North Yorkshire County Council is stepping up its campaign to deter cold callers and doorstep crime offenders by launching a new-style No Cold Call Zone today.
The new-style zone is designed to be even more effective in deterring those doorstep callers who blatantly ignore residents’ wishes and continue to call or refuse to leave. The scheme sees the introduction of new door and window stickers, bearing wording specifically designed to create an offence if ignored by traders.
Since 2005 the county council’s Trading Standards Service has been working in partnership with communities and other agencies to establish No Cold Call Zones throughout the county. The zones represent a community initiative aimed at supporting residents to turn cold-callers away and encourage them to help protect the most vulnerable residents in their area. They also lead to more comprehensive and effective reporting of such traders to trading standards and the police.
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 prohibits specific trading practices which are considered to be unfair to consumers. This includes conducting personal visits to consumer’s homes, ignoring their request to leave or not to return. Failure to comply with the prohibition constitutes a criminal offence, punishable by a fine and / or imprisonment of up to two years.
The county’s first new-style zone will be launched in Oakdale Glen, Harrogate, an area recently identified as being at risk of receiving unwanted doorstep callers. Residents will be handed new door or window stickers and No Cold Call signs will be erected on the entrances to the relevant area.
Cllr Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Trading Standards said:
This is a great new initiative, it gives trading standards officers another valuable tool to pursue unwanted doorstep rogue traders who ignore consumer’s wishes and prey on the most vulnerable in our communities. Such traders should be aware of the determination of our trading standards service to pursue them and prevent them from victimising vulnerable residents. If they ignore the wishes of residents, they now face prosecution.
North Yorkshire’s trading standards service has now established over 400 zones in the County. Residents surveyed within the zones have said they get fewer cold callers, feel more confident about turning doorstep callers away and 94 per cent of residents living in zones feel safer than they did before the zones were established.
Residents wanting a No Cold Call Zone in their area can request one by ringing trading standards on 08454 04 05 06. Stickers can also be obtained by residents, on request.