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Rogue traders

Police are warning Hampshire residents to be alert following more reports of rogue traders across the region.

Rogue traders specifically target those who they consider to be vulnerable within our communities. They will often offer to carry out repairs, vastly overcharging for unnecessary, shoddy or even non-existent work. And, of course, there are no guarantees, assuming you can find these people again.

Don't open the door to anyone before you've checked who it is - look out of the window or use a spy hole in your door. Donít be afraid to ignore the doorbell if you wish Ė thereís no law that says you have to open the door!

If you open the door, keep the chain on while you find out who is calling and what they want. If you're not expecting someone and you don't know them, don't let them into your home, no matter what they say to you. If a caller is genuine they will understand your concerns.

If someone claims to be from a company, such as a gas or electricity provider, always double check their identity. If you have any concerns about someone who has called at your door, call the police immediately. If you have a chance, try to note what they look like and any vehicle they have with them, so police can investigate.

If you think you do need to have work done to your home, ask for quotes from two or three reputable companies. Ask your friends, neighbours or relatives who may be able to recommend companies or trades people.

It may seem convenient if someone on your doorstep offers to repair your guttering, or trim a hedge or tree for you, but please donít be afraid to say no. Remember, never pay upfront to cold callers as it is likely you will not see them or your money again.

Please be vigilant if you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours and report your concerns to the police. You may have been wise enough to turn away the unsolicited caller, but your neighbours may be grateful that you reported the incident to save them from becoming a victim.

If youíve information about any crime, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, or log on to www.crimestoppers-uk.org where you can also give information without anyone knowing who you are. Your call is free, no one will know you called and you may earn a cash reward. You can also follow me on twitter @HantsCrimestopp

PC Simon Wright

Article posted on: 29 May 2015

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