Barriers go up on cold callers

PUBLISHED: 16:27 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

COLD callers are getting the cold shoulder in Hitchin. They are being told by residents of Wratten Close: You re not welcome. Hertfordshire Trading Standards and police have established a no cold-calling zone in the area as part of the fight against dist

COLD callers are getting the cold shoulder in Hitchin.

They are being told by residents of Wratten Close: You're not welcome.

Hertfordshire Trading Standards and police have established a 'no cold-calling'zone in the area as part of the fight against distraction burglars and other doorstep fraudsters.

Signs have been erected at the entances and exits to the area, which becomes the fifth such zone in the county.

Cllr Keith Emsall, the executive member with responsibility for trading standards, said: "These zones empower residents by giving them the confidence to say 'no' when someone comes calling. I am delighted that people in Wratten Close will now benefit from that.

"There are, of course, legitimate businesses who cold call. But because that practice has been hijacked by distraction burglars and other criminals who prey on vulnerable residents, it has become an unwanted menace.

"The public is now saying that it doesn't want cold callers and we believe these zones are a useful tool for them."

Mark Montgomery, police crime prevention officer for Hitchin, said: "No cold calling zones are a great asset in the fight against bogus callers and I am delighted to see the launch of the first one in North Herts."

Trading standards and the police take cold calling crime seriously and have carried out a number of successful prosecutions in recent months. The system has already proved successful in deterring doorstep operators in those areas where it has been put in plae.


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