RESIDENTS are being warned by police of a fraudulent roofing company targeting homes.

Officers are asking people to remain vigilant and report suspicious incidents after a series of frauds and burglaries across the south of the Thames Valley Police Force.

So far, there have been 21 incidents, including one in south Buckinghamshire, with the rest taking place in Berkshire.

The offenders have been targeting homes, claiming to be from a roofing company called Thermal Coatings and telling victims they are there to inspect the work and need access to the loft, with the latest taking place yesterday.

Detective Sergeant Christina Berenger, leading the investigation, said: "I am requesting anyone who is approached by these offenders or anyone claiming to be from Thermal Coatings to call us on 999.

"Of course they can also claim to be from other companies.

"Anyone who is from a legitimate company will not mind waiting while you call their office. Make sure you contact Trading Standards to verify the legitimacy of the company and they will provide you with the information you require.

"Every single one of these is an offence of fraud and we know of many occasions when people have had the courage to turn the offenders away, so I appeal to anyone who may have been visited recently and been a potential victim of this fraud to contact us on 101.

"With Thermal Coatings now no longer trading, anyone who is claiming to be from the company asking to check recent work will be lying to you and, similarly, they may claim to be from another roofing company, so I urge you to get in touch with us if this happens to you."

The fraudsters are described as white men and believed to be aged in their late teens or early 20s.

Residents are urged to verify the identity of strangers who call at their homes, either by asking to see their identity card or by calling the company or organisation they claim to be from and checking with them.

Never let someone into your home without doing this.

If you have handed over cash to anyone who has claimed to be carrying out work which was not planned by you contact Det Sgt Berenger on 101 or Trading Standards on 01635 519 930 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.