Fears over St Albans cold callers


- Credit: Archant

Mums across St Albans have warned others about cold callers claiming to be part of a probation scheme, with reports of intimidatory and aggressive behaviour.

Describing themselves as ex-offenders, the door-to-door sellers have been visiting homes to sell overpriced cleaning products.

One local mother, who did not wish to be named, said she recently had a “bad experience with them getting aggressive when you turn them away.

“They claim to be working for a legitimate organisation. I’ve had a look, and they are not.”

She added: “I thought it was a really ill-thought out programme, and soul destroying.”

The mum said that up until recently, she had never questioned the legitimacy of the so-called scheme as sellers had shown identification.

She said: “I’m all up for supporting ex-offenders, but I’m not keen on being pressured to buy.

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“A few mums have been left feeling rather intimidated.”

When the mum contacted the Herts Police she was told the cold callers were not associated with the service.

The Herts Probation Trust website states it does not endorse or support any schemes involving door-to-door sales of goods by ex-offenders.

The Trust suggests that if approached by a salesman describing themselves as an offender or ex-offender people should, “exercise caution, even if the person presents what appears to be valid ID.”

Herts Police neighbourhood inspector Mark Loveday said: “The woman did the right thing in contacting the police, and I’d like to reassure her we are investigating this suspicious incident.”

He said complaints about this type of behaviour were rare in St Albans, adding: “We advise residents to not let strangers into their homes, shut the door and call police by dialling 999.”

Mr Loveday said the man was described as white, aged in his 30s with mousey coloured spiked hair, carrying a black holdall bag.

Have you had a bad experience with doorstep sellers? Email the newsdesk on hertsad@archant.co.uk