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Latest news

Cold Caller Warning

Published: Monday 5 October 2020

Durham Trading Standards have become aware of cold callers trying to sell goods on the doorstep in various areas of the County. In some cases, their approach has been persistent, causing both upset and annoyance.

While it is not an offence to simply cold call, we would always urge residents to be extremely cautious when dealing with unsolicited visitors.

 Some top tips to keep yourself and others safe:

 Don't

  • DON'T accept uninvited callers
  • DON'T be afraid to say 'No'
  • DON'T be rushed or feel pressured. Genuine traders will always be happy to return when a friend or family member is present

Do

  • DO keep an eye on your area and especially vulnerable neighbours. Has work started unexpectedly on their homes? Is the work visibly poor or been left unfinished? Is the person anxious about what has happened? Has a trader accompanied them to the bank?
  • DO report suspicious cold callers to the Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 11 33 or to the police on 101

Learn more about how to protect yourself and others from scams by becoming a Friend Against Scams at: friendsagainstscams


New helpline launched by north east charity to support prisoners’ families

Published: Monday 5 October 2020

A new helpline has been launched to support  people in the North East navigating their way through the criminal justice system.

Nepacs (a north east charity)  introduced the new helpline to offer information and support to individuals, their families and loved ones at the point of arrest, at court, throughout a prison sentence, and on release. Their friendly team of helpline volunteers are available to offer a listening ear to those who need someone to talk to, and provide important information about processes and next steps.

The new helpline is part of the charity's 'Early days in custody' project which is funded for three years by National Lottery Reaching Communities fund and a legacy gift donated to Nepacs from the Newcastle and Northumberland Police Courts Mission Fund.

The helpline team can be contacted by: Freephone 0800 012 1539, Email support@nepacs.co.uk or Text 07983 437 457 and is open: Monday and Friday 12noon - 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am - 2pm.


Stop Loan Sharks

Published: Monday 5 October 2020

Durham Constabulary have informed of a new stop loan sharks app to make it quicker and easier for people to report loan sharks and access support services. For more information go to https://www.stoploansharks.co.uk


Eviction ban

Published: Wednesday 23 September 2020

Possession proceedings to commence again in England and Wales from 21 September 2020, however in most cases landlords wishing to evict tenants will be required to give six months' notice. 

  • Notices served before 3 August will have to be reactivated;
  • Notices served on or before 28 August require a notice period of three months.
  • Notices served from 29 August require a notice period of six months.

This rule will be in place for social and private landlords until at least March 2021, except in cases involving:

  • antisocial behaviour; 
  • domestic abuse;
  • where a tenant owes more than six months' rent
  • obtaining the tenancy by fraud (false statement);
  • death of the tenant (housing association landlords only)
  • no right to rent due to immigration status (housing association landlords only).

No evictions will take place in areas affected by local lockdowns, or during the Christmas period except in the most serious circumstances.

Guides and further information can be found here


274 councils set to receive housing support for vulnerable people

Published: Wednesday 23 September 2020

Thousands of vulnerable people who were housed during the pandemic will be helped to stay in accommodation this year thanks to the allocations of funding announced  (17 September 2020) by Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick.

274 local councils will share £91.5 million of government funding to ensure interim accommodation and support for the most vulnerable people. An additional £13.5 million fund will be used to enable local authorities to tackle new or emerging challenges.

Bids have also been submitted for £161 million support to help secure 3,300 longer-term homes.