THERE are reports that Nottingham Knockers are in our area again today.
There have been several reports in the Quemerford and London Road area that callers are knocking at doors claiming to be released from prison 6 weeks ago and they are working on a rehabilitation scheme with a charity called Helping Hands.
Nottingham Knockers have a laminated trader badge which they briefly flashe before trying to sell various household items.
The men claim to be ex-convicts attempting to mend their ways, they have a bag of household products which they are selling door to door.
Many people will purchase items and pay them something, just to get rid of them. There have been cases of elderly residents handing over large sums of money as they can be quite aggressive.
The price for whatever has been purchased usually comes to a note – usually £10.
The householder disappears to get this – this is when the scam begins, according to the police. When the note is handed over, the lad examines the condition and how long it took the person to get it. If it is crumpled, they accept it and move on. If it is crisp flat and new – they are much more interested and may engage the person in more conversation, to obtain details about them. Those addresses are then noted.
The addresses of elderly or vulnerable people are all noted. These are handed to the employer and there is a small amount of cash handed over for each one.
The information and addresses are then sold on to criminal gangs. If there is a later break-in, the employer expects a further cut of the proceed.
Police advice is as follows:
Please warn your neighbours, particularly elderly or vulnerable neighbours, not to open the door to strangers or buy or sell on the doorstep. Some doorstep callers may offer poor quality goods at inflated prices and if a caller is not genuine, they may be gathering information for future crime.
REMEMBER if cold callers don’t get any sales in your area, they are less likely to return.”
If you receive a visit, officers advise to implement the following safety tips:
Always use the door chain when answering the door, if you are not sure do not open the door.
Always check the credentials of unknown callers. Do not phone the number on the ID card, use a phone book or a bill.
Never employ cold-calling doorstep traders or engage with cold callers on the phone.
Do not keep substantial sums of money in the home.
Always keep front and back doors locked.
LOCK STOP CHAIN and CHECK - if unsure do not open the door.
Consider joining or setting up a No Cold Calling Zone or Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Report any suspicious callers or activity to the police immediately.
Keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends and family.
If you think 'Nottingham Knockers' are operating where you live, contact police on 101.