Cold callers preying on the elderly are targets of new scheme in Barkingside, Clementswood and Fairlop wards

Redbridge Council leader Cllr Keith Prince (front) with Safer Neighbourhood Team officers, Neighbour

Redbridge Council leader Cllr Keith Prince (front) with Safer Neighbourhood Team officers, Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators and Redbridge councillors - Credit: Archant

Bogus and cold callers preying on the elderly and vulnerable are the target of three new zones being rolled out across 600 houses.

The new areas will be in the Fairlop, Barkingside and Clementswood wards – taking the total number of no cold calling zones around the borough to 38.

Whether it is people peddling unnecessary building work or pressuring you into buying something, the zones will put off people knocking on doors, according to the council.

Cllr Alex Wilson, cabinet member for planning and public protection, said: “It’s a great initiative and gives confidence to residents and a level of protection against unwanted harassment.”

Signs advertising the no cold calling zone have been put up on lampposts stating that residents do not purchase items at the door.

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The signs also have the number for Consumer Direct which, after residents make a complaint, informs Trading Standards when cold callers are in operation.

Cllr Wilson said: “It’s about raising awareness by having the signs and residents are particularly aware of their rights.

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“The signs on lampposts act as a deterrent to would-be cold callers that this area is where they are likely to get a frosty reception.”

Instances of cold callers could be people using high pressure selling tactics for work that does not need to be done like roof or driveway repairs.

Often these services are too expensive for the work carried out and homeowners are left with incorrect paperwork or fake contact details.

Cllr Wilson said: “It will give you that confidence to know your rights as a household – that you can turn people away and if they don’t go, then they are breaking the law and the police and Trading Standards can take action against them.”

He says that since the first cold calling zone was introduced in 2006, the number of complaints about bogus callers fell from 138 to 33 in 2011.

The zones, of which there is at least one in every Redbridge ward, are in partnership with the police and the fire brigade.

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