LANCASHIRE Police and Trading Standards are warning people in areas affected by high winds to be wary of cold callers claiming that repairs are needed on ‘storm damaged’ homes.

Officers are advising that ‘some disreputable traders’ will try to take advantage of the bad weather by saying work is needed to roofs or fencing.

There is concern that they will then try to charge excessive amounts of money to ‘vulnerable’ residents.

PC Gillian Syer said: “Many residents, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable, find cold callers intimidating and can feel pressured into agreeing for work to be carried out or obliged to part with money.

“We would always advise residents not to carry out business on their doorstep with someone who has arrived unannounced.

“Go away, have a think about it, consider other quotes and look at references.”

County Councillor Janice Hanson, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for public protection, said: "Some disreputable traders will use incidents such as the recent stormy weather as an opportunity to pressure people into agreeing on the spot to having repairs carried out.

"Every year, Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service receives hundreds of complaints from people who have experienced problems with doorstep traders carrying out work on their homes.

“Often large sums of money have been handed over for work that is of poor quality, is not needed or is vastly overpriced.”