News item

Residents say ‘NO’ to Cold Callers in Leeds

Cold callers could soon be given the push in East North East Leeds as West Yorkshire Trading Standards have joined forces with The Neighbourhood Policing Team, Leeds City Council and Safer Leeds to launch 4 new Cold Calling Control Zones within the area, jointly funded by Inner North East Area Committee and money obtained from the Proceeds of Crime fund. This is part of an initiative across the West Yorkshire area which has a total of 26 zones currently in operation.
 
Following a recent string of incidents involving rogue traders, distraction burglaries and doorstep criminals, partners have decided to take action to protect vulnerable members of this community.
 
As well as working alongside West Yorkshire Trading Standards and West Yorkshire Police to implement the zone, Leeds City Council have also consulted closely with local residents to ensure the zone is supported and that the most susceptible streets are identified.
 
The majority of people who knock on doors for business ARE likely to be genuine. However, the technique of turning up un announced can also often be used by thieves to trick their way into houses. These bogus callers are intent on stealing and cheating vulnerable residents out of their money and valuables
 
Cold Calling Control Zones aim to arm residents with the knowledge they need to be safe within their homes but, most importantly, the confidence to say NO to these people and prevent further incidents of doorstep crime occurring. This initiative has been hailed a success nationally in reducing overall doorstep crime and the fear of crime in ‘at risk’ areas.
 
It is, however, vital to stress that these Zones are only intended to put off opportunists, rather than reputable traders such as milk men and window cleaners.
 
The 4 new zones will be launched, week by week, throughout November. Street signs will be erected at the main exit and entrance points to the areas, informing traders that they are entering an area where residents do not buy goods and services at the door. Each household will also receive an information booklet offering advice, as well as a door sticker to deter unwanted callers.
 
Police Community Support Officers, Trading Standards and Leeds City Council Staff will also be on hand to answer any questions or queries that residents may have.
 
Graham Hebblethwaite, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said 'Any scheme set up to protect the community by deterring uninvited callers is a positive thing and we will support any initiative which will improve the quality of life for local residents.

For further information on Cold Calling Control Zones visit  www.ts.wyjs.org.uk/wyjs-trading-doorstep-crime.asp
 
To report incidents of doorstep crime or cold calling in your area, or to enquire about setting up a zone please call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506

West Yorkshire Trading Standards press release 16 November 2010.