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Police Scotland and partners including Trading Standards Officers, HM Revenues and Customs, and Community Wardens carried out a day of action earlier this month targeting Doorstep Crime.
Operation Monarda, which was undertaken in support of a national campaign, was carried out on Friday, April 11.
Their focus was on the ruthless and wicked practices undertaken by bogus callers and rogue traders. Such criminals are extremely convincing in how they approach and interact with their potential victims.
Very often they identify and target the more vulnerable members of the community, including the elderly. Unfortunately, not all offences are reported to the police because those who fall prey to these fraudsters and scamsters are often embarrassed to have been caught out and don’t call the authorities. Others can be oblivious, or doubtful, that any crime has been committed.
To deter, disrupt and raise awareness of such practices, the day of action saw public reassurance patrols deployed within areas identified by Police, Trading Standards and Community wardens.
Information leaflets were distributed in those areas and road check points were established at strategic locations within Angus by Police Scotland, HM Revenue and Customs and Trading Standards Officers.
More than 80 vehicles were stopped on the day, which presented opportunities to explain the initiative to drivers. Indeed, many of the business operators and tradesman spoken with were pleased that positive action was being taken because this type of crime also affects legitimate business within the community.
A spokesman for HM Revenues and Customs said,
‘‘On the day HMRC Officers attended at the three sites in Angus. This illustrates the close working relationship between HMRC and other law enforcement agencies in addressing the problem of illegal activities in our communities.’’
A Trading Standards spokesman said,
‘‘We would caution all householders to think carefully before using unknown and potentially untraceable traders who call at your doorstep looking for work. Using a local trader instead, especially a member of the Angus Reputable Trader Scheme, will ensure a better job and support the local economy.’’
Prior to Monarda 2, all banks, building societies, post offices and other local business were visited by Police and Trading Standards Officers who offered information as to how staff there could play their part in deterring doorstep crime.
Local Community Officers have also visited key locations within their communities where they delivered leaflets and information, as well as talks, and held meetings with local residents and at schools to spread the message that doorstep crime will not be tolerated and appeal to members of the public to report such incidents.
Hamish Gray, Inspector for Community Policing within Angus said,
‘‘Operation Monarda 2 is the second Police Scotland led campaign with support from our partners. Often the most vulnerable members within our community are targeted by doorstep criminals and other bogus traders and scams.
‘‘We are determined to make their lives of these criminals as miserable as we possibly can to keep the residents of Angus safe. We will not accept this type of criminal activity and, along with our partners, we will take every opportunity to prevent and deter doorstep crime, and enforce the law.’’
If you have any information you think may be useful or for further information and advice contact your local Community Police Officer. If you have any information you think may be useful to the Police telephone 101, or in an emergency 999. You can also provide anonymous information via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.