‘Look out for your neighbours’ – that’s the plea from the Safer New Forest Partnership in a bid to protect vulnerable householders from door-to-door rogue traders.

New Forest residents are urged to report doorstep sales people who use bullying tactics to get residents to sign on the dotted line for services, including replacement windows, driveway repairs and roofing.

The Partnership, which includes Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Hampshire County Council Community Safety Officers, is concerned that elderly people in particular may feel pressurised into letting sales people into their homes and may agree to costly, unnecessary and possibly fraudulent services.

Residents are reminded to ask for ID from callers at the door and not to let them inside their home if they are trying to sell something. If they are persistent or won’t depart when asked, residents are advised to call the police by dialling 999 if it is an emergency, or call 101 for non-urgent incidents.

Alternatively, contact Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 if the callers are still in the area or are due to return.

The other worry is that elderly residents may become the target for distraction burglaries where one person posing as a sales representative keeps them talking while an accomplice enters the home to steal money or property.

“Please be wary if door-to-door sales people call uninvited,” said New Forest North Inspector Simon Tribe. “If you receive an unwelcome visit, close your door immediately and contact the police on 101 and if you have elderly neighbours, please check on them and warn them to do the same.”

‘No cold calling’ stickers are available from New Forest District Council and Hampshire County Council information offices or by contacting Community Safety co-ordinator Stephanie Bennett on 023 8028 5588, email stephanie.bennett@nfdc.gov.uk