Council warns residents to be on their guard
With Christmas just around the corner local residents are being warned to be on their guard against strangers knocking at their door claiming to be dustmen and asking for a seasonal tip.
The advice follows reports in some parts of the borough of householders being approached for a seasonal 'bonus'.
The reports strongly suggest that the people behind this wave of approaches are not genuine refuse collectors but opportunists hoping to cash in on residents’ generosity.
Refuse collectors employed by the council's contractor, Biffa, are strictly forbidden from approaching residents and asking for gifts. They face stringent disciplinary action, including dismissal, if they solicit for tips.
Environment spokesman Cllr Sarah McDermott said:
“Nothing is more intimidating than someone knocking at your door asking for money. This is especially disconcerting when it happens at night.
"If the caller really is your dustman then he should not be touting for money. More often than not it will be an opportunist trying to cash in. The best response every time must be a firm and polite no before closing the door."
Any approaches for money by people claiming to be refuse collectors should be reported to the police straight away or the council’s waste management team on (020) 8871 8558. This number can also be used for general refuse collection and recycling enquiries.
December 13, 2010