City of York Council is raising awareness of doorstep crime ahead of Doorstop Crime Awareness Week between 14 and 18 October.
The authority is working in partnership with colleagues from across the Yorkshire and Humber region as well as trading standards to provide advice to residents during the week.
The council is reaching out to provide a range of support and advice during the week to help those who are most targeted. Criminals are known to target the elderly and vulnerable by unsolicited door knocks or putting leaflets through their doors.
The following support will be provided during the week:
Meet us for advice at a city centre bus stop:
Trading standards officers will be based at city centre bus stops throughout the week, including outside the Theatre Royal on St Leonard’s Place (Tuesday and Friday) or Stonebow (Monday, Wed and Friday), to provide face-to-face advice between 9am and 10.30am.
Drop your leaflets into one of our collection boxes:
We know criminals use leaflets to pose as legitimate traders. Some of the bogus claims to lure vulnerable or unsuspecting residents into agreeing to unnecessary discounts are often promoted as ‘OAP discounts, ‘established family businesses and ‘skilled tradesman’.
With the worst offenders repeatedly targeting their victims time and again.
Residents are encouraged to drop off any leaflets they think fall into this category for our trading standards teams to review. Drop off points are provided at the following locations, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
- City of York Council’s West Offices
- Age UK on Bishopthorpe Road, Burton Stone Lane and Fourth Avenue in Tang Hall
- Bell Farm Social Hall, Roche Avenue
- Foxwood Community Centre
- Sainsbury’s, Monks Cross
- Costcutter, Wheldrake
- Burnholme Community Hub, Baf Bargain Lane, Heworth
- The Old Butcher’s Coffee Shop, Dunnington
- St Hilda’s Parish Church, Tang Hall Lane
- The Folk Hall, Hawthorne Terrace, New Earswick
- Fulford Library, Heslington Lane
FACTS: Know your rights:
- If you agree to have work done (that is over £42), whilst the trader is in your home (whether they are invited or they call around uninvited) the trader is usually required to provide you with certain information regarding the contract such as a description of the work, the price and their contact details.
- In general you should also be given information regarding a 14 day cooling off period to allow you to decide if you wish to go ahead with the work.
- If the trader starts the work within this 14 day period, your right to cancel does not disappear however you may be required to pay for any work done up to the date of cancellation.
- There are a number of exceptions to the above – including certain types of bespoke work. If you would like specific advice please contact the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 for more information.
- Trading Standards would always recommend that residents do not deal on the doorstep and be wary of anyone rushing them to make a decision – genuine traders will not mind if you do not make a decision straightaway.
- Residents should get three written quotes which include a breakdown of costs. A list of trading standards vetted traders can be found at: www.ageuk.org.uk/york/our-services/home-services-directory/
Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, said: “Trading Standards Officers regularly receive reports of people cold calling residents to sell goods and services. In some cases we know residents have felt pressurised into parting with vast sums of money for unnecessary and poor quality products.
“We know that crimes of this nature are under-reported, and so we urge anyone with concerns or information to get in touch by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 040506.”