Rogue Traders Have Been Warned To Expect A Visit From Trading Standards

PUBLISHED: 10:27 18 September 2008 | UPDATED: 10:32 04 May 2010

A TASKFORCE dedicated to tackling rogue traders and distraction burglars say there is no room in Cambridgeshire for conmen and even if they are off-duty officers will still act. The warning follows a case where one Kent conman was ordered to pay more than

A TASKFORCE dedicated to tackling rogue traders and distraction burglars say there is no room in Cambridgeshire for conmen and even if they are off-duty officers will still act.

The warning follows a case where one Kent conman was ordered to pay more than £7,000 by magistrates after his workmen were caught by an off-duty police officer on a bus.

The quick thinking and suspicious mind of off-duty PC Andy Badcock from Cambridgeshire Constabulary resulted in a man facing three charges of not telling pensioners their rights when he carried out work on their homes.

His workmen were spotted by the PC, who was travelling through his beat on his day off. The resulting investigation by Cambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards resulted in the man's arrest and conviction as well as compensation for an elderly homeowner who had been left with asbestos fragments in his garden.

Both Trading Standards and police are members of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Rogue Trader and Distraction Burglary Task Force.

Trading Standards say the case is an example of just one of the many successes the task force is having and is down to the close working relationship of all the organisations, including the introduction and the rogue trader liaison officer.

This officer works alongside Trading Standards and has talked to other police officers about the work of the taskforce and how they can help. It has also given a better understanding of the types of legislation enforced by Trading Standards and has meant police officers are better equipped to call in other agencies, say Trading Standards.

Cathy Inman, Rogue Traders Task Force officer for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "Traders who deliberately target and threaten vulnerable members of out community - take note. Your bullying and sometimes frightening behaviour does not cower us, we will not be stopped by your threats, we will find you and we will prosecute. We are dedicated to protect our communities and those you seek to steal from and frighten into silence. We are proactively out there, even when off-duty, looking for you. PC Badcock is a great example of how much we all care for the residents of Cambridgeshire and we warn you now stop operating or face a knock at your own door.

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