A POLICE community support officer arrived in the nick of time to stop a Royal Wootton Bassett pensioner falling victim to a doorstep conman.

The 73-year-old woman had felt intimidated into agreeing to pay the man £130 for cleaning the fascia board on her home in Gainsborough Avenue on Friday afternoon when the officer turned up in response to reports of a suspicious male in nearby Betjeman Avenue.

Residents had called police to alert them to a man seen trying the door handles and when the area was searched a man matching the description was spotted at the woman’s house.

She said he had knocked on her door and offered to clean the fascia for £150.

“Feeling intimidated by his unannounced presence at her door, she agreed to pay him £130 which was all the cash she had on her at the time,” said the PCSO, who did not want to be identified because the incident is still being investigated.

“He did not have any professional cleaning products on him and was only in possession of a used paint bucket of water and a dirty cloth.”

Seeing that the workman had no professional cleaning gear with him and was only armed with a couple of used paint buckets and a dirty cloth, the officer took down his details.

“I checked round the house with her and made sure nothing had been stolen,” he said.

“Then we suggested that he leave without payment and that he leave the vicinity.”

Police are now helping the woman to ensure she doesn’t become a victim of high pressure door-to-selling in the future.

“She was relieved and it was very rewarding leaving her house knowing that we had stopped a crime and helped this lady,” added the PCSO.

Following the incident Wiltshire Police re-issued advice to residents to close and lock back doors before answering the front, use spy holes, chains or windows to check who was on the doorstep and not to buy goods or services from people calling unexpectedly. If they do not leave they should be told police will be called.

People claiming to be from companies will be able to provide ID which can be checked by ringing the number in the phone book or online.

Rogue traders can be reported to Trading Standards or the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.

Stickers advising that households do not buy or sell at the door are available at the town council offices.