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Tuesday 24 January 2017, 10:31 AM

Police disturbed rogue traders in Cheltenham before the victims handed over hundreds of pounds.

Two men were knocking on doors on Salisbury Avenue yesterday (Monday 23 January) offering to clean the properties’ roofs for £1,200 – with the work thought to be only worth around £200. One homeowner left the men to work on his roof whilst attending the bank to withdraw the money.

Meanwhile, a neighbour reported the rogue traders to police. Officers attended promptly and disturbed the men, who are thought to have made off from the rear of the property. Thankfully, we arrived before the homeowner returned from the bank with the money.

The local area was thoroughly searched, including rear gardens of nearby properties, but the men were not found.

Although the rogue traders weren’t caught on this occasion, we hope this acts as a deterrent to them and shows our determination to tackling this callous crime, which the elderly and vulnerable tend to fall victim to.

If you suspect a rogue trader, do what this quick-thinking resident did and call police on 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.

Please also follow this advice:

  • Take advice from family, friends or reputable traders to check if the work really needs doing.
  • Avoid any cold callers that may turn up or ring unexpectedly or unannounced offering to carry out repairs.
  • Only use reputable workmen recommended by family and friends or those who have worked satisfactorily for you before.
  • Always obtain at least three quotes and make sure the quote is in writing.
  • Keep back part of the cost until the repair job has been satisfactorily completed. This will provide an incentive for the trader to complete the job or put right any problems.