be announced on 20 October. The videos will then be judged by a panel of industry and media experts.

The winner will be announced on 3 November, during this year's TSI National Consumer Week campaign to raise awareness and encourage communities to look out for each other.

In addition to the £1,000 prize, the winner will have their video played by trading standards officers and community partners across the country as part of an educational campaign. 

To enter, visit the TSI Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders page at

DATE: 22 July 2014