Essex Police have noted an increase in Rogue Traders and offer the following advice. Rogue traders are people who call at your door pretending to be qualified tradespeople and offering to do work on your home. They may call and state that you could need one of the following services. Roof repairs Lawn repairs Driveways power washed Driveway repairs or replaced Fence repairs Garden services, tree lopping. Waste clearance They may seem friendly and persuasive but too often they target vulnerable elderly people and local residents are encouraged to actively try to prevent rogue trader incidents occurring in their area. The rogue traders may claim to know your neighbours and have done work for them but often the work they promise to complete didn't need doing in the first place. You decide whether you need any work done to our house, not them. If you think you've been taken in by a rogue trader, please let us know by calling 101, contact Trading Standards - https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/ Take a look at our advice to make sure you don't fall victim to a rogue trader. A genuine trader won't: • Call without an appointment • Ask you to go to the bank to withdraw cash or make a money transfer • Offer to take you to the bank to withdraw cash for payment • Ask you to pay in full before the work is complete • Insist that you make a decision about the work they're offering to do on the spot • Bully or scare you into doing the work If you do think you need some work doing: • Contact a Buy With Confidence accredited trader • Get a number of quotes • Get a written estimate detailing exactly what work will be carried out, how much it will cost and what the terms of payment are. • Take your time to make sure you’re happy with what you’re undertaking – ask a trusted friend/relative for advice or ring the Buy with Confidence number 08454 040506. Doorstep sellers As well as calling at your door and offering to carry out work on your home, other rogue traders try to sell poor quality goods for highly inflated prices. It can be difficult to refuse some sales people on your doorstep and you can be pressured into buying something you do not want or that is not good value for money. Simple steps 1. Check the trader’s identity: were you expecting them? If not, but you are interested in what they are selling, ask them to come back at a more convenient time and try to have another person with you. 2. Take control: you ask the questions and try to remember that it is a business situation. 3. Be aware that doorstep sellers are not your friends: watch out for clever sales techniques where you may be made to feel like you have lots in common. 4. Don’t sign on the spot: even if it means that you could lose a ‘special discount’. Take time to reflect, think about your purchase and shop around. 5. You have a right to cancel: If you do purchase something for more than £35 from doorstep sales people you have 7 days to change your mind. This information should be given to you in writing by the sales person. 6. If in doubt, ask the person to leave: phone Consumer Direct or Essex County Council Trading Standards on 08454 040 506 for further advice. You can also contact Essex Police using the non-emergency number 101. If you feel threatened by a sales person in your own home call 999.
Christmas gone and you have some new goodies
Over Christmas you may have been lucky enough to have received some rather nice gifts.
What did you do with the packaging? Left it by the roadside for the recycling collection? What better advert to the thief of where to find some new things to steal. Where possible fold the boxes inside out, or tear the box up, or package it in something else, or take it to the recycling centre yourself.
How many of us have thought about recording the serial numbers or property marking it. Be it a cycle, electrical goods, garden equipment or mobile phone it may have a serial number. You can record your serial numbers free or charge at https://www.immobilise.com/index.php and there are a number of property marking products available like indelible pens, SelectaDNA, SmartWater, CRE mark by CRE products to name but a few.
With jewellery and antiques don’t forget to take photographs of it, include an “Object ID card” or ruler in a photograph to give it a scale. Some of these property marking products may also be suitable and you can now upload images to Immobilise too.
Mobile phone and personal music devices:Don’t forget to make a note of the IME number of a mobile phone, to find it key in *MESSAGE KEY MISSING: '06', with this if it’s stolen you can block it. Many TV’s, mobile phones, computers and other electronics come pre-loaded with security and/or tracking software, make sure that it is activated. If you are storing valuable college work or other on that nice new laptop don’t forget to back up your work elsewhere just in case you lose the laptop. You can download an “App” on mobile phones to find your phone and more importantly wipe that data stored on it, check your “App store” or mobile phone provider.
When texting or talking on phones, or listening to music remain “in touch” with your surroundings, a number of road accidents, thefts and assaults occur when we fail to note what’s going on around us, don’t forget to pass this advice on to children.
Have a look at the webpage essex.police.uk/secure which has been updated and refreshed as a part of an ongoing project bring the crime prevention advice on the Essex Police webpage up to date.
Another good source of crime prevention advice is: https://thecrimepreventionwebsite.com/
Essex Police, Braintree & Uttlesford District
Crime Prevention Advisor
Twelve tips for Christmas and after
1. With all the additional Christmas food and drink, presents and other goodies stored within garages and outbuildings, ensure that they are out of sight and that it’s securely locked with good quality well fitted locks. Treat your shed to a shed alarm.
2. Avoid tempting window shopping burglars; don’t leave presents and valuables on full view in front of a window.
3. Don’t attract burglars to your home by leaving it in darkness; leave lights on timers, perhaps treat yourself to a TV simulator too.
4. Lock gates and keep unwanted visitors from getting to the rear of your home.
5. Whether an evening out or Christmas shopping keep your bags, handbags, wallets and mobile safe. Busy places make it easier for the sneak thief, so be alert at all times.
6. Don’t leave valuables and gifts on display in your car.
7. When you go to leave the house and find that your car is all iced up, don’t leave it unattended with the engine running to de-ice it. It only takes a second to steal your car and it would invalidate any insurance claim.
8. Attending a Christmas party – make sure that you have considered how you are getting home in advanced and avoid using unlicensed taxi’s. Ensure you drink responsible and are aware of your surroundings, whilst keeping your drink and belongings safe. www.suzylamplugh.org/Pages/FAQs/Category/personal-safety
9. Watch what you put on social media; check your settings to ensure that you are not broadcasting when you are not at home and the lovely gifts you have received.
10. After Christmas don’t advertise your nice gifts to the thieves by putting the empty boxes out for collect, disguise them, fold them up inside out or put them inside other non-descript box.
11. Record your new property free on www.immobilise.com , install tracking and security apps on relevant electrical and computer products.
12. Have a Great Christmas and New Year!! For further crime prevention advice see: www.essex.police.uk/advice/
Stephen Armson-Smith 74324
Crime Prevention Tactical Advisor
Architectural Liaison Officer
Braintree and Uttlesford Districts
Telephone 101 extension 407110
Mobile 07525 409720
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