At about this time yesterday afternoon (Wednesday early afternoon) an elderly resident living in Fairway Road, Hythe was in her front garden when a man walked along the street and started speaking to her.
He explained that he was working on cutting some bay trees in a property at the rear of her property and he needed to gain access to her rear garden to cut the tops of the bay trees in the property behind.
The lady escorted the male to the end of her garden and he looked at the bay trees he claimed he was working on.
He told the lady that the bay trees were overhanging her boundary and they needed cutting.
He quoted a sum of £240 for that work.
When the lady said she could not afford it – he offered to do the work for £120 and when he got the same response he came down in price to £80!
The lady accepted that price – so the male turned his attention to some nearby Leylandii trees.
He pointed to a small brown patch in the Leylandii and told the lady that they were “diseased”
When she went to touch the tree he told her not to do so – because she would catch a disease from it.
The lady said she would have to contact the Environment Agency – and the male said that he was from the Environment Agency!
He wanted £1,000 to dig out the Leylandii – the offer was refused.
Three other males then appeared in a “large white van” and they started “badgering” the lady and telling her that the trees needed to be dug out.
The final result was that a few sprigs of bay tree were cut down and the four males in the large white van drove off with £80.
NO work was done in the bay trees in the garden they claimed to be working on.
These people target elderly residents whom they know tend to keep sums of cash in the home.
Early house to house enquiries in the area indicate that the men and the vehicle were “active” in the Fairway Road/Solent Drive/Hollybank Road area – and may have been seen by people in those areas?
If you saw these characters in that area (or anywhere else) – please get in touch with:
Community Safety Officer 065
Hythe and Dibden Parish Council Community Safety Team
25 St John’s Street
Telephone:- 023 8084 2111.
As always – all responses will be treated in strict confidence and YOU WILL NOT BE IDENTIFIED.
Trading Standards would advise consumers not to agree to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call or via a leaflet drop. Consumers should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or a recognised trade association.
Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair. All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing email@example.com or via the website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk
Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives consumers a 7 day cooling off period. Work should not commence until this period has ended, unless written agreement is obtained from that consumer beforehand.
If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council’s Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 (Monday – Friday 0900hrs to 1700hrs) where specially trained officers are on hand to provide advice.
If assistance is required outside of these hours please contact Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.
Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service
Montgomery House Monarch Way
Winchester Hampshire SO22 5PW
Tel: 01962 833620
Fax: 01962 833698
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