POLICE chiefs in the Borders have teamed up with local banks to stop conmen swindling vulnerable people.

Officers have taken the initiative following an increasing number of reports of pensioners being conned out of large sums of cash. And it has already seen positive results.

At last Friday’s meeting of the Police, Fire and Rescue and Safer Communities Board at Newtown, chief inspector Andy McLean revealed a number of measures had been put in place in a bid to stop the scams.

He said: “We have put a lot of focus into doorstep crime. There are many measures we have taken to make people more aware of this type of crime.

“For example we are using Facebook and social media more, as well as posting the incidents on SB Alerts.”

Ch insp McLean told the meeting bank staff had been briefed on what to do if they think something is not quite right. He added: “We have been doing a lot of work with the banks in the area recently.

“And, to be honest, they have been brilliant. They have already stopped many vulnerable people taking big sums of money out of their accounts.

“The bank will then phone us, and when we turn up the customer is normally still there, but the scammers have gone. However this initiative has stopped people from losing a lot of money.

“We have also been doing a lot of work on victim support. We need to make people aware of these crimes and tell people that there are many people out there who would not think twice about scamming you and taking your life savings away from you.”

Ch insp McLean also stated there is a similar initiative running with post offices in the Borders.

And Police Scotland have held roadshows at a number of events as well as carrying out ‘reassurance visits’ to the homes of previous victims.