Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Vulnerable residents in Thurrock are benefitting from extra protection against doorstep callers with the continued roll out of No Cold Calling Areas across the borough.
The NCCA scheme is a joint initiative between Thurrock Council's Trading Standards Team and Essex Police. By banning doorstep traders it reduces the risk of residents being persuaded to buy products or services they don't need.
Harty Close in Stifford Clays is the latest sheltered housing complex to adopt the scheme.
At the launch on Monday (25 June), Thurrock Council's portfolio holder for Public Protection, Cllr Angie Gaywood said: "It can be very frightening for elderly and vulnerable people when someone knocks at their door trying to sell items. The NCCA scheme provides protection and peace of mind.
"It has already proven successful nationally and, has helped in reducing the number of distraction burglaries in Thurrock. It not only offers the opportunity to provide useful crime prevention advice but also gives people the confidence to not open the door to anyone they are at all concerned about."
NCCAs are particularly used in areas like sheltered housing complexes where there is a high concentration of elderly or vulnerable people and, previous evidence of cold calling/burglary. There are 24 sheltered complexes in Thurrock which are part of the scheme alongside four other areas including specific areas which have been targeted by doorstep callers.
Road signs are clearly displayed in each area warning traders they are entering a controlled area where cold calling is not allowed.
An essential factor in the success of the scheme is buy-in from the residents who are involved in a consultation period before accepting NCCA status for their community. Trading Standards and police provide crime prevention advice and information as well as details on how to deal with doorstep and unwanted callers. Once an area becomes an NCCA, residents are urged to report anyone touting for business to Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.
An additional five sheltered housing NCCAs are due to go live in the next few months.
Photo: Thurrock Council's portfolio holder for Public Protection, Cllr Angie Gaywood, joins Essex Police Community Support Officers at the launch of the No Cold Calling Area at Hart Close sheltered housing complex, Stifford Clays.