Police target rogue traders in roadside crackdown

Police targeted rogue traders using the A11, A47 and A140 in a crackdown. Picture: James Bass

Police targeted rogue traders using the A11, A47 and A140 in a crackdown. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2010

Police also reported three drivers for having no insurance, reported two for waste carrying/scrap metal dealer act offences and issued 13 traffic offence reports.

Sgt Dan Edwards, who oversaw the May 10 operation, said it was part of a week-long push call Operation Rogue Trader.

He said: 'The impact of rogue traders' actions in particular can far outweigh any financial loss to the victim, with dramatic effects on quality of life and confidence.

'Anything that can help reduce the number of people who fall victim is welcomed by the force.'

Rogue traders are individuals or groups of people who cold-call householders, often targeting vulnerable residents, claiming to be a bona fide business and purporting to offer services, most commonly buildings maintenance and repair.

The offenders charge excessive fees for the work, yet the work that is carried out is either sub-standard or not carried out at all.

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Other actions officers took in the crackdown included two motorists being reported for driving otherwise in accordance with their licence, five vehicle defect rectification scheme (VDRS) forms issued and 25 vehicles found using red diesel.

Operation Rogue Trader is an annual week of activity co-ordinated by Operation Liberal, the national distraction burglary intelligence unit, the Trading Standards Institute and the National Police Chiefs' Council.

Andy Luckett, office manager from Operation Liberal, said: 'As you can imagine, those involved in this form of illegal activity do not tend to be law abiding citizens in other aspects of their life.

'By involving a range of different agencies, we can seriously hamper their offending patterns and aim to disrupt their criminal activity and the aim is to get them off the streets.'

To report a rogue trader, call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.