Cold Caller alert

Residents alerted to bogus cold callers claiming to be from Solent Green Deal and New Forest District Council

New Forest District Council has been made aware that several residents in the district have received cold calls from two individuals claiming to be working with the council on the Solent Green Deal scheme and asking for householders’ details. Reports so far have been from the Lyndhurst area. These individuals are not representing the council or Solent Green Deal. Neither the council nor Solent Green Deal use cold callers to promote schemes or services and all NFDC staff working on council business carry formal identification with them.

Residents who receive a cold call like this are asked to report it to the Police by telephoning 101. The police will share information with Hampshire Trading Standards. Concerned householders can also contact Hampshire Trading Standards Quick Response Team for further advice, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, on 01962 833666.

Anyone who encounters the bogus cold callers is encouraged to note as much information as they can to provide to the police and Trading Standards, such as the company name given by the callers, descriptions of the individuals or a vehicle registration.

Local people are urged to remain vigilant for individuals cold calling in their area and to keep a lookout for elderly or vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours.

Cllr Jill Cleary, New Forest District Council portfolio holder for housing and communities, advised: “Legitimate cold callers will carry identification, so always examine it carefully. Do not allow anyone into your home whom you are unsure of and do not give any personal details or sign up to any work on the doorstep.”

Solent Green Deal is a scheme developed for Hampshire residents by local authorities and supported by New Forest District Council, which can help people to make energy improvements to their homes. Solent Green Deal only works with a list of approved contractors and would not employ cold callers. For details of the scheme and approved contractors visit solentgreendeal.org.uk or call freephone 0800 052 2242.

Who’s watching you in the car park?

New Forest visitors leaving their vehicles in public car parks are urged to take all their valuables with them.

“Thieves may be watching your movements in the car park when you arrive for a walk in the forest, to attend an event or park to go shopping,” said Cllr Jill Cleary, NFDC portfolio holder for housing and communities.

“If you leave valuables on view in the car or even place them in the boot, you run the risk of returning to find the car damaged and your belongings stolen.”

Since the Safer New Forest Partnership raised concerns earlier this year, there has been a significant reduction in thefts from motor vehicles – but visitors should not become complacent.

It advises drivers and their passengers to remove all valuable items – including bags, coats, satnavs, mobiles and laptops – from their parked vehicles and to lock their vehicle securely.

New Forest Chief Inspector Simon Tribe said: “Car crime does occur in the New Forest, especially at beauty spot car parks. The police are doing a lot to combat it, including regular patrols, but people can help us to further reduce the problem by taking some simple crime prevention measures like making sure car doors are locked and removing all valuables.”

A bright yellow Hampshire Constabulary notice stating: ‘No valuables have been left in this vehicle’ are available free of charge from New Forest District Council information centres.

Log on to www.safer.newforest.gov.uk and find out what is being done to make your community a safer place for everyone.