A ROGUE trader was let off with a warning after taking down an elderly resident’s guttering and demanding thousands of pounds for work which was not needed.

The incident happened on Monday morning at a home in Thundersley after the resident, in their 70s, had asked the company for a quote for cleaning the gutters.

When the rogues arrived, they took the gutters down without speaking to the resident and claimed there was damage to the roof and that the home needed a whole host of other repairs done.

They then demanded thousands of pounds for work which had not originally been requested.

Police officers from the Castle Point and Rochford team were called and the rogue trader was issued with a community protection warning.

The warning prohibits the trader from carrying out similar activities in the area and makes it a criminal offence if the notice is breached.

PC Sheridan, of the Castle Point and Rochford team, said: “On Monday, we stopped a rogue trader and issued them with a community protection warning.

“We will not accept tradespeople looking to exploit the elderly or vulnerable by using misleading and aggressive sales techniques.”

The action marks the start of Operation Ban which will see the police gather intelligence around rogue traders in the Castle Point and Rochford district after a spike in the number of complaints.

PC Sheridan added: “We will work with partner agencies to ensure they are stopped.

“Not only do they negatively impact local genuine businesses - they ruin lives.”

The team are urging people to be vigilant and to take precautions to prevent themselves from becoming victims.

PC Sheridan added: “Look around for quotes so you know how much you should be paying as rogue traders will often charge extortionate amounts.

“Make sure a quote is obtained in writing and do not give traders the chance to subtly damage your property.

“Avoid paying money upfront and insist on bank transfers.”

Find more tips at essex.police.uk/advice/rogue-traders/