Warning over doorstep traders

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RESIDENTS are being warned to be wary of doorstep traders after two men targeted a vulnerable man at his home.

According to police reports, two men were seen scattering broken roof tiles in front of the house in the town centre and attempting to damage guttering in the pursuit to obtain payment for work that was not needed.

Thankfully the resident did not open the door and the rogues fled when police arrived.

The incident comes just over a week after St Helens Trading Standards first issued a warning, urging residents to be on guard after residents in the Haydock and Moss Bank areas were duped by men offering to clean their gutters for £20 or £30.

However, thanks to help from the public, Trading Standards believe they are closing in on catching the perpetrators after several suspected sightings of the traders have been operating and even a possible registration mark for a van.

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Green Smart and Sustainable Borough, Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron said: “Residents need to be on their guard – and should always demand to see some form of ID. No one should feel pressurised.

“They should not employ workmen who cold call, as often the work will be of poor quality at a high price, and as no paperwork is provided, the resident has no chance to claim their money back.

“This type of low-cost work can be an opportunity for doorstep criminals to gain trust, before seeking more expensive work or, in a few instances, gaining entry to the home to steal from the resident.”

Anyone concerned about a trader who knocks on their door, should report the matter to Trading Standards and Merseyside Police (on 101).

Residents who do require household maintenance work should contact a number of businesses and obtain written quotations for the work. Reputable traders can be found on the Trading Standards Trader Register, which can be found at: https://www.traderregister.org.uk/sthelens/index.php or by contacting Trading Standards on 01744 676299 or tradingstandards@sthelens.gov.uk