THE authorities are declaring war on doorstep tradesmen in Meltham.
Kirklees Council is launching one of the largest anti-cold calling zones in the country to eliminate the problem of doorstep callers.
A scheme is being brought in through the entire town - which could include up to 3,500 individual properties.
It aims to deter doorstep criminals, including bogus callers and rogue traders and genuine salespeople from cold calling.
People in the neighbourhood who want to take part are given stickers and posters for their front doors and windows.
Clr Khizar Iqbal, who chairs the Kirklees Safer Communities Partnership, said: "This initiative aims to improve residents' quality of life and safety by giving them the confidence to show the door to cold callers.
"They won't have to open their home to anyone they don't know. Genuine businesses will have to arrange appointments in advance."
The Meltham cold calling control zone is the largest in West Yorkshire and one of the biggest in England, because it claims coverage of an entire town, rather than a few streets.
It is being launched by Kirklees Safer Communities Partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards, part of West Yorkshire Joint Services, West Yorkshire Police, Meltham Neighbourhood Watch, The Valleys Area Committee and Meltham Town Council on October 11.
Cold callers can include legitimate door-to-door sales people, such as a milkman visiting a new resident in the neighbourhood, or rogue traders offering to carry out repairs for an extortionate fee.
They might also include bogus officials who pretend to be bona fide, but commit distraction burglaries often with an accomplice.
The town-wide zone could deal with some of 150 reported cases of doorstep crime a year in Kirklees.
In Meltham, bogus traders have targeted older people offering to repair roofs and gutters for money.
Clr David Woodhead, chairman of Meltham Town Council, is very happy to be involved.
He said: "It is one way of protecting vulnerable people in the township and will complement other aspects of community safety.
"We hope the message will go out to the rogue traders - keep out of Meltham."
Graham Hebblethwaite, Chief Officer, West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: "This scheme will send out a strong message that cold callers and rogue traders are not welcome in Meltham.
"We would urge residents to turn away those traders ignoring the zone and where necessary report them to Trading Standards.
"Cold callers, genuine or not, are at best regarded as a nuisance by most members of the public. More worryingly, evidence shows there is a link between cold callers and distraction burglaries.
"Cold calling control zones help to reduce crime in those areas. Those people who are ripped off are often the most vulnerable in our society. But too often the victims, wrongly, feel foolish and don't report it."
Lamp post signs and door stickers in Meltham homes will warn all uninvited sales people - genuine or not - that they are not welcome.
Residents can call a hotline to report anyone failing to comply with the property owner's wishes.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards will then send out an immediate response team.
Major companies who canvas door-to-door are being informed.
David Whitteron, police Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer, said:
"There have only been a couple of incidents of cold callers. Residents immediately reported them to West Yorkshire Trading Standards, who took action."