A JOINT operation carried out by police and trading standards officers targeted rogue traders and cold callers in Colne and Ribble Valley.

The crackdown was part of Lancashire Constabulary’s week-long operation named Rogue Trader, to tackle crime.

Traffic officers in Colne stopped 81 vehicles, which resulted in 12 traders being issued with paperwork.

The organisers say that following the checks, a number of individuals will now be investigated in relation to trading practices and employment status.

Ten drivers were spoken to regarding minor vehicle lighting offences.

Two van drivers were talked to about tyre offences, one about an insurance documentation issue and one about exceeding weight restrictions for the vehicle.

PC Nigel Keates, of Colne and West Craven Police, said: “The object of the operation to target rogue doorstep traders who prey on the vulnerable.

“Some carry out shoddy work, charge whatever they think they can get away with, work while receiving benefits, and carry out fictitious or unnecessary work.

“Trading standards officers were also speaking with legitimate traders, offering them advice on fair trade and information on their rights as traders.

“Intelligence was gathered and shared with other agencies on those who will not comply with legislation and fair trading practice and commit benefit fraud.”

PCSO Mat Thornton, of Ribble Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We were working in partnership with Trading Standards to raise awareness about cold callers or salesmen knocking on people’s doors.

“Our goal was to raise awareness, educate residents, and ultimately reduce the number of people who are victims of rogue traders and scammers.”