Headlines: April 14th, 2010

The Safer Bristol Partnership has joined forces with local council trading standards staff and Avon and Somerset police to respond to a request from local people for help in delaing with doorstep salespeople. They have created four No Cold Calling Zones in the city.

The new Zones cover streets where residents decided they no longer wanted to be bothered by uninvited salespeople. The Partnership says they provide an opportunity for people collectively to say no to doorstep trading which it is feared can lead to crime. The Zones are marked by special road signs and householders have been offered advice as well as door stickers to help them turn away unwanted callers.

Safer Bristol’s service director, Rick Palmer, said the idea was to give local people more confidence in refusing to deal with cold callers and to direct them out of the area. “People who knock on the door and offer services or goods have been rogue traders who suggest work when it isn’t necessary and provide unsatisfactory work or shoddy goods. They have even used the opportunity for a distraction burglary,” he said.

The No Cold Calling schemes are not intended to stop all callers so that registered charity collectors, utility service staff and canvassing politicians are not affected. Anyone involved in door to door selling can call only if they have made an appointment with the householder.