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Lincolnshire Police tackle rogue traders

Lincolnshire Police have been working alongside a number of agencies in the county to clamp down on rogue traders.

Officers are working with Lincolnshire Trading Standards, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Environment Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as part of National Operation Rogue Trader week on April 7 – 11.

The week encourages enforcement action, and also helps raise awareness for residents and advice on how people can protect themselves from scams.

Teams in roaming vans covered the east and the west of the county. They conducted enquiries, responded to reports of potential rogue trading and raised awareness of rogue traders within local communities.

On April 9, a Day of Action was set up, involving two check points in the county with representative from each agency.

Throughout the day, they achieved:

  • 11 vehicles stopped
  • Five prohibition orders (defects were found and owners served a seven-day notice in which to get faults rectified)
  • One vehicle seized (didn’t have correct operator’s licence and problems with the vehicle)
  • One driver found to have no licence
  • One Fixed Penalty Notice issued
  • Two people dealt with for speeding

Trading Standards found a possible 10 offences, while DWP spotted eight possible offences and the Environment Agency another four possible offences.

Spokesperson Detective Inspector Andy Beaver for Lincolnshire Police said: “Rogue traders target the most vulnerable in our community using underhand tactics.

“You might not necessarily fall for them yourself but it might be that your elderly neighbour or relative could.

“That’s why we want people to report any suspicions about anyone living or working in your neighborhood. Your call could save further people from falling victim.

“Alarm bells should ring if a caller suggests work that you don’t think you need or does not agree a set price for the work.

“If you say you don’t have the cash to pay, a rogue trader may well persuade you to go to an ATM with them. A reputable tradesperson would never do this.

“These people have no scruples and when you consider that it is the most vulnerable people who fall victim, we hope you won’t need any further incentive to pick up the phone and report any suspicions you may have.

“It will help us to investigate if you make notes on the appearance and clothing of the suspect and take down any details of their vehicle.”

Tim Dawson, Principal Trading Standards Officer at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “Doorstep crime can affect anyone, but most often it is the elderly and vulnerable who are targeted.

“Rogue traders can be very persuasive and convincing in their approach and it can be very distressing and frightening for an elderly or vulnerable person who is unaware of how to protect themselves.”