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Checkatrade News - March 2011

Mar
30
2011

Kenilworth residents should avoid cold-callers

Residents of Kenilworth are being warned not to deal with rogue traders after a number of complaints from homeowners, reports kenilworthweeklynews.co.uk. Warwickshire County Council's trading standards offers are dealing with several...
Mar
29
2011

It can be tricky to hire a plumber, writer claims

Hiring a plumber can be tricky, according to one writer, who claimed that in doing so, Brits were walking "a delicate line." Writing for Ultimate Spring, Matt Pelc advised the public of the difficulties they faced in hiring a reputable and...
Mar
29
2011

Rogue gardener swindled elderly couple out of life savings

An elderly couple were swindled out of their life savings of over £30,000 by a conman who had promised to make their garden look "fit for a mansion," according to Spondon Online. An Allstree couple aged 80 and 84 years old, the pair...
Mar
29
2011

Wiltshire police dispense distraction burglary advice to OAPs

Police in Wiltshire have been educating old age pensioners on the tricks of rogue builders, plumbers and roofers; highlighting the importance of hiring trusted tradesmen. According to The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, local...
Mar
28
2011

Top tradesmen to be recognised

Britain's Top Tradesman contest has been opened for entries; potentially attracting applications from thousands of reputable builders, plumbers and electricians from around the UK. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the contest was...
Mar
24
2011

'No Cold Calling' zone a success

Dozens of suspected cold callers have been challenged by authorities in Dumbarton East, reports lennoxherald.co.uk. A 'No Cold Calling' zone, a joint venture between police, trading standards and West Dunbartonshire Council, is aimed at...
Mar
23
2011

Bogus workmen caught out in Lancashire

Almost 70 vans, cars and trucks were pulled over and asked for identification as part of a crackdown on cowboy builders in Lancashire. According to This is Lancashire, Operation Rogue Trader saw police pull over dozens of vehicles in...
Mar
23
2011

Shropshire pensioners hit by rogue traders

Nearly half of pensioners in Shropshire have fallen foul to rogue traders, according to a survey. Shropshirestar.com reports a survey carried out on behalf of Gas Safe Register, the official body for gas safety, found that four in ten of those...
Mar
23
2011

Elderly woman conned by rogue tradesmen

Cowboy builders who carried out sub-standard work have conned an elderly lady out of almost £5,000, reports edp24.co.uk. The rogue trader called at the womans house in Bernham Road, Norwich and offered to clean and seal her block...
Mar
21
2011

Expert reveals tips for avoiding rogue tradesman

The chief executive of a tradesman register has revealed advice on how to avoid rogue tradesman and protecting the elderly from cowboy builders, reports journalism.co.uk.
Mar
21
2011

Father and daughter swindlers jailed

A father and daughter were sentenced to 12 months each in jail for trying to swindle an elderly dementia sufferer out of £600, reports The Northern Echo. Michael and Nadine Cassidy were branded "despicable" by Judge Peter Armstrong when...
Mar
16
2011

Pensioner praised for helping prosecute bogus builder

A bogus builder who tried to swindle a pensioner out of £40,000 for unnecessary work has been arrested - with the pensioner's help, reports The News and Star. Police praised the 75 year old man, who lives in Brampton for his bravery in...
Mar
16
2011

Cowboy builder jailed for 12 months

A cowboy builder who claimed to 'make dreams come true' has been jailed for a year after swindling a couple out of more than £35,000. Luton Crown Court heard last week how Jennifer Gray and Malcolm Nicholson had spent years saving...
Mar
14
2011

Renewable Heat Incentive launched

The government has laid out plans for its Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), and clarified the associated benefits for homes and businesses. The energy and climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, has pledged £860 million of funding for those...
Mar
14
2011

Most tradesmen are reputable, expert says

One expert has claimed that 95 per cent of tradesmen are reputable, and it's just the few bad eggs the public must be on the lookout for. Cited on PerfectPeople.net, builder John Russell - who works on Channel 5's 'Cowboy Builders' programme -...
Mar
14
2011

