VULNERABLE elderly people are to be given more protection from conmen.

Cleveland Police already run Operation Strongbow, targeting doorstep conmen and distraction burglars preying on old people on Teesside.

Now, Middlesbrough Council is to look at the introduction of easy-to-read identity cards for utility companies, promoting lists of approved tradesmen, greater use of technology in detecting crimes and working with other agencies to identify potential victims.

A spokesman for the council said: "We are looking at all situations in which older people might be vulnerable - high pressure sales, cold-calling and the like.

"We are hoping to get the input of social services and trading standards so we can look at the safety and well being of older people.

He said there were circumstances when, although criminal acts were not involved, older people living alone could be targeted and at risk of losing their money.

"We are going to look at developing a wider cover," he said.

The Northern Echo launched its Doorstoppers campaign last year to raise awareness about bogus callers.