Havering Trading Standards hero awarded for pioneering project as borough marks Scams Awareness Month
A Trading Standards officer who devised a new banking protocol that helps people who are being ripped off by doorstep criminals has been recognised by the profession.
David Turner was behind the Havering Banking Protocol which was the preferred model for the new Metropolitan Police Banking Protocol. In its first four months, the Banking Protocol helped save vulnerable pensioners £1 million and enabled the Met to make 14 arrests.
Mr Turner, from Havering Council Trading Standards, was recently announced as a Hero award winner at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s (CTSI) annual conference.
Mr Turner started working on the project in 2011 with support from local police, community safety, social services and bank managers in Havering.
The protocol works by training bank staff to look out for unusual customer behaviour and to tactfully ask questions about the reason for the withdrawal.
Bank staff then summon swift police support by dialling 999 and disclosing a password – as they did when a vulnerable resident from Upminster was driven by a rogue trader to the local Nat West Branch, where he attempted to transfer £7000 into a fraudulent account. Due to the diligence of the bank staff, who had received training from Trading Standards Officers, the transaction was identified as being unusual for the customer, who was taken into a side room where it was established that he had been targeted by rogue traders. The transaction was successfully stopped.
Leon Livermore, CTSI chief executive, said: “David didn’t just come up with a great idea, he had the passion to see it through to fruition.
“Without his tireless efforts to bring trading standards, police, social services and the banks together this project would never have got off the ground.
“Vulnerable pensioners across Greater London are already benefitting from David’s work and the project is expected to be rolled out nationally.”
David Turner has personally dealt with 12 Banking Protocol related safeguarding incidents that were flagged as a result of his system and a further 32 doorstep crime incidents in the last year.
He also visited 19 high priority scam mail victims from the so-called sucker lists and with his colleague Michelle Hammond carried out refresher training for staff at 15 banks in his local borough.
Speaking after he receiving his award at CTSI’s annual conference, Mr Turner said: “I would like to recognise all the work that has been carried out by colleagues, bank staff and all our partner agencies within Havering, without whom the Havering Model of the Banking Protocol would not have been such a success.”
“No one agency can tackle the menace of doorstep crime and scams on its own, to work it has to be a multi-agency approach.”
July marks Scam Awareness Month, a campaign which supports partnerships both nationally and locally to give consumers the skills and confidence to identify scams, share experiences and take action by reporting suspicious activity.