Sussex Police and Trading Standards have joined forces to clamp down on rogue traders and doorstep sellers.
Operation Rogue Trader saw a week of activity during October to stop rogue business practices and raise awareness of the dangers linked to hiring cold-callers.
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.”
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Prevention teams for Adur and Worthing went out with two trading standards officers and spoke with 12 to 15 tradespeople.
Police said the team did not identify any rogue workers and everybody spoken to was happy with the work being completed.
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 over 1,400 personnel, 1,806 people stopped and searched, 87 arrests for 871 offences and over £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 among the most vulnerable groups.
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.”
Anybody who suspects a rogue trader, or finds themselves accosted by uninvited doorstep sellers, should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 or contact police on 999 or 10