Leighton Andrews, Minister for Public Services
I am updating Members on progress made against our Programme for Government commitment to extend the coverage of No Cold Caller Zones in Wales.
No Cold Caller Zones are aimed at protecting vulnerable residents and reduce the number of doorstep crime incidents. Our aim is to Increase the number of areas in which doorstep callers are not welcome. They are intended to give local residents and communities the confidence to say "no" to uninvited salespeople or to warn rogue traders and cold-callers they are being watched.
Zones require close partnership working between a number of agencies including the Local Authority, Trading Standards and Police and are a good example of how a collaborative approach across public services can improve the lives of residents.
In March 2013, a baseline established 38,000 homes were covered by No Cold Caller Zones. In November 2013, Local Authorities were invited to bid for funding to support the creation of No Cold Caller Zones, providing they had already identified this as being required in their area. Twelve Authorities responded and the Welsh Government approved funding for all twelve.
Data from the areas in receipt of the November 2013 Welsh Government funding demonstrate a further15,000 homes have been covered by additional Zones created by this funding.
The total number of homes covered by Zones will be requested from all Local Authorities, regardless of the date established or the funding mechanism, and these will be published as part of the Programme for Government Annual Report which will be published in June 2015.
To date, the feedback received from Local Authorities has been positive, although the message coming from them indicates it is too early at this stage to identify the impact this additional funding may have had. Early evidence appears to suggest there have been fewer callers with a reduction in the numbers of reported incidents. Residents are also reporting they feel safer in their homes and more able to deal with and report cold callers who breach the zones.