VIGILANT bank staff in Yate have been praised for blocking a bid by a suspected rogue trader to gain cash from an elderly couple.

Staff at the branch in Yate called the police when the couple tried to withdraw a significant amount of money to pay, in advance, for work to be done on their roof.

This followed a cold-call from some men at their home in St Briavels Drive, who claimed work was needed on the roof.

Police officers were called just after 1.30pm on Tuesday, January 30 and arrested a man at 2pm on suspicion of fraud by false representation.

The suspect was later released under investigation for further enquiries by South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards officers.

Neighbourhood PC Angharad Baynham said: “It’s good that bank staff are helping to prevent their customers from being taken advantage of.

"We’re very grateful to them for alerting us to this incident.

"We would always recommend that people get three quotes from reputable tradespeople for any work needed on their homes and gardens.”

South Gloucestershire Council’s cabinet member for communities and tourism Heather Goddard said: “The council’s trading standards team work closely with police to combat the activities of rogue traders who put pressure on people to have unnecessary work done on their homes.

"I’d like to extend my thanks to the bank staff whose swift action prevented any money from exchanging hands in this particular case.

"Legitimate tradespeople are aware of the regulations around consumers’ rights and would not put their customers under this type of pressure.”

PC Baynham added: “If you believe you or someone you know is the victim of a crime and the offenders are still in the area call 999.

"If you’ve had a caller you’re suspicious of then let us know on 101 straight away.

"We’d prefer to respond to a call made with good intent which turns out to be nothing, than not to have chance to react to a possible crime.”