HERTS & ESSEX TRIBUNE
The Officers at Essex Police - Brentwood and Epping Forest Facebook page have published a very detailed description about the ploy being used by doorstep Sellers, those frequently seen in the area carrying large bags crammed with various items such as Tea Towels, Utensils Etc.
Nottingham Knockers are not part of any recognised rehabilitation scheme.
The Government-backed Community Payback scheme does not involve door-to-door sales.
The bag of household products is supplied by someone who employs them. The lads are supplied with a full bag of household products (including the typical tea-towels!) and charged a minimal sum for the contents – it used to be £35-50. They can keep whatever they make, above this amount.
Usually they are deposited in an area from a transit van and given a list of streets to work. An hour or so later they are picked up and dropped off in another location. They often work from 9am to 9pm.
They will knock on a door, offering cleaning items which they know are cheap and of very poor quality; the householder also knows they are rubbish but that is part of the scam.
Many people will purchase items and pay them something, just to get rid of them. There have been cases of elderly residents handing over large sums as these lads can be very persistent and confrontational.
Tricks of the trade.
The price for whatever has been purchased usually comes to a note – usually £10. The householder disappears to get this – this is when the scam begins, When the note is handed over, the lad examines the condition and how long it took the person to get it.
If it is crumpled, they accept it and move on. If it is crisp flat and new and likely to come from a pile of new notes – they are much more interested and may engage the person in more conversation, to obtain details about them.
As they leave they will smell the note. If it is slightly musty, as in stored in a cupboard or under a mattress– this is an indication that there is more in the property. Those addresses are noted. The addresses of elderly / vulnerable / gullible people are all noted.
Occasionally noted addresses are sold in prisons or pubs and revisited later and the occupiers find themselves the victims of burglaries.
Don’t open the door.