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Not Sure? Don't Open The Door!

Boston Police Cadets turned script writers, actors and crew when they made a video to help warn people against rogue traders.

Their film, Not Sure? Don't Open The Door! was shot on location in Boston and mainly at the borough council offices at Municipal Buildings, and shows what can happen when the door is answered to unscrupulous doorstep salesmen.

An unwitting member of the public is conned by shady traders who invent unnecessary work, make the work sound urgent, complete a shoddy job and then hit the customer with a massively-inflated bill for "unavoidable extras".

The customer is frightened, intimidated and threatened into parting with far more cash than ever agreed - even to the extent of the rogue traders forcibly marching him off to his bank to withdraw the cash.

The short film, made for Lincolnshire Trading Standards, was completed with the help of a professional cameraman but the cadets wrote the script, performed and helped with lights and sound recording.

The elderly victim answers the door to two "builders" who tell him his guttering is blocked with moss and for £50 they'll clean it all out - in fact they put added pressure on by saying they have not only started the work as a matter of urgency but are almost finished.

When, a few minutes later they knock at the door for payment, the £50 quoted has gone up to £1,000. The victim is later interviewed and, despite being ex-Army and a veteran of the Falklands, admits he was left feeling "stupid" and suffered loss of dignity and confidence.

The film was entered in the national Trading Standards Institute competition.

November 3 to 7 is National Consumer Week and awareness around rogue traders is being heightened.

Despite vast underreporting of doorstep crime, latest research shows there could be as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime each year. Doorstep criminals exploit vulnerable citizens by convincing them to pay for shoddy or incomplete repair work, charging extortionate fees for their services, or threatening residents who do not comply.

The Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders campaign focuses on preventing doorstep crime by encouraging neighbours, family, friends and carers to look out for those most at risk in their communities.

The campaign is a partnership led by the Trading Standards Institute, Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards Board.

For more information about rogue doorstep traders go to www.tradingstandards.gov.uk or call Citizens Advice on 03454 040 506.

The Boston Police Cadets film was directed by Michael Hall and Hannah Kitchen and starred Mike Jessop, Jared Firth, Thomas Willetts, Holly Morgan, Ben Jessop, Amy Baggaley, Jamie Smith, Charlotte Amey, Megan Gray, Izzy Swain, Toby McDonnell-Woods, Pierce Morris and Bethany McGuire. Camera operator was David Brook and boom operators were Ross Tarry and James Brand. It was edited by David Brook.

See the video at http://youtu.be/D1a7h6JwpI0