200 arrested in conmen crackdown

More than 200 people have been arrested following a crackdown on rogue traders and doorstep conmen.

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Police and other agencies detected more than 1,000 offences during Operations Monarda 1 & 2 which ran in September 2013 and April this year.

Some of the charges reported to the procurator fiscal related to activity surrounding serious and organised crime.

The operations involved more than 600 police officers along with 250 colleagues in 21 other areas including Trading Standards, community wardens, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Chief Inspector Martin Rutland, of Police Scotland's Safer Communities team, said: "Doorstep crime can affect anyone within our local communities but we are aware that, in particular, older people can be targeted due to a perceived vulnerability.

"It is far from a victimless type of crime. The effects of it can have life-changing consequences on victims' health and wellbeing, in addition to the impact of any subsequent financial loss.

"Some of the techniques used by these criminals are very high pressure and very sophisticated. It is very easy for anyone, even if you are well-educated or world-wise, to fall foul of them.

"There is no stigma or embarrassment in getting caught out and Police Scotland urges victims or their families to come forward and report this type of crime.

"The more people that come forward, the greater our ability to identify and catch those responsible, preventing future crimes."

The Monarda initiatives ran in conjunction with the UK-wide Operation Rogue Trader.

Police Scotland issued more than 26,000 leaflets and had more than 1,600 posters on prominent display in public areas as part of its drive to raise awareness about this type of crime.

Officers also gave 235 presentations to local groups and ran 43 road shows and community events.

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