Fresh warning on rogue traders

Police in Norfolk yesterday issued a fresh warning to householders to beware of rogue traders after a spate of incidents in recent weeks.

Police in Norfolk yesterday issued a fresh warning to householders to beware of rogue traders after a spate of incidents in recent weeks.

In one of them, two men called at the home of an elderly woman in Thetford and pressurised her into buying a duvet for £60. She felt very intimidated and the salesman did not give the name of the company he worked for or his own name.

In another incident a man called at an address in Ormesby where a woman in her 80s lives. The man distracted her by taking her to the shed in the back garden - it is believed that two young men then entered the premises and stole £2,000 from a chest container in the bedroom.

In Yarmouth, a man claiming he was carrying out roadworks in the area called at the home of two elderly women. The man claimed he needed to run a pipe through the garden.

He tried to go upstairs but was asked to leave. He showed some form of ID but the victim was unable to make out any detail. A significant amount of jewellery was later discovered missing as were bank cards and cash.

Det Supt Julian Blazeby said: "The people who prey on vulnerable victims are normally very ruthless.

Most Read

"We need to build up more intelligence and encourage more reporting of this crime to catch the offenders."

His comments come after Norfolk police and the EDP teamed up for the Keep Them Out campaign earlier this year. Officers later hailed this campaign a success, saying it had highlighted the need for caution among vulnerable residents.

Rogue traders are people who pretend to be builders, gardeners or repair workers wanting to do 'urgent' repairs or other work on the house or garden. They often pressurise householders into agreement by bullying, worrying or simply starting work.

The work done is often poor, incomplete or unnecessary. Prices charged for the work can be much higher than the original quote given and the only contact details given may be a mobile phone number which can make it impossible to trace them again.

Isabel Cross, from the charity Crimestoppers, said: "People may not always come forward to the police but Crimestoppers ensures anyone can pass on information, especially details of those committing such a devious crime as this. Callers to 0800 555111 can have guaranteed anonymity and still play a part in stopping this in their community."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter