Be on your guard after doorstep crime incidents

Published on: Wednesday, 11-February-2015

Knowsley residents are urged to be vigilant after a number of elderly residents fell victim to doorstep crime incidents.

In the first incident, a couple in their eighties were cold-called at their home in the Court Hey Park area of Huyton by three men who pressured them to have work done on their drive.

The work was unfinished and of a poor standard and the residents were not supplied with any paperwork or contact details. The traders were due to return to the property but failed to appear.

In the second incident, another elderly couple in the same area were targeted in similar circumstances. Again, the work was poor and unfinished and, in this case, the victims had paid £950 upfront.

Knowsley Council’s Trading Standards officers have been supporting the victims of the incidents and have seized a number of items of equipment left at the addresses by the traders.

The traders were driving a cream and white van with ‘Pavestone Drives Groundwork Specialists’ on the side and registration plate SF14 XSJ.

The three men have been described as:

1.    Six feet tall, in his late forties, of heavy build with short dark curly hair and an Irish accent

2.    Around five feet four inches tall, stout, in his forties with a round face, black hair and stubble

3.    A man in his mid-twenties, around five feet eight inches tall, thin, ill-looking and with a Liverpool accent

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate and Customer Services, Cllr Andy Moorhead, said: “It is simply unacceptable for any resident to feel under pressure in this way on their own doorstep and we would always advise residents not to buy goods and services as a result of a ‘cold call’.

“If you need work carrying out, always get three quotes from reputable traders, particularly ones who have been recommended to you by someone you trust. Make sure you get everything in writing and agree in advance the price and what work is to be carried out.

“Residents must never feel under pressure to make decisions which could lead to unnecessary, expensive or poor quality work being carried out. A genuine trader will be happy to let you consider your options and return when you have sought advice.”

Any resident who has suspicions about cold callers or bogus traders should ring Trading Standards on 0151 443 4738 or Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or in an emergency dial the police on 999.

Free Doorstep Crime packs and stickers are also available from Trading Standards on request.