FOI Request - Doorstep Criminals

Request 101000128668

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act for information regarding doorstep criminals defrauding the elderly or vulnerable. Could you please supply me with information relating to the following questions:

1 – What are your annual figures for the number of these crimes reported from 2009 to 2012?

2- What is the average age of the victim?

3- What is the average amount of money defrauded per victim?

4- Anecdotal evidence from some Trading Standards teams suggest a large number of offenders of this crime are from the travelling community. Can you provide any figures relating to the background of offenders?

5- If you do not have any information relating to the above questions please could you provide any other relevant statistics on doorstep criminals defrauding elderly or vulnerable people.

Response 04-03-2013

1. We do not hold this information. We do not keep crime statistics as such, but deal with consumer complaints. Some involve criminal breaches of consumer protection legislation but many refer to civil breaches; e.g. contract law. In addition there are a number of cases where doorstep sales activities are reported to the Service for information.

2. We do not keep statistics on the age of the client. 

3. We do not keep this information, but please see the answer to question 5 for an estimate.

4. We do not keep information on the background of traders being complained about.

5. Moray Trading Standards previously analysed consumer complaints received by the service between May and September 2011. The Service received 40 complaints associated with doorstep sales. The average value of goods or services was £2500. Using estimates that only one in ten cases are reported, the service estimated that Moray had an estimated 400 incidents in 5 months.  A survey carried out as part of this work indicated that consumers suffered an average loss of £300 for such incidents. If we use this figure for the 400 incidents it shows an estimated total loss of £120,000. A summary of the consumer survey is available here

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