A MAJOR campaign has been launched in the New Forest to prevent pensioners from falling victim to doorstep con men.

Old folk are being given special information packs that aim to help them spot bogus workmen, turn away unscrupulous salesmen and avoid becoming victims of distraction burglars.

The packs include tips from trading standards officers and advice on what to do when confronted by unwelcome callers.

They have been designed by Hampshire police and the New Forest Community Safety Partnership as part of the county's Safer Homes campaign.

Det Insp Mark Ashthorpe, one of the officers involved in the project, said: "The New Forest is one of the safest places to live in Hampshire but we're aware that vulnerable people may be targeted.

"It's our aim to raise awareness of the problem and educate people so they can protect themselves."

Det Chief Insp Linda Dawson, who is heading the Safer Homes initiative, urged Forest residents to support the new campaign by keeping an eye on any neighbours who could be at risk.

She said: "Anyone can be a victim of distraction burglars but often they prey on elderly or vulnerable people.

"That's why we're calling on the whole community to work with us."

The packs are being distributed by community beat officers, community safety officers and community nurses.

They are also available from police stations and health centres, as well as town and parish council offices across the New Forest district.