COLD callers who harass residents are being targeted by a combined operation by Durham County Council and police.

Residents in Hamsterley Mill and West Auckland are to be given stickers to warn unwanted callers to stay away.

Warning signs will also to be placed on lamp posts while booklets containing tips on how to deal with rogue callers will be issued.

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“Residents need to be on their guard against bogus callers and aggressive salesmen who won’t take no for an answer," said Joanne Waller, the council’s head of environment, health and consumer protection.

“These schemes will help to reassure householders and send out a clear message that cold callers are not welcome.

“Working in partnership with the police, we are keen to help residents take control of dealing with unwanted callers at the door.

“Where traders are found to be breaking the law, this will be taken up with them.”

The booklet is available by contacting trading standards at the county council on 03000-261016. For details on consumer rights call the Consumer Helpline on 03454-040-506.