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Thursday 12 August 2010


bogus callers

Cold-callers are being caught on camera thanks to new technology being used by Cheshire East Council’s Trading Standards team.

12 residents across Cheshire East, who have been repeat victims of serious doorstep crime, have had hidden cameras, known as ‘Memo Cams’, installed in their property.

Many of those targeted by bogus callers, distraction burglars or cold-callers are the elderly, vulnerable and those who live alone. Some have even had a person forcibly enter their home.

The ‘Memo Cam’ camera is the size of a pinhole and is motion-activated – it only starts recording when someone approaches the door. The recorded material is then downloaded onto a hard drive within the filming unit.

The cameras have now been in place for one year. Trading Standards have spoken to nine of the 12 residents who have reported no further incidents of cold-callers.

Although they wished to remain anonymous for security reasons, residents were happy to give their reaction to having a ‘Memo Cam’ installed in their home:

“I’ve learnt not to deal with people at my door, I ask them to go away unless I am expecting them.” said one resident.

Another added: "The camera is a comfort, but I never open the door anymore and my neighbours check on me.”

A trader who had been told about the cameras, said:

"It is refreshing to see the police and Trading Standards are targeting the rogue traders who give the legitimate traders a bad name.”

Cheshire East Councillor, Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities said:

“This technology must be a great comfort to these residents, who have suffered at the hands of serious nuisance callers.

“No one should be made to feel frightened of being in their own home or answering the door; these cameras are about ensuring peace of mind while collecting vital evidence for the Trading Standards and the police.

“I would urge anyone with concerns over doorstep crime or cold-callers to contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.”

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