Operation carried out to crack down on rogue traders in Wrexham
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An operation to crack down on rogue traders in Wrexham has taken place, targeting those who prey on vulnerable residents.
The joint day of action saw local neighbourhood policing teams from Wrexham City and Wrexham Rural working with Wrexham Council’s Trading Standards in targeted areas to disrupt against doorstep crime and scams.
It came following recent reports in areas of Wrexham including Marford, Rossett, Johnstown and Erddig.
Advice packs and guidance was given to hundreds of residents in those areas on how to keep themselves and their families safe from exploitation, with warning signs being erected in targeted residential areas.
Trading Standards officers were also informing residents of Wrexham Council’s Houseproud scheme, which helps ensure home improvements to properties are carried out safely and professionally.
Officers from the intercept team also supported the operation, targeting rogue traders’ vehicles known to police through automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).
North Wales Police Sergeant, Susan Carrington said: “Doorstep crime has a huge impact on victims and as a result, we pool our resources in areas which we know cold callers have been targeting.
“We do this to educate the public on the dangers of taking on these individuals to do work, or buy things from them, and speak to tradesmen to educate them on the standards they must comply with to be legal.
“The majority of tradesmen are hardworking, honest individuals who do not need to go knocking on doors for work. If someone is knocking on your door, please ask yourself why they are looking for work.
“We will continue to work closely with our partners in Trading Standards to carry out these operations regularly to protect the public and help share intelligence.”
Rogue trading refers to the practice of deliberately overcharging for unsatisfactory goods and services.
It can include charging for unnecessary work, damaging property with the aim of obtaining money or leaving work unfinished before using intimidating behaviour to extort more money out of homeowners.
Specialist public protection officer for Trading Standards, Will Jones said: “Doorstep crime means persuading home owners to have unnecessary work done on their homes or gardens by lying to them or misleading them about the condition of the property.
“They then carry out poor quality work that is sometimes so bad it leaves the property in a worse condition than before they started - and charging a price far higher than it would be worth even if it had been carried out competently.
“The impact on residents can be really serious. It’s not only the financial impact but the loss of self-esteem and confidence to live independently can be just as serious, sometime more so.
“If unchecked and undetected victims are likely to be targeted over and over again. Look out for you friends, family and neighbours and if you see anything suspicious, report it.”
To report an incident, please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Services on 03454 040506 or contact North Wales Police via the website, or on 101
For up-to-date information about crime, appeals, prevention advice and general policing activity in your local area, you can sign up to North Wales Community Alert for free here - Home - North Wales Community Alert
Here are five top tips shared by officers to help prevent you becoming a victim:
Never agree to have work done over the phone or in your home by a cold caller
Always display a ‘no cold calling’ sticker and encourage your neighbours to do so too.
Don’t keep large amounts of cash at home, never pay cash up front and never go to the bank or cash point with a trader.
Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader and always obtain three quotes
Don’t be rushed into a decision. Genuine traders will allow you time to think and won’t pressure you to start work straight away.