Police in North Ayrshire are encouraging local residents to be vigilant and to look out for potential rogue traders attending at the homes of vulnerable neighbours.

Often rogue traders will attempt to use high pressure tactics to get people to sign up for a service or buy goods. This includes traders who claim that your home or garden is in need of urgent repair work, those who charge unreasonable prices, increase the price as the work is undertaken or those who take a deposit and don’t return.

PC Johnson of Irvine Police Office said: “We would encourage everyone to be vigilant and not to deal with uninvited cold callers at your home.

"These criminals can be very convincing and often specifically target the elderly or vulnerable members of our communities.”

To protect yourself from doorstep crime:
- Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
- Keep front and back doors locked.
- Use the door viewer or a nearby window when answering the door. - Fit a door chain or bar – use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
- If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
- Don’t feel embarrassed - genuine callers expect you to be careful.
- Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
- Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them.

Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity.

Suspicious activity and criminality should be reported immediately to Police Scotland by calling 101 (in an emergency always dial 999).

Information on those involved in doorstep crime can be passed to Police Scotland or to the independent charity CrimeStoppers by calling 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be maintained.