Wiltshire Publications

Concerns about continued cold calling in Westbury

A CONCERNEDresident has expressed his unease about the volume of cold callers in the Westbury area.

Bratton man Iain Thompson decided enough was enough after being approached by tradesmen five times in one week.

Iain said, “I have recently moved to Bratton from Suffolk and find the area peaceful, tranquil and hugely friendly. There is, however, a blot on the landscape that ruins my idyllic image of the area, and it’s cold callers.

“In the past week I have had in the region of five cold callers all trying to sell me a new driveway or offering to clean it. Is competition so fierce that they have to knock on my door every single day?

“If my drive needed laying I would call a reputable tradesman who was recommended to me by one of the many friendly villagers, or flick my way through the classifieds of the White Horse News until I found one. I would most certainly not simply decide that it needed doing as a result of someone banging incessantly on my door.”

Another concern of Iain’s was that there is no way of telling that the callers are who they say they are.

Advice was issued by Wiltshire Police in January this year after men were seen acting suspiciously in Westbury.

Iain continued, “Visually, there is no difference between a cold caller trying to sell a service, conmen who want to sell you the next ‘amazing’ vacuum cleaner, and an organised scammer whose only intention is to check your home for weak points of entry, unsecured windows and doors, vulnerable adults.

“Why should we and our vulnerable neighbours be at risk from thieves and conmen, be put under pressure by overzealous salesmen, or simply have our privacy invaded?

“Cold calling should be illegal. If someone like me does not want to have their door knocked on every day, the best they can do is buy a ‘No cold callers’ sign for your front door. I will certainly be getting one as soon as possible. There is nothing wrong with my driveway, my windows are all perfect but my dog is currently undergoing anger management training; be warned!”

Wiltshire Constabulary’s ‘Stay Out Stranger’ advice issued a list of measures people can take to insure their safety:

• Always keep your door shut and locked.

• Do not open the door to anyone you don’t know or are not expecting.

• Official visitors will always arrange an appointment with you beforehand – if no appointment has been made, do not open the door.

• Don’t keep large amounts of cash at home,  always keep purses and wallets hidden, and never keep pin numbers with credit or debit cards.

• Never agree to have work carried out by someone who is just passing. If you think work might need doing, get quotes and ask friends and neighbours for recommendations.

• If you see anything suspicious or think you have met or seen a bogus caller, report it to the police immediately by calling 999.