POLICE and trading standards officers have vowed to step up their efforts to tackle doorstep crime in East Ayrshire.

Cops say people who have fallen victim to bogus callers and other forms of doorstep crime are often unaware the crime has been committed – and when they find out, often much later, feel so embarrassed that they don’t report the incident.

They now plan to spent the coming months spreading the word about the tactics used by bogus callers in a bid to ensure more residents don’t fall victim.

Chief Inspector Nathan Calderwood, East Ayrshire’s local area commander, said: “We would like to remind people to remain vigilant against bogus callers and doorstep criminals. “Being a victim can have a devastating impact on our communities. These criminals are clever and go to great lengths to appear genuine and attempt to fool you. They may call or attend at your home or business and use various pretences that they are representing a reputable company or organisation.

“If you have someone call you or attend at your home then take a moment, be cautious and reflect. Please remember a genuine person representing a particular company will not pressure you to utilise their services, make a payment or demand financial details over the phone.”

Councillor Neal Ingram, EAC’s cabinet spokesperson for community safety, roads and transportation and community cohesion said: “Over the coming months East Ayrshire Trading Standards and Police Scotland will be carrying out various Days of Action that will tackle doorstep crime and bogus callers locally.

“Officers will be speaking with local traders and making sure all the relevant pre-contract information is being provided to consumers. Where no pre-contract information has been provided, advice will be given and c

“hecks will be made with the householder to ensure they didn’t feel pressured into having the work undertakenThis work will protect the interests of genuine businesses and local residents.”

“We would urge consumers to remain vigilant and obtain at least three quotes when having any home improvements works carried out and recommend taking time to check out the company. Any reputable business will be happy for you to do this.

“We would also advise our communities to check out the East Ayrshire Trusted Trader Scheme. The Trusted Trader scheme is a local business partnership, which aims to increase consumer confidence and promote good practice within local businesses.”

To report doorstep crime or other suspicious activity call 101, always 999 in an emergency, or if you wish to remain anonymous, to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Advice can also be obtained by contacting Trading Standards on 01563 576790 or by e-mail at: trading.standards@east-ayrshire.gov.uk