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Distraction Burglaries and Cold Callers

Alert message sent 21/03/2021 10:41:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

Our detectives are currently investigating a recent attempted burglary which occurred on the 18/3/2021 at around 5 p.m. in the Gerrards Cross area where two males claiming to be from the Utilities Company have come to check the meter of the victim's house. The males entered the house and a short while later left after were concerns raised. The males were in a grey Ford Transit van.

If you do get any unannounced visits do not be afraid ask for identification. Be aware that ID can be easily faked. Check what details they have, name of resident, postcode, account numbers. If they are chancers then they will most likely make their excuses and leave. If you suspect they are false don't be afraid to give the police a call and check with the company that they claim that they are representing. You may just have stopped burglars scoping your property.

Last year we received a large number of calls around doorstep sellers or Nottingham Knockers as they are commonly called. A number of calls complained of the aggressive nature of these people. One such case captured a spurned seller spitting on the victims car. In the last year I have heard peddlers claiming that this was part of their probation. I have double checked this and this is certainly something that Probation would not promote.

There are some good natured people who want to help peddlers and see it as people just trying to make some money. However think by supporting peddlers, you are encouraging them to come to your area, and this could result with elderly or vulnerable person in your neighbourhood being put at risk of being taken advantage of.

Know your rights:
Under the Peddlars Act. Doorstop sellers should obtain a permit from their local police station. This hardly ever happens. Cold calling is the act of making uninvited visits to your home with the intention of selling goods or services. It is not illegal and does not require a licence.

However, the law states that a trader who ignores a resident's request to leave and not return commits a criminal offence under the provisions of The Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

You can express your request not to receive visits from cold calling doorstep traders by taking part in Buckinghamshire and Surreys Trading Standards ‘No cold calling sticker scheme’.

Traders who sell goods door to door are required to have a Pedlar's Certificate issued by the Police, except for cold calls offering services like home maintenance work. Please note a Pedlar's Certificate is not a guarantee of legitimacy.

Stay safe, do not rush into making hasty decisions and lets look out for our friends, neighbours and family by making them aware of the potential scams and their rights.

PS 3675 Darren Walsh
Neighbourhood Policing
Amersham Police Station

Message sent by
Darren Walsh (Police, Sgt, Amersham)

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