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Advice session on cold calling at Newbury Library today (Thurs)



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Officers from West Berkshire and Wokingham Trading Standards and the West Berkshire Citizen's Advice Bureau will be on hand to answer questions from noon till 2pm.
It is part of West Berkshire Council's latest campaign to tackle doorstep crime, in which it is spreading the message 'good neighbours stop rogue traders'.
The officers will also be visiting community groups in the area in the coming weeks to advise people on how they can help to protect elderly and vulnerable neighbours from falling foul of doorstep scammers.
Examples include taking details of suspicious callers and contacting the police or trading standards to report cold callers.
West Berkshire CAB chief executive, Jan Rothwell, said: “There is strength in numbers and presenting a united front against those seeking to use cold calling to commit crimes is a very effective way of dealing with this growing problem.
“Simply by recognising the signs and reporting these people, you could be saving someone thousands of pounds and an immeasurable amount of stress and worry.”
West Berkshire Council’s executive portfolio holder for public protection, Dominic Boeck (Con, Thatcham South and Crookham), added: “Doorstep criminals exploit vulnerable citizens by convincing them to pay for shoddy, unnecessary or incomplete repair work, charging extortionate fees for their services, or threatening residents who do not comply.
“Despite vast under reporting, latest research shows that nationally there could be as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime each year.
“Very often neighbours prove to be the best source of protection and information as victims are often reluctant to report the crime for a variety of reasons.”
Anyone with concerns on cold calling activity should call the trading standards helpline on (01635) 519930 or, if they believe a crime is in progress or somebody is at imminent risk, the police on 999.



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