MEN pretending to be homeless in Royal Wootton Bassett are tricking people into donating money to them.

Police officers in the area warned people in the Boroughfields area not to be fooled by the group seen begging on the floor during the day and putting up a sign which says that they are hungry.

A Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Police spokesman said: “We have carried out a number of enquiries in relation to these men based on the information they have provided us with, and we do not believe them to be homeless.

“They are misleading members of the public in to donating money by claiming to be homeless.

“We know the local people of Royal Wootton Basset want to genuinely help those who are homeless and struggling, however we would advise you not to hand over money to these people, but to support charities for the homeless who are there to help and to report any aggressive begging to police.

“Police are here to help genuine cases of homelessness and we will treat these people with the upmost dignity when working them.

“However, RWB CPT do not believe this to be the case at the moment and we want to protect our community from being misled and taken advantage of.

“If you have concerns about anyone who appears to be begging in the town, please call 101 and give as much information as possible.

“Anyone in genuine need of help will be sign posted to the relevant charities or support agencies.”

On Friday, officers urged people not to give the beggars money or food or invite them back to their homes.

The force advised concerned citizens who see homeless people in the area to call 101 and give as detailed a description as possible of their appearance and location. The police will then be able to determine if the beggars are genuine and help them if they are.