Police praise Newton Pop residents after false alarm

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- Credit: Archant

Police have praised Newton Poppleford residents after a false alarm involving a suspicious doorstep trader.

Officers were called after a man visited an elderly woman’s address four times within the space of one day, enquiring about grounds works. At one point the lady allowed the man into her home but when she became uncomfortable she asked him to leave and rang her son, who in turn contacted police. After alerting neighbours to the suspicious man, with a red van with a ladder on top of it, the police made further enquiries and eventually discovering the man was genuine.

One neighbour saw a man and a woman near a red car and called 999 but it turned out to be two plain clothed police officers trying to track down the man.

Town PCSO Jay Bowden said: “He noticed it, took it on board and was not scared to dial 999 - that could have caught someone if the police were not there.

“We want to let people know there are genuine workers out there but, however, if anyone you do not know turns up at your doorstep asking to do work or telling you that you need work when you do not call the police, tell neighbours, alert family members. Traders Standards can also help if you get a business card.


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“Do not let them into your home, do not exchange any money and get details of their vehicle and keep any leaflets they are using.

“The community there were fantastic, they were alerted and they called the police, that could have avoided someone being scammed, if that had been someone who was not genuine.”

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Leaflets offering anti-scam advice are available from the front desk at Sidmouth’s main post office, in the High Street.

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