Gainsborough: Police are urging people to be aware of rogue traders after a spate of incidents

After a number of reports of rogue traders a Gainsborough police team is encouraging people to report any suspicious behaviour.

Over the last few weeks there has been a spate of con artists asking for money from vulnerable residents.

PCSO for the Gainsborough South Neighbourhood Policing Team, Rebecca Gray, said: “Recently we have been hit by a spate of rogue traders who have been attending the homes of elderly or vulnerable people on the South West Ward and demanding money for services they have not provided.”

“Usually, the victims are coerced into parting with their money, often exorbitant sums for domestic work like cleaning gutters or trimming hedges, simply so that the people will leave them alone and in the hope that they won’t return, however they can end up on a ‘suckers list’ which is shared between offending groups and are unfortunately targeted again by others.”

“On similar occasions, the offenders will advertise their services, often gardening, and leave having only half completed the job, returning to demand full payment or more for ‘hidden costs’.”

“Sometimes the tactics the offenders use are quite threatening and intimidating in nature so the victims feel the only way out is to pay up.”

The police team are hoping to start a Facebook campaign against these individuals on a local level, as the Force has conducted a wider campaign for the county.

Rebecca added: “We urge all victims to report this and any other suspicious behaviour to the police on the non-emergency number 101, and to take note of the registrations of vehicles involved and to try and recall the description of any people.”

“There are schemes that the Neighbourhood Policing Team run, like the Nominated Neighbour Scheme, where elderly and vulnerable people who don’t recognise callers to their door can be referred to a trusted neighbour who can vouch for their identity.”

“We work closely with Trading Standards and can refer to many other partner agencies like Citizens Advice Bureau, West Lindsey District Council and Age UK, where necessary.”

There was an incident on 16th January in Stanley Street, Gainsborough, where a lone male attended the home address of an elderly couple demanding money for work performed on the property the day before, having apparently said that he was going to bring the bill that day.

The work did not appear to have been carried out, however the couple handed him a sum of money.