Police stop drivers on Norfolk and Suffolk roads as part of week-long crackdown on rogue traders

PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:01 02 October 2015

The A11 looking towards Norwich from the Elveden bridge.

The A11 looking towards Norwich from the Elveden bridge.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2015

Some of the region’s main roads have been monitored by police during a week-long national crack down on rogue traders.

Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies and both counties’ trading standards have worked alongside the Environment Agency and HM Revenue and Customs during Operation Rogue Trader, a national initiative which started on Monday, September 28 and ends today.

The operation is an annual week co-ordinated by Operation Liberal, the national intelligence unit for organised travelling criminality, and supported by the National Police Chiefs Council.

During the week, agencies undertook work to identify, arrest and raise awareness of rogue traders, those who cold-call householders claiming to be a business and offering services, which are often sub-standard or not completed.

Both forces took part in a national enforcement day on Wednesday, September 30 where the region’s main roads were monitored.

In Norfolk, 56 vehicles were stopped on the A11 at Thetford, the A47 at Beighton and the A140 at Tasburgh, with five given notices for faulty lights or damaged windscreens, while eight were given traffic offence reports (TORs) for reasons including expired MOT, no MOT or using a mobile phone.

In addition, 35 vehicles had fuel tests, with one driver fined £550 for running red diesel.

In Suffolk, 42 vehicles were stopped on the A14 and surrounding roads in Bury St Edmunds, with 11 TORs handed out and 20 prohibitions, immediate and delayed, given.

Detective Inspector Tom Smith, who oversaw the operation, said: “Norfolk Constabulary works closely with partners such as Trading Standards throughout the year to tackle these sorts of crimes. 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.”

Alan Osborne, community safe manager for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Although Suffolk Constabulary works closely with partners such as Suffolk Trading Standards throughout the year to tackle these sorts of crimes, we are pleased to be supporting this national week-long operation locally.

“Rogue traders not only rob a person of their money but have significant effects on someone’s confidence and quality of life. We encourage people in Suffolk to spread the message, especially to elderly, lone occupants or vulnerable people; remember…Not Sure? Don’t Open the Door!”

Officers have advised residents to check the identity of the doorstep caller by phoning the company they say they are from, check whether traders are members of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme and never pay cash up front for work.

If you suspect a rogue caller, call 999.

The week is the 10th time that organisations across the UK have taken part in a campaign of its nature.

Last year’s Operation Rogue Trader saw nearly 400 people arrested, £153,200 worth of property recovered and over 10,000 vehicles inspected.

Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of any doorstep offender or rogue trader should ring Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies on 101.

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