Crackdown on crooks targeting the needy

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EAST Renfrewshire council are taking steps to protect their elderly and vulnerable following the release of concerning new data.

According to the Adult Support and Protection report 2010-12, East Renfrewshire is in the top three most prevalent areas for financial harm, alongside Forth Valley and Fife.

In East Ren, 25 per cent of referrals to adult social protection highlighted financial harm as a main cause.

Councillor Lafferty, East Renfrewshire council’s convener for health and social care. told The Extra: “Everyone thinks being an adult means being able to look after yourself, but adults can become frail, they can suffer from mental illness, loneliness, and alcohol or drugs can take their toll.

“Unfortunately, there is often someone willing to take advantage of the vulnerable. We are committed to supporting and protecting those adults in East Renfrewshire who are at risk of harm.”

To protect vulnerable adults in this area, East Renfrewshire CHCP and East Renfrewshire adult protection committee has teamed up with the council’s trading standards team and local community police to help keep people safe from financial harm, carrying out a great deal of work in a bid to reverse the trend.

More than 20,000 ‘no cold calling’ stickers have been distributed to residents to display by their front door to say ‘no’ to uninvited door step traders.

Trading standards, working with social work, have secured thousands of pounds in compensation and refund payments, and cancelled some trader contracts on behalf of vulnerable residents.

Training materials on spotting suspicious withdrawals and how to report them have also been given to all banks in the area, while council staff and community groups are being trained to recognise the signs of financial harm.

More than 6,000 households have received advice on how to stop unwanted telephone sales calls, and how to employ trustworthy tradesmen.

John Paterson, chair of East Renfrewshire adult protection committee, added: “We’re working to safeguard vulnerable adults from financial harm.

“This means raising awareness of the issues some adults face, and working together with partners to share expertise and knowledge.

“If you have any concerns about someone you know, please call freephone number 0300 777 6520 to get help or to report concerns about friends, relatives or neighbours.”

Have you been the victim of cold callers or untrustworthy tradesmen? If so, e-mail