Third Inverness community sets up cold call control zone
Dalneigh and Columba Community Council have become the latest community to say “NO” to unwanted doorstep traders by establishing a Cold Call Control Zone.
Residents in St Mungo Road, St Margaret’s Road, St John’s Avenue, St Mary’s Avenue, St Andrew Drive and St Ninian Drive will be covered by the initiative which is facilitated by The Highland Council’s Trading Standards and supported by Police Scotland.
Many doorstep traders operate within the law. However some “rogue” doorstep traders target the vulnerable by charging inflated prices for poor quality goods and services, using intimidation tactics and acting as a front for distraction burglaries. This can lead to great financial loss, embarrassment, aggravated health issues and, in some cases, increased mortality for the victims.
Residents in The Highland Council area lost nearly £95,000 in 259 reported incidents last year as a result of doorstep crime. National statistics suggest that only ten percent of doorstep crime is ever reported.
Street signs will be displayed in the area to indicate to uninvited traders that they are in a Cold Call Control Zone and that their business is not wanted. Every household in the zone will be issued with a Residents’ Information Pack that contains a door sticker and information on how to deal with and report an unwanted doorstep trader. Residents will be encouraged to report any incidents to either Trading Standards or the Police.
While it is not illegal for a trader to enter a Cold Call Control Zone, any trader who persists on cold calling, when a householder has indicated that they do not wish it, could be considered as carrying out an aggressive commercial practice which is a criminal offence under consumer protection law.
This is the third scheme of its kind in The Highland Council area following the launch of a zone covering the Highfield Avenue and Blarmore Avenue area of Inverness last week and the establishment of a pilot scheme in Wimberley Way, Inverness in 2012.
Residents in the zone are invited to an open evening at Dalneigh Primary School on Tuesday 16th September between 1900 and 2030 where the Residents’ packs will be distributed.
Dalneigh and Columba Community Council Chair Ted MacKenzie said: “This is a valuable way of protecting vulnerable people in our community. I hope residents within the zone embrace the information available to them and report any incidents of unwanted doorstep trading.”
Head of Trading Standards Gordon Robb said: “Cold Call Control Zones are an extremely useful tool for us when it comes to tackling doorstep crime. The issues associated with doorstep crime and cold calling have been identified as a national priority by Trading Standards and I welcome any steps that help to educate the public on how they can protect themselves, more vulnerable neighbours and say “no” to this unwanted menace.”