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Reducing nuisance calls

Published: 12 Mar 2017 00:01

Brown: UK Government must do more.

The UK Government should bring forward further powers to prevent nuisance calls, Economy Secretary Keith Brown has said.

This should include:

  • Powers to not just disqualify but fine directors who allow the practice to signal that this is not acceptable and will not be tolerated
  • A fair share of funding for consumer awareness and technology projects
  • Simpler and clearer ways for people affected by nuisance calls to report them so that action can be taken

The call comes ahead of the final meeting of the Scottish Government’s Nuisance Calls Commission on Wednesday, which will examine the current regulatory and enforcement environment to identify any potential improvements.

Research by Which? and Trading Standards Scotland has consistently shown that people in Scotland receive more nuisance calls than people elsewhere in the UK – with Which? showing that three of the top five cities receiving the highest number of nuisance calls were Scottish.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Brown said:

“I set up the Commission last year to specifically tackle the growing problem of nuisance calls, which are disproportionately affecting Scotland. We’re already working with enforcement agencies, telecoms providers, and the makers of call blocking technology to find practical solutions that will help people protect themselves, and with business, to change the behaviour that leads to illegal calls in the first place.

“However, more needs to be done. That is why I am calling on the UK Government to bring forward further powers to better protect consumers and punish offenders. Although the regulation of nuisance calls remains a reserved issue, I also recognise the vast majority of UK regulators, UK businesses and people support the Scottish Government’s desire for a system that better protects our citizens from this serious issue.

“The people of Scotland deserve to see action being taken which recognises and responds to the seriousness of the problem. That is why I will be bringing forward an action plan outlining the Commission’s proposals for protecting consumers and reducing the impact of unwanted calls in the coming months.”

Background

Nuisance Calls Commission - https://beta.gov.scot/groups/nuisance-calls-commission/

Chair - Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work

Scottish Government

Ofcom

Information Commissioner’s Office

Trading Standards Scotland

SCOTTS

Citizen Advice Scotland

Which?

Ofcom Communications Consumer Panel

Department for Culture, Media & Sport

Telephone Preference Service

BT

Scottish Council for Development and Industry