Police have warned Andover residents to be wary of ‘Nottingham Knockers’ in the area after receiving reports they’re operating in town.

‘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.

Police warned residents to remain vigilant after 10 reports of these individuals on Sunday, March 28, and to report all incidents to the police.

‘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.

While noting that many businesses sell legally from door to door, while other companies and charities have valid reasons to pay a visit, Hampshire Constabulary said that residents unsure about a caller shouldn’t open the door.

Sergeant Richard Taylor 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.”

Police advise that a door chain should always be used when answering the door, and cold calls, whether in person or over the phone, should not be engaged with. They recommend joining, or setting up a ‘no cold calling zone’ or a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.