Staffordshire Police target rogue traders and distraction burglars

Staffordshire Police logo

Staffordshire Police logo

Rogue traders and distraction burglars in Lichfield are among those being targeted by Staffordshire Police as part of a national day of action.

The multi-agency operation taking place today saw police working with Staffordshire Trading Standards and other partners including Department of Work and Pension, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the Vehicle Operators Services Agency.

Chief Inspector Peter Owen, from the force’s tactical support unit, said:

“People who target the elderly and vulnerable people in our communities are despicable and this day of action is just a small part of our continued commitment to reduce this type of crime.”

This initiative comes under the umbrella of Operation Liberal, formed in 1998 when six forces, supported by the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the then National Crime Squad, joined to tackle cross border criminals. It is now a national operation with a central database that contains intelligence on all distraction burglaries in the country.

Evidence shows that the majority of distraction burglary offenders network with each other and associated rogue trader criminals while travelling large distances across several force areas, which is why it is important for forces to share intelligence on this sort of crime.

The day of action saw officers speaking to residents and people carrying out work on their property making sure they are not rogue traders. The Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) was deployed and intelligence-led patrols concentrated on hot-spot areas where there is a concentration of elderly or vulnerable residents.

Chief Inspector Owen continued:

“Staffordshire will continue to target these criminals who deceive people by  carrying out unnecessary work, charge exorbitant prices for that work and people who distract residents so they can steal from their homes. Victims often feel uncomfortable in their own homes for a long time after they have been targeted by these types of criminals.

“We will continue to work in our communities with our partner agencies and to provide advice to residents on how to avoid the pitfalls of falling prey to these types of crimes.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.