Harpenden launches no-cold-calling zone

ROGUE traders and distraction burglars have been told by residents of an area of Harpenden South that they are no longer welcome at their doors.

A ‘no cold calling zone’ - one of the first in the St Albans district - has been established in an area incorporating Queens Road, Bowling Close, Heath Close, Gorselands and Walkers Close.

Signs on lampposts in the area deter rogue traders and doorstep sellers from working in the area. Residents have also received packs with information and advice about their rights as consumers, as well as telephone numbers they can use if they have any concerns about cold callers.

Any residents who receives cold callers in the ‘zone’ can also contact the police, who will deal with the matter.

PCSO Carmine Zanfardino came up with the idea for the zone and worked with Trading Standards and Pc Emma Collins to set it up after the area was identified by police and trading standards after a number of distraction burglaries had taken place there.

PCSO Zanfardino said: “We are constantly working for safety, justice and reassurance for all, and initiatives like this one can help make communities feel safe and improve their confidence in saying no to cold callers.”

Keith Emsall, executive member for community and safety at Herts County Council, said: “Residents should know their rights and feel confident enough to say ‘no’ when they do not want to purchase goods or services.

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“We have had considerable success in getting rogue traders prosecuted through the courts, and will keep up the pressure on people who use these tactics.

“There are, of course, legitimate businesses which cold call but because that practice has been hijacked by distraction burglars and other criminals who prey on vulnerable residents, it has become an unwanted menace and local people have left us in no doubt that they don’t want cold callers at all.”