Police in Walsall have arrested a number of rogue workmen who have been targeting the elderly and vulnerable.
The workers, who were doing illegitimate work in the St Matthews Birchills area, were taken into custody following spot checks by Walsall Council's trading standards officers.
The checks were part of an ongoing initiative by Safer Walsall Borough Partnership (SWBP) to tackle crime and disorder in the area.
The officers searched for traders carrying out work at people's homes or gardens whilst charging "extortionate prices for little or no work or for poor quality work" completed.
Head of trading standards John Beavon said Walsall Council was determined to drive out what he called "these shameless individuals".
He explained: "Many rogue traders can be very persistent and try to browbeat householders into handing over cash for poor goods or services. A classic example is the workmen who are 'working round the corner' and offer to resurface your drive."
During the inspections a complaint was received from a householder, leading to the trader being removed from the site without pay. When police arrived, the drive was being dug up by the worker without permission.
The exercise also enabled officers to advise traders on consumer law applicable to them. Of the 29 inspected, only one had cold called at the address they were working.
The scheme involved Walsall Council, West Midlands Police, Teaching Primary Trust Care, the probation service, fire service, Education Walsall, business, voluntary sectors and the community.
Successful projects include a "blitz" on fly-tipping and litter problems in the area, as well as cutting criminal and anti-social behaviour.
SWBP chairman David Martin said: "This work by trading standards staff and police officers is very useful in helping reduce the chances of Walsall residents, especially the more vulnerable ones, falling victim to unscrupulous conmen. It is vitally important to make sure that people actually feel safer and initiatives such as this really help to improve how people feel about their communities."