CHESHIRE Constabulary has joined forces with Dee Valley Water to crack down on bogus doorstep callers.

They are warning the public to be vigilant about so-called ‘workmen’ who knock on doors, especially when pipe repairs are under way on their street.

Det Insp Sharon Case said the public should not always assume the workmen are genuine.

She said: “Criminals who specialise in bogus-caller burglaries sometimes use real work as a cover to help con their way into someone’s home.

“They will call at a house near the work site, claim they are from the company involved and reel off a story about having some tests to do, knowing their victim has seen the engineers, the vans and the safety barriers in the area.

“There are simple precautions people can take to make sure that an unexpected caller is genuine. One of these involves a personalised password, which is easy to set up with the water company.”

Norman Holladay, managing director of Dee Valley Group, added: “It is quite rare for one of our engineers to call unannounced but there is the odd occasion where they might need to check the supply.

“All company representatives have identification cards with them which carry a photograph and a company telephone number.

“If you have any doubts, call our control room on 01978 846496.”