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Sussex Police and Trading Standards join forces for Operation Rogue Trader

25 Oct, 2018 16:00 News
Sussex Police and Trading Standards join forces for Operation Rogue Trader

Sussex Police and Trading Standards join forces for Operation Rogue Trader

Rogue traders and aggressive doorstep sellers were targeted during October as part of Operation Rogue Trader.

Officers worked with Trading Standards on a joint week of activity to stop rogue business practices and raise awareness of the dangers linked to hiring cold-callers.

In Brighton more than 20 trade vehicles were stopped and more than 20 homes visited where people had tradespeople. The tradespersons were really positive about why we were making the checks as they wanted all the rogue traders robustly dealt with to allow the genuine tradespersons to get on with their business.

In East Sussex checks were carried out in hot spots known for cold calling as well as at the roadside. In Eastbourne a suspected rogue trader was found doing work on an elderly man's house and trading standards are now investigating.

A man in Wealden was issued a caution for carrying scrap metal without the correct licence.

The Preventions teams for Adur, Worthing and Horsham went out with two trading standards officers during the week and patrolled a number of different areas. They spoke to around 12-15 trades persons and did not identify any rogue workers with everyone happy with the work being completed.

Operation Rogue Trader is a national multi-agency campaign coordinated by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) with Liberal, the Police National Intelligence Unit.

Last year’s campaign involved over 1,400 personnel, 1806 were stopped and searched, 87 arrests with 871 offences and over £40,000 in property seized.

Operation Rogue Trader began specifically to target doorstep crimes, especially distraction burglaries and rogue trader offences. As rogue trading practices diversified, Operation Rogue Trader grew to allow participating authorities to proactively target criminal behaviour, and raise awareness amongst the most vulnerable groups.

Richard Strawson, Team Manager for East Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards Service, said: “Rogue traders and doorstep fraudsters prey on the most vulnerable in society. Through the continued efforts of both Trading Standards and Sussex Police we aim to protect people from these criminals and allow legitimate businesses to continue without the unfair competition.”

A Sussex Police spokesperson said “Two of our priorities are to protect the vulnerable and catch criminals. Rogue Traders and fraudsters are unscrupulous and target people for their own personal gain. Working in partnership strengthens how we can deal with rogue traders and by raising awareness of their activity allows us to protect the public and keep people safe.”

If you suspect someone of being a rogue trader, or find yourself accosted by uninvited doorstep sellers, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 or contact police on 999 or 101.

 

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