Sir Greg Knight issues warning over rogue locksmiths
East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has urged people to be vigilant after concerns were expressed in Parliament over rogue locksmiths who may be a security risk to homeowners.
The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) say that they hear on a near daily basis from consumers across the country who have unknowingly employed an unaccredited locksmith.
Some have been severely overcharged, some have received a poor standard of work often requiring a remedial visit from an MLA member.
In extreme cases, rogue locksmiths have retained keys to locks they have installed and either use them or pass them on to others to commit burglaries.
The MLA recently revealed a soaring number of British households are falling victim to bogus locksmiths.
Over the past year, two thirds of the MLA’s members have been called to repair a botched job involving a rogue locksmith, and it is estimated that 65% dodgy locksmiths are overcharging customers by £200 or more.
Speaking in the House of Commons Sir Greg pointed to the risk that dodgy locksmiths often quote an unrealistically low price only to later claim for ‘unexpected additional work’ that they say needs doing when half-way through the job.
He said: “People should do their research before choosing a locksmith.
“A good start is to ensure that they are a member of the Master Locksmiths Association before getting a job done and to make sure that you know if you’ve been given a ‘quote’ or an ‘estimate’.
“Unfortunately, some so called locksmiths will do shoddy work or even compromise your security by keeping a copy of your house key.”
Sir Greg’s comments were backed by Mark Pawsey, the MP for Rugby. He pointed out that many European countries have banned on-line ads from unaccredited locksmiths.
He said: “Most ads appearing in on-line search results are from unreliable or even crooked locksmiths who take advantage of those in need—someone who is locked out of the house at night, for example—to charge exorbitant prices for shoddy workmanship.”