19 October 2006
Barrett demands urgent debate on bogus workmen
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today called for an urgent debate in parliament on Government action to combat the growing problem of bogus workmen across the country.
The Liberal Democrat MP made the call after it was revealed that the three men wanted by police over the killing of 10-year-old Jack Anderson in Saughton Road North were suspected bogus workmen.
Mr Barrett has been running a ‘Safer Communities Campaign’ across the West of Edinburgh since January 2005. Special laminated cards are available from the Edinburgh West constituency office (1A Drum Brae Avenue) for display on front doors and windows. The card warns doorstep callers that the resident will not buy or sell at the door and will expect identification that can be verified. Contact details for the local police are also provided on the reverse side.
A new ‘Safer Communities Pack’, endorsed by local police is also now available from Mr Barrett’s constituency office.
John Barrett said:
“Public concern over the actions of so-called bogus callers and workmen is understandably at an all-time high. My constituents are rightly demanding to know what the Government is planning to do about it.
“I know that local neighbourhood watch schemes, community police officers, and other community organisations have been doing great work on this issue over the past few years. However, the tragic events of two weeks ago underline that the problem remains an extremely serious one.
“Even though the number of incidents is relatively small, it creates a climate of fear and mistrust in the community that is difficult to shift. Local people deserve to know that the Government is treating this issue with the seriousness it deserves.
“In the meantime I have made a Safer Communities Pack available to all my constituents. Many people have told me that they have found it a useful tool to help crack down on bogus doorstep callers and workmen. Anyone wanting a pack should contact my office.”
• Mr Barrett has applied for an adjournment debate entitled ‘Regulation of Doorstep Traders’.
• A Safer Communities Pack is now available from Mr Barrett’s Drum Brae constituency office on 0131 339 0339. An electronic copy is available online.
• The pack is fully endorsed by Lothian and Borders Police.