POLICE have received a number of reports by residents and Neighbourhood Watch representatives in Stroud that companies claiming to be security experts have contacted them to book security advice appointments and fit security equipment.

Targetted communities include Eastcombe, Risedale and Bussage.

The alleged companies claim that the police no longer attend break-ins due to their high volume, but instead confine themselves to offering safety and security advice.

In addition a suspicious vehicle has been seen in Eastcombe giving rise to concern over the risk of burglary.

Police have spoken to one of the security companies, from Coventry, advising them of the concerns that have been expressed and clarifying to them that police do indeed attend all burglaries.

The firm has acknowledged the concern.

Anyone with any information about the incidents is asked to contact Gloucestershire police on 101, quoting incident numbers 241 and 433 of April 25 and 118 of April 26.

Sergeant Ben Styles of Stroud police said: “I would stress that police attend all break-ins in person, and we don’t endorse any particular security companies.

"Anyone suspicious about a call they receive offering to provide security advice or fit equipment, especially if it is claimed to be initially free of charge, should not agree to an appointment but instead take a name and telephone number and contact us.”