Nuisance doorstep callers are being targeted by Southampton City Council in a new crackdown.
Many residents have told us they feel intimidated by doorstep sellers, who often target elderly and vulnerable people.
This has led the council to set up No Cold Calling Zones (NCCZ) in the city if residents want them. The council has already helped one road in Bassett launch a No Cold Calling Zone which was launched on Wednesday, February 22.
Residents in the road will display stickers in their windows and doors informing cold callers that it is a No Cold Calling Zone, as part of the scheme which is supported by Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Constabulary. Signs could also be erected in the area.
While NCCZ do not ban cold callers or create exclusion zones, they can be effective in deterring cold callers from approaching people living in the zones and giving those residents the confidence to say 'no'.
Councillor Royston Smith, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: “This is an important initiative that gives residents the power to say no. Once cold callers see that they will be turned away from every household in a No Cold Calling Zone they will soon avoid those areas in the future.
“No one should ever feel intimidated to buy anything they don’t want or need, least of all on their own doorstep. I would urge any resident who feels this is a problem where they live to contact the Trading Standards team for advice on how they can initiate their own NCCZ.”
Bassett residents, Sharon and Barry Smith have been working with the council to set up a NCCZ in their road. They have now successfully completed a consultation process which demonstrate that a minimum of 66% of residents in their area were in favour of the initiative.
Mrs Smith explained why she signed up for the scheme. She said: “We are plagued with cold callers, most go away, but the youths with the huge bag of dusters at £5 each, they are harder to get rid of. They can certainly intimidate people.”
Mrs Smith added: “We have a high number of retired and elderly people living in our area, who feel intimidated to buy. We get on average three to four cold callers a month. Our residents are reluctant to be firm, or not to buy as this could lead to repercussions. I do know one resident who received a lot of abuse when she refused to buy, and she was very frightened.”
NCCZ have proved to be a success across the county. Evaluation within existing zones has shown that since the introduction of a zone in their area:
• 72% of residents felt safer living within a No Cold Calling Zone
• 74% of residents felt more confident when dealing with cold callers
For more information visit www.hants.gov.uk/nocoldcalling or email us at NCCZ@southampton.gov.uk