COLUMN: police inspector warns not to hand cash to doorstep callers

Police tape.
Police tape.

It’s getting to that time of year when you look out into your garden and realise that hedge needs a trim or that you could really do with cutting down the tree that’s blocking out all the sunshine.

They seem like big tasks so when you hear a knock at the door and are faced with someone offering to do it in return for some cash, the offer is pretty tempting.

With improved weather usually comes an increase in the number of doorstep sellers and handymen doing the rounds. And while you might need to make the most of their services, don’t rush to hand over your money.

Please take a moment to check if they are a genuine trades person, however plausible they may appear.

Ask for proof of identity and if they claim to be working for a particular business or company, cross check them with your phone directory and give the office a call to clarify. Legitimate doorstep sellers won’t mind you taking time to do this and will happily wait while you verify their credentials.

But if you are ever unsure, don’t open the door. Report any suspicious incident to police on 101.

If you are in need of a handyman or someone to do your gardening, fix a fence or build a wall, don’t forget to look out for the “Trusted Traders” and “Buy with Confidence” logos. Alternatively, contact your local authority or Age UK as they have lists of reputable traders that are also posted on their websites.

Earlier this month local officers took part in a day of action, teaming up with other emergency services, local authorities and organisations.

The day was a great success.We were involved in a patch walk alongside local councillors and a number of suggestions were made on how to improve the surrounding environment. These are now being considered.

Pictures of what we were doing were also tweeted throughout the day and as a result we gained 28 new followers. Remember, you can easily keep up to date with what we are doing by following @Eastwoodcops.