Police in Midlothian will work alongside partner agencies and local communities next week as part of an ongoing national campaign to tackle doorstep crime.
Earlier this year, Police Scotland launched Operation Monarda to target bogus workmen, rogue traders and cold callers who operate across the country.
As part of this continuing effort, local officers will carry out a number of events to provide homeowners useful advice on how they can avoid being targeted by scammers as well as offer a contact point where members of the public can raise their concerns.
On Monday, September 28, local officers will host a Door Step Crime Roadshow at the Asda Superstore on Pentland Road, Straiton, between noon and 4pm alongside members of the Community Safety Team at Midlothian Council.
This will be followed on Tuesday by a roadshow at Tesco’s in Hardengreen, Dalkeith, between noon and 4pm where representatives from Victim Support Scotland as well as from the Community Safety Team will join officers.
In addition, police road checks will be carried out on Wednesday (September 30) in conjunction with the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) and the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).
Commenting ahead of next week’s activity, Sergeant Michele Lindsay of Police Scotland, said: “Doorstep crime is an ongoing problem, which impacts on families and homes across Midlothian and Scotland.
“Operation Monarda was set-up specifically to target bogus callers and to deliver advice and assistance to anyone who needs it.
“As part of this effort Police Scotland, in conjunction with its partner agencies, will undertake events in Midlothian where members of the public will be provided with crime prevention advice and keeping people safe from doorstep crime.
“In addition, we are working alongside our relevant partners to identify those involved in offences of this nature and bring them to justice.
“We will not tolerate any criminal activity, which deliberately targets the vulnerable members of our communities. Anyone involved in this behaviour can expect to be robustly dealt with by Police Scotland.”
Operation Monarda brings together public, private and third sector organisations to help minimise risk and prevent harm to vulnerable and older people from criminals who commit doorstep crime. It operates as a preventative project, and encompasses engagement work with the general public, as well as enforcement work to target criminals.
Councillor Catherine Johnstone, the chair of the Midlothian Community Safety Partnership, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this campaign.
“We are continuing to offer older residents cards to display in windows warning callers they have a ‘nominated neighbour’ and any cold callers will only be granted access if accompanied by that person.
“We also have two No Cold Calling Zones in Mauricewood and part of Cornbank in Midlothian.
“These schemes are proving useful in combating this type of activity and this new campaign can only be of further benefit.
“Often these doorstep criminals target the most vulnerable in society, which is absolutely unforgivable.
“Working with the police and trading standards we are committed to stop these criminals in their tracks.”