Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police have set up 400 no-cold calling zones to discourage rogue traders from targeting vulnerable and elderly residents.
In the past year, Trading Standards has received 220 reports of cold-calling in the county, but of those only eight were from residents living in a no-cold calling zone.
The zones are set up by the authorities who install street-signs informing people that residents don’t want to be disturbed by uninvited visitors. Just in case doorstep sellers don’t see the signs, residents also have a sticker on their front door or window.
Although it isn’t illegal for traders to cold-call within the zone, residents are encouraged to ask a sales person to leave if they are not interested. Failing to then do so could be committing an offence.
Alan Griffin, trading standards officer, said: “It is great news that so many local people are a part of this. We do have many elderly residents here in Lincolnshire and from the feedback we receive this is offering them some protection.
“We believe that cold-calling zones greatly reduce the chances of vulnerable residents being disturbed by people who could try and sell them something they simply don’t need.
“There are many genuine sellers out there, but there are also people that will try to con vulnerable people into handing over money. Although doorstep crime is rare in Lincolnshire it can have a devastating effect on its victims. There have been cases where residents have done so in exchange for odd jobs such as gardening and home improvements. People have also been tricked into thinking a visitor is from a utility company.
“To continue to safeguard against this, we’d like even more residents to get in touch with us and take part. We also encourage neighbours to look out for each other so remember – ‘love thy neighbour, stop that rogue trader!’
For more information about no cold-calling zones and safety, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards or call 01522 782341.