‘No Cold Calling Zones’ aim to deter rogue traders

Friday August 7th 2015

No Cold Calling Zone

Two areas of Penicuik have been designated as ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ in a bid to deter rogue traders, bogus workmen and other nuisance callers.

The scheme, which was recently launched in Mauricewood and part of Cornbank, is the first of its kind in Midlothian. The aim is to deter cold callers, reduce doorstep crime and prevent distraction burglaries.

Launched by Midlothian Community Safety Partnership with the support of the Council’s Trading Standards service, Police Scotland and East and Midlothian Councils’ Public Protection Unit, the scheme also provides residents with information and advice on the problems caused by cold calling.

Special ‘No Cold Calling Zone’ street signs have been erected throughout both areas and residents have been issued with packs containing door and window stickers, a booklet on tackling doorstep crime, a leaflet on fraud prevention and other information.

“We are aware of rogue traders coming to Midlothian, often targeting Penicuik,” said Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, Councillor Jim Bryant. “They can sometimes adopt high pressure selling techniques, rarely give cancellation rights and leave the area after a day or so. These zones are intended to dissuade rogue traders from plying their business and to help residents deal with problems when they do arise.”

He added: “Having consulted with residents through the Neighbourhood Watch scheme, we know that a majority of people in these areas are happy that pilot zones have been set up there.”

‘No Cold Calling Zones’ are not designed to prevent political activists, religious groups, recognised charities or market researchers from visiting, but residents are under no obligation to speak to anyone at their door.

The Council and the Police will assess how effective the pilot zones have been before considering extending the scheme to other areas of Midlothian. In around six months’ time, residents in the pilot areas will be sent out questionnaires asking for their comments.

To report incidents of cold calling in your area, telephone Midlothian Council on 0131 270 7500 or the Police (non-emergency number) on 101.

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