Home security sales calls to residents probed

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Reports of cold callers phoning Surrey residents to sell them home security systems are being investigated.

Surrey Police and trading standards officers said there had been several reports of incidents in recent weeks.

The residents have been contacted by someone who asks them to take part in a survey, tries to sell them products, and then offers a free burglar alarm.

But the callers do not mention the £300 installation charge and £5,000 maintenance costs, police said.

James Robinson, from Surrey Police, urged people not to enter into any agreement without careful consideration.

He also said anyone who had been contacted by a company claiming to be police approved or offering a guaranteed police response should treat the call with caution.

People could obtain independent home security advice from the police force by calling their local crime reduction adviser, he added.

Steve Playle, trading standards officer at Surrey County Council, said: “Our advice would be not to deal with cold callers who either telephone or come to your doorstep.

“If you are looking to install home security, research the providers available independently and ask them for some quotes.”

He also said people installing security systems should be clear about installation costs and ongoing charges which may not be obvious.

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Warning over free burglar alarm offer

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Residents are being warned about a scheme offering free burglar alarms, which could tie victims into a contract costing thousands of pounds.

Powys council’s trading standards service said a company providing alarms had targeted people in Brecon.

It said companies offering the alarms claimed to be working with police as part of a government scheme.

The companies are reported to use high pressure tactics and “scaremonger” about rising crime levels in the area.

Some firms make misleading claims about the alarms being directly linked to the police or patrol cars, a council spokesperson said.

The companies failed to mention the fees for the monitoring, upkeep and responding to the alarms, which can add up to thousands of pounds.

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