Cold callers frozen out

PUBLISHED: 11:41 10 March 2006 | UPDATED: 21:46 28 May 2010

MARCH is home to the 50th 'No Cold Calling' zone in the county putting uninvited salesmen on notice that they will be wasting their time knocking on doors there. Nationally, more and more such designated cold calling control zones spearheaded by the T

MARCH is home to the 50th 'No Cold Calling' zone in the county - putting uninvited salesmen on notice that they will be wasting their time knocking on doors there.Nationally, more and more such designated cold calling control zones - spearheaded by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) - are being set up with the help of £50,000 sponsorship from BT.Cambridgeshire Trading Standards and the local police first came up with the idea for such zones three years ago after a spate of doorstep crime in a cul-de-sac of elderly people's bungalows.When schemes are launched Trading Standards team up with police and community groups, such as Neighbourhood Watch, to visit each resident in the area.Residents are given a pack, including 'We're not buying it' door stickers, advice on home security and information about what to do if an unwanted trader calls. Signs, headed 'Police Notice' with the message 'No uninvited salespeople', are then erected on lampposts.David Broughton, head of projects, education and information for Cambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards, said: "The aim is to empower residents to have the confidence to say 'no' to uninvited salespeople - and to warn potential rogue traders and cold callers that they are visiting an area where people will not buy at the door."When a trader visits a cold calling control zone no criminal offence is committed. However, the trader should find that the residents, having been educated by personal visits, should give the trader a 'calling' card (a business-type card to give to a salesperson to avoid engaging in conversation) or politely tell them to go away.Residents should report the matter to police or trading standards and a letter is then sent to the company concerned asking the trader to re-think their selling tactics in cold calling control zones and emphasising the reason why that particular area has been selected as a zone.

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