North Ayrshire Council is ramping up its efforts to tackle the slave trade – by enlisting the support of local businesses.

The Trading Standards team reckon many bogus doorstep workers are illegal immigrants working for gang bosses.

In one recent incident they discovered workers living in horrendous conditions in dilapidated caravans. The Trading Standards team have made up business cards which they are distributing through builders’ merchants and other places – including burger vans – that workmen frequent.

And they want as many honest builders to get in touch when they come across fraudulent workers.

Scott McKenzie, Senior Manager Protective Services, North Ayrshire Council said: “Bogus workers are out to cheat residents of their hard-earned money. It is a horrible and despicable crime and the team here are passionate about eliminating it as much as possible.”