NEARLY 50 vehicles were stopped by police in a crackdown on rogue trading as part of a national campaign.

Wiltshire Police, in partnership with Wiltshire Council’s Trading Standards, had a day of enforcement on May 9 in a bid to target rogue traders and forceful doorstop sellers.

In Salisbury, 48 vehicles were stopped, three of which had no MOT and one driver had no licence.

Two possible illegal waste sites were also identified, and nine businesses will be spoken to by the Environment Agency for holding incorrect paperwork.

Police used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to carry out intelligence-led roadside stop checks of vehicles, as well as mobile patrols and engaging with the public to offer advice and guidance around rogue trading in their specific area.

The national Operation Rogue Trader campaign was a week-long crime prevention initiative led by Operation Liberal, the national intelligence unit that links associated crimes and gathers intelligence on key nominals and organised crime groups who travel extensively throughout the UK.

Wiltshire Police’s head of crime prevention Superintendent Phil Staynings said: “I hope the day of action shows those who try to con the most vulnerable in our communities that we are out to stop them.

“This was a successful day of partnership working with other agencies all working together to educate traders working in Wiltshire and take action against those who weren’t trading fairly.

“Positive feedback was received from a number of the legitimate traders stopped showing that our work is appreciated by consumers and genuine traders alike.

“We encourage anyone who is concerned about potential rogue traders to contact police and we will continue working closely with partners to help prevent rogue traders targeting vulnerable members of our communities.”

Carolyn Godfrey, Wiltshire Council corporate director said: “We are pleased to be involved in this initiative and hope the action taken sends out a strong message to those companies who do not trade with integrity. Rogue traders cause loss and distress to consumers each year and together with our partners we will do everything in our power to find and stop them."

Householders are asked to remember the following advice:
• Not sure? Don’t open the door!
• Check the identity of the doorstep caller by telephoning the company they are purporting to be from. Use telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider.
• Check whether traders are members of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme or the Government Trust Mark scheme.
• Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader.
• Don’t agree to any work or sign anything on the spot. Do not be pressured into having any work carried out.
• Never pay cash up front and never go to the bank or cash point with a trader.
• If you suspect a rogue trader is at your door then call 999.

People should visit to find a list of trusted traders in their local area.