Cold-calling ban introduced in Wellingborough

Andy Hammond from Kensigns, PCSO Wane, Cllr  Graham Lawman and then Andrew Langford of Northamptonshire Trading Standards
Andy Hammond from Kensigns, PCSO Wane, Cllr Graham Lawman and then Andrew Langford of Northamptonshire Trading Standards

No cold-calling signs designed to deter rogue traders and distraction burglaries have been put up in an area of Wellingborough.

The scheme has been launched at the Pyghtle, the Headlands and Ridgeway, where elderly or vulnerable residents have previously been targeted.

High visibility signs have been installed in the roads indicating that it is a no cold-calling area and crime prevention packs, including door advice stickers, are being delivered to 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”. The scheme aims to reduce doorstep selling and distraction burglaries in the area and provide a clear message to householders.

Wellingborough sector commander, Inspector Pauline Sturman, who has been involved in getting the scheme off the ground, said: “These areas have been selected as no cold-calling zones because they have been targeted by distraction burglars in the past.

“The scheme sends a clear message out that callers are not welcome in the area, which in turn reduces potential incidents of distraction burglary.

“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 sure, don’t open the door.”

Residents in these areas are also being urged to call a special hotline to Northamptonshire Police, 0345 2307702, to report any crime or suspicious callers at their homes and provide details of the callers to assist with their identification.

The scheme has been initiated and funded by Wellingborough Council, Wellingborough Community Safety Partnership which includes Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service, and Northamptonshire Police.

Cllr Paul Bell, leader of Wellingborough Council, said: “Wellingborough 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.”