Issued By
North Yorkshire
County Council

DOORSTEP CONMAN WARNING


TRADING STANDARDS officers in North Yorkshire are warning residents to be on their guard after an 86-year-old Harrogate woman has paid over £2,000 for work to her roof which was both unnecessary and shoddy.

North Yorkshire County Council officers were called in to intervene after receiving reports from her family that the trader was coming back for a further £1500.

The conman was described by his elderly victim as a ‘charming nice man’ but other reports about his activities elsewhere suggest that when 'rumbled' he can turn aggressive and threatening.

Councillor Carl Les, the county council's executive member for trading standards, said: “Yet again, we have elderly residents being preyed upon by unscrupulous criminals offering house repairs. There’s only so much which we or other enforcement organisations can do to stop these things.

"That's why we're calling on the Government for new legislation to ban the cold calling of property repairs. Daily, we receive reports like this, but in most cases we are shutting the door after the horse has bolted.

"Local communities, neighbours and friends all need to understand that these criminals are operating. It really is time we stopped tolerating doorstep sellers and make it clear to callers that calling door to door in the 21st Century is neither necessary nor acceptable."

22-8-'03

Contact: Stuart Pudney, head of trading standards on 01609-766405

NOTE TO EDITORS: Please note that for sensitivity purposes no further details about the identity or location of the victim will be disclosed.

Executive member: Councillor Carl Les (Con) 01677-423702 Mob: 07860-639600
Group spokespeople: Councillor Steve Shaw-Wright (Lab) 01757-708849; Councillor Mrs Caroline Seymour (Lib-Dem) 01642-710382