Police Scotland and partners including Trading Standards Officers yesterday launched a major national campaign to help beat doorstep crime.
Doorstep crime consists of two main separate types of offences, bogus callers and rogue traders, both of which can have a devastating effect if you fall victim to them.
Superintendent Gus MacPherson said: “Doorstep crime can affect anyone within our local communities, but we are aware that in particular the over 60’s can be targeted due to a perceived vulnerability.
“Those who commit such crimes, like bogus callers and rogue traders are extremely convincing in how they approach and interact with potential victims. Anyone can be convinced by the lies these criminals create.
“We know that there is a significant amount of underreporting of this crime type, with individuals either not being aware that they have been subject to a crime, or feel embarrassed to tell someone.
“Police Scotland and all our partner agencies hope that this campaign will increase awareness amongst communities of this despicable crime and give confidence in being able to deal with those who cold-call at their door.”
To assist with this, Police Scotland has launched the ‘Nominated Neighbour Scheme’, which aims to foster local support for those who choose to not answer their door to cold-callers. Further information on this scheme can be found on the Police Scotland website or by calling your local Community Policing team on 101.
Councillor Alasdair Christie, Chair of The Highland Council’s Education Children and Adult Services Committee welcomed the launch of the ‘Nominated Neighbour Scheme’ he said: “Through Highland Council’s Trading Standards; the Handy Person and Care & Repair Schemes and Highland Citizens Advice we are all too aware of the devastating effect that doorstep crime can have on the more vulnerable members of our community.
“This partnership approach with the relevant agencies working together to promote the ‘Nominated Neighbour Scheme’ will help protect people in their own homes.”
A spokesperson from Trading Standards Scotland said: “We welcome the launch of the campaign today and fully support its aims to beat doorstep crime.
“Doorstep crime remains the number one priority for Trading Standards services in Scotland and we are committed to working with our partners to tackle this unscrupulous crime.
“Unfortunately, doorstep crime still remains vastly under reported and we strongly encourage victims, potential victims and their families and friends to report any suspicions they have immediately.”
Gordon Robb, Trading Standards Manager with Highland Council said: “Any initiative that helps in combating the highly undesirable and sometimes criminal behaviour by some traders, who often target the most vulnerable in our community, is to be firmly welcomed.
“The latest ‘Nominated Neighbour Scheme’, joins other successful Cold Call Control schemes and the other proactive joint preventative work we are doing with Police Scotland here in Highland to raise awareness and empower the community to protect its own members, disrupt unlawful behaviour and provide the evidence needed to formally deal with those who chose to behave in this way.”