No Cold Calling Zones (NCCZs)

NCCZs are formally set up by the Trading Standards Service of North Yorkshire County Council as one part of an initiative designed to reduce distraction burglaries and rogue trading (doorstep crime).
Trading Standards, in partnership with North Yorkshire Police, Neighbourhood Watch and other bodies, promotes the formation of these schemes in order to support residents in an effort to stop uninvited salespeople from calling at your house.

Although there are relatively few reported instances of callers and doorstep crime, it is believed that as a consequence of under-reporting there are many criminal offences taking place and the victim is often too embarrassed to even mention it to family members.  You may have read about, bogus ‘water board’ officials entering under false pretences, drive or tarmac laying repairs with ‘cheap materials surplus to contract’, roof tiling repairs or replacement, furniture and garden materials left over from a sale or exhibition, etc. and some fish sellers and unidentified charity collectors (Chuggers). There are too many and they are all currently active in this area. Usually it is the elderly, single and vulnerable person that is more prone to being targeted and becomes the victim.  Besides being upsetting, there is evidence that it can be very costly as these rogues often demand cash payment for unnecessary work, which considerably exceeds the original verbal quotation.  In some instances the payment has been many thousands of pounds with repeated demands. 

The clear unequivocal message is ‘Do not under any circumstances open your door to uninvited callers’.


In December 2017 there were about 611 NCCZ schemes in North Yorkshire, of which 138 are in Harrogate District.  Council funding is, as always, limited and it is therefore important to make an early evaluation as to the need for setting up a scheme in your locality and submitting an application requesting the ‘Creation of a NCCZ’.  It is necessary to identify one person to represent the residents in a small area and be responsible for submitting the application.  The person may be a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, Parish Councillor, Representative Resident or a member of your Safer Neighbourhood Police Team (SNT).  Whoever has that responsibility must ensure that he/she gains the support of the local County Councillor.

The form ‘Request for the Creation of a NCCZ’ can be downloaded from our website and is self- explanatory. 

On receipt of the application, Trading Standards Officers will assess the case.  If the criteria are met, they will circulate a letter to all residents defining the main purpose (NHW Coordinators can assist with the letter drop) and follow up with personal visits at a prearranged date to carry out a survey of opinions.  At least 75% of residents must agree.
Should there be a delay in forming a NCCZ scheme we recommend that you consider individual ‘Nominated Neighbour Schemes’ to protect the elderly and vulnerable.
Following the routine assessment, Trading Standards will erect signs at appropriate points informing cold callers and uninvited guests that they are not welcome in that area.  Residents will be given door/window stickers and are advised how to deal with such people and how to contact Trading Standards and the Police in the event of cold callers ignoring the signs.  It is a criminal offence to do so.
We are also particularly conscious of the fact that in many situations the cold calling is often a ruse to identify which property and owner/resident is most vulnerable for a subsequent burglary to be carried out by the same person or associates.
Please be aware of the risks, but do not be afraid of the potential crime, and above all keep your house and possessions safe.  If you are troubled by cold callers, report any suspicious incidents, with details of vehicle registration numbers, colours and type plus a description of persons involved, to Trading Standards on 01609 534800. 

For general advice call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.  For more information speak to your local police station by dialling 101 or email H&D NHW on info@nwatchharrogate.org.uk

If the caller refuses to leave, uses threatening behaviour, tries to obtain personal information or tries to put a foot in the door this is clearly harassment and warrants an immediate 999 call.

It is not essential to be a member of Neighbourhood Watch – but it helps!

Window/door stickers are provided when a NCCZ is set up but NHW members in general may request a small supply from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) on 03454 04 05 06.

Sometimes Neighbourhood Watch may have a small stock of these stickers.
You can contact us via info@nwatchharrogate.org.uk

NB. To print a copy of the Application Form, go to ‘Forms to Download’ on our website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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