Officers from Dorset Police teamed up with partner agencies to take part in a day of action to target and disrupt suspected rogue traders within the county.
On Thursday 12 September 2019 officers joined forces with Trading Standards officers from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and Dorset Council, as well as Dorset Waste Partnership enforcement officers to patrol the East Dorset, Christchurch and North Bournemouth areas to identify any potential rogue traders in operation.
While no offences were detected, officers from all three agencies spoke to a number of traders throughout the day and offered advice about their responsibilities within the law and toward customers.
Rogue trading includes charging for unnecessary work, damaging property deliberately in order to obtain money, leaving work uncompleted and using intimidating behaviour in order to extort money.
Police Sergeant Carmel Ryan, of Dorset Police, said: "We are committed to protecting the community from being targeted by rogue traders.
"We want to send out a warning to potential offenders that we do not tolerate rogue traders in Dorset and we will continue to work with our partner agencies to identify them."
Martin Thursby, Principal Trading Standards Officer at Dorset Council, said: "Rogue traders are a high priority for our service and a serious problem in the county, causing untold suffering to their victims. We will always seek to prosecute them when we have sufficient evidence. A number of incidents go unreported, or are reported too late. If you think you, a neighbour, or a friend have employed one, please report it to us using the Citizens Advice Consumer Service."
Members of the public should consider the following advice when answering the door:
LOCKED – Is the back door locked?
STOP – Am I expecting anyone?
CHAIN – Put the chain on BEFORE opening the door.
CHECK – Ask for the caller's identification. Shut the door leaving the caller on the doorstep and phone the number in the phone book NOT the one on the card they give you, as this could be an accomplice around the corner – especially if it is a mobile number. A genuine caller will be happy to wait while you do this.
If any consumers are concerned about any work being undertaken, please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Services on 0345 4040506 and any concerns will be passed to Trading Standards officers.