‘Cold calling’ could soon be frozen out

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COLD callers could soon be banned from a Brighouse estate providing it receives backing from residents.

Officers from the Lower Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team have suggested to West Yorkshire Trading Standards that Whinney Hill Park estate could be the perfect choice to install a ‘cold calling control zone’.

The main aim of the zones is to prevent incidents of doorstop crimes, raise awareness of the activities of rogue traders who target vulnerable people, and give residents the confidence to say no to uninvited callers as a community.

Only one other exists in the Calderdale area but police have secured funding to proceed and providing residents in the area agree the scheme could be set up next month - November.

Inspector Mohammed Nawaz, who heads the team, said: “We have looked at various crime analysis and decided on Whinney Hill Park. It is generally vulnerable residents that live there in around 300 houses. We have obtained funding and we can now progress to the nextstep which is consulting with residents.

“Next week we will be knocking on doors and engaging with residents to see what their views are about the cold calling control zone.”

The area was put forward by Sergeant Dean Maddocks, who is responsible for the Brighouse area, in light of the two thefts which happened within nine days of each other on the estate.

In the first of the incidents, an 85-year-old man opened his door to a man claiming to be taking part in a charity bike ride. But when he fetched his wallet, the young man grabbed the wallet and fled.

In the second an 80-year-old woman was knocked to the floor after she was asked by a man if she could change a £10 note. But when she picked up her handbag the man grabbed the bag and knocked the pensioner to the floor.

If residents agree then Trading Standards will put together a package which contains leaflets which homeowners put up and signposts, which is what the funding will pay for.

Residents can also contact the police if they have queries about the cold calling control zone or would like to give their opinion, either by visiting the police station in Bradford Road or by calling 01484 405251.