Operation in aim to stop Sandwell conmen
Trading standards officers have joined forces with the police to crackdown on rogue traders preying on residents in Sandwell.
Operation Rogue Trader saw the team of police and trading standards officers carry out a day of action at rogue trading hotspots in Sandwell including Great Barr and Cradley Heath.
During the operation, eleven of the 12 traders spoken to by officers were genuine, but one who was questioned ran away before his credentials could be verified.
Officers also talked to Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators to see if there had been any issues with doorstep crime in the area and two elderly gentlemen who have been targeted by conmen, were also visited.
Officers also visited more than 200 households to offer advice.
Sandwell's Trading Standards Manager Bob Charnley, said: "We know just how traumatic and devastating it can be for the victim of a rogue trader after they find that they have been duped in to paying huge amounts for poor and sometimes non-existent work.
"With this coordinated day of action, we are sending out a clear message to rogue traders that their activities will not be tolerated and they will be stopped." This is why we work all year to tackle doorstep crime and protect consumers."
The operations in Sandwell were part of a larger operation that involved more than 300 Trading Standards and Police Officers at Birmingham, Dudley, Staffordshire, Walsall, Wolverhampton and other Midland's authorities.
By the end of the day more than 200 companies were inspected, four arrests made, and one vehicle recovered in the region.
Bob Charnley added: "By working together across the region Trading Standards and their partners can maximise the impact they make."
"There is no hiding place in the West Midlands or in Sandwell for these so called Rogue Traders who prey upon the vulnerable in our society and give hard working honest businesses a bad name."
It follows a crackdown in neighbouring Dudley borough.
Dudley police said there had been a rise in the number of calls they have received from members of the Hawbush area of Brierley Hill about people cold calling at houses in the area.
Signs are going up in the area warning rogue traders they will be reported if they cold call in a newly launched No Rogue Trader Zone.
Leaflets and door stickers have already been delivered to 300 houses by police advising residents to be aware of tricksters.
Dudley Council has been rolling out rogue trader zones across the borough since 2011. The first ones were set up in the Halesowen North and South, Hayley Green and Cradley South and Belle Vale wards.
Signs were installed on lamp posts and window stickers warning against cold callers were delivered to homes.
A 24-hour hotline was also set up for people to report suspicious behaviour.
As part of the scheme police and trading standards officers carry out patrols and approach traders who are working on property or operating door to door to verify that they are actually genuine.
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