Cold shoulder for rogue traders

NO GO ...  Tracey Dixon  with Fellgate and Hedworth ward members Councillors Geraldine Kilgour and Alan Smith and Sergeant Steve Prested.
NO GO ... Tracey Dixon with Fellgate and Hedworth ward members Councillors Geraldine Kilgour and Alan Smith and Sergeant Steve Prested.

ROGUE traders and doorstep sellers will be frozen out with the launch of two new No Cold Calling zones to protect vulnerable residents in South Tyneside

Fellgate in Jarrow and Whiteleas in South Shields are the latest areas in the borough to become designated No Cold Calling Zones.

The initiative aims to discourage uninvited traders and bogus officials from knocking at residents’ doors and trying to sell them goods and services without a prior appointment.

South Tyneside Council’s Trading Standards Team has set up the schemes in partnership with Northumbria Police, thanks to Safer Neighbourhoods Teams funding and in response to requests in the communities.

Neighbourhood Inspector John Smith said: “A lot of people, not just those who are elderly, can feel vulnerable when they are approached by strangers at their front door and simply don’t know what they should do.

“The new zone aims to put a stop to this practice, allowing residents to collectively say no to cold callers. It’s also designed to cut incidents of rogue traders and bogus officials in the area.

“We would advise residents in this zone to contact Trading Standards if a cold caller breaches the zone, but to always contact police if they are suspicious about any callers in the area, making a note of what they look like and any vehicle they may be travelling in.

“As always we would ask all residents to remain vigilant at all times in relation callers claiming to be officials, making sure to check identity cards, which should include a photograph of the caller and details of the company.”

The No Cold Calling Zone in Whiteleas covers more than 200 properties in the Rembrandt Avenue and Whistler Gardens area. More than 60 residents in the Calf Close and surrounding streets in Fellgate will benefit from the Jarrow scheme.

The zones are marked by signs on entry points to discourage cold callers. Residents have also received a useful toolkit informing them about how to deal with uninvited callers to their home.

Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety at the council, said: “While we recognise that most tradesmen and salespeople who knock at people’s homes are genuine, it can be distressing for residents, particular the elderly or vulnerable, then they turn up unannounced. This can make them feel pressured into parting with their money for services that are unnecessary.

“The newly designated areas bring the total number of the zones across South Tyneside to 13.

Residents living in No Cold Calling Zones are encouraged to report cold callers entering the zone to the council’s trading standards team on 424 7887 or by emailing trading.standards@southtyneside.gov.uk

Areas of South Tyneside benefiting from No Cold Calling Zones include:

Winship Close, Whiteleas, South Shields

Rembrandt Avenue, Millais Gardens and Whistler Gardens area, Whiteleas, South Shields

Lindsay Court, Whitburn

East Croft retired housing development, Whitburn

Lakeside area, Hebburn

Calf Close House, Fellgate, Jarrow

Crusade Walk, Jarrow

Canberra Drive and the John Reid Road/Scotch Estate area, Jarrow

Bede Burn View, Jarrow

Aged Miners’ Homes and Bulmer House in Harton, South Shields

Mariners Cottages in Broughton Road, South Shields.

Bamburgh Avenue and Euryalus Court in South Shields

The Lonnen and Fellside area, South Shields