Gwent Police joined the national campaign aiming to protect vulnerable residents and disrupt rogue traders
Gwent Police officers recently took part in a week-long enforcement campaign targeting law-breaking traders who prey on vulnerable residents.
The Operation Rogue Trader initiative has been running since 2006 and sees forces across the country work with local authorities, Trading Standards, Natural Resources Wales, the DVSA and more to disrupt and enforce against rogue traders in a week of focused activity.
The aim of the initiative is to protect those vulnerable to exploitative traders, reduce the number of rogue trading incidents, prevent counterfeit goods being sold, increase road safety and raise the public’s awareness of doorstep crimes.
Between Monday 17 October – Friday 21 October, officers carried out road safety checks on vehicles used by traders, went on patrols with local authority partners to tackle licensing breaches and worked with Natural Resources Wales to engage with waste and scrap carriers.
Neighbourhood policing teams also visited communities to provide advice and guidance around how to keep themselves and their families safe from exploitative traders.
Over the five days of action, Gwent Police worked with partnership agencies to carry out operations and intelligence-led patrols, and saw:
57 vehicles stopped and checked
three vehicles seized under Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act (for no insurance)
10 Traffic Offence Reports (Tors) issued for various offences, including being used without an Mot certificate, or vehicle defects like bald tyres, insecure loads and window tints
around 2000 counterfeit cigarettes seized during a joint operation with Trading Standards in Torfaen
20 taxis stopped; four issued with warnings in relation to breaches of council vehicle regulations
all drivers/traders stopped throughout the week were spoken to by Trading Standards and offered advice and education to make sure they're operating legally and following best practise.
Sergeant Annalea Kift said:
"Rogue traders are often dishonest, opportunistic and target the most vulnerable in our communities, conning people out of vast sums of money for unnecessary or overpriced work.
“It’s vital we prevent, disrupt and enforce against rogue traders and our message to them is simple: whether you’re using vehicles that aren’t fit for the road, exploiting vulnerable customers by charging for unnecessary work, or selling counterfeit goods, we will continue to work with partners to protect the public.”
If in doubt, keep them out | five tips shared by officers throughout the week
1. Never work with cold-callers and don’t be pressured into having unnecessary work carried out.
2. Check the identity of a caller by phoning the company they say they are from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory rather than those provided independently by the service provider.
3. Never pay cash up front and never go to the bank or cash point with a trader.
4. Always get three quotes from different companies before agreeing to have work done.
5. Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader.