HUDDERSFIELD residents are being warned to shut the door on unwanted callers.
West Yorkshire Police, in partnership with Trading Standards, are tackling pushy doorstep sellers, cold callers and bogus official burglars.
Operation Rogue Trader is designed to stamp out so-called ‘distraction crimes’ where householders may be detained on the doorstep or in the house while a crime is committed.
In the year ending March 31, West Yorkshire police recorded 202 bogus burglary offences, a drop of almost half on 2011-12.
Force Crime Prevention Officer Chris Joyce said: “We are very pleased with the reductions in this type of crime over the last 12 months. However, it is crucial that we continue this work.
People who commit these crimes invariably prey on the vulnerable, targeting the elderly and infirm. The impact on the quality of life of victims can be quite severe and this is completely unacceptable.
“If you have any doubts whatsoever about a caller at your door, do not let them in or agree to any work or services that they may be offering.”
Since April 1, the Citizens Advice Consumer Service has received 141 complaints in West Yorkshire about doorstep callers.
Most related to home improvement and repair calls, such as double glazing traders, energy improvement suppliers, roofing, driveway and gardening services.
Spokesman Graham Hebblethwaite urged neighbours of older residents to be on the look-out and report any suspicious trading activities to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.
Chris Joyce added: “When any apparent official turns up at your house, we advise people to ask to see some ID.
“Any legitimate worker will be more than happy to wait outside your home while their credentials are checked, so we advise people to keep doors locked wherever possible and ask for identity to be passed through the letterbox.
“If people have concerns about a caller to their door, again they should not let that person in their home and instead call the police on 999.”