Cold callers in parts of South Tyneside will be frozen out by scheme

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Cold callers will be frozen out in areas of South Tyneside as part of scheme discourage unwanted salespeople from visiting residents’ homes

South Tyneside Council has joined forces with Northumbria Police and South Tyneside Homes to set up a designated ‘No Cold Calling Zone’ in an area of South Shields. The zone aims to prevent traders from calling uninvited and trying to sell them goods or services.

High visibility signs have been placed around Sylverton Gardens and parts of Horsley Hill Road, Highfield Road and Westoe Drive, warning salesmen and bogus officials that they are not welcome.

Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety, who officially launched the new zone, said: “Many people - not just the elderly - can feel quite distressed by cold callers trying to sell them goods or services and can feel pressured into parting with their money unnecessarily. The No Cold Calling zone aims to prevent this from happening by sending a clear message to uninvited salespeople to stay away. We hope that traders will respect this.

“This zone is the fourteenth of its kind to be launched in South Tyneside and will also help residents fight back against bogus callers and rogue traders.”

Although there is no law to prevent cold calling, the scheme, which is funded through the council’s Community Safety Team, encourages residents in the area to say ‘no’ and to report them to Trading Standards.

Superintendent Sarah Pitt said: “We know bogus callers prey on people who are elderly and vulnerable who can often feel pressured into handing over money for unnecessary work or poor workmanship. These people can often be very convincing and will use all sorts of stories to get the occupant to hand over money, or get them to invite them into their home where they then distract them and steal valuable items.”

The council has an alert system for people who want to be advised when rogue traders are operating, Text the word “doorstep” to 07786 200 802.