Update - reports of door knockers in Bodicote today: Residents in Banbury area villages are being warned about 'Nottingham Knockers' who are looking for properties to burgle

Police have distributed leaflets in villages west of Banbury after a property was burgled on Saturday evening, a fortnight after 'Nottingham Knockers' visited.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 12:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 1:05 pm
Residents are warned to be aware of 'Nottingham knockers' who are doing the rounds of north Oxfordshire villages scoping out properties to burgle

The knockers go from door to door appealing to residents' good natures, offering a 'sob-story' and trying to sell their wares but are scoping out the properties for opportunities to return to break in and steal cash and property.

They were reported to have been in Adderbury, Deddington, Aynho and Dun's Tew yesterday (Tuesday) but have also been circulating Wroxton, North Newington and other villages in the district.

Today (Thursday) the Banbury Guardian has received reports of the same team going from door to door in Bodicote.

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A van which dropped of door knockers in Deddington on Tuesday

On the Adderbury Facebook page one householder said: "One was carrying a large black bag and had a lanyard saying he was autistic. Another said: "Ours said he was on a prison release scheme." A third said: "I had one saying he was from Middlesbrough and he was just out of prison."

One villager told the Banbury Guardian: "A van came and picked up the men after they had been around Adderbury and then collected more from Deddington and Ayhno. It then went off the Croughton way. They are using earpiece communication kits to talk to each other. People need to keep alert for them as in some villages it's their second time back - they know where to go."

Householders on village Facebook and What'sApp groups report door knockers saying they have come out of the armed forces, or prison or are reformed drug addicts trying to make a living by selling cleaning products or poor quality goods at inflated prices which they carry in hold-alls.

They are dropped off in twos from a large, transit-sized white van or people carrier and collected when they have gone through a village's streets.

They are called 'Nottingham Knockers after scammers who originally came from Nottingham but it is understood they now come from much further afield.

Thames Valley Police advises residents to warn their neighbours, particularly elderly or vulnerable, not to open the door to strangers to buy on the doorstep. They often work from 9am to 9pm.

Many people will purchase items and pay them something, just to get rid of them, or because believe their story of wanting to change their lives and feel they need to be given a chance. There have been cases of elderly residents handing over large sums as they can be very persistent and confrontational.

Money is handed to the door knockers' employer and there is a small amount of cash handed over for each one. It is understood they note addresses they believe are suitable properties to burgle. These lists are then sold on, sometimes repeatedly.

Residents should take the registration number of vehicles they suspect may be involved in the scam and give it to police via 101.