As part of National Consumer Week, residents in Horsham district are being urged to look out for rogue doorstep traders preying on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
With as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime occurring nationally each year, the National Consumer Week 2014 'Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders' campaign advises neighbours, friends, families and carers how to spot incidents of concern and the practical steps they can take to support vulnerable victims and to gather relevant information.
These traders often cold call vulnerable residents and offer to carry out work at properties which is of poor quality, unnecessary and charged at extortionate prices, sometimes even driving the victim to the bank to withdraw money or threatening them.
The detriment of doorstep crime reaches beyond financial loss. It can cause a person's mental health to deteriorate and in some cases, also suffer physical harm.
To support the campaign, Trading Standards Officers will be out and about in the Horsham district during National Consumer Week promoting the key campaign messages and giving out 'no cold caller' door stickers that residents can display to deter doorstep callers. The stickers are also available from libraries across the district.
If you need advice in relation to a doorstep caller issue then call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. Incident details will be forwarded to Trading Standards for follow up.
For more information about National Consumer week and for practical advice on how you can help prevent vulnerable householders becoming victims of doorstep criminals go to www.westsussex.gov.uk/doorstep
For more information on the Trading Standards recommended business scheme Buy with Confidence, or to find a Trading Standards recommended business go to: www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk.