'If you're not sure, don't open the door': Police warning of doorstep crime in Northampton after high winds

Police are appealing for information
Police are appealing for information

Northamptonshire Police and Trading Standards are warning that rogue traders and distraction burglars could use the recent stormy weather as way of exploiting people and committing crime.

Trading Standards has advised that rogue traders could try to persuade people that work needs to be done on their property or garden – such as repairing loose roof tiles or removing damaged trees.

The advice of Trading Standards is not to buy goods or services from a cold caller on your doorstep, even if they try and frighten you that the work needs doing immediately.

County council cabinet member for public protection, André Gonzalez de Savage, said: “If you do need work carried out around your home or garden, Trading Standards operates an approved trader scheme.

“There’s also the Government-backed Trust Mark scheme, and it's always worth checking with your house insurance company first, as in some policies there is emergency assistance support already included.”

Distraction burglars, who call at a home and engage the resident in conversation or activity to allow the theft of items or cash, may also use the topic of repair work as a cover for committing crime.

Susan Fletcher, Crime Prevention Support Officer at Northamptonshire Police, said: “If you’re concerned about a caller at the door or suspect that rogue doorstep traders or distraction burglars are operating in your community, please call the dedicated Doorstep crime Action Network (DAN) on 0345 23 07 702, or if you believe a crime is in progress, dial 999.

“Remember, if you’re not sure, don’t open the door.”

In partnership with Northamptonshire Police, Trading Standards is able to provide No Cold Calling stickers. Please call 0300 126 1000 if you require a sticker for you or your neighbours.