Crackdown on cold callers and rogue traders in Eastbourne

Operation Rogue Trader. Image courtesy of Sussex Police SUS-181025-170323001
Operation Rogue Trader. Image courtesy of Sussex Police SUS-181025-170323001

Rogue traders and aggressive doorstep sellers were targeted in Eastbourne during October as part of Operation Rogue Trader.

Officers worked with Trading Standards on a joint week of activity across East Sussex to stop rogue business practices and raise awareness of the dangers linked to hiring cold-callers.

Checks were carried out in hot spots known for cold calling as well as at the roadside.

In Eastbourne a suspected rogue trader was found doing work on an elderly man’s house and Trading Standards are now investigating.

A man in Wealden was issued a caution for carrying scrap metal without the correct licence.

Operation Rogue Trader is a national multi-agency campaign coordinated by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) with Liberal, the Police National Intelligence Unit.

Last year’s campaign involved more than 1,400 personnel, 1,806 people were stopped and searched, 87 arrests were made over 871 offences and more than £40,000 in property seized.

Operation Rogue Trader began specifically to target doorstep crimes, especially distraction burglaries and rogue trader offences.

As rogue trading practices diversified, Operation Rogue Trader grew to allow participating authorities to proactively target criminal behaviour, and raise awareness amongst the most vulnerable groups.

Richard Strawson, team manager for East Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards Service, said, “Rogue traders and doorstep fraudsters prey on the most vulnerable in society. “Through the continued efforts of both Trading Standards and Sussex Police we aim to protect people from these criminals and allow legitimate businesses to continue without the unfair competition.”

A Sussex Police spokesperson said, “Two of our priorities are to protect the vulnerable and catch criminals.

“Rogue traders and fraudsters are unscrupulous and target people for their own personal gain.

“Working in partnership strengthens how we can deal with rogue traders and by raising awareness of their activity allows us to protect the public and keep people safe.”

If you suspect someone of being a rogue trader, or find yourself accosted by uninvited doorstep sellers, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 or contact police on 999 or 101.