Following collaboration from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership (ABC PCSP), the PSNI and local residents of Queen Street in Lurgan is now the latest area in the borough to become a ‘No Cold Calling Zone’.
Using the “No Cold Calling Zone…no uninvited traders” window stickers – developed in association with Trading Standards – the initiative is hoped to keep rogue traders at bay in the area.
Acting as a deterrent, the stickers tell cold callers that they are not wanted at that particular door and provide a contact number to report those who ignore the warning. By doing so, they could constitute a breach of ‘Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading’ regulations and may result in further action being taken by Trading Standards.
With the support of Queen Street Residents’ Association, lamp post signage has also been launched across the area to increase awareness of the initiative and residents’ consumer rights.
ABC PCSP Chair, Councillor Máire Cairns said: “No Cold Calling Zones are designed to discourage rogue traders who may be trying to sell poor-quality or overpriced goods, or who try to trick their way into the house to commit a burglary. They also help to tackle fear of crime by making people feel more secure in their own homes, and give them the confidence to tell unwanted callers to leave.”
Lisa Sherman, PSNI Crime Prevention Officer, said: “Most callers at your door will be genuine but someone could be trying to gain access to look around your property or charge you far too much for shoddy or non-existent work.
“We already provide our free ‘Quick Check’ service on 101 to check if people like meter readers are genuine, and now the community will have the power to warn rogue traders like scam ‘handymen’ that they are aware of rogue trading, that they won’t be duped and will take action through Trading Standards if someone tries.”
The project does not apply to established callers such as a milk delivery or window cleaners and while it is recognised that not all cold callers are rogue traders, the project has been developed by police to put a stop to those unofficial traders who may overcharge an unsuspecting and often elderly householder for poor quality work or work that is never completed at all.
No Cold Calling Zone window stickers are available on request from your local Crime Prevention Officer by calling 101 or from ABC PCSP by calling 0300 0300 900.