Cold Calling Control Zone
Unwelcome doorstop callers and rogue traders will be given a frosty reception after West Lothian's first Cold Calling Control Zone was launched.
The joint initiative, which aims to protect vulnerable residents from bogus callers, was launched in Limefield Road, Polbeth on 8 October.
West Lothian Council's Trading Standards and Polbeth Community Council are working in partnership with Lothian and Borders Police on the initiative. The Cold Calling Control Zone informs doorstop callers that they are being watched by the community.
The control zone will be highlighted through the use of signs placed on lampposts in the area, indicating that doorstep selling is not welcome. Another highlight of the initiative is the use of special red cards, which residents can hand to unwanted callers. The cards inform callers they are not welcome, preventing embarrassment or confusion on the doorstep.
In addition, police are offering vulnerable residents crime prevention advice and training in doorstep skills to help prevent attack, and local people are being encouraged to watch out for unusual street activity and if necessary, report this to police.
Executive councillor for services for the community, Frank Anderson said: "This type of zone assists the community to participate in their own safety and well being. It encourages them to look out for any vulnerable residents, especially the elderly and is a proven and effective measure in the fight against doorstop crimes.
"Initiatives such as this highlight the joined up approach to tackling issues within West Lothian. Working in partnership with the Police will help to ensure that our residents feel safer within their communities.
"More than a thousand similar schemes are operating throughout the UK and research has shown that overall crime in these areas can drop by as much as 80 per cent, with an even bigger impact on doorstep crime such as distraction thefts."
Ken Inglis, senior trading standards officer for West Lothian Council, said: "This initiative is not aimed at legitimate businesses, however it does give people the choice to say no to doorstep selling, and protects vulnerable residents who may be at risk from bogus callers."
Anyone who has any information on bogus callers and rogue traders can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131.