Selling not Begging?
Many people report that they have mixed reactions to pedlars turning up claiming to be ex-offenders trying to get their lives back on track by selling household goods door-to-door rather than begging or relying on handouts. Whilst many of these salesmen are polite, have some kind of laminated ID card and appeal to your sense of decency, some of them can be aggressive, their goods can be overpriced, and some householders do feel intimidated or at least morally obliged to pay over the odds for stuff they don’t actually want. What should you do when one presents himself at your door? Bear in mind these points;
- Any legitimate salesperson should take note of your door sticker saying No Cold Callers and leave straightaway. If you don’t already have one of these stickers you can get one from Neighbourhood Watch free of charge.
- No probation service in the country organises a doorstep selling scheme for the rehabilitation of offenders.
- It does happen that door-to-door selling is a front for distraction burglaries, where an accomplice will go around the back of the house to steal from inside whilst the householder is occupied with the salesman at the front.
- It is entirely possible that the caller is ‘casing the joint’ and checking out your security arrangements with a view to a future burglary.
- You should be extremely cautious about any sales person turning up without an appointment – indeed, you should be wary about opening the door to any stranger and certainly should never buy anything, no matter how small, from an unannounced visit whether it be a new dishcloth or a new driveway.
- Legitimate pedlars can obtain an official licence to carry on their business, but these licences are not available to anyone with a criminal conviction. Anyone can create a laminated ID card to say anything.
- If you do open the door to one of these salesmen, politely say that you do not need anything and close the door. You do not need to justify your refusal. Telephone the police on the non-emergency 101 number for them to keep an eye on these possible gangs of criminals.
For more information, call the Neighbourhood Watch desk on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org