50th no cold calling zone launched in county

The county’s 50th no cold-calling zone was launched in Weldon this week.

The new zone was set up at Hillside Crescent to help fight rogue traders and distraction burglaries happening in the area.

High visibility signs have been erected in the street indicating that it is a no cold-calling area and crime prevention packs, including door advice stickers, are being delivered to local residents.

The key message to householders is ‘if you’re not sure, don’t open the door’ and the warning to callers is ‘Stay away. Cold-callers are not welcome’.

Residents in the area are also being urged to call a special hotline to Northamptonshire Police - 0345 23 07 702 - to report any crime or suspicious callers at their homes and provide details of the callers to assist with their identification.

The Weldon no cold-calling scheme has been initiated and funded by Weldon Parish Council and Corby Community Safety Partnership which includes Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service, Corby Council and Northamptonshire Police. It aims to reduce the instances of doorstep selling and distraction burglaries in the area and provide a clear message to householders.

Successful no cold-calling schemes are already operating in East Northamptonshire, Northampton, Kettering, South Northamptonshire, Daventry and Corby.

County council cabinet member for environment Cllr Ben Smith said: “We have been introducing this scheme to other parts of the county over the past seven years, and the feedback has been extremely positive.

“Members of the public should never feel pressured into making a decision or agreeing to buy anything on the doorstep. Our advice is very clear; avoid opening the door to someone if you’re not expecting them. I would encourage residents to use businesses that are members of the county council’s Buy With Confidence scheme and have been approved by trading standards.”

Laurie Berruto from Weldon Parish Council said: “Weldon Parish Council is pleased to fund this scheme and to join with our partners in the launch. We hope that it will be of benefit to those residents directly involved and to the wider community.”

Cllr Phil Bromhall, at Corby Council said: “Corby and the surrounding villages is a safe place to live and we want to keep it that way and reduce the number of opportunities for bogus callers to prey on vulnerable members of the community.

“We believe that no cold calling zones like this will send out a clear signal to those people who operate like this that they are not welcome in this area.

“The cold calling system puts undue pressure on householders by having someone knocking at their door, often at dusk, trying to get them to buy something or have work done.”

Inspector Julie Mead, from Northamptonshire Police, said: “We are supportive of this scheme and it shows that we will listen to and take action on what the community tell us they want in order to improve the safety and confidence of the residents.

“The no cold calling scheme is an important support mechanism which we hope will give people more confidence to say ‘no’ to door-to-door callers. The simple message is if you are not expecting a caller and receive a knock at your door, do not open the door.”