TRADING standards officers across the borough are reporting a significant drop in cases off the back of a campaign to deter rogue traders from preying on vulnerable residents.

No rogue trader zones were originally launched by safe & sound, Dudley’s community safety partnership, in November 2011 in areas of Halesowen identified as hotspots for rogue traders and bogus callers.

Around 22,000 households were included in the campaign which saw each household given a booklet about the scheme and a window sticker with the Dudley Bogus Caller Hotline number to encourage reporting of suspicious activity.

Lampposts in the designated zones were also fitted with signs highlighting the No Rogue Trader Zone.

Trading standards officers, together with West Midlands Police, have also been carrying out regular inspections of the area as well as offering training sessions to support people across the borough who work with vulnerable people and make them aware of how rogue traders operate.

Since the campaign launched - there has been a significant drop in rogue trader activity across Dudley. Reported incidents have fallen by 14 per cent in the last year, according to Dudley Council.

Councillor Tracy Wood, Dudley’s cabinet member for environment and culture, said: “Over the past 18 months calls reporting rogue traders have really fallen dramatically in the areas the scheme has operated in.

“Rogue traders prey on the vulnerable and are very cold and callous in their methods.

“These attacks will not be tolerated in Dudley borough and this stance has helped reduce the number of residents in these areas who fall victim to these types of unscrupulous people.”

Sergeant Martin Hall, from Halesowen North Neighbourhood team, urged anyone with suspicions of rogue trader activity to report it by dialling the non emergency number 101 or call the Bogus Caller hotline on 01384 812045.

He added: “The key message to remember is, ‘Not sure? Don’t open the door.”