Doorstep crime and rogue trader activity - Andrew Bertie

Doorstep Crime / Rogue Trader Activity
Rogue Traders
Rogue Traders come in many shapes and sizes. They
can be:
• Uninvited cold callers purporting to carry out home
improvement and gardening work
• Telephone and Internet
There is a strong correlation between
Distraction Burglars and Bogus Builders/Doorstep Conmen
What the Team can do
• Work across the whole of Wales
• Regional representation in each force area
• Established links with regions in England
and Scotland
• Working with referrals from the 22 Local
Authorities in Wales into cross border
• Vulnerable Interviews
Offender Profile.
The offenders work as a team of two or more
Travel the country choosing areas with a high population of
older residents.
Choose areas with easy access to main or arterial roads
Are taught their craft by their elders often from a very early
Live in a patriarchal hierarchical society
Are known to share information about suitable targets and
These offenders know that the notion of carrying out some
work is often enough to muddy the waters and confuse
attending officers into thinking that the matter is ‘civil’ and
doesn’t warrant investigation.
Rogue trader incidents are likely to feature Trading
Standards offences as well as Fraud, Criminal Damage,
Blackmail, Robbery, Burglary and Kidnapping.
•The majority of doorstep crime victims are elderly (average
age 81), living in social isolation.
•The offenders create fear of the consequences of not
having the work done
•They prey on the loneliness of the victim
•Often do not give the victim a choice as they just turn up
and start work
Statistics from Operation Liberal state that
• In the two years following a Distraction Burglary the
victims are almost 2.5 times more likely to be in
residential care or have died.
• In the three months following the incident 10% of victims
have unexplained admissions to hospital.
• Older victims of distraction burglary decline in health
faster than their non-victim peers. 40% of victims
reported a change in their quality of life.
But most worryingly, almost two thirds (63%)
were repeat victims
Other offences to consider
New offence of fraud, which
can be committed in three
Possession of articles intended
for use in Fraud - S.6
Fraud by false representation S.2
Applies anywhere and includes
any article found, e.g.
correspondence, tools and
Lying about something using any
means, e.g. by stating a roof is in
dangerous condition and needs
repair when it is perfectly fine.
Fraud by failing to disclose - S.3
Not saying something when you
have a legal duty to do so, e.g. a
cold calling home maintenance
trader not giving proper
cancellation notice.
Fraud by abuse of position - S.4
Abusing a position of trust where
there is an expectation to
safeguard the financial interests
of another person / organisation.
Obtaining services dishonestly S.11
e.g. using a stolen credit card
Making or supplying articles for
use in Fraud - S.7
 All offences occur where the
act or omission is committed
dishonestly and with intent to
cause gain or loss.
 Gain or loss only needs intent.
 All Fraud Act offences are
Must know or intend the article to
be used to commit or facilitate
fraud, e.g. supplying emblems to
a counterfeit t-shirt supplier.
The new offences replace the
Fraudulent business carried out
by sole trader - S.9
Now includes individuals,
partnerships and trusts.
 Obtaining property / services
by deception.
 Obtaining pecuniary
 Procuring execution of a
valuable security.
 Evading liability.
 Obtaining a money transfer.
So you’ve arrested a rogue trader for a fraud or trading related offence.
What else can you consider?
How about this…
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and Money Laundering
The offences are:
• S.327 - Concealing, disguising, converting, transferring, or removing criminal property
• S.328 - Arranging to facilitate to acquire, retain, use or control of criminal property by,
or on behalf of another person
• S. 329 - Acquisition, use and possession of criminal property
You are most likely to come across S.329 where an offender is simply in possession of cash /
cheques (the proceeds of crime). However, rogue traders and offenders committing fraud and trading
related offences may well be committing offences under S.327 and S.328 as well
Criminal property is: property that the alleged offender knows or suspects constitutes or represents
benefit from any criminal conduct (not only money)
Remember any offender who has benefited from the offences committed could qualify for confiscation
Think ……….. Proceeds of Crime, Money Laundering and Confiscation
• To date we have interviewed 20
vulnerable/intimidated witnesses in their
• This involves almost £400,000 worth of
• 3 of these victims have since died.
• Their evidence is still available for court
Contact Details
• [email protected]
• (M) 07792 193280