Doorstep crime campaign hailed a success


A LOTHIAN and Borders Police campaign to tackle doorstep crime in West Lothian last month has been hailed a success by officers.

Between the March 19 and 30 police and various partner agencies provided a visible presence across the county to identify bogus callers and rogue traders and provide safety information to the public.

Road Policing Officers were joined throughout the initiative by colleagues from the DVLA, VOSA and SEPA to inspect over 80 commercial vehicles and ensure they were roadworthy and not involved in any criminal activity

As a result of these checks, police seized four vehicles and five people were charged for various road traffic offences.

A further seven vehicles were issued with rectification notices after being inspected.

While vans and cars were looked over, the occupants were subject to interview by police, SEPA and officials from the Department of Work and Pensions.

Following these interviews, eight fraud offences were recorded and reported to the Procurator Fiscal. Over 30 waste management and waste transfer orders were then issued by SEPA and Environmental Wardens.

Throughout the campaign, officers engaged with the West Lothian communities to provide advice and guidance on protecting themselves against doorstep crime.

During events at TESCO in Bathgate and The Centre in Livingston, police handed out over 1700 doorstep crime information booklets and bogus caller/rogue trader red cards.

The majority of doorstep crime victims tend to be elderly members of the public and so local officers across West Lothian visited over 100 homes and numerous care facilities to speak to residents personally and provide them with crime prevention advice.

Superintendent Graham Jones said: “The impact of doorstep crime can be devastating for victims, who often lose several hundreds, or even thousands of pounds at the hands of bogus callers and rogue traders.

“As part of our multi-agency campaign, we carried out a number of inspections to ensure vehicles were roadworthy, motorists were eligible to drive and that the companies they represented were legitimate.

“The vast majority of those who were interviewed and had their vehicles inspected were not committing any offences and we thank them for their assistance.

“However, our activity sent a clear message to criminals operating in West Lothian that we will continue to work alongside our partner agencies to identify them and bring them to justice.

“This campaign was as much about education as it was enforcement and throughout we were keen to engage with our communities to highlight the issue of doorstep crime and offer appropriate information to help people falling victim.

“Lothian and Borders Police are committed to tackling doorstep crime in West Lothian and anyone who wishes to report a crime, or who would like more advice on crime prevention should contact their local policing team.”