Nottingham Knockers and Rogue Traders
Thursday, April 11th, 2019
(Majority of following item via Thames Valley Alert, 11th April 2-19)
In Amersham and the Chalfonts, the Police have been receiving a large number of calls around doorstep sellers or “Nottingham Knockers” as they are commonly called. A number of calls complained of the aggressive nature of these people.
Mrs H explained her experience: “At about 1740, there was a really loud noise at my door. It wasn’t a knock, it was thumping on the glass so I guessed who it was. I opened the front door and the male hadn’t knocked on the porch door (which most people do). He was banging the glass on the internal door.
I got the impression that he was really trying to intimidate me. He tried to get into my personal space and said that he had recently been released from prison, and he had been put on a scheme by probation. He also said that a police officer had just bought a chamois leather from him. He was really persistent. I told him three times that I wasn’t interested.
I was concerned about his bullying tactics with the elderly neighbours.”
From this you can see the tactics that are being used. The intimidation banging on the glass rather than the door, the mention of having been in prison and getting in the victim’s personal space. Also, the tactic of legitimising the behaviour by saying probation had put him on a scheme and that a police officer had bought some items from him.
The law states that a trader who ignores a resident’s request to leave and not return commits a criminal offence under the provisions of The Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Cold Callers and Rogue Traders
Cold calling is the act of making uninvited visits to your home with the intention of selling goods or services. It is not illegal and does not require a licence. Under the Peddlars Act a doorstep seller should obtain a permit from the local police station. It is common for a gang to target an area and for groups to then be picked up later on in the day. There have been concerns that this can lead to vulnerable persons and addresses being identified and later targeted.
Cold calling doorstep traders who target the elderly and vulnerable cause most concern. They offer services like roofing, block paving, guttering, painting and gardening. There are, of course, plenty of reputable traders offering a range of services but they can still be a nuisance if they cold call against your wishes. Any trader that puts you under pressure by falsely implying that you have to make a decision there and then, or that the “special price” is only available for a limited period in order to make you sign up, is committing an offence.
See also our news post on Nottingham Knockers and Rogue Traders (11th April 2019).
Stop Cold Calling sticker packs and Zones
You can express your request not to receive visits from cold calling doorstep traders by taking part in Buckinghamshire and Surrey’s Trading Standards “No cold calling sticker scheme”. The packs include door and window stickers which can be stuck up outside peoples addresses and will act as a deterrent to unwanted callers. There is also an indoor sticker to remind people of where they can report these traders to.
Chiltern & South Bucks District Councils Community Safety Team will assist roads in creating “No door step trader zones” if the majority of your street is in agreement.
If you are looking for tradesmen, Trading Standards approved contractors can be searched on Buywithconfidence.gov.uk.
Other Recent Posts
Friday, July 3rd, 2020
Buckinghamshire Community Safety activities and notices including new contact details, domestic abuse, coronavirus scams, online safety, Neighbourhood Watch week, Coronavirus support and information Read More...
Thursday, July 2nd, 2020
More than 3 months since the start of ‘lockdown’, a significant easing of conditions is taking place in England this Saturday. We urge residents to ENJOY themselves with sense and good humour. And also, to give the Police cooperation and consideration. Read More...
Thursday, June 25th, 2020
Report on a well attended Forum meeting. Update on the COVID-19 context, and some good news on Burglary stats. Policing priorities retained as Burglary, Anti-Social Behaviour and Drug Dealing Read More...
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
Advice on avoiding being defrauded by ruthless criminals latching onto the Government Test & Trace System. As with all scam attempts, awareness and caution are the key. Read More...
Tuesday, May 26th, 2020
Details of £814,000 funding available for organisations serving victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Funding is to cover increased costs arising from COVID-19 crisis and its effects. Read More...
Saturday, April 4th, 2020
Supt Amy Clements explains how our area continues to be policed during the coronavirus emergency, and how the public can help, and a video update from Chief Constable John Campbell. Read More...