SENIOR gardaí in Cork have warned about bogus tradesmen knocking on doors throughout the city.
Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin hit out at those taking advantage of vulnerable people in their homes, describing it as an ‘insidious form of extortion.’
The comments were made at the meeting of the Cork City Joint Policing Committee (JPC), with one attendee remarking that she is ‘terrified’ to answer the door having been targeted on a number of occasions by people in recent months. Sinn Féin Councillor Henry Cremin urged gardaí to organise public information sessions on the phenomenon, adding that he worried that ‘elderly people would be taken advantage of’.
Chief Supt McPolin advised anyone worried about unsolicited tradespeople to contact Gardai straight away.
He said: “You may have money taken from you or you may be accompanied to a bank to withdraw money; we have had cases of that in Cork and across the country. It is an insidious form of extortion; the work that is produced is not of high quality or, in some cases, done at all.
“All we can say is that people should have nothing to do with them whatsoever and that they should contact the Gardai straight away. We will prosecute people involved in this.”
Sgt Tony Davis, crime prevention officer, said that is a growing concern in Cork, in particular.
He said: “I sympathise with people. There has, unfortunately, been quite a lot of this in Cork.
“There have been operations here and we have had cases brought to court.
“It is a huge problem in Cork, unfortunately, but the message must go out that people should not deal with them and should get quotes locally, from reputable people.”