Lincolnshire Police have joined forces with eight other agencies to launch a comprehensive crackdown on rogue traders in the county.
Officers from the force have worked with experts from Lincolnshire Trading Standards, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Environment Agency and Immigration Enforcement to target suspected rogue traders based on intelligence previously gathered.
Checkpoints have been set up this week at the Pennells roundabout on the A46 and by Sutton Bridge, next to the border with Norfolk.
Patrolling one of the checkpoints has been Chief Inspector Phil Vickers of the East Midlands Operational Support Unit, who emphasised the collaborative approach to sharing intelligence through this national week of action.
He said: “Rogue traders are causing significant harm to vulnerable people across Lincolnshire.
“We’re not randomly pulling people off the road here – we’re using intelligence-led policing. Sometimes we’re looking at the condition of the vehicle, the fuel that they’re using but we know that rogue traders across Lincolnshire have been involved in modern day slavery offences as well.”
Kirsty Toyne, principal trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “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.
“Tracking down and catching these rogue traders is an absolute priority for Lincolnshire County Council’s Trading Standards teams.
“Working with our partners, including Lincolnshire Police and HMRC, we are committed to working together to tackle this issue and will take appropriate enforcement action against those involved.”
Anthony Scott from HMRC Hidden Economy Team added: “This joint operation is just one of HMRC’s Hidden Economy Team’s crackdowns on the dishonest minority of people who try to keep outside of the tax system.
“If you are caught you may not only have to pay what you owe but additional penalties and interest on top.”