Edinburgh is winning war on bogus callers

Press release issued on behalf on Police Scotland today. Police in Edinburgh were joined by Council trading standard officers yesterday (Wednesday April 27) as part of an ongoing campaign to tackle doorstep crime.

Local officers invited residents in the Weaver’s area of Currie to set up a ‘No Cold Calling Zone’ to protect themselves against bogus callers and rogue traders.

In addition, they also visited banks and community centres to deliver prevention messages and to encourage people to stay vigilant and to look out for their neighbours.

Edinburgh currently has 69 No Cold Calling Zones in operation each of which had to obtain a majority of support from the people who lived there before they could be implemented.

After yesterday’s activity, three new zones are now expected after residents in Weaver’s Know Crescent, Riccarton Drive and Riccarton Avenue gave a positive reaction to the proposal.

PC Greig Stephen who is a Prevention Officer based in the West End, said: “Bogus callers remain a persistent problem for us and unfortunately can result in someone being scammed out of a significant amount of money.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners at Trading Standards in the City of Edinburgh Council as we look to highlight key prevention messages in an effort to protect members of the public from falling victim.

“Cold callers can come across as extremely confident and will try to pressure homeowners into parting with their cash for a product or service they don’t need.

“Anyone can be convinced by the lies these criminals create.

“We always recommend never paying for goods or services to strangers who turn up unsolicited at your door.

“I am pleased to say that during yesterday’s activity we received tremendous feedback from residents and as a result we expect three new cold calling zones to be set-up in Weaver’s Knowe Crescent, Riccarton Drive and Riccarton Avenue.

““If you are aware of any suspicious activity taking place at the home of a neighbour, friend or family member then please contact police immediately.”

The latest action is part of Operation Monarda, which began in 2013 with the aim to target doorstep criminals as well as raise awareness of the problem.

Community Safety Leader Councillor Cammy Day, said: “Doorstep Crime remains one of our top priorities and incidents can be devastating for victims, both financially and in terms of having the confidence to live independently. By working with our partners on specific events like Operation Monarda, and our ongoing doorstep crime partnership with Police Scotland, Operation Aristotle, we can ensure our resources and our respective strengths are used as effectively as possible to combat doorstep crime.

“We must send a strong message to criminals that doorstep crime activities will not be tolerated, and assure residents that all incidents reported are taken seriously and acted upon.”

  • Our trading standards team advise against contracting for work with cold callers, and to consider using a Trusted Trader. Further details are available at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/tradingstandards or contact trading standards via 0131 529 3030.
  • Check Neighbourhood Watch Scotland for alerts relevant to your area. If there is not a Neighbourhood Watch, maybe you could start one! www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk or 01786 463732
  • If you suspicious of any potential doorstep crime dial 101 and inform Police Scotland – Trading Standards will be informed. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

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