Blaenau Gwent Council’s Trading Standards and Gwent Police have set up Ebbw Vale’s largest ‘No Cold Calling Zone’ in Rowan Way, Rassau.
The new zone covers approximately 200 homes and is intended to reduce incidents of doorstep crime by preventing rogue tradesmen, bogus officials, distraction burglars and scam charity collectors from calling.
‘No Cold Calling’ signs are being placed on lighting posts and each household is being given a window sticker and advice booklet directing residents on how to deal with unwanted callers. Many incidents of Doorstep crime go unreported and it is hoped that the police and Citizens Advice Consumer Service number displayed on the signs will encourage residents to report any incidents.
This will allow the police and Trading Standards, who operate a rapid response procedure for doorstep crime, to investigate incidents when the crimes are taking place, therefore allowing for more effective enforcement.
Residents in the Rowan Way area were consulted regarding their support for the zone using the invaluable support of Gwent Police Cadets. The response received was that they were overwhelmingly in favour of it being set up, many indicating that they had received multiple visits from unwanted callers in the past and were concerned about doorstep criminals.
Trading Standards and the police have also been aware of the need for the zone due to the number of incidents reported in the area. The establishment of the zone has been part funded by proceeds raised by a fireworks display put on by South Wales Fire Service in Ebbw Vale.
Councillor Garth Collier, Executive Member for the Environment including Public Protection, says:
“This will be the fifth ‘No Cold Calling’ Zone set up in Blaenau Gwent. The zones provide invaluable protection for residents living in areas that have previously been subject to rogue trader incidents. In future residents living in any areas that are being targeted by these types of criminals will be consulted and new zones set up if it is felt the added protection is required.”
Councillor Gareth A Davies, Councillor for Rassau, said:
“It is well known that rogue traders target the elderly and vulnerable. Rogue traders charge extortionate amounts for very poor quality work and provide false names and contact details so that they cannot be traced.
Rogue traders and distraction burglars often work together and pass over information regarding potential targets. In an effort to increase the effectiveness in combating doorstep crime Blaenau Gwent Council’s Trading Standards section and Gwent Police are introducing the zone in the area which will provide protection for the residents.
It is also worth highlighting the free services offered by Victim Support that can provide support and assistance to people that have been affected by a crime or traumatic event. Victim Support, independent charity, can be contacted on 0300 1232133.”