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Door Knockers”, “Peddlers”, “Pedlars”, “Hawkers”, “Door to door salespersons”


Very simply whatever they call themselves they require a certificate issued by the Chief Constable for the area that they reside in. This certificate must contain their photograph and is valid one year only.


If they do not produce a current, valid certificate when asked to by a uniformed Police officer they may be ARRESTED(or REPORTED) under the Pedlar’s Act 1871 

What do certificates look like?

Different Forces have different certificates (unfortunately), but they generally follow a similar format:


Notts Police:


There is a group of peddlers calling themselves “Nottingham Knockers”. They are mainly criminals operating within Nottinghamshire who travel to surrounding forces. There have been numerous incidents where officers have stopped these individuals who have produced an A4 Laminated sheet with their photograph on. This sheet will quote legislation stating that the Act has been repealed and a certificate is no longer needed.




Please remember that Peddlers must apply for a licence each year. In Nottinghamshire, they are vetted before a certificate is issued. Persons who are connected with door-step criminality are refused certificates. This is not done across all forces.


Travelling bands of criminals talk to each other. Once the word is out that an area or estate is ‘hot’ on certificates; they will go elsewhere and leave elderly / vulnerable residents alone.