Six charged following reports of suspicious door to door sales persons
Six men from the Middlesbrough area have been charged with operating without a Pedlar's licence following a series of complaints from across the north east.
Police Scotland said that two of the men were expected to appear at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, with others expected to appear at a later date. One of the men, aged 29, has also been charged in connection with a theft.
Alleged incidents were reported in areas including Inverurie, Aberdeen, Portlethen, Forres and Westhill.
Local Sergeant Kevin Ritchie, who assisted with the enquiries, said: "I would like to thank the members of the public who phoned police immediately to let us know their concerns which allowed us to take quick action."
He added: "Legitimate and authorised pedlars will always be in possession of an appropriate licence and if they are asked by a homeowner to see it, they should be more than happy to do so. In order to be granted a license you must prove that you are a person of good character, therefore those operating without such a licence will not have been subjected to relevant checks and it is impossible to know what their full intentions might be. You can never rule out that those operating illegally might be scoping out your property for future acquisitive crime.
"Those not working legitimately can also often use hard sell tactics and intimidation as part of their sales pitch which can be unnerving for a homeowner, especially if they are at home on their own or a more vulnerable person. In situations like this the person who has shown up at your door should be reported to Police immediately."
This week officers within NE Division working alongside partners will be supporting Police Scotland's national bid to raise awareness of doorstep crime and to promote how the public can protect themselves from becoming a victim.
This activity is in advance of the launch of next month's annual national campaign - Operation Monarda - in a bid to take proactive action as soon as possible as the summer months approach.
Doorstep crime can affect some of the most vulnerable members of local communities with perpetrators targeting victims due to a perceived vulnerability such as age, gender or disability. However busy families, or those perceived to have money available, can also be selected as targets.
Inspector Colin Taylor said: "Doorstep crime, which is often aimed at more vulnerable members of the community such as the elderly, is completely callous and unacceptable.
"We are delighted to again be working closely with partners and we are committed to reducing the number of incidents of doorstep crime and to keeping people safe. Our Crime Reduction Officers and Trading Standards Officers will visit DIY stores and supermarkets across the North East to speak to members of these communities about protecting themselves from doorstep crime and handing out leaflets of guidance.
"I would urge anyone who has close contact with potential victims - family, friends and carers - to watch out for suspicious callers or people at their doors, or any suspicious amounts of money disappearing. It is very important to pass on advice to friends, neighbours or family members who may be more likely to be targeted."
Further advice and a video regarding doorstep crime can be found on the Police Scotland website.