New bid to stop bogus callers

COMPLAINTS about doorstep callers in Suffolk have fallen during a 12-month period, new figures reveal.But police and council bosses admit there is still a problem and are spearheading further work to protect members of the public.

COMPLAINTS about doorstep callers in Suffolk have fallen during a 12-month period, new figures reveal.

But police and council bosses admit there is still a problem and are spearheading further work to protect members of the public.

Doorstep callers typically prey on elderly people or other vulnerable members of society telling them that urgent home improvements or gardening work needs to be carried out and ask for money up front.

The work completed is often unnecessary or shoddy and the final price charged ends up being up to ten times higher than had been originally quoted.

Between February 2005 and January 2006, trading standards officers in Suffolk received 107 complaints, compared to 95 between February 2006 and January 2007.

But Joanna Spicer, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for public protection, said bogus callers were still seizing on every opportunity to rip people off and that the council was considering a scheme similar to Neighbourhood watch where posters would be placed around the area to let bogus callers know the area does not tolerate cold-calling.

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