Cold Calling Control Zones aim to arm residents with the knowledge they need to be safe within their homes but, most importantly, the confidence to say NO to cold callers and prevent further incidents of doorstep crime occurring. The zones act as a deterrent to constant door knocking which is often seen as a nuisance, but can also cause anxiety and stress within the community.
It is, however, vital to stress that these Zones are only intended to put off opportunists, rather than reputable traders such as milk men and window cleaners.
This popular initiative continues to thrive acrossWest Yorkshirewith 41 successful live zones in place, and 8 more in the preparation stages.
The success of these zones can often be contributed to the involvement of the community at all stages. In the preparation stages of all zones, residents are closely consulted to ensure each zone is supported and that the most susceptible streets are identified.
Each zone is then revisited on an annual basis to ensure it is effective and sustainable by offering resident consultation and interactive workshops. Education Officers from Trading Standards will host sessions in a bid to raise awareness of issues such as scams, identity theft and personal safety but also on advice on energy comparisons, safety within the home and how to deal with pushy sales people and cancel contracts that they may have been pressured in to. These are just a taster of the type of calls that we regularly get from the public reporting to our call centre.
In addition to this, our Fair Trading team will also be offering training to colleagues and professionals who come into regular contact with residents who may be experiencing these sort of problems. For example, PCSO’s, Police Officers, Neighbourhood Wardens, Community Safety Officers etc will all be offered the opportunity to take part in this training. The training will focus on the relevant legislation and laws as well as how to spot a doorstep criminal and what can be done with regards to criminal offences and also reporting of these offences.
Each zone does require initial funding but, once set up, they are easily sustained and managed with a partnership approach. The most recent zones have been funded by POCA funding, area committees, In Communities and Safer Leeds (and the list goes on).
If you think that this is something that your area could benefit from or would like to work together on, please feel free to contact me on the details below and I will be more than happy to discuss and answer any questions you may have.
Sally Hodgson West Yorkshire Joint Services