Doorstep Crime Project

In Croydon in 2011 Trading Standards investigated 137 cases of doorstep crime, a hugely under- reported crime which targets the isolated and vulnerable. For example, an 83 year old man with a visual impairment, a repeat victim of doorstep crime, was made to pay £15,000 to a rogue trader claiming to own a neighbouring property which needed repairs due to damage caused by the victim’s property.

Croydon Trading Standards have produced an information pack which includes a number of advice sheets and leaflets offering crime prevention and legal advice and which signpost to reputable traders; the pack is intended to act as a prevention tool but in its original form it is not accessible to people with sight loss and to others with sensory impairments.

Working with Trading Standards, COESI made a successful application in 2012 to the Big Lottery Awards-for-All fund for a grant to produce the information in accessible formats and a video. The project has been a steep learning curve with many benefits to all sides from the joint work we have done on the project.

We have now completed the new leaflet and have produced it in a number of alternative formats. For the visually impaired we can provide audio, large print and Braille information, and for deaf sign language users a BSL version and also a video with voice over and sign language. These are now available here to download, and the full range of formats and copies of the CDs and DVDs can be ordered by email or by telephoning our London number 020 8686 0049 or our Northern number 01287 204204.

The video can be viewed by following this link which takes you to the You Tube site:-

About the leaflet

The leaflet is A4 size with six sides of information.  It is presented in a minimum 16 pt. font size with clear images on a matt finish cream background to minimise glare when reading.

It focuses on providing information for Croydon residents, however versions can be created from the template for other geographical areas with their important local contact numbers. Contact COESI on 01287 204204 for more information.

We include information and contact details for the following local and national organisations and services:

  • Know your Rights when a doorstep caller comes knocking, and the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service

  • Croydon Staying Put and Handyman Service

  • The Croydon Nominated Neighbour scheme

  • Croydon Trading Standards contact details

  • The Government Trust Mark scheme for finding a reputable tradesman.

  • Croydon Careline for personal alarm systems and Telecare equipment

  • The Sensory and Physical Information (SPI) Hub

  • And a selection of  useful contact telephone  numbers

Alternative Formats:

The leaflet is available here in the following formats:

Leaflet PDF – full colour, 6 pages with images

Standard Print word document – narrative only font size 12 pt. with no images

Large print word document – narrative only at 18 pt. with no images 

Large print PDF

We have a sign-language video of the leaflet content. Our special thanks to Louise Harte of Deaf Perspective London who  translated for us and gave us great support for this work. Website link:

We now have the leaflet itself and Braille, Audio CDs, Tape and BSL versions available; call 0800 6129 508 to request your copies. The video, which is available on You Tube, was produced by Catch21 Productions.

Legal Update:

Important information on your legal rights

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation, and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

These Regulations came into force on 13th June 2014 and apply to contracts entered into on or after this date.

What do they mean for you?

These Regulations cover most contracts which are concluded in your home, or by distance communication / at a business premises immediately after a visit by a trader to your home.

The law applies with some exceptions, to all contracts with a total payment of £42 or more.

A cancellation period of a minimum of 14 days must be given. The law specifies how these cancellation rights must be provided to you.

This information must be given in a way that is clear, comprehensible and legible, before you enter into a contract, and must be provided on paper or another durable medium.

Do's and Don'ts advice

Don’t do business with cold callers

Don’t give out your details to a stranger

Don’t believe everything that a cold caller tells you

Don’t let yourself be accompanied to the bank by a workman / trader

Don’t pay in full in advance for work.  Always keep some back till the work is completed to your satisfaction


And Do:-


Ask friends and neighbours for recommendations of reputable workmen

Get three quotes from separate workmen before you go ahead

Make sure all quotes are in writing

Make sure you put your door chain on before opening the door and ask for identification

Seek advice before agreeing to any work on your property

And remember:     If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Page updated January 2016