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COLD SHOULDER; No-go crackdown on the doorstep traders.

Byline: By LAURIE HANNA

COLD callers are being turned away under a nationwide scheme to curb conmen who prey on the vulnerable.

Under the Doorstoppers plan, neighbours can apply for funding to set up a no-go zone barring unwanted sales people.

If their warnings are ignored they can phone a hotline to police and trading standards officers who will order the rogue traders to back off. More than 350 zones, each covering about 150 homes, have already been set up.

As the scheme takes off, up to 1,000 areas could be in operation by the end of the year.

The Trading Standards Institute said: "This isn't councils imposing a new idea on communities.

"It's local people standing up for themselves and saying 'enough is enough'.

"Householders don't want cold callers, honest or not. But there are still a lot of rogues operating on the doorstep, especially in areas such as roofing, driveways, repairs, gardening and home security. Protecting customers is key and this initiative is doing just that."

Richard Berry, director of the Direct Selling Association, said respectable firms welcomed the move. He said: "We hope these zones will have the effect of driving out the operators who have given the industry a bad name."

l.hanna@mirror.co.uk

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 12, 2006
Words:215
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