In collaboration, West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Trading Standards have established a Cold Calling Control Zone in Wellington Gardens, Leeds. The funding for this initiative has been provided by Bramley & Stanningley Councillors Kevin Ritchie, Tom Hinchcliffe, and Caroline Gruen. The creation of this zone is in response to the targeting of residents by unscrupulous doorstep criminals and rogue traders.

Officers have distributed door and window stickers to residents, which assert a firm ‘NO’ to doorstep traders. Additionally, signs have been erected at the entrances to forewarn traders that they are entering a restricted zone as of 6th September 2023.

Over the years, West Yorkshire Trading Standards has implemented more than 300 zones to combat rogue traders and doorstep criminals. Feedback from residents has been overwhelmingly positive, as these zones have significantly reduced the incidence of cold callers. Once a zone is established, reputable traders will refrain from cold calling within it, thereby diminishing the potential nuisance posed by cold callers to householders.

Linda Davis, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Manager said, “These zones are implemented to deter rogue traders and/or doorstep criminals who prey on the elderly and vulnerable. Not only are the zones a tool to say ‘NO’ to cold callers but they also promote community cohesion so I urge residents to look out for their elderly vulnerable neighbours and report suspicious cold callers.”

Michael Cox from West Yorkshire Police said, “A number of criminals do pose as doorstep salespeople and bogus utility company officials and the implementation of these ‘Cold Calling Control Zones’ helps to raise awareness over the type of tactics often employed by doorstep criminals and also brings this type of criminal activity to the forefront of people’s minds. Working in partnership to inform and advise residents helps to combat this issue in the most effective way.”

On behalf of the Bramley & Stanningley Councillors, Kevin Ritchie said “Safeguarding our communities from criminals is high on our agenda. It’s great to see partnerships such as this are contributing towards protecting residents but householders can do much more themselves by not contracting with unsolicited doorstep traders and searching for reputable traders instead.”

If you encounter suspicious cold callers, you can report them to West Yorkshire Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice Helpline at 0808 223 1133.