Collierville Police Offer Home Solicitation Safety Tips

Door to door solicitors come in many shapes and sizes. These solicitors can offer deals on magazines, energy audits, opportunities to sign petitions, cookies, and much more. The solicitation ordinance, effective October 9, 2015, allows commercial solicitors to conduct door-to-door sales after obtaining a permit from the Town. Solicitors are also required to wear a Town-issued identification badge while working; as a resident you have the right to ask to see an ID badge if it is not clearly displayed. Non-commercial solicitors such as church groups, scouts or charitable organizations do not need a permit or identification badges.

While commercial and non-commercial solicitors are allowed to conduct door-to-door sales, homeowners should always take necessary precautions when strangers come to visit. Please heed these crime prevention tips when dealing with solicitors to help protect you, your family, and your property:

• Never open the door to someone you do not know.

• Always look through the peephole or window and see who it is.

• Teach your children what to do if they are alone and someone comes to the home or is looking in windows.

• If you do not know them, say “No thank you” through the door and walk away.

• Do not get into a conversation with a solicitor through the door. They will try to converse with you but getting into a conversation of any kind with a solicitor only encourages them to stay.

• If solicitors try to approach you while you are outside, do not let them approach. Say, “No thank you,” and walk back into your house and close and lock your door. A conversation only encourages a solicitor.

• If the solicitor does not go peaceably on their away, call the police for assistance.

• Follow identity theft prevention guidelines by never giving credit card information or a check to anyone who solicits you and you do not know. It is often very difficult to determine if someone is legitimately representing a real organization or charity.

• Watch where the solicitor goes next and notice what they do. Look for suspicious behavior such as looking in car windows, testing doors for locks, or entering back yards.

• Report aggressive or suspicious solicitors to law enforcement immediately at 911 (aggressive or threatening) or Non-Emergency 901-853-3207 (suspicious). Provide a description of the solicitor and what direction they were headed.

• Alert other neighbors in the immediate area. If you have a Neighborhood Watch or Homeowner’s Association, immediately contact your representative who can notify the other residents of this activity.

To prohibit commercial solicitation at your home, sign up for the Town’s “No Knock” registry. Commercial solicitors will be required to print off the “no knock” registry address list the first of every month in advance of going door-to-door. Signing up for the “no knock” registry WILL NOT prohibit groups that are exempt from the ordinance such as religious groups, politicians, non-profits like school booster clubs and charitable organizations from soliciting at your residence.

Residents who want to prohibit any and all solicitors at their residence will need to display a “no solicitation” sign at the front entrance to their residence. Displaying a “no solicitation” sign WILL PROHIBIT all solicitors, including religious groups, non-profits such as school booster clubs and charitable organizations. Call the Collierville Police Department’s non-emergency number, 901-853-3207, to report a violation.