Bath & North East Somerset Council’s trading standards officers have joined forces with Avon & Somerset Police to crack down on doorstep crime in Bath.
As part of Trading Standards South West’s Week of Action, the council officers were on the streets of Bath today (11 September) in a bid to prevent residents, some of whom are often vulnerable, from being approached at their front doors by rogue traders. Officers stopped 17 vehicles on the London Road and reminded traders of their obligation to issue a written 14-day cooling off period to consumers when carrying out work at their home.
A seasonal 20% increase in reports of doorstep crime over the summer and early autumn months means the public is urged to be alert to anything suspicious. Doorstep callers offering driveway and roof repairs are among the most commonly reported complaints to Trading Standards.
The Week of Action is a five-day campaign launched this week to raise awareness of trading standards consumer protection work. Trading Standards South West (TSSW) represents the 15 local authority trading standards services in the South West region, including Bath & North East Somerset Council.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “Some doorstep sellers are honest, but unfortunately there are some rogue traders who target their victims by making uninvited ‘cold calls’ and offering to provide goods or services. They may target residents who can be easily intimidated into parting with large sums of money for work that turns out to be of poor quality. Our officers have carried out some great work today to identify where these activities may be happening and to prevent them occurring. I would advise people not to buy from cold callers, to fix a security chain to their door and to always use it.”
Trading Standards South West’s Week of Action is a campaign from 9-13 September 2019 to showcase different areas of trading standards work and focus on five different themes that affect the local community: doorstep crime, scams, product safety, fair trading and illegal tobacco.
The Trading Standards team offers the following advice to residents:
- If you don’t know who is knocking at your door – DON’T OPEN THE DOOR.
- If the person refuses to leave, or you feel threatened or scared, call the police on 999.
- To deter rogue traders, display a “No Doorstep Traders” sticker on your door. These are available from your local Trading Standards office.
More information about Bath & North East Somerset Council’s trading standards services can be found at https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/Trading-Standards
More information about Trading Standards South West can be found at www.tssw.org.uk