Door-to-door trader offers more than just tea to its customers

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TEA traders are turning crime busters in a new partnership.

Well-known North East tea company Ringtons is joining forces with Northumbria Police to offer crime prevention advice to householders across the region.

Ringtons has been delivering tea since 1907 and its staff are a familiar face to their customers.

Now as well as offering their products, they will be handing out leaflets to raise awareness of doorstep criminals, such as bogus officials, high pressure sales people and rogue traders.

Marketing Manager Lisa Thornton said: We’re delighted to be supporting Northumbria Police.

“We have great relationships with our customers, a large proportion of whom are elderly, so we’re well placed to get these messages out there.”

The initiative is part of the forcewide If in doubt, keep them out campaign.

Advice includes:

l Stop and think if the caller is expected and look through a spy hole or window to identify them.

l Put the door chain or bar on before opening and keep it on while talking to the caller.

l Ask for the caller’s identity card and check it carefully.

l Don’t let visitors hurry, pressure or confuse you.

l If you need to leave them outside while you check their details close and lock the door.

l Never use a telephone number given by a caller. Always find the number yourself in a directory or check with a friend or neighbour.

l If you are not comfortable ask the caller to return when you can have someone with you.

There is also a place on the leaflets for people to note down the telephone numbers of their utility suppliers so they can check with them if a caller is genuine.

Chief Inspector Bob Ryan said: “We’re very pleased Ringtons is supporting our doorstep crime prevention campaign by helping us to personally deliver this safety message.

“They are a familiar sight in the region as they visit their customers on a regular basis and have built up a good relationship, in some cases over many years, so we’re sure people will be pleased to get some advice and reassurance along with their tea.”

He added: “Bogus callers and doorstep criminals target the more vulnerable members of our communities, including the elderly, which is why we want to raise awareness of how to prevent crime.”