Rogue trader crackdown yields 200 crimes

POLICE recorded more than 200 offences during a day of action across Suffolk in support of National Rogue Trader Week.

A CRACKDOWN on conmen led to more than 200 offences being discovered in Suffolk in just 24 hours, police have revealed.

Suffolk Constabulary, trading standards officers, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and other agencies carried out a joint operation.

The action was taken in support of National Rogue Trader Week which targeted those preying on the vulnerable and elderly.

During the operation, codenamed Hassle, five people were arrested including a 40-year-old male from Cambridge.

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He was apprehended in Lowestoft on suspicion of fraud by failure to disclose information. The suspect was released on bail to return to Lowestoft police station on June 24.

More than 50 victims of rogue traders and distraction burglaries were also visited and spoken to during the operation.

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Other households were given advice on crime prevention and the threat of doorstep crime.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) intercept teams were also involved throughout last week with 199 vehicles being stopped in Suffolk.

A total of 198 police offences, 23 trading standard offences and 25 DWP offences were uncovered on the day of action.

Inspector Ben Cook, of community safety, said: “Operation Hassle aimed to show our commitment to cracking down on those who prey on the vulnerable and elderly through doorstep crime. We want everyone to know we will continue to work with our partners to tackle anyone who believes that cold calling or deceiving people is an easy way to make profit.

“By offering crime prevention advice to local communities hopefully we have raised awareness of these sorts of crimes and prevented more people falling victim to them.

“I would like to once again urge people to call police immediately if they feel they are being targeted by a rogue trader or distraction burglary.”

Suffolk police have already been working with trading standards officers to set up 'No Cold Calling Zones'. The first was launched in Maryon Road and Grassmere Close in Ipswich on April 8.

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