Gwent Police Crack Down On Rogue Traders
Gwent Police and its partners have joined forces this week as part of Operation Liberal, a nationwide crackdown on rogue trading.
Rogue Traders and pushy doorstep sellers are people who prey on the most vulnerable people within our communities, often conning them out of vast sums of money which in many cases are their life savings, for unnecessary and overpriced work.
During the week officers worked closely with colleagues from local Trading Standards, VOSA, DVLA, DWP and licensing officers from local councils. Together they have been gathering intelligence, visiting businesses, carrying out patrols, and conducting vehicle checks across Gwent.
Local neighbourhood policing teams were also out in their communities providing residents with advice and guidance on how they can keep themselves and members of their communities safe. Leaflets have been distributed throughout Gwent to raise awareness of the crime and encourage reporting. Throughout the week Gwent Police have also been updating their social media accounts with crime prevention advice and safety tips.
Results from the enforcement side of the week include:
· 12 x drivers given warning over no seat belts.
· 7 x vehicles detained until defects were rectified.
· 6 x vehicles impounded for vehicle defects.
· 3 x vehicles seized for no insurance.
· 1 x £100 fine and vehicle seized for insecure load.
· 1 x £50 fine and vehicle seizured for failing to record proper records.
· 3 x vehicles carrying an overweight load reported to the courts.
· 1 x driver reported for no driving licence.
· 1 x arrest for failing a road side drugs test.
· 1 x prosecution for unregistered business trader.
· 1 x driver issued with a fine for using mobile phone.
· A number of vehicles were clamped.
· Over £2000 in fines given out for vehicle defects.
· Several items were seized which are suspected to be stolen
· 1 x arrest for fraud/trading standards offences.
· 1 x £533 fine for red diesel.
· 3 x vehicles clamped for having no tax.
· 3 x vehicles reported to the courts for waste carrying offences.
Chief Inspector Matthew Williams from Gwent Police said: “It is essential that we work with partners in the community to raise awareness of things people can do to protect themselves and their properties from rogue traders. Doorstep crime has a huge impact on victims, so it is essential that we prevent, disrupt and enforce against these kinds of criminals. I would urge members of the public who have been victims of such callers or traders, or who perhaps have friends, neighbours or family members who have been targeted to contact police on 999 in an emergency or 101 if the call is less urgent. The simple message is to always say ‘no’ to any traders who unexpectedly turn up on your doorstep offering to carry out work.”
Steve Playle, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute lead officer for doorstep crime said: “Operation Rogue Trader is a great opportunity for the different partners involved in tackling doorstep crime to come together and carry out some enforcement work and to raise awareness of the issues. Cold calling criminals undertaking property maintenance work continue to exploit vulnerable and elderly home owners. Trading Standards officers right across the UK are committed to making criminal’s lives as difficult as possible by sharing intelligence, causing disruption and taking criminal prosecutions where necessary.”
Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of any doorstep offender or rogue trader should ring their local police or call Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111. Residents can also contact the Trading Standards department of their local council.
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