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Crackdown on rogue traders

PUBLISHED: 13:25 05 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:58 06 July 2010

A crackdown in Suffolk targeting rogue traders led to 200 offences being recorded during a day of action.

Police joined forces with Trading Standards, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and other partner agencies to target traders who prey on the vulnerable and elderly.

A crackdown in Suffolk targeting rogue traders led to 200 offences being recorded during a day of action.

Police joined forces with Trading Standards, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and other partner agencies to target traders who prey on the vulnerable and elderly.

On May 20, a multi-agency event - Operation Hassle - saw many traders spoken to, and police were told that they felt their legitimate business was undermined by rogue traders.

More than 50 victims of previous rogue traders/ distraction burglaries were also visited and spoken to, with additional households visited and advice given on crime prevention and the threat of doorstep crime.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition intercept teams were also involved in the operation with 199 vehicles being stopped in Suffolk.

Five people were arrested, including a 40-year-old man from Cambridge who was arrested in Lowestoft on suspicion of fraud by failure to disclose information. He was released on bail to return to Lowestoft police station on June 24.

Furthermore, 198 police offences, 23 trading standards offences and 25 DWP offences were identified.

Insp Ben Cook, of Commun-ity Safety, said: “Operation Hassle aimed to show our commitment to cracking down on those who prey on the vulnerable and elderly through doorstep crime. We want everyone to know we will continue to work with our partners to tackle anyone who believes that cold-calling or deceiving people is an easy way to make profit.

“By offering crime prevention advice to local communities, we hope to have raised awareness of these sorts of crimes and prevented more people falling victim to them.

“I would like once again to urge people to call police immediately if they feel they are being targeted by a rogue trader or distraction burglary.”

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