Over the past couple of weeks, the police have received a number of reports of doorstop sellers travelling throughout Northumberland
(most recently Tynedale areas) and pedalling their wares. Some doorstep sellers claim that they are on a “rehabilitation scheme” arranged by Probation Services, following their release from prison, however no such schemes exist.
Below is listed some advice from the police relating to cold callers and doorstop sellers:
Doorstep sellers (Pedlars) must hold a certificate under the Pedlars Act 1871, this is granted by the police and paid for by the certificate holder. It allows the person named/photographed on the licence to sell anywhere in the UK. It is issued by the police force where the Pedlar has resided for the past month and is valid for one year from the date of purchase.
If a doorstep seller comes to your house, please do not be pressured into buying from them, you have the right to ask them to leave and whether they have a valid pedlar’s certificate.
Use a spy hole, chain or window to see who is at the door. If you do not recognise the person, then speak through the closed and locked door.
Look out for your neighbours and report any suspicious activity to police by noting down any information you have such as vehicle details. If you think an elderly neighbour may be vulnerable to this type of caller, please think about talking to them about it so that they aren't taken advantage of.
Remember too that a pedlar's certificate is in no way an indication that the goods for sale are of merchantable quality.