We're asking people to be on the alert for rogue traders and distraction burglars, and particularly to keep a look out for the elderly and vulnerable who are most often the victims of these crimes.
Rogue traders are criminals who take advantage of people by using high-pressure sales techniques. Their work is often overpriced, poor quality or not required at all. A distraction burglar is someone who tricks their way into your home and then distracts you while they steal your valuables or cash.
Superintendent Geoff Wessell said: "Rogue traders and distraction burglars are particularly despicable. They prey on the elderly or the vulnerable and the effect on the victim's health and confidence can be devastating. Some people who suffer this kind of crime never fully recover.
"If you do not know who is calling at your home and you didn't invite them there, remember - it's your doorstep and your decision, so be confident, and turn them away."
Youngsters from Churchill Academy School give advice on how to help relatives and friends stay safe at home
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "Lulling people into a false sense of security before exploiting them is something that will not be tolerated in Avon and Somerset. If you're not sure who's at your door you don't have to open it, genuine callers will make an appointment or will happily wait while you check they are from the company they say they are from."
If you make home visits, have customers, or know of vulnerable people living nearby, you are part of their support network. Check out the things you can do to help protect them.
1. You have a right to cancel a contract you've entered into at home.
Answer: True. Traders must give a consumer a 'Notice of Right to Cancel', which allows the consumer a cooling off period to cancel the contract without penalty. The cooling off period will change from 7 days to 14 days on 13th June 2014. Work can only start before the cancellation period ends If the consumer and trader agree. In this situation the trader must get the consumer's written agreement, ticking a box does not amount to written a agreement.
2. You must be given written information on how to cancel any contract you enter into at home.
Answer: True. A Trader must give a written copy explaining your rights to cancel for any contract that you take up in your home over the value of £35.
3. How many days do you have to cancel the contract?
Answer: From 13th June 2014, the cooling off period increases from 7 days to 14 days. This cooling off period allows you to change your mind and cancel the contract. No work should start before this time.
4. Can you cancel a contract once the work has started?
Answer: Yes, you can cancel a contract once work has started but only if you are still within the cancellation period.
5. You spot a couple of men up a ladder on your elderly neighbour's roof. What would you do?
Answer: Never ignore it. You should speak to your neighbour or their workers – even if you don't know them it's your opportunity to be a good neighbour and check they are happy with the situation. Always make a note of the description of the workers and their vehicles. If you have any suspicions or are concerned about door to door sales or other cold callers, call the police on 101. If you think a crime is in progress always call 999.
If you would like any of the materials shown here or more advice on dealing with cold callers please contact your Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101 or via your area.