TRADING Standards officers visited neighbourhoods in Swindon this week advising residents to say ‘no’ to cold calling doorstep traders.

And to reinforce the anti-rogue trader message, Swindon Council’s Trading Standards team are urging people to look out for their vulnerable neighbours by taking details of suspicious callers and contacting the police or Trading Standards to report any cold callers.

Trading Standards’ officers, along with Wiltshire Police, have been visiting areas vulnerable to rogue traders since Monday, to talk to householders a week before a national campaign on the issue comes into force.

The Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders campaign focuses on preventing doorstep crime by encouraging neighbours, family, friends and carers to look out for those most at risk in their communities.

The campaign is a partnership led by the Trading Standards Institute, Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards Board.

Despite underreporting of doorstep crime,the latest research shows there could be as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime each year.

Doorstep criminals exploit vulnerable citizens by convincing them to pay for shoddy or incomplete repair work, charging extortionate fees for their services, or threatening residents who do not comply.

Swindon Trading Standards, in partnership with Wiltshire Police, have been promoting their Buy With Confidence assured trader scheme.

Trading Standards Officers check businesses before they can become members of the scheme.

This includes credit reference checks, legal audits, disclosure barring checks where relevant and checking for Trading Standards complaints on the national database.

Coun Emma Faramarzi, Swindon Council’s cabinet member for housing and public safety, said: “Cold callers target and exploit vulnerable people so they can carry out unnecessary and expensive home maintenance work, which is often of poor quality.

“We want this to stop, which is why we carry out regular awareness campaigns such as this and are proactive in our approach.

“But we believe we all have a part to play in keeping an eye out for our neighbours who are more at risk from these unscrupulous rogue traders.

“If you need a good, honest, reliable trader use our Buy With Confidence scheme by visiting or call 01793 466155.”

Police Inspector Martin Schorah said: “It is important for Wiltshire Police to support our partners in the 'Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders' campaign next week.

“The campaign focuses on giving power back to communities who have been blighted by rogue traders and prevents those most at risk from becoming victims of doorstep crime.

“Residents who are neighbours, friends, relatives and carers of elderly or vulnerable people are encouraged to nominate themselves to help stop rogue doorstep traders operating in the area by joining a Nominated Neighbour scheme, taking away the trader's ability to contact the resident directly.

“If you suspect a rogue trader is at your door then call 999 and do not open the door.”