Cold Calling Control Zones

Residents

What is doorstep crime?

The majority of people who knock on your door ARE likely to be genuine. However, it is important to know that some are rogue traders, doorstep criminals and uninvited sales people and may turn up unannounced, with the intention of tricking their way into your home. 

So-called ‘doorstep crime’ often results from an initial cold call. Unscrupulous traders will prey on the elderly and vulnerable members of society, carry out unnecessary, substandard and sometimes even dangerous work and then use strong arm tactics to persuade consumers to part with large sums of money for poor workmanship. In addition, burglars may use cold calling as a pretext to engage in distraction burglary or sneak in thefts.

Safety Tips

Avoid being a victim by following these ‘Stay Safe’ Tips:

  • Always have your doors locked. Distraction burglaries occur when one person has you engaged at the front door and an accomplice enters through the back door. Have a spy hole on your door so you can see who is calling
  • Always ask for id and confirm it with the organisation they claim to be with by getting the number from your local directory or the internet. Don’t rely on the number the salesperson has given you
  • Use a door chain before you let anybody in
  • Be aware of pressure selling tactics such as claims of special offers or offers that are only on for one day and don’t let them make you think that you are the odd one out on the street who hasn’t bought from them
  • If someone claims they are part of a Trade Association or an approved body, ensure they have evidence and don’t be scared to check up on them
  • If you have arranged an appointment for someone to come and see you, use the password scheme when booking with the organisation. If the person calling on you doesn’t know the agreed password, don’t let them in
  • Report incidents of pushy sales people or suspicious traders to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 and the Police on the 101 number 

What is a Cold Calling Control Zone?

Whilst cold calling is not currently illegal, it is a practice that the vast majority of people do not want. Some people may find it intimidating, frightening and intrusive, not to mention irritating and frustrating at times.

Cold Calling Control Zones are areas which are considered to be vulnerable to doorstep crime and where residents have, collectively, stated that they do not want cold callers.

The main aim of the zones is to prevent incidents of doorstep crime, raise awareness of the activities of rogue traders who target vulnerable people, and give residents the confidence to say NO to uninvited callers as a community. Therefore, reducing levels and fear of crime in the allocated areas. 

Zones are clearly identified by signs on lamp posts at the main entrance and exit points, informing traders that they are entering an area where residents do not buy goods and services at the door. Each household will also receive an informative booklet offering advice, as well as a door sticker to deter unwanted callers.  

Cold Calling Control Zones are a low maintenance initiative and, once established, are easily sustained. As part of the scheme, residents are also given the opportunity to attend awareness talks and workshops which will provide information on vital issues such as how to deal with doorstep salesman, alternative ways to compare energy companies and who to contact in an emergency.


Residents will also be able to participate in regular evaluation of the project, allowing them to contribute to the improvement and expansion of future zones. The zones have been hailed a huge success nationally and have shown to reduce overall crime in the areas where they now exist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Exemptions – some traders are exempt from the Cold Calling Control Zones (CCCZ’s) such as:

  1. Everyday traders (milk men, window cleaners)
  2. Enforcement agencies
  3. Charities - Professional fundraising agencies are not exempt
  4. Religious groups
  5. Betterware/Avon agents
  6. Political canvassing

However if you have any suspicions re the above or they are using questionable tactics, calling late at night, not taking ‘NO’ for an answer then this should be reported to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 or Police 101 number. 

Junk Mail – CCCZ’s does not stop junk mail. Residents can register with the Mailing Preference Service or ring 0845 703 4599. 

Telephone Calls – CCCZ’s does not stop unsolicited phone calls. Residents can register with the Telephone Preference Service or call 0845 070 0707.

Useful Numbers - Click here to view a list of useful telephone numbers and website information for organisations.

Partners

How can I set up a zone?

The purpose of the scheme is to empower residents, and to encourage them to work as an entire community against doorstep sellers and therefore increase the reporting of related crimes and incidents. 

There are several important points to note regarding the establishment of a zone:

  • In order to set up a zone, a minimal amount of funding is required, and will vary depending on the size of the zone.
  • There also needs to be evidence, within the area, to suggest that cold calling is a problem.
  • Partnership working is vital to ensure zones are created and managed efficiently and effectively
  • We also recommend that there is a designated person in place who is willing to be the point of contact to ensure sustainability

Click here to access the flowchart which gives a step by step guide to implementing a zone.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we fund a Cold Calling Control Zone?

Cold Calling Control Zones can be funded from a range of sources. Some examples of recent funding opportunities have been through Local Area Committees, The Proceeds of Crime Act (through the Police), Community Safety Partnerships and Housing Associations.

Do we need a Cold Calling Control Zone?

For a Cold Calling Control Zone to be considered, there needs to be substantial evidence to prove that there is an issue with doorstep crime, rogue traders or pushy sales people within the area.

The best way to ensure this information is recorded is to call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506. Alternatively, speak with your local police team if you have concerns that this is happening.

If such activity is causing residents to feel unsafe and intimidated in their homes, or just frustrated at the inconvenience callers are causing, then a zone may be the answer.

What is the average size of a zone?

Each zone is individual and can range from 50 houses to 200 houses, depending on the extremity of the problem, funding available and also partners involved.

Materials

Zones are clearly identified by signs on lamp posts at the main entrance and exit points, informing traders that they are entering an area where residents do not buy goods and services at the door. Each household will also receive an information booklet offering advice, as well as a door sticker to deter unwanted callers.

Click here to view all the zones highlighted.

Traders

Click here to view all the zones highlighted so if you are cold calling then you know which streets to avoid.

Legal

It's a banned practice under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 to ‘Conduct personal visits to the consumer’s home ignoring the consumer’s request to leave or not to return except in circumstances and to extent justified to enforce a contractual obligation.’

The above legislation prohibits cold callers to door knock at a property that is clearly displaying a Cold Calling Control Zone sticker or any other sticker requesting cold callers not to knock.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT PROFESSIONAL FUNDRAISING AGENCIES COLLECTING ON BEHALF OF CHARITIES ARE CLASSED AS TRADERS.

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