I've taken my eye off the ball in keeping the blog up to date in recent days so I've some catching up to do. A couple of weeks ago, I joined Sutton's Trading Standards officers and local ward police in Carshalton to go on a tour of the area for a Rogue Trader day.
This entailed driving around the ward looking for any signs of building works and interviewing both the contractors and residents. Part of the exercise was to look out for rogue traders who prey on the vulnerable, overcharging them or creating opportunities for distraction burglaries. However, most of the time was spent on just making people aware. This allowed residents to take simple precautions so they did not fall victim to such scams. It also made contractors aware of the borough's Safer Sutton Trader Scheme, which acts as both security for residents and an advertising opportunity for contractors. We finished off at a mobile exhibition in Carshalton Village where crime prevention officers were on hand to offer advice to residents.
I certainly appreciated the time spent by council officers and police officers explaining their roles and the effect that they have. Trading Standards is a small department that often gets overlooked as a lot of their work goes unsung. Even on our short trip, the police picked up some useful intelligence that may help prevent crime in the ward. That's got to be time well spent.