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Bogus "guttering and roofing" firms are continuing to prey on householders in various parts of Enfield.  Residents are warned not to be taken in, but to report any suspicious approaches to the police or Citizens' Advice Bureau.

We first passed on a message from the police about these criminals in July, but it was clear from a briefing given at last week's Palmers Green Ward Forum that the problem is ongoing and that the criminal gangs are not simply picking houses at random,  but are well organised.  They are studying potential victims and targeting particularly vulnerable household - old people, handicapped people or those who have been recently bereaved.  They use untraceable phone numbers and false mailbox addresses.

What starts as an offer to, for instance, fix leaky guttering for as little as £30, can in some cases end up with victims paying tens of thousands of pounds for completely unnecessary (and substandard) "repairs" to roofs.  In some instances, a second "company" will approach the householder, offering to rectify the damage caused by the first "company".  Once slates or tiles have been taken off the roof, residents may feel that they have no choice but to keep paying up in order to have a secure roof over their heads.

Trading Standards and the police are keen to collect evidence, such as vehicle number plates, descriptions and photographs of people and vehicles involved and any paperwork provided by such "contractors".  However, residents should not put themselves in danger in order to collect evidence and certainly not let the criminal trader know that they are doing so.

Contact numbers
Police:  999
Citizens' Advice Bureau:  03454 04 05 06

Further information
Message from Safer Neighbourhoods Team
News item on Enfield Council website


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