Police warn of ‘aggressive and intimidating’ cold-callers in Seaton and an East Devon village

‘Aggressive and intimidating’ cold-callers selling door-to-door have been reported in Seaton and a village in East Devon, say police.

Reports of ‘aggressive’ door-to-door selling in Seaton and Rousdon on Wednesday (September 20) has resulted in police moving a cold-caller on – believing them to be part of a larger group currently targeting East Devon.

Police want to hear from anyone who has been approached in a similar way – urging residents to call 999 if they are faced with cold-caller aggression or a refusal to leave.

And they warned against being shown unofficial identification that could confuse residents into believing the caller was genuine.

Anyone with images or details of the cold-callers is asked to get in touch.

A Seaton Police Station spokesperson said: “Following reports of aggressive door-to-door selling in Seaton and Rousdon, an individual has been dispersed from the immediate area.

“It is believed that this individual is part of a larger group currently operating within East Devon and we would encourage anyone who has experienced such an incident to report it to us.

“Officers will be deployed with a view to identifying other individuals participating in this activity.”

Police said individuals wishing to sell door-to-door must produce a valid Pedlar’s Licence, authorised and issued by forces across the UK.

They said the licences were valid for 12 months, were ‘not issued frequently’ and the numbers issued locally in the last two years was ‘minimal’.

Seaton police urged residents to be aware that Hawker Identification was not the same as an official Pedlar’s Licence.

east Devon

Image shows the top part of Hawker Identification – police say it is not the same as an official Pedlar’s Licence: Image : D&C Police

The station spokesperson said: “One of our key concerns is the level of aggression and intimidation reported by members of the public.

“While the offences committed under the Pedlars Act 1871 may appear relatively minor in isolation, the intimidation and aggression is certainly not.

“Should any such incident result in aggression or a refusal to leave the premises, please dial 999 immediately.”

The Seaton officers warned fraudsters would seek ‘opportunities’ and target properties in a bid to sell household products, claiming the sales benefit charity.

A Seaton Police spokesperson said: “Fraudsters will look for opportunities to exploit and target properties within our community.

“A common method is that several individuals will target an area seeking to sell household products.

“These individuals will often state that they are working for charities or for a rehabilitation scheme. The probation services do not currently run these schemes.”

If you have information or photos to help police, call 101 or report it here, quoting incident number DCP-20230920-0725.

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