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System favours the rogue traders.

LAST week another rogue trader was jailed in Wales after fleecing older people out of large sums of money for work on their homes.

Ronald Connors was sentenced to 15 months after Cardiff Crown Court heard he had charged vulnerable older people up to 20 times the real value of the work.

One woman paid out PS140,000 - enough to rebuild her home - while another victim, aged 80, was said to have mental health problems.

Fortunately all of the victims in this case had their money returned.

However, it is all depressingly familiar. The system continues to let older vulnerable people down and favours rogue traders.

If cold calling by rogue traders and high pressure sales people were banned, as Age Cymru is calling for, there is a strong chance a lot of these crimes would cease.

If everyone knew that cold calling by people offering home improvements was outlawed, vulnerable people could be protected by observant neighbours and friends who could phone the police.

At present outdated guidelines are preventing the setting up of more "no cold calling" zones across Wales.

Many AMs and MPs support our call but are frustrated by confusion over responsibility between Westminster and Cardiff Bay.

These zones would have the added benefit of supporting reputable local traders who would get the work instead of the rogues.

Wales could lead the way in protecting older people but until fresh guidelines are drawn up the vulnerable will continue to fall victim to ruthless people.

Gerry Keighley Campaigns Officer - Age Cymru

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 23, 2015
Words:254
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