Warning over rogue traders offering driveway work in rural areas
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Rogue traders are targeting rural Suffolk communities offering to pave driveways and then charging "extortionate" amounts of money if people agree to the work, it has been warned.
Sergeant Brian Calver, of Suffolk police's rural crime team, said he has seen a recent spate of reports - particularly targeting farmers or rural landowners.
Sgt Calver is urging people to use reputable companies for any projects and to not accept work in this way.
He said: "It would appear they've been targeting rural communities on the whole. There's been a couple of farmers who have been targeted, and people with large rural premises where you have larger driveways.
"The current trend seems to be going down the line of using Tarmac as the ploy. Some people have been telephoned so they are phoning up and using the normal spiel of 'we've got a little left over from a job we've done, would you like us to do some work for you?'
"Sadly those who agree will see these people come and do it, whether you are there or not, and the next thing you know you've had this work done and they're basically making demands for extortionate amounts of money.
"The last spate we had was offering gravel, but it's the same MO (Modus Operandi)."
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Sgt Calver advised people to seek recommendations before getting work done.
"If you've got work you want done, make sure you go to a reputable company, perhaps ask people on one of these community watch groups to recommend someone," he added.
"At least that way, there's recourse if there's any issues with it. You might pay a little bit more initially getting it done by a proper firm, but you're not going to get threats and intimidation or a shoddy job done.
"Most of these people are just rogues doing a shoddy job and then charging extortionate amounts of money for it. In some cases, if they recognise the vulnerability in someone, they are more likely to target those people and go back for more.
"We had a case a couple of years ago when tens of thousands of pounds were extorted out of this poor victim so the key message is just politely decline it. Don't accept any type of work from anyone like that at all.
"Sometimes they can be a bit persistent but just say 'no thank you, I'm closing the door now. If you don't go away I'm going to call the police'.
For more safety advice about about rogue traders, click here.