Hunt is on for rogue Blackburn plumber

Police have issued a picture of a rogue plumber operating in Blackburn, in the hope that the public will recognise the criminal and lead police to his whereabouts. According to The Lancashire Telegraph, the plumber tricked an employee of a...
Mar
11
2011

Conman plumber convicted in Kent

A man posing as a plumber has been handed a nine-month suspended jail sentence and 100 hours of community service after trying to convince an elderly man to let him carry out unnecessary plumbing work on his property. As such, Trading...
Mar
11
2011

Cowboy builder ordered to pay back victims

A cowboy builder has been ordered to pay back over £24,000 to his victims, according to North London Today. Thomas Casey, of Hatfield, reportedly "fleeced" the money from his customers, whilst undertaking less-than-adequate building work...
Mar
10
2011

Police team with trading standards on trader crackdown

The Welsh police force has teamed up with a number of institutions throughout Cardiff to crack down on rogue traders operating in the area.  According to Wales Online, the Llanishen neighbourhood policing team are working with...
Mar
9
2011

Pair of fraudsters jailed

A couple which befriended frail elderly ladies, whilst systematically defrauding them of thousands of pounds, have been jailed, according to Wales Online. Builder John Leslie Davies and his partner, Rhian Jones, were between them convicted of...
Mar
9
2011

Welsh OAPs should be on guard

Wales' elderly residents have been advised to be extra-cautious when opening the door to cold callers, after a cowboy plumber conned an OAP living in Cardiff. Topix reported that a 90-year-old, unnamed woman answered the door to the caller -...
Mar
8
2011

Trading Standards warn about increase in cold-calling

Householders in Aberdeen should be extra vigilant due to an increase in cold-calling, the Press and Journal has reported. Staff from the local Trading Standards organisation have warned homeowners to be careful, after Aberdeen City Council...
Mar
7
2011

Rogue builder ordered to pay £17,000 costs

A builder who ripped off "naive" pensioners has been ordered to pay £17,000 within three months, the Bournemouth Echo reported. Bournemouth Crown Court ordered Aaron Barnes to pay back the money, as well as to undertake 250 hours'...
Mar
7
2011

Student named Apprentice Plumber of the Year

A student has been named South West Apprentice Plumber 2011, after working hard to beat his competition in the regional Heating, Installation and Plumbing Apprentice of the Year awards. According to Topix, 20-year-old Dorien Harvey was given a...
Mar
3
2011

Police targeting doorstep crime

Northumbria Police has issued a fresh warning to its residents concerning rogue traders and callers, advising: "If in doubt, keep them out." Also, the police advised that if maintenance work needs seen to, locals should...
Mar
3
2011

Woman loses £12,000 to cowboy builder

A woman who sought some simple home improvements has found herself out of pocket by £12,000; after failing to hire recommended builders to undertake the work, Friday Ad reported. Beverly Goacher, of Hove, was cheated out of the...
Mar
3
2011

Llanelli builder handed suspended jail sentence

A builder from Llanelli builder has received a suspended jail sentence, after leaving a couple £30,000 out of pocket. GellySwick.co.uk reported on the grim tale, which saw Paul Wayne Lucitt criticised by a judge for his actions.
Mar
2
2011

Green Deal regulation needed say builders

Building industry representatives have challenged the climate change minister, Greg Barker, alleging that the Green Deal is too complicated and currently lacks the initiative to encourage businesses to get on board. Speaking at the Ecobuild...
Mar
2
2011

Brothers appeal to television show for help

Two brothers who were conned out of £5,000 by a cowboy builder have appealed to a television show to help them rebuild their house. William and Donald Pearce contacted the BBC show, named 'Cowboy Trap', after enlisting the services of an...
Mar
2
2011

Rogue builder taken to court

A rogue tradesman from Essex has been ordered to pay a thousand pounds after being found to be in breach of fair trade legislation.