Say ‘No’ To Door to Door Sellers & Why They Are Called ‘Nottingham Knockers’


Message from the Neighbourhood Policing team:

Gloucestershire police incidents:v214, 221, 226 and 229 – 08/02/19

Police have received a number of calls about door to door sellers from residents in Cold Aston, Andoversford and Withington. Police would like to thank the public for calling in all of these incidents as police were sent out to find the persons selling items without a licence (peddling without a licence)

The persons were told to leave the area. It is advisable not to buy any products or take orders for delivery of products from cold callers. Police stayed in the area until they were picked up by a van and taken away.

Cotswold police would like to thank the public for reporting these incidents.

Many thanks
PC 2201 Nick Westmacott
Stow Neighbourhood Policing Team

After receiving a complaint for calling door to door sellers ‘Nottingham Knockers’, here is the history behind it:

The origin of the term comes from historic records where The Sheriff of Nottingham would allow peddler to have a licence to sell their wares. This tradition has continued and now anyone who wants a peddlers licence must contact their local Chief Constable to apply for a peddlers licence to sell products door to door.

One of the conditions are you must not have any convictions. This is why we always stop these door to door sellers as they will tell the householder they have recently come out of prison and trying to earn some honest money. Their licences are usually fake or a copy of an original. They now try to use other tactics such as place orders at the door and take money in advance. This is still peddling and an offence without the correct licence.

The law states we must have at least three complaints willing to give police statements before we can act by arrest or issue of a fixed penalty notice of £90. This is why we only tend to move them on and out of the county.

Every Constabulary in the country refer to these seller as Nottingham Knockers. If you search this online there is a massive amount of information all over England and Wales, where these person are using their sales tactics to eye up potential burglary victims or use the opportunity to gain access to a vulnerable person’s home and steal from them. They will smell the cash given to them to check if it is musty and therefore is most likely stored in the house and not a bank. They will watch where the home owner goes to get their purse or wallet and if distracted will enter the property and commit offences. They are also known to be intimidating and aggressive when challenged.

The best course of action is to say “NO”. Shut the door and call police. Better still do not answer the door at all and call the police.

I hope this help explain why they are called this name. We apologise to anyone from Nottingham who we may of offended.

Many thanks,
PC 2201 Nick Westmacott
Stow Neighbourhood Policing Team