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30
October
2014
|
16:41
Europe/London

Help beat rogue doorstep traders by being part of the Good Neighbour Scheme

Almost a million pounds was taken from Oxfordshire residents in 2013/14 by criminals, who often use pressure tactics to charge high prices for sub-standard work.

The drive to establish Good Neighbour Schemes across the county is being supported by the distribution of information to parish councils, Neighbourhood Watch groups and neighbourhood action groups and the staging of a series public events to publicise the nationwide initiative during National Consumer Week, beginning on 3 November.

Recent rogue trader convictions

The Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders campaign focuses on preventing doorstep crime by encouraging neighbours, family, friends and carers to look out for those most at risk in their communities.

The idea sees vulnerable people provided with a card which they can give to doorstep traders which directs the caller to a neighbour, who can then deal with the enquirer on behalf of that person.

Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards has recently secured a number of court convictions against rogue traders who have tried to fleece locals, including one trader who attempted to charge a pensioner £13,600 for a roof repair work, which subsequently was classed by an expert as being worthless.

Find out more

The public information events are at:

  • Templars Square Shopping Centre, Cowley, Oxford, on Monday 3 November, 10am-2pm
  • Abingdon Health and Wellbeing Centre, Audlett Drive, Abingdon, on Tuesday 4 November, 10am-2pm
  • Henley Over 60s Club, Market Place, Henley-on-Thames, on Wednesday 5 November, 10am-3pm
  • Carterton Market, Alvescot Road, Carterton on Thursday 6 November, 9am-2pm
  • WRVS Cornhill Centre, Banbury, on Friday 7 November, 10am-3pm

Unscrupulous doorstep criminals

Richard Webb, Oxfordshire County Council's Manager for Trading Standards, said: "Unfortunately there are a number of unscrupulous door-to-door traders out there who specifically target the elderly and vulnerable as they see them as a route to gain easy money by using unpleasant tactics. Often this can involve pressurising people into parting with huge amounts of money for jobs that are worth a fraction of what is being charged.

"The Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders campaign is an excellent way of people playing a part to help safeguard those living around them by acting as a buffer to help stop the exploitation of the vulnerable. Almost a million pounds was fleeced from Oxfordshire residents in cases that Trading Standards know about last year by doorstep rogue traders - I hope that there is a strong community response to the campaign which would help reduce the amount of money taken from the vulnerable by doorstep criminals."

Get involved

Councillor Rodney Rose, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, who also has Cabinet responsibility for Trading Standards, said: "It makes sense for people to look out for their neighbours by being involved in this scheme and helping to fight back against rogue traders. I would encourage people to come along to one of the information sessions to find out more about how to get involved."

The campaign is a partnership led by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards Board.

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