Members of Shipston Police Safer Neighbourhood Team Team are warning people of a link between the appearance of illegal doorstep sellers in an area and an increase in theft or burglaries.
PC Craig Purcell said: “Unfortunately the Shipston Policing area has fallen victim to this link.
“Recently a house on the London Road in Shipston had its rear patio door smashed open with the inside then ransacked.
“When speaking to neighbours we found that door-to-door sellers had been working along London Road the week before.
“I am concerned that we did not receive a single report of this.”
The team has publicised warnings about the dangers of doorstep pedlars for more than 12 months through social media and local presentations but say calls to the police about this are still very limited.
PC Purcell added: “Recently we have had a very small number of reports advising us of door-to-door sellers in other areas of Shipston, Ettington and Brailes.
“In each area only one or two people called us but it is likely that many more doors had been knocked.
“The reports followed a common pattern whereby the person knocking the door of an address appears polite and has claimed to be affiliated with some form of ‘back-to-work’ scheme for ex-offenders. These schemes do not exist in this form and any identification produced will be poor quality and fake.
“In over ten years of policing I have only encountered one doorstep seller who had the correct documentation and was acting within the law.
“However, we are more than happy to receive 20 calls and on attendance find that a person is not a criminal and does have the correct paperwork.
“Our aim is to disrupt and prosecute those acting illegally and giving legitimate pedlars a bad name.
“I’m also asking for your help in sharing, printing and distributing this information to as many people as you can.
“This is an ongoing problem and we need as many people as possible to help alert us when it occurs.”
PC Purcell added people should not challenge them but instead call 101.