Warning about ‘Nottingham Knockers’

For years there have been young lads (known as Nottingham Knockers) visiting our area to sell cleaning products on the doorstep. An elderly lady was even out for a walk in Hungerford recently and was stopped by pedlars.

They told her they were just out of prison and selling items. Half of the money would go to charity and the remaining half would support them. She was asked for her bank details and address but refused. She did purchase various items for a substantial amount of cash. This incident has been reported to the police.

If you are approached in this manner whilst you are out, or if they come to your door, please do not buy from them. If you feel threatened in any way, do call the police immediately.

You can report incidents such as this to: The Citizens Advice Consumer Service via their online reporting form (which is forwarded to Trading Standards) or call 03454 04 05 06.

What are ‘Nottingham Knockers’?

Door-to-door traders who try to sell goods on the doorstep, often cheap household items. They are dropped off early in the morning in a particular area and will knock on doors all day. They will often be very charming and claim to be just released from prison on a rehabilitation scheme trying to make a better life for themselves or their family. They may show you ID that says something like ‘Hawkers Work Creation’. This will be false as this type of selling is not in fact part of any recognised rehabilitation scheme. The government-backed Community Payback scheme does not involve door-to-door sales.

What is the issue?

The conmen will cover a number of streets looking for a vulnerable victim they can scam. From their conversation and the response of the resident, they can often ascertain how much cash is in a property. Concerned residents say they feel vulnerable in their own homes when they are approached in this way. Police say streets being targeted by the Nottingham Knockers often see an increase in distraction burglaries.

They say those going door-to-door often have long extensive criminal histories and anyone who gives them money may find themselves the target of other scams including rogue builders and other such groups.

How to respond to Nottingham Knockers

Thames Valley Police want you to share a simple message with anyone trying to sell goods on your doorstep:
“We do not buy or sell anything at the door.” Do not even open the door to a ‘Nottingham Knocker’. If cold caller sales are unsuccessful, they are unlikely to return in the future.

‘No Cold Caller’ stickers which you can attach to your front door are available by calling Trading Standards on 01635 519930 or emailing tsadvice@westberks.gov.uk

It is illegal for a trader not to leave when asked to do so. See more information from Trading Standards here.

No Cold Calling Zones

If communities want to stop door-to-door selling in their area, Trading Standards can help them set up a “No Cold Calling Zone”.

The purpose of a No Cold Calling Zone is to indicate to traders that the people living in the area do not wish to purchase goods or services via this method of trading. Signage and door stickers are used to put traders on notice that you are asking them to leave which is a legal requirement when asked to do so. For a No Cold Calling Zone to be set up, consent is needed from residents in a defined area as well as meeting other requirements. See more about No Cold Calling Zones here or contact Trading Standars on 01635 519930 or tsadvice@westberks.gov.uk

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Covering: Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage,   Lambourn, Newbury, Thatcham & Theale