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Monday 17 October 2016, 11:33 AM

Police in the Forest of Dean are warning residents to be aware of rogue traders.

A number of incidents have been reported in the past few weeks in Cinderford, Newnham, Hewelsfield, Yorkley and Lydney.

One was reported to us yesterday (Sunday 16 October) after an elderly woman was conned out of over £5,000 in Cinderford. Two men came to her door and offered to replace the flat roof on her garage ‘as it could have been causing damp’. They gave her a quote and asked her to transfer the money, which she did.

The men then left saying they would be back in a few days to begin the work but failed to return, only leaving a bag of sand and cement on her driveway. They claimed to be from a company called ‘Unique Roof and Driveway Restoration’ and drove a burgundy coloured van.

Another incident happened last Tuesday (11 October) in Hewelsfield, after men caused damage to a resident’s roof whilst completing work. They then increased their quote, but the victim refused to pay any more money. The victim contacted this company after seeing a newspaper advert.

Last month, on Friday 23 September, a man approached properties in Yorkley and Lydney and tried to persuade elderly homeowners to have their roof tiles repaired. They became suspicious and called police. He was white, in his 40s, with an Irish accent, of a medium build, with dark hair and wearing overalls. He drove a green estate car carrying a ladder on its roof.

A further incident happened in Newnham on Saturday 10 September, when a man offered to pressure wash the homeowner’s driveway. A price of £200 was agreed and the victim paid him £20 as a deposit. He failed to return and complete the work.

We do not want any other homeowners falling victim to rogue traders, so please follow our crime prevention 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

If you suspect a rogue trader, call police on 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.