Hampshire Police have warned residents that ‘Nottingham Knockers’ are in the area following numerous reports of them in Whitchurch last week.

‘Nottingham Knocking’ is a scam where individuals sell items from door to door at inflated prices, being transported together into an area by their employers. It can also be used as an opportunity to scout homes for potential burglaries.

In a statement, officers said: “Please look out for vulnerable neighbours and family and please report sightings on our website and include descriptions.

"Thank you.”

‘Nottingham Knocking’ is thought to have originated in the city which gives it its name, with individuals pretending to be working on behalf of a charity, to support their family, or that they are ex-offenders working as part of a rehabilitation scheme.

Police said they are predominantly young men, and often work for an unregistered company. They are transported to an area in a group to cold call on addresses and won’t have the necessary licenses for their job.

This may include showing potential victims an ID card before trying to sell to them. However, officers say the company is unlikely to be legitimate and the card could simply be a laminated piece of card with a picture on it.

They were first spotted in Andover on March 28, when 10 reports were made to police. Since then, reports of the men have been made from all over the area, including Whitchurch, Awbridge, and St Mary Bourne.

Police advise residents unsure about a doorstep seller to not open the door.

Sergeant Richard Taylor previously said: “You should not feel under any obligation to buy from people on your doorstep.

“We would encourage residents to report all incidents to police, and to firmly but politely refuse the sales. We would discourage all purchases from doorstep sellers unless you are certain of their veracity.

“Should they become aggressive and refuse to leave, please phone us immediately on 999. If it is non-urgent and you wish to inform us of the incident, please call on 101 or report it via our website.”