Police set to hammer bogus callers

18.7.12 Photograph Jamie Forbes.  Kirkintilloch police station. Police and trading standards for bogus caller crack down launch.
18.7.12 Photograph Jamie Forbes. Kirkintilloch police station. Police and trading standards for bogus caller crack down launch.

BOGUS callers will be driven off the streets of Milngavie and Bearsden as part of a major crackdown.

Swindlers and dodgy workmen will have no place to hide when a year-long campaign kicks off in the area next week.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s Trading Standards team and Strathclyde Police have joined forces to tackle rogue traders.

They will be carrying out joint patrols targeting the cruel conmen and women who pray on the elderly and vulnerable.

People with concerns about cold callers can call Trading Standards on 0141 578 8813.

Police Inspector John O’Neill said: “Next week sees yet another innovative initiative introduced in the fight against bogus workers.

“It’s straight forward - if residents have people calling at their door offering to carry out work on their property they can call the number and officers from Trading Standards will have their businesses checked and confirm their authenticity.

“This is another partnership in the fight against this type of crime and I would encourage anyone who has any doubt as to the authenticity of people calling at their door to make use of the line and help us catch these people who pray on society’s most vulnerable.

“Pass the number to your friends and neighbours and if you are in any doubt, call.”

Councillor Ashay Ghai, convener of the council’s housing and community services committee, said: “This campaign will hopefully result in more people, especially those in vulnerable situations, feeling more secure in their own homes.

“Doorstep crime is a callous and deceitful act. Through our work with the police, we know there are some unscrupulous characters out there who will take advantage of others if they get the chance.

“We would encourage the public to come forward if they hear or see anything.

“The patrols will help towards targeting these criminals who make a living out of conning others through cold calling and high pressure selling.”

If you call the number you will only be asked to confirm the address where the work is being conducted, the type of work being undertaken and any vehicles used.

You will not be required to supply any personal details.

Once the information has been received the patrol will call at the address concerned and make the appropriate checks with the trader.

Bogus workers can pressurise people into handing over large amounts of money for home improvement work – which often does not need done.

Officers will be out in force to challenge cold callers to ensure they are genuine.

The first patrol will take place in Milngavie and Bearsden on Wednesday, July 25.

Members of the public are being asked to call if they have concerns about rogue traders operating in the area. The crackdown will take place throughout East Dunbartonshire.