A "SUSPICIOUS" cold caller has been targeting and exploiting vulnerable and elderly people across Southampton.

Police have issued a warning to people across the city following a a number of reports over the last couple of weeks of a suspicious man cold-calling on residents, often elderly and vulnerable, in the Southampton and Hedge End areas.

The man, who on at least one occasion has identified himself as ‘Liam’, has been offering to clean resident’s gutters across West End, Hedge End, Netley, Bursledon, Bitterne, Harefield, Sholing, Woolston, Redbridge, Millbrook, Portswood, Bassett, Shirley and Freemantle.

Officers have said he then offers to do other jobs, which may require him to get ‘other materials’ which require payment upfront.

In addition, he has a tendency to ‘borrow’ ladders for multiple jobs, but then does not end up returning the ladder to the original owner – simply leaving it in other residents’ gardens.

In a recent incident, the man started by cleaning the guttering of a property in Coopers Close, only to offer very quickly to do other work, which may or may not have needing doing.

The materials that were delivered were ‘wrong’ and he did not return to carry out the work. In total, the elderly couple at the address paid him just over £400.

The man is usually on foot and alone, with just a bucket.

Police say that he has also been spotted cold-calling with another man, as well as woman at times.

The cold caller has been described as white, aged late 20s to late 30s, tall, of slim build and brown hair.