Vulnerable residents in Richmond upon Thames can send a ‘clear message’ to cold callers with the help of an initiative being rolled out across the borough.
Residents are being offered a free ‘sticker’ which they can display at their front door warning doorstep traders to stay away.
The scheme is being offered by Richmond Council in conjunction with the local Police. The stickers are specifically for older or vulnerable residents who often find themselves a target to illegal door step tradesmen.
They are designed to tell uninvited door step traders that residents do not buy and sell at the door and they need no free advice. In addition, the notice makes clear that any traders who ignore the message will be reported to the Police.
The double sided window sticker also contains advice for the homeowner. Reminding them not to open the door unless they know who is there, make sure that the door chain is in place and check the identify cards of expected trades people.
Cllr Mark Boyle, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
“Residents often find high-pressure doorstep sellers intimidating and can end up parting with cash which they had no intention of handing over.
“Many people don’t want uninvited callers visiting their home, and in some cases cold callers can use their activity as a cover for committing crime.
“These new stickers will send a clear message to cold callers, and they are a powerful tool in the armoury of residents who are tired of being disturbed and want to say no to cold callers.”
Police Sergeant, Les Jackson from Richmond Police, said:
“Richmond Police have arranged many crime prevention seminars to inform elderly residents of the scams that can be generated from cold calling. These stickers are a valuable tool and compliments the work all partners and agencies are doing by working together to combat this type of crime.
“Please do not be intimidated by cold callers should they call at your house and the advice is, if you do not know the person calling do not open the door or engage in conversation. If you feel it is necessary to contact police then do so.”
Stickers are available from Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the borough. To find the contact details of your local Team, go to: www.police.uk/ and type in your postcode in the ‘Neighbourhood Search’