Trading standards officers teamed up with the police, customs and excise and benefit fraud officers to look out for rogue traders arriving in the county yesterday, 15th August.
Since the floods officers from Gloucestershire county council trading standards service have been visiting flood victims to warn of the problems that can be caused by rogue traders carrying out repair work on people’s homes.
This approach appears to have paid off as trading standards officers report that no new complaints have been received since the visits began, and consumers have been sending doorstep sellers on their way.
During yesterday’s exercise 76 builders’ vans and other vehicles were stopped as they arrived in Gloucestershire. Drivers were quizzed about the work they intended to carry out and vehicles were checked for safety. Customs and excise officers issued a penalty notice to one driver found to be using red diesel, and benefits officers are pursuing several cases of suspected benefit fraud.
Roger Marles, head of trading standards, commented:
This is another part of our campaign to make Gloucestershire a no go area for rogue traders. This is the second of our rogue trader days and underlines the importance we attach to working together with our colleagues in other enforcement agencies to protect Gloucestershire residents. Further similar activities are planned for the coming weeks and months which we hope will send a clear message to anyone intent on exploiting the plight of victims of the recent floods.
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for community safety said:
People in Gloucestershire have been hit hard by the recent floods and we will not tolerate rogue traders trying to take advantage of their situation. Gloucestershire county council is working hard to protect local people and we urge people to get in touch and report anyone they suspect of being rogue traders.
If you think you’ve been approached by a rogue trader, contact Gloucestershire county council trading standards on 01452 426201.