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No Cold Calling Zone set up

Published Friday, 27 April 2012

Residents and Enfield Council have joined forces to tackle the menace of criminal cold callers who prey on the vulnerable and elderly.

The scheme, which covers roads off Great Cambridge Road, has been established to reduce burglary and deal with rogue traders who offer to carry out unnecessary work and then charge a fortune to do so.

A cold call is the act of making an unrequested or uninvited visit to a home and most cold callers intend to sell residents goods or services.

Although the majority of cold callers are genuine, there are a minority who commit ‘doorstep crime’ and it is often difficult to tell whether the person is genuine, a rogue trader offering repairs or improvements, or a bogus caller trying to get into a home.

The No Cold Calling Zone has been introduced to stop unwanted cold callers and to give residents the confidence to deter callers away who they do not wish to deal with.

Street signs have been erected at all access points used by cold callers to alert them that they are in a no cold calling zone. Residents have also been provided with stickers to display on their front doors to make callers aware that the area is a No Cold Calling Zone and that the resident will not deal with them.

The zone is not intended to prevent people from distributing leaflets or catalogues such as Betterware or the “Avon Lady” or to stop people on legitimate business such as gas, electricity and water meter readers.

It is not illegal to cold call, even in a No Cold Calling Zone, however, in a No Cold Calling Zone the residents have made a decision that they do not want cold callers.

Weir Hall Ratepayers Association made a successful bid for funding to Enfield Council's Residents' Priority Fund for a scheme to discourage cold callers.

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Enviroment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: "Residents are under no obligation to allow anyone to enter their home and can refuse access. We advise people to say "No to all doorstep cold callers and this scheme will help give people the confidence to do exactly that.

"Cold callers can be very persuasive so this scheme is about stopping them from visiting this area in the first place."

If you are concerned you or a neighbour have been approached by rogue traders or bogus caller, please contact Citizens Advice - Consumer Advice 08454 040506.

Everyone has a right to feel safe in their own homes. Residents should follow these simple steps before letting anyone they don't know into their home:

  • Lock the back door before answering the front door. Bogus callers often work in pairs; while one distracts the homeowner at the front door, the other goes around the back.
  • Always ask to see ID. Check the photo on the identity card against the person at your door.
  • If they do not have any ID or it does not match, do not let them in.
  • If it is not a pre-arranged visit and you are unsure about the caller, ask them to return at a suitable date and time when you have someone with you.
  • If you are still unsure about the caller, contact the appropriate number for assistance, usually the organisation the caller claims to be from.

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