Campaign warns of spring flush of rogue traders

POLICE and Trading Standards have joined forces to highlight the risks of letting cold callers take on jobs .

A week-long campaign launched on Monday by the Suffolk Safe and Sound group, which includes the county’s police and Trading Standards, raised awareness of distraction burglaries.

In addition, Suffolk Trading Standards warned people to be on their guard in spring, when rogue traders or cold callers target homeowners offering to tidy gardens and do outside jobs for them. Trading Standards say the jobs are often not finished to a good standard, or even at all, and the householder is often overcharged.

For example, in October an 82-year-old woman from Felixstowe was charged £18,500 for work experts valued at only £4,000.

Senior trading standards officer Tony Doorly said: “Do not be rushed into agreeing to have work done for what may initially seem like a low price but which could end up costing you more than you bargained for.”

The Safe and Sound group recommends using Suffolk Trusted Trader directory which lists tradesmen who are checked by Suffolk Trading Standards and have committed to treating customers fairly. The directory is at www.referenceline.com/tradingstandards/suffolk/ or you can call Trading Standards on 01473 264 859.

Anyone concerned about suspicious callers in their area is asked to report them to Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or dial 999 if a crime is in progress.