Over the previous week, we have received a number of reports from residents of Hart about issues with door to door sales.
Nottingham Knockers, as they are regularly described, are a group of young men who are dropped in an area by minibus. They normally visit areas that are noticeably affluent, in the hope that they will make more sales. The salespeople are normally males from the north of England, who state that they have just been released from prison and are trying to rehabilitate themselves by making money selling items at the doorstep. They sell cleaning equipment and homeware for inflated prices. When a resident declines, they sometimes become abusive, and in a small number of reports attempts have been made to enter the property.
With the above in mind, Police would like to offer the following advice to residents to prevent further incidents:
- If you are not sure who is knocking, do not open the door;
- If you do open the door, always use a door chain so access cannot be made as easily;
- Always ask for identification from salespersons. If they are genuine, they will be fine with this. Use their ID to contact their employer to confirm that they are who they say they are;
- Keep all doors and windows locked. Distraction burglars going door to door will work in pairs to distract you at the front door whilst a second offender will enter at the rear of the property;
- It’s okay to say NO and refuse any interaction, telling them to leave.
- Never employ passing traders who cold call, and never feel pressured to say yes;
- If you’re expecting a visit from a company, set up a password with them. If your visitor doesn’t know the password, they’re not genuine!
- Common excuses given at the doorstep are visitors from energy suppliers, plain clothes Police officers, a person in distress asking to use the telephone, or builders noticing your home needs work.
For further advice, contact your local officers by visiting www.police.uk. You can also get further advice about setting up a no cold calling zone in your area by contacting Hampshire Trading Standards on 01962 833 620.
We have a small number of No Cold Calling door stickers, so contact your local officer if you would like one of these.
Always report doorstep criminals by calling 101. By notifying Police, we are able to take positive action to prevent further incidents.
If you feel threatened, call 999. Deaf? Mini-com call 18001 101, or send a text to 07781 480 999.
PCSO 15945 Benjamin Blundell,
Hart North Neighbourhood Policing Team,
Yateley Police Station.