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Scholes Goes Cold
Friday 27th November, 2009

When it comes to schemes that help people feel more secure in their own homes, Wigan Council’s No Cold Calling Zones really can’t be knocked.

From Lowton to Bryn, wherever the zones have been introduced they’ve been a real hit with the locals.
It’s a simple idea – in areas where there is perceived to be a problem with cold callers high visibility signs are put up both on the street and on residents’ doors and windows.

At the same time residents are told that they should say ‘No’ to anyone going door-to-door and report them to the council’s Trading Standards Team.

Trading Standards and its partners in the police, Victim Support & Witness Services and Age Concern pioneered the scheme not just to rid people of the inconvenience of having to answer the door to pushy salespeople but to combat the very real issue of unscrupulous con-merchants who prey on elderly and vulnerable people.

Wigan currently has four No Cold Calling Zones and on Monday November 30 the community around Hardybutts in Scholes will join this number.

Wigan Council’s Cabinet Champion for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Kevin Anderson, says: “Doorstep cons and bogus callers are a cause for concern in our borough just as they are everywhere. We get a lot of complaints from the public about them. It can be anything from the dodgy repair and building work through to rogues who pose as officials to get into people’s homes to steal their belongings.

“We’re asking all traders to respect the No Cold Calling Zone and don’t come knocking.”
The new Scholes zone has been funded through the council’s Partnership Business Group and all the residents in the area have been briefed on how to handle unwanted callers.

Inspector Glenn Jones of the Wigan Neighbourhood Policing Team says: “Helping people feel safer is a top priority for us, so I am delighted that joint action is being taken by the partners to reduce cold calling.

“People who pose as door-to-door sellers to steal often leave their victims fearful of anyone who calls at their door. By deterring criminals and rogue traders these zones help everyone feel safer in their own homes.”

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