INNERLEITHEN Community Council has launched an initiative to freeze out cold callers in a bid to tackle doorstep crime.

Following a spate of concerns regarding bogus callers and rogue traders, the group agreed to pilot a No Cold Calling scheme in Angle Park.

Locals in the town have widely supported this initiative, says community councillor Gordon Daly.

Residents will receive information packs and signage to deter bogus callers and give them the confidence to say no to unwanted people knocking on their doors.

Mr Daly said: “We were alerted to concerns by residents in the town of people coming to their doors claiming to be charity workers. There were also some stories of rogue trade callers a few months ago.

“The community council has also received many reports of telephone scams. Unfortunately, other than warning people to be vigilant and alert them to specific scams, we can’t do anything about those.

“We can, however, implement this scheme by tackling doorstep crime.”

Households across Buchan Place towards Traquair Road have received a survey asking if they would like to see the scheme implemented.

“So far, there have not been any objections, and in the future, it may be possible to extend the project to other parts of the town,” said Mr Daly.

“Once it is determined whether or not the scheme has a majority support, the residents will be given their advice packs, and arrangements will be made to erect the signage.”

He added: “The no cold calling zones will visibly deter cold callers from visiting specific areas of the town in a similar way to Neighbourhood Watch with window stickers and lamp post signs.

“Residents will be given practical advice on what to do in the event of a cold caller.

“If the resident is approached, they can refer to the stickers to back up their message and, if the caller is persistent, the resident may call the police.”

The scheme is supported by Innerleithen Community Council, Police Scotland and Scottish Borders Council’s Safer Communities Partnership.