Police are warning Hampshire residents to be alert following more reports of rogue traders across the region.
Rogue traders specifically target those who they consider to be vulnerable within our communities. They will often offer to carry out repairs, vastly overcharging for unnecessary, shoddy or even non-existent work. And, of course, there are no guarantees, assuming you can find these people again.
Don't open the door to anyone before you've checked who it is - look out of the window or use a spy hole in your door. Don’t be afraid to ignore the doorbell if you wish – there’s no law that says you have to open the door!
If you open the door, keep the chain on while you find out who is calling and what they want. If you're not expecting someone and you don't know them, don't let them into your home, no matter what they say to you. If a caller is genuine they will understand your concerns.
If someone claims to be from a company, such as a gas or electricity provider, always double check their identity. If you have any concerns about someone who has called at your door, call police immediately. If you have a chance, try to note what they look like and any vehicle they have with them, so police can investigate.
If you think you do need to have work done to your home, ask for quotes from two or three reputable companies. Ask your friends, neighbours or relatives who may be able to recommend companies or trades people.
It may seem convenient if someone on your doorstep offers to repair your guttering, or trim a hedge or tree for you, but please don’t be afraid to say no. Remember, never pay upfront to cold callers as it is likely you will not see them or your money again.
Please be vigilant if you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours and report your concerns to the police. You may have been wise enough to turn away the unsolicited caller, but your neighbours may be grateful that you reported the incident to save them from becoming a victim.
We can all do our bit to make Hampshire an even better place to be so if
you have information about ANY crime, please do not hesitate to give
Crimestoppers a call. 0800 555 111 or log on to www.crimestoppers-uk.org
to give information online anonymously. The online reporting form has
been updated and is easier to use than ever before. For those of you
Twittered up, please follow me on @HantsCrimestopp for regular updates.
PC Simon Wright