New hard hitting campaign from Scotland’s Councils and Police Scotland aims to firmly shut the door on rogue traders

The campaign was launched this morning Tuesday 25 February in Cambuslang Old Parish Church, Cairns Road, South Lanarkshire.   

Speaking at the launch, Councillor Stephen Hagan, COSLA’s Spokesman on the issue said:  “For far too long, rogue traders have been targeting vulnerable residents, ripping them off for thousands of pounds, under the premise that they need unnecessary work carried out on their homes.  This is totally illegal, completely immoral and we must not allow this to continue any longer.

“Doorstep crime remains the top national priority for Trading Standards in Scotland.  It is carried out by cruel, unscrupulous and organised criminal groups who deliberately prey on the most vulnerable in society including the elderly.  Doorstep criminals do not respect boundaries often working across different council areas – however the people that they target are usually the same wherever they operate.” 

Councillor Hagan continued:  “Winter can be a particularly opportunistic time for doorstep criminals with the bad weather which can damage property.  Criminals draw on this to instil fear into their victims that if they don’t sort out the damage now, it could cost much more in the future.  It is a disgrace that a substantial number of our residents are being drawn in to agree work on their homes after they are approached with cunning and callous scare stories. 

“Our home should be our sanctuary, where we can feel safe, yet intrusion from a rogue trader can destroy this security in an instant.  It is time to firmly shut the door on rogue traders and tell them that doorstep crime will not be tolerated in Scotland.”       

There are still significant problems of under reporting with this crime with reasoning ranging from embarrassment, to not knowing who to report to, to the victim not realising that they have been the subject of a crime.  The campaign strongly urges victims, potential victims and their families and friends to report any suspicions they have immediately. 

He concluded, “I warmly welcome this new campaign that was developed through close joint working between the Trading Standards Scotland Team, our local authority Trading Standards colleagues and Police Scotland and hope this encourages more victims to come forward.  Remember, always report any suspicions you may have, you will never be wasting anyone’s time.  Anyone can fall victim to a rogue trader and we need the help of all residents to stop this sickening crime.”

-ends-

25 Feb 2014
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