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Vehicles seized as police crack down on rogue traders

Police target vehicles as part of a crackdown on rogue traders
Police target vehicles as part of a crackdown on rogue traders

Caption: Kent Police Intercept Team at Merrick Way, Medway.

by Lynn Cox

Around 50 motorists were pulled over and some had their vehicles seized, when a joint operation by police and other agencies targeted rogue traders and cowboy builders.

The multi-agency operation was staged in Medway and other parts of the county, and saw Kent Police, Medway trading standards and other agencies carrying out roadside stop checks on vehicles.

The initiative was to stop traders who target the vulnerable and the elderly, or deliver shoddy work or over-charge for work which has not been completed properly.

The operation was staged as part of a national campaign to target those who trade in an illegal manner and involved the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and fraud investigators from the Department of Work and Pensions.

Around 50 vehicles were stop-checked in West Kent, North Kent and Medway.

Drivers and passengers were talked to about the condition of their vehicles and employment law.

Three vehicles were seized for no insurance and VOSA checked a number of vehicles stopped and found 18 had various faults, which meant they could not be driven again until the faults were rectified.

During the operation, trading standards officers were able to gather information and intelligence which will enable them to progress with a number of ongoing investigations.

Superintendent Neil Jerome of the partnership and crime reduction unit says: "It is emotionally and financially devastating to people who have put their trust in a trader who does not deliver.

Supt Neil Jerome
Supt Neil Jerome

Officers worked with partner agencies to let those working in the county know that rogue trading will not be tolerated.

"The force’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) interceptor team helped target those who could be operating illegally.

Our advice is don’t agree to any work being done on your home by people who cold call at your home."

Last year in Kent there were 348 complaints relating to rogue traders.

Glenn Watson, from Medway Council’s trading standards department, added: "We’ve been doing these multi-agency operations for the past three years.

"We check people carrying waste material have the correct certificates to do so and also make sure traders who are offering services to people are operating legally.

"It’s also a chance for us to see if anyone is operating in the area who is on the rogue trader national database."

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