Residents in Hedge End can now open their front doors with confidence following the introduction of the area’s first No Cold Calling Zone.
No Cold Calling Zones are an initiative, led by Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards and Hampshire Constabulary, to help reduce doorstep crime. Signs are displayed around the zone, aiming to deter rogue traders and bogus callers from approaching the homes of those who live there.
Police community support officer for Hedge End, Tracey Chilcott, contacted the Council about setting up a zone in the area after four elderly residents complained about the number of cold callers who were visiting their properties.
PCSO Chilcott said:
“We wanted to stop bogus callers and distraction burglars targeting and taking advantage of elderly or vulnerable residents who might not have the confidence to say no to them at the door. Setting up this zone has empowered the residents, making it easier for them to turn unexpected callers away.”
“Everyone has been really happy with the zone. The signs went up in March and many of the residents have said that they have already noticed a drop in the number of cold callers visiting their homes. The Safer Neighbourhoods team works hard to protect all members of the community and we hope that this zone has made residents feel safer and more confident in their homes.”
The zone covers half of Granada Road, part of St Johns Road, Church Lane, Waters Edge, Oak Tree Gardens and New Cliff Gardens. As well as signs being put up in the area, special packs were given out to residents including stickers for their doors and windows and crime prevention information.
Local resident, Geraldine Luscombe, said:
“It’s a jolly good idea and I’m pleased that it has been set up.”
Town Councillor, Valerie Houghton agreed adding:
“The Town Council are really happy to support this initiative.”
Zones have also been set up in Hamble and Botley and one is being planned for West End. If residents would like their area to become a No Cold Calling Zone they are invited to contact the police, Trading Standards, Eastleigh Borough Council’s Community Safety team or the Town Clerk.
Hampshire constabulary added:
“It is not illegal to cold call, not even in the designated No Cold Calling Zones. Some people may call at your door for a legitimate reason but we would urge all residents to ask for appropriate ID before letting anyone they don’t know into their property. If in doubt, keep them out!”