Police and Trading Standards carry out checks on commercial vehicles to ensure they are abiding by the law

Rogue traders were targeted by police and Trading Standards officers during a roadside operation in Barnstaple on Friday.

As part of National Rogue Trader week, 24 commercial vehicles were stopped and checked during the operation by the Sticklepath ‘stones’ roundabout.

Officers issued warnings for various offences such as driving without insurance, illegal tyres and defective lights.

Trading Standards offered advice about ‘doorstep trading’ and consumers’ rights, as well as checking generally that traders were abiding by the regulations.

The Environment Agency was there on the day to ensure waste carriers were licensed. Several warnings will be sent out to drivers who were carrying waste but are not registered.

PC Rich Preston said: “The aim is to disrupt the activities of rogue traders and to make communities aware of this type of crime.

“Rogue traders are anything from those who turn up on doorsteps and pressurise vulnerable people to do work which may not need doing, or maybe with over-inflated prices.

“We are primarily looking at commercial vehicles to ensure they have the relevant certificated authority to operate in the industry.”

Trading Standards is also hosting an event tomorrow (Tuesday) at Barnstaple Pannier Market to raise awareness of doorstep crime and offer advice on how to avoid falling victim to rogue traders and scammers.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for the trading standards service, said:

“Rogue traders have a serious and detrimental effect on the victims who are often targeted and re-targeted by offenders.

“It is important to not only exercise caution on your own doorstep, but also look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours, family and friends, to prevent them falling victim.”

Suspicious activity can be reported to the Police on 101 or to Trading Standards on 03454 040506.

To learn more about scams and doorstep crime, visit www.devonsomersettradingstandards.gov.uk and take a short scams awareness training session